MOORLACH UPDATE — OCBJ — April 19, 2010

Rick Reiff’s “OC Insider” column, in this week’s edition of the Orange County Business Journal, has a follow up to “MOORLACH UPDATE — OCBJ — March 9, 2009.”  Here were Reiff’s 2009 remarks on my new membership to the OC Vector Control District:

                                “Obscure agency no longer?  Supe John Moorlach has joined the OC Vector Control District’s 35-member board.  Stay tuned…”

Now for the update on the obscure Orange County Vector Control District.  Our District Manager decided to take a peculiar road to retirement that was not well received by the Vector Control board’s majority.

The column’s title and first three paragraphs provide updates regarding three OC journalistic giants (I’m in the fourth paragraph, and I’ve skipped including the rest of the column). 

Tom Johnson was the publisher of the Daily Pilot when I ran for OC Treasurer in 1994.  We were also members of the Costa Mesa Rotary Club at the time.

Bill Lobdell was the editor of the Daily Pilot at the same time and trained me to write columns and debate Will Swaim on his cable television show, “The Lobdell Group.” 

Bill included me in his book, which I covered in the “MOORLACH UPDATE — Losing My Religion — March 17, 2009.”  He continues to write columns, one that I sent out last week in the “MOORLACH UPDATE — OC METRO — April 14, 2010.”

Will Swaim was editor of the OC Weekly when I ran in 1994.  We also continue to be friends over these many years.

(I will have another book review for you soon.  It’s “Plunder” by Steven Greenhut.)

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Goodness! Con Turned Pastor Hires Religion Writer Turned Atheist

More churning in local media: The Daily Voice, Tom Johnson and Bill Lobdell’s online venture covering Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, is folding after only 10 months. But Johnson still will compete with the paper he used to run, the L.A. Times-owned Daily Pilot. He says he is joining Allan Simon’s Laguna Beach-based Firebrand Media as publisher of two weekly freebies, the Laguna Beach Independent and the soon-to-launch Newport Beach Independent. “A lot of people still like the printed product,” Johnson says …

As for Lobdell, the former LAT journalist recently joined the controversial San Diego-based Fraud Discovery Institute, a stock-shorting operation run by convicted scammer Barry Minkow of ZZZZ Best notoriety. Turning the tables, Minkow’s FDI investigates and publicizes negative information on executives and companies it contends are fraudulent or shoddy. It’s in a heated feud with homebuilder Lennar, which has sued FDI for defamation, extortion and fraud. The lead story last week on FDI’s iBusiness Reporting Web site, which Lobdell edits from Costa Mesa: “Lennar’s Top 10 Red Flags for Fraud—The Sequel.” Minkow is senior pastor of Community Bible Church in San Diego, and Lobdell is author of “Losing My Religion.” Says Lobdell, “Yes, Minkow and I make an odd couple—ex-con turned pastor and an ex-religion reporter turned atheist” …

Meanwhile, Irvine journalist Will Swaim said he closed down his Long Beach alternative paper, The District Weekly, a month shy of its third birthday because of “the economy, bad management and the vicissitudes of our industry.” He’s now running operations for prepaid credit card company CardFlex Financial Services in Costa Mesa and also freelancing …

“Stay tuned,” the Insider advised when change-agent Supe John Moorlach joined the board of the OC Vector Control District, the agency that deals with rats and other critters. A year later, district manager Gerard Goedhart is out …

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