Wednesday, July 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Hide and seek

By
From page A4 | March 18, 2013 |

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.

Comments

comments

Mountain Democrat

  • Recent Posts

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

  • .

    News

     
    Heard over the back fence: Attorney to warn about scams

    By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

    Road zone of benefit protester reaches dead end

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Six file for Dist. 2

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

    District 2 candidates forum Aug. 14

    By News Release | From Page: B1

     
    EID ditch customers get relief

    By Michael Raffety | From Page: A1

    Veterans receive wildland fire training

    By News Release | From Page: B1

     
    Market data open for local biz

    By Ross Branch | From Page: B1

    Volunteers clean up national forest

    By News Release | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Opinion

    Russian metastasis

    By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

     
    The Democratic-Chronicles: Not invented here

    By Gene Altshuler | From Page: A4

    My turn: Special interests at EID

    By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Letters

    DA hogging Main St. parking

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

     
    CAO and staff hiring friends

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

    Altshuler’s hypocrisy

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

     
    Small Farm compromise

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

    EID and Dale Coco

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

     
    .

    Sports

    Roundup: July 22, 2014

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

     
    Dolphins ring up another title

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Sharks defeat Loomis Basin in season finale

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Celebrity golf at Tahoe

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Dodgeball: Not the national pastime but …

    By Shane Theodore | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Prospecting

    At a glance: Comets to meteors

    By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

     
    Taste the best at the State Fair

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Amador Fair honors cowboys

    By Amador County Fair | From Page: B3

     
    Tractor Supply Store recognized

    By Uc Cooperative | From Page: B3

     
    Arbor Day book helps to identify trees

    By Arbor Day | From Page: B4

    Learn about lavender and its many benefits

    By Christian Women's Connection | From Page: B4

     
    Builders’ Exchange honors scholars

    By El Dorado Builders' Exchange | From Page: B5

     
    En garde at Silver Screen Classic

    By Auburn Silver Screen | From Page: B5

    Lee’s Feed appreciates customers

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B5

     
    My Time meeting in August

    By Senior Day | From Page: B5

    .

    Essentials

    Weather stats 7-22-14

    By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

     
    Crime Log: July 8-10

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

    .

    Obituaries

    Arthur J. Funston

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Walter Vali

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    Jean Lachelle Taylor

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Real Estate

    .

    Comics

    Horoscope, Thursday, July 24, 2014

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

     
    Horoscope, Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

    Working It Out

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

     
    TV Listings

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

    Shoe

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

     
    Sudoku

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

    Rubes

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

     
    New York Times Crossword

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

    Flying McCoys

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

     
    Speed Bump

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

    Tundra

    By Contributor | From Page: A8