Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Hide and seek

By
From page A4 | March 18, 2013 | 3 Comments

Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, D-Bell, is pushing Assembly Bill 642 sponsored by AOL. Just when you thought that antique Internet service was obsolete it manages to get a gullible assemblyman to single-handedly subsidize AOL by allowing Internet-only “publications” to publish legal ads. AB 642 has been assigned to the Assembly Judiciary Committee. It ought to be assigned to the round file, along with those inflated salaries Bell city officials paid themselves.

This is a scheme to play hide and seek with legal ads. Instead of the requirement that legally adjudicated newspapers have “substantial paid circulation” this bill would substitute the vague and legally nonsensical notion of “substantial regular readership.” That last daffynition would mean news aggregators (we call them news ripoff artists), bloggers and automated operations like AOL’s Patch sites and, as the California Newspaper Publishers Association suggested, even a weekly kitty video. Any of the Websites could be operated from Europe or Nigeria.

Legal ads come in four basic categories. Delinquent tax listings, home loan defaults and auction notices, proposed ordinances and developments, fictitious business names. All require proof of publication, something not provable on the Internet.

Delinquent tax listings, which in the early days of this newspaper were listed on the front page, are vital to county government and the taxpayers. Without publication of this list some people may not know they are arrears in their property taxes. A neighbor who knows the person or how to contact an out-of-town property owner will see their name and give them a friendly reminder. A person might see his or her name on the list and first come to realize they forgot to pay their property taxes. Again, proof of publication, which can only come from a newspaper, is a key piece of evidence if a delinquent property proceeds to the next level, which could ultimately result in a tax sale.

Notice of loan defaults are important to be published publicly for the same reason delinquent tax lists need to be publicly printed. And if a home or property is going to be auctioned off on the courthouse steps, then it should not be hidden from view in some mystery-meat Website, but should be printed in a newspaper. If it is not printed in a newspaper then the auction will just be a corrupt sale between insiders.

If city and county ordinances, developement proposals and other meeting notices are not printed in the paper then government will begin operating with little or no citizen participation. Pretty soon half of what our local government does will look like a private club, with limited memberships for sale.

Finally, there are fictitious business names. People starting businesses are required to publish the name of their business to make it legal and open a bank account under that name. Only by publishing these names can another business learn that someone has taken a name that is already in use. Or perhaps someone has left a trail of bad debts and decided to change the name of the business to avoid the bill collectors. Publication of the name of the business deters this.

And let’s not forget that not everyone has a computer. Not everyone who has a computer would know where to look for public notices or would even bother to look. Everybody knows they can find public notices in their local newspaper. And that’s the way it should stay. There is no hide-and-seek in newspapers. Everything is there in black and white and it is read all over. And you bet, we have many subscribers who read it cover to cover.

Mountain Democrat

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

  • robertdnollMarch 15, 2013 - 8:57 pm

    a noble endeavor but it seems out of your reach considering the way you've let the comment section devolve

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • francescaduchamp@att.netMarch 15, 2013 - 9:35 pm

    Having a bad day Robert ?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Foaming at the MouthMarch 15, 2013 - 11:08 pm

    The death of newspapers is not a pretty thing. Might as well go down swinging.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    News

    Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

    By Chris Daley | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

     
    Past due state taxes bring arrest

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 9 Comments

     
    Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Woman, dog back from Oso

    By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 9 Comments | Gallery

     
     
     
    DA candidate to remain on ballot

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

    Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

    By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

     
    CPCSD seat unfilled

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

    Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

    By News Release | From Page: A14, 6 Comments

     
    .

    Letters

    District 4 candidate

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 35 Comments

     
    Open meetings

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

    Volunteers and homeless camps

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 76 Comments

     
    Bicycle events and traffic control

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 7 Comments

    Evacuation

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

     
    .

    Sports

    Jennings wins national title

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

    By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    King of the West roars into Placerville

    By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

     
    First and goal: Bunt etiquette

    By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

    Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

    By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

     
    Roundup: April 17, 2014

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Prospecting

    Plantastic sale this Saturday

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Things to do: April 18, 2014

    By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

    Spring art brightens government center

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Student art featured for Third Saturday

    By News Release | From Page: B3

    Time out: A grand time at Grand China

    By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

    By News Release | From Page: B3

    Promenade in high style

    By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

     
    Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

    By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

    Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

    By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

     
    Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

    See what is inside the vault

    By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

     
    Eggstravaganza

    By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

    Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

     
    Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

    By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

    Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

     
    Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

    Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

     
    Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

    By California Stage | From Page: B8

    KVIE calls for artists

    By Kvie | From Page: B9

     
    A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

    By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

    America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

    By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

     
    See wildflowers on train ride

    By Railtown | From Page: B15

    Easter at Northstar is family friendly

    By Northstar California | From Page: B15

     
    Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

    By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

    .

    Essentials

    Crime Log: March 28-30

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Arthur W. Cornell

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    Roy Cluness Chaix

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Frederick Wilbur Heymann

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    .

    Real Estate

    Faster sales with spring staging

    By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

     
    Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

    Press Release | From Page: HS7

    Handsome Redmond suits modern families

    Press Release | From Page: HS11

     
    Growing your own

    By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

     
    Fraud workshop scheduled

    Press Release | From Page: HS21

    HCD launches assistance program

    Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

     
    EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

    By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments

    .

    Comics

    Rubes

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

     
    Tundra

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

    TV Listings

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

     
    Sudoku

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

    Speed Bump

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

     
    Working It Out

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

    Shoe

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

     
    New York Times Crossword

    By Contributor | From Page: A14

    Horoscope, Sunday, April 20, 2014

    By Contributor | From Page: A14

     
    Horoscope, Saturday, April 19, 2014

    By Contributor | From Page: A14

    Horoscope, Friday, April 18, 2104

    By Contributor | From Page: A14

     
    .

    Home Source

    Faster sales with spring staging

    By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

    Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

    Press Release | From Page: HS7

    Handsome Redmond suits modern families

    Press Release | From Page: HS11

    Growing your own

    By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

    Fraud workshop scheduled

    Press Release | From Page: HS21

    HCD launches assistance program

    Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

    EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

    By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments