Archive for May 25th, 2009

Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services downgrades McClatchy Co.

Monday, May 25th, 2009

McClatchy Watch:

Joining Fitch and Moody’s, Standard & Poors today downgraded McClatchy deeper into junk territory.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services on Friday slashed its corporate credit rating on newspaper publisher McClatchy Co. four notches deeper into junk territory after the company offered to buy back $1.15 billion in debt at a fraction of face value.

The ratings agency cut the corporate credit rating and secured debt rating to CC from CCC+, a four-level downgrade to just three steps away from a default rating. The outlook for the corporate credit rating is negative.

Moody’s Investor Services downgrades McClatchy

Monday, May 25th, 2009

McClatchy Watch:

…Moody’s said the offer amounted to a distressed debt exchange, a default under its rating definitions. Credit raters not only don’t like the offer to pay far less than face value on the notes, they also say it amounts to coercion because holders who don’t exchange the old notes will have to get in line behind holders of the new notes if McClatchy were to go bankrupt or trigger some other default event.

Hodge at RedCounty.com, quoting economist: Government could purchase new $23,000 Honda Priuses for every rider of Phoenix light rail system, and still would have saved $1 billion

Monday, May 25th, 2009

RedCounty, quoting economist Mark Perry, from the University of Michigan:

The other day, Phoenix trumpeted that its daily light rail ridership had reached 37,000 boardings per weekday. Since most of those people have two boardings per day (one each direction) we can think of this as 18,500 people making a round trip each day.

Well, if we bought each of these folks a brand new Prius III for $23,000 it would cost us just over $425 million. This is WAY less than the $1.4 billion we pay to move them by rail instead. We could have bought every regular rider a Prius and still have a billion dollars left over! And, having a Prius, they would be able to commute and get good gas mileage anywhere they wanted to go in Phoenix, rather than just a maximum of 20 miles on just one line.

Through constant lies, high taxes, and wasteful spending, Lynn Mitchelson of Mission Woods and Shirley Brown-VanArsdale of Gardner are rapidly bringing JCCC’s credibility level down to zero

Monday, May 25th, 2009
Shirley Brown-VanArsdale, Gardner

Shirley Brown-VanArsdale, Gardner

Lynn Mitchelson, Mission Woods

Lynn Mitchelson, Mission Woods

Ex-bank executive and JCCC leader Lynn Mitchelson was quoted in April by The Kansas City Star, saying:

“Everybody on this board and administration has been sensitive to the taxpayers this year.”

That turns out to be just one more example to add to the many times Mitchelson has willfully misled the public over the last 6 months.

JCCC Trustee Benjamin Hodge writes at RedCounty about his Sunday night comments on KCMO 710 AM, made to the listeners of the Kris Kobach show.

Mitchelson regularly attempts to convince the public that JCCC is responsible with taxpayer dollars, but since he joined the board, the real [amount of tax money] paid by Johnson County households has increased at TWICE the rate of inflation.

….

JCCC leaders refuse to reform the out-of-control spending at the college.  They spend hundreds of thousands of tax dollars a year on unnecessary expenses, such as taxpayer-funded lobbying and the select support of their favorite area non-profits, including one that Lynn Mitchelson used to run.  All the while, they are burdening Johnson County homeowners with high property taxes, and they are increasing the in-state tuition fees faster than they are increasing tuition charged to out-of-state students.

Wayne Godsey on Jay Nixon, Helmet Laws in Missouri

Monday, May 25th, 2009

KMBC:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Legislation modifying Missouri’s motorcycle helmet law is on its way to the governor’s desk.The new law allows motorcyclists, 21 and older, to ride on Missouri’s streets and roads without wearing a helmet. They will still be required to wear helmets on interstate highways.You’ve got to wonder what lawmakers were thinking.A 2007 study by researchers at the the University of Missouri and the University of Tennessee concluded that motorcycle death rates increased by an average of more than 12 percent in states that repealed universal helmet requirements.

McClatchy Watch: US newspapers have lost 18 billion dollars in 3 years

Monday, May 25th, 2009

McClatchy Watch:

A new study published in MediaDailyNews shows newspapers have lost an estimated $18.7 billion from 2006 through 2008. The calculations are based on annual and quarterly figures from the Newspaper Association of America. Click here for the full story.

Blog ‘McClatchy Watch’ covers the accidental publishing by Sacramento Bee of voter-bashing editorial: ‘voters now have a clue what the Bee really thinks about them’, ‘the Google cache of the initial editorial was intentionally disabled’

Monday, May 25th, 2009

McClatchy Watch:

But the Bee later pulled the anti-voter commentary down and replaced it with an anti-politician editorial, along with an explanation that the initial commentary was published by mistake. A note from editorial page editor David Holwerk said the first item was a draft for internal discussion among board members.

“Such discussions are a routine part of our work, and frequently lead to editorials that are considerably different from writers’ first drafts.That’s what happened in this case. After discussion, we decided that our initial editorial about the special election should take a different tack. The result was the editorial that now appears on this page. This editorial is the only editorial about the special election that appeared in Wednesday’s editions of The Bee.”

You can read the second commentary here. (It’s actually pretty good.) But given the major faux pas in posting the anti-voter commentary, readers will wonder if the Bee is really on their side.

FYI, Doug Ross notes the Google cache of the initial editorial was intentionally disabled at the paper.