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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thursday Briefs: First School Board Debate and Charlie Brown Formally Announces Bid for 4th Congressional District

First School Board Debate Tonight

From 4 PM to 5:30 PM in Room P-10 at Davis High School on 315 W.14th Street the four candidates for the Davis school board will field questions from High School students, parents, and others. This will be the public's first time to catch the candidates--Richard Harris, Susan Lovenburg, Bob Schelen and Joe Spector in action. The Vanguard will have full coverage of this event.

Charlie Brown Formally Announces for Congress Tomorrow

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Charlie Brown will publicly announce his 2008 candidacy for California’s 4th District during an aerial “barnstorming” tour of California’s 4th Congressional District, scheduled for Friday, September 7th.

In 2006, Brown came within just 3%, or 9,000 votes of defeating CD4 incumbent John Doolittle, holding Doolittle to under 50% of the vote for the first time in his political career. In April, Doolittle had his home raided by the FBI in connection with a Justice Department Corruption probe, and has temporarily resigned his seat on the House Appropriations Committee.

Charlie Brown was the featured speaker at the Vanguard's one year birthday party on July 30th at the Oddfellows Hall in Davis which helped to raise over $1500 for the Yolo Crisis Nursery.

The Vanguard will be at Brown's event in Auburn at 1 pm and will have coverage late tomorrow afternoon on that.

Lt. Col. Brown will be joined at each stop by his wife Jan. The Brown’s children, Stacey and Jeff will be attending the scheduled Placer County event in Auburn. Jeff recently returned from his fourth rotation in Iraq with the Air Force.

In his release Charlie Brown said:
“The support we’re receiving from people of all political stripes, from all corners of this district and beyond has been tremendous,” Brown said. “It shows a growing citizen powered movement that transcends party labels, dedicated to changing Washington and leading by example to improve the lives of neighbors in need. That’s grassroots democracy at its finest.”
The complete schedule of September 7th Campaign Kickoff events is below:

11:30a.m.-12:30 p.m.-Cameron Park
3081 Boeing Road, Cameron Park, CA 95682-9209

1:00p.m.-2:00 p.m.---Auburn
Auburn Municipal Airport
13626 New Airport Road
Auburn, CA 95602

2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.-Grass Valley
Nevada County Airport
13083 John Bauer Ave., Grass Valley, CA 95945

4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.-Quincy
Gansner Field Airport
198 Plumas Ave., Quincy CA 95971-7007

Problems with Davis Enterprise Online Archives

Those who have attempted to utilize the Davis Enterprise online have often noted that unlike many newspapers, the format is unfriendly. Usually there are about three or four articles per day from the entire paper posted on the webpage and accessible to the public without cost. The archives on the site are largely inaccessible without a fee, and sometimes even with a fee. Those with a campus account can browse through the archives using the Newsbank site's index. Even then, that has often appeared to me to be deficient.

In many cases, this is not merely a novel or academic concern. The Davis Enterprise, for all of the criticisms heaped upon it, is the a consistent source of historical information and therefore ought to be more accessible to the public than it is. I have spent many a long and cumbersome day sorting through the largely un-indexed microfiche that goes back decades.

It is within this vein that I note the research by UC Davis Professor Emeritus John Lofland, who recently more rigorously examined the problems relating to the lack of complete archival records.

Using his own articles as a guide, he discovered that the enterprise had only indexed 64 of 90 total articles where his name appeared or 71 percent of the total. For his full work and finding see: Davis History Research Notes

Upon this discovery, Professor Lofland emailed Debbie Davis, the Davis Enterprise's editor (both of which can be found here)

Ms. Davis' response was "for many years, the online archive included only three or four local news stories a day . . . ." Her response is basically, yes the index is incomplete and she did not seem overly concerned about it.

I think Professor Lofland's closing comment sums it up well:
"This short-fall in coverage means that Davis history researchers cannot use the Enterprise web site online index or the Newsbank archives/indexes as accurate ways to know if something was covered by the paper or not or to count the frequency of any matter over time."
How concerned are we that adequate and accessible records are available from the only continuous local daily over the past decades? I think this is concerning. I know from talks that I have had this is not merely a problem with the staff. I think the publisher bears a lot of responsibility in failing to create a more dynamic website and probably also with failing to properly archive the entire content of the Enterprise rather than a few select stories.

Yolo Land Trust's 19th Annual "Day in the Country"

The Yolo Land Trust will have their 19th Annual "Day in the County" on Sunday, September 9, 2007 from 3 to 6 PM at the Harland Ranch. Click on the image for more details or go to Yolo Land Trust.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting