Golden awards
The San Diego County Taxpayers Association’s 23rd annual awards.

By Rick Griffin

The San Diego County Taxpayers Association, a watchdog organization that promotes accountable, cost-effective and efficient government, recognized news coverage of sexual misconduct cases at several San Diego-area schools at its recent Golden Watchdog and Fleece Awards, held May 17 at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel.

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The association said Voice of San Diego reporters Mario Koran and Ashly McGlone uncovered a lack of internal policies, procedures and transparency in sexual misconduct cases involving educators at La Jolla High, San Dieguito Academy, Pacific Rim Elementary, La Costa Canyon High, Hilltop High and others. The stories revealed secrecy, shoddy record-keeping and exit deals that allowed teachers and other school employees to keep their jobs or move to new schools with their reputations intact. The reports gained the attention of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

The award was among the Golden Watchdog and Fleece Awards that recognized the best and worst in local government spending, decision-making and efficiency. McGlone is a previous winner of the award. Last year, she was recognized for her uncovering of performance issues for more than 20 turf fields at several San Diego schools. Some fields needed as much as $300,000 in repairs.

San Diego Press Club to Discuss Jobs in Journalism Education

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The San Diego Press Club will present a program about transferring journalism skills to teaching jobs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 30, at its downtown San Diego offices at the Spreckels Building, 121 Broadway, Suite 640. Cost to attend is free for members and $10 for non-members.

Speakers will include: Laura Castaneda, former TV news reporter in Chicago, Tucson and San Diego, who has taught at San Diego City College since 2000; Maggie Espinosa, a travel journalist and author who has taught writing classes at Grossmont College, San Diego Writer’s Ink and Celebrity Cruises; and Jerry McCormick, a senior public information officer for the city of San Diego and faculty adviser to the student newspaper at San Diego City College.

The program, which is open to the public, is part of the Press Club’s “Nuts & Bolts” series.

Mindgruve Honored for Community Service

Mindgruve, a San Diego-based advertising agency, reports it will be honored on Thursday, May 24, with the Horizon Award from Serving Seniors, a local nonprofit dedicated to serving free, healthy meals to underprivileged senior citizens. The award, recognizing a standout company and its volunteers for their ongoing dedication to the organization, will be presented at a volunteer reception at Serving Seniors’ Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center at 1525 Fourth Avenue.

Mindgruve officials said Andy Bower, the company’s operations manager, has captained a group of employees and friends to serve lunch, clean the dining room and prepare tables for the next meal every month for the past decade.

Mindgruve operates offices in San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Miami.

Alternative Strategies Adds Tequila and Sushi Clients

Alternative Strategies, a San Diego marketing firm, has announced two new clients, CaliFino Tequila and Hidden Fish, a sushi bar. Agency owner William Lopez said his firm will handle public relations, marketing, branding, social media and web design for both clients.

CaliFino Tequila, sourced from Jalisco, Mexico, is available at select locations in San Diego. Three types are available, including Reposado, Anejo and Extra Anejo.

Hidden Fish, scheduled to open in July at 4764 Convoy Street, will offer only 13 seats and 30-minute or 90-minute seating. Chef John Hong and his team will provide a premium omakase sushi experience with each piece of fish made as art, using high-end ingredients.

Alternative Strategies, founded in 2000, serves clients in the restaurant and hospitality industries.

Rick Griffin
Rick Griffin

Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.