Woodland Politics Must not Interfere with Freedom of the Press.


2972607492_848584e3ac.jpgby Eric Alfaro –

A new newspaper entity is needed in Woodland for the sake of upholding the honor of journalism. If this opinion piece is even printed in the Daily Democrat, the first new service to which I would have submitted this piece, it can be said that our lone Woodland newspaper still upholds some of the sacred duties that come with the territory.

It is very clear that local politicians can easily become interconnected with other politicians for the sake of re-elections. This process becomes rather vulgar when convictions and ideals are ignored for the sake of political endorsements and alliances. This is already evident in Woodland. Political parties are blurred, almost indistinguishable-only one political party really exists, the party of the opportunist. It is no surprise that this sacred covenant has attracted much attention. Recently, the Yolo District Attorney was sued for obstruction of justice; a multi-layer allegation. What this means is that corruption, if at the highest point of Yolo County authority, is most likely also in small areas within the subordinate ranks. Sheriff Ed Prieto is no rookie to allegations of mismanagement, just recently he fired a sheriffs deputy for killing a dog.

The disturbing contradiction in Woodland is that misinformation has been part of the mechanism that has allowed these politicians and renegade public servants to get away with mismanagement. Undoubtedly, I do not work for the Daily Democrat, any other news service or public agency, so my journalistic integrity can be fairly questioned. But objective facts and observations have exposed certain undeniable truths. The District Attorney has fired those who dared disagree with his ethic standards, low standards according to the recent law suit against the D.A. This form of intimidation has not created transparency or trust; instead it has made public agencies untouchable. It is a vicious cycle. Employees working under these agencies cannot disclose mismanagement for risk of retaliation, and with the economic slump, employees must now more than ever protect their agencies publicly or risk being the next person laid off or fired. Understandably, the priority of people should always be to provide for their family, moral convictions and just management sometimes take a back seat when coercion plays a factor.

Journalism and journalist are a mechanism within our society that can provide that much needed valve to report on what affects everyone. This form of journalism differs from typical reporting; when the front page of the Woodland newspaper is devoted to parking problems or when reporting focuses on semantics rather than on content, collectively we have a problem. I am worried that those alliances I spoke about earlier have already diffused into our only mainstream reporting service in Woodland; without pointing fingers or lifting farfetched accusations, my emphasis is on yes. Now more than ever, we need journalist and news services that will report on the real issues and keep mediocrities where they belong; in the back on the newspaper. If this makes it on to the Daily Democrat and to its online site, which I highly doubt, maybe our news service fears the publishing of this piece in its unedited form elsewhere, or maybe the Daily Democrat has reconsidered its role in Woodland.

Some will argue these claims are a staple of the young and idealistic, politics could have taken an awful turn for the worst while I was off at college. But perhaps it is time we get a rejuvenated look at the duties we all have, as District Attorneys, as Council members, as Journalist, and as Americans.

Eric Alfaro is a UC Berkeley political science graduate from Woodland.  He will be a periodic contributor to the Vanguard.


About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

26 thoughts on “Woodland Politics Must not Interfere with Freedom of the Press.”

  1. Whatever

    Aren’t you the guy that went around posting fliers at Woodland Community College that referred to a member of the administration as a “coconut”? It is my understanding that you felt this was funny since the individual was brown on the outside but white on the inside.

  2. Community College Student

    First off all let me take this time to clear the air a bit. Woodland Community College, until recently, had never had a full time Latino professor in the history of the college. A number of students discovered that the college had been neglecting to follow EEO policy; which guaranteed the establishment of a special committee to address the stark lack of representation.

    In the Sacramento Bee, Artemio Pimentel, made a pretty outlandish remark by saying that WCC already had Latinos (referring to the janitorial workers) and that the efforts of those students were outright wrong. I do not know what you are referring to; “Coconuts”, “flyers”?.

    The reason people ( Artemio Pimentel) at WCC were angry was because those students would only agree to meet with president Fairchilds: and outright ignored the college ranks. Because of the efforts of those students, the first Full time Latino professor was hired at WCC last year. Keep in mind that the school has more than a 52% latino student demographic.

    The original core of students leaders all transferred to prestigious Universities and are about to embark on graduate level studies.

  3. WTF?

    This is the most incoherent and disjointed letter I’ve read. It speaks in vague generalities and is hard to tell what the writer’s beef is. Is he saying there is some sort of conspiracy going on?

  4. The complaint is obvious

    The Woodland paper is devoted to a whole host of other issues other than the issues of corruption that are raining down on Yolo County from the DA’s office and the Sheriff’s department. I guess it’s easier to insult people than it is to discuss the issues.

  5. Ryan Kelly

    “Sheriff Ed Prieto is no rookie to allegations of mismanagement, just recently he fired a sheriffs deputy for killing a dog.”

    This sentence makes little sense.

    Your essay is really hard to read and understand. It seems like you are complaining about Woodland’s political environment (the one party that you call the “party of the opportunist”), but the DA is elected by voters county-wide. He just works in Woodland. I agree that Daily Democrat doesn’t seem to cover controversial issues very well. An example is the wide-spread growing distrust of law enforcement in the town – something that you don’t read about in the Democrat. But, it is a small town paper…

  6. Avid readrrr

    I don’t know if it’s his writing style, but it’s obvious that you have trouble understanding complex arguments.

    It makes sense. If you look closely, every public elected official in Woodland endorses each other. It seems at times like they are all part of the same political party.

    I think the reason you can’t understand the article is because you are used to reading the errors in the Daily Democrat. Reading at least 30 minutes a night before bed helps…

    Good job with the article!

  7. ricardo flores magon

    Insults and generalities are never taken serious. Eric, provide facts to your arguments if you want to be taken seriously.

    Avid reader not all public elected officials in woodland endorse each other. Check your facts before you write nonsense.

  8. Interesting

    Interesting point.

    It is sad when people have to try to insult journalist. Easy to isolate a sentence and take it out of context.

    “What this means is that corruption, if at the highest point of Yolo County authority, is most likely also in small areas within the subordinate ranks. Sheriff Ed Prieto is no rookie to allegations of mismanagement, just recently he fired a sheriffs deputy for killing a dog.”

    This means people in the sheriffs department follow in the footsteps of the D.A; holding little regard for the law.

    Reading comprehension classes are being offered in Sac city this semester.

  9. Frankly

    I agree that Daily Democrat doesn’t seem to cover controversial issues very well. An example is the wide-spread growing distrust of law enforcement in the town – something that you don’t read about in the Democrat.

    I agree that the Democrat is a bit softer on political reporting… something common for small community newspapers. The Davis Enterprise is an abnormality (although still raked over the coals on a regular basis for the same complaint). As for the lack of reporting on this “wide-spread growing distrust”, is it possible that the reason the Democrat does not report on this is that it is not true… at least not any more than other similar-sized communities plagued with as much crime? In “Wide-spread”, do you mean Davis liberals or low-income Latinos? Both will always distrust the police, so how is this worthy of more newsprint?

    For every social activist and advocate of the “less fortunate” that desire reporting critical of the local crime fighting apparatus, there are plenty of other citizens desiring the focus be kept on the crimes and criminals. In this the Democrat seems to do a pretty good job… some would say even better than the Davis Enterprise that devotes more space to national and local politics. In fact, a similar argument could be made that the Davis Enterprise sugar coats reporting about crime in Davis. Residents of Davis really don’t want to be reminded just how much crime happens in our fair city (there is a lot). Just like, I think, Woodland residents don’t want to be reminded of some of the ugly truths in the business of fighting crime.

  10. Matt Rexroad

    So I read this but I am not sure what the point is. It seems like the author has a point but is playing hie the ball.

    If someone doesn’t like the Woodland newspaper then you can start your own. Dino and Jeff did. More power to them. These days the barriers to entry are so small. Just do it.

    The publisher formerly known as Doug Paul Davis also started his own effort to get information out there. You are reading it right now.

    My point is — if you don’t like that the Daily Democrat is doing — do something different.

    Matt Rexroad

  11. Ryan Kelly

    I must have bumped into Eric’s friends or supporters in “Avid readrr” and “interesting.” Telling me to take reading comprehension courses or saying that I merely can’t understand complex issues, etc. does nothing to change my opinion of what I read (nor does it encourage me to read more from this author) and makes me question the maturity of the writer and his supporters.

    Sheriff Prieto fired a deputy recently for getting incredibly drunk and firing his police-issued gun off in his home, wounding his dog, alarming his neighbors and the police and SWAT team, who found him passed out in his home, gun in hand. Possibly, Eric meant to say that proof of Sheriff Prieto’s mismanagement of his department can be seen by incidents of his deputies failing to act responsibly. This is something that can be argued, but in the example, Prieto fired the deputy.

    I think people want a mix of news and events in a small hometown paper. They want to see their kids pictures in it and warning when some important meeting is coming up. They expect to be told about major crimes that are occurring and health issues. They expect local politicians to be trashed in the paper when they should be and applauded when they seem to be doing a good job. Don’t expect much investigative reporting or much uncovering of conspiracies.

  12. Ryno

    [quote]I don’t know if it’s his writing style, but it’s obvious that you have trouble understanding complex arguments. [/quote]This is the worst written pile of poop in the history of poop.


  13. Funny

    Ryno, can you explain why you think this with words..please. Actually Eric, next time you might want to add some pictures or drawings for some people to understand,well come to think of it from what it looks like, that probably wouldn’t help them either.

  14. todocolorado

    Ryno seems to describe his mentality with his picture which he is telling us how he feels about himself and looks at himself in the mirror ,”mirror do I look like picture myself in my picture,like the guy that likes to to place his name in toilets goes to show where his mind is in,just look in the mirror “Ryno” you look just like your picture.

  15. Child of God

    Today is August 27, 2009. I’ve tried twice, (Approx. March ’09 and in August ’09) to post my comment below and have had no luck with The Daily Democrat online posting. So, I’ve come to the Vanguard, I hope you get to read it.

    I’m going to tell my story, once again. Let’s see if The Daily Democrat prints it this time. Last time they emailed me back and said I must have sent my comment to the wrong place. SURE, OKAY. Here it is….

    My nephew who is 18 and weighs 108 Lbs. was tasered by a Woodland Police officer for being “drunk in public” they were sitting at his friend’s house on the side of the garage. Because he stood, up when the officer’s arrived, and asked why are you here? The officer said sit down and my nephew again asked why are you here? And was tasered for asking. Now, he is 18 and should not be drinking, period, and should be disciplined for that, I agree. To take such force by a trained officer was not proper protocol even to an untrained regular citizen’s eye. If my Father/Mother asked the same question if an officer approached them, would they just tase them cause they think they can? He was tased two times. They took him to the hospital to have him checked out, then booked him for drunk and resisting an officer. There was another person who was booked for being drunk and was not tasered. However, this arrest was never printed in The Daily Democrat. The Tasered 18 year old, 108 Lbs., never hit the papers. I called the mother of my nephew and we discussed it. She said to me, how embarrassed her husband was to go to work. My nephews Step-Father who is a current Yolo County, District Attorney, soon to be Judge. She said, it was hard for her husband to face his colleagues at work. My nephew was sick for days after the tasing, he needed to be medically checked out again, that’s why I called her, not to hear about her husband. The Daily Democrat did not print the tasing of this 18 year old, which has been a question in my mind. Is it because the Yolo County, DA husband has pull with The Daily Democrat, or because for goodness sakes, the Woodland Police Dept.’s officer Tasered a 108 Lb. boy who’s 18 year old?????????

    The other persons arrest was printed in The Daily Democrat, stating the WRONG CHARGE! The paper printed the arrest was for DRUNK DRIVING, INSTEAD OF DRUNK IN PUBLIC! DAILY DEMOCRAT YOU NEED TO GO !!!!!!!!!! Or, try printing just the facts, the Truth !!!

  16. anon

    This thread is completely incoherent and unworthy of the Vanguard. The writer makes no sense and neither do many of the comments. For example: “My nephews Step-Father who is a current Yolo County, District Attorney, soon to be Judge.” I wasn’t aware there were any vacancies on the Yolo Bench, except for one position legislatively approved but not funded for this or the next fiscal year. Does this person know the governor’s appointments before he even makes them? And how is it mismanagement if Sheriff Prieto fires a deputy for shooting a gun while allegedly drunk and off duty – isn’t that what he’s supposed to do? What is the convenient collusion that’s referenced but never described in the column? This column would flunk journalism 101. There may be the seed of an interesting thought in here, but please! A little editing for the benefit of your poor readers!

  17. anon

    The truth may hurt, but this isn’t “truth” – it’s incomprehensible innuendo. If you’ve got something to say, say it. Don’t just hint and insinuate.

  18. Bold

    If the editor of the vanguard thought it was good enough for this, it probably is.

    Be careful. With this shotgun approach, you guys opened up a big can of worms. Everyone is connected in Woodland, and by the comments I read, they are ticked off.

    Councilmembers are probably pissed.
    The sheriff and the D.A (and friends) are probably boiling.
    Dont expect Woodland Orgs to be supportive, they are in on it. Big “ED” is a proud member of the Woodland concilio,which probably explains why the only watchdog org in Woodland is standing idly by.

    Truth is never comprehensive to liars–that’s just the way it is.

  19. Woodlander

    The thread is funny. Just because you guys can control the Daily Democrat and what goes on it, doesn’t mean you have power over the vanguard. You dont like it because it is referring to you.give me a break….

  20. Anoncon

    We already know this is going on in Woodland, but the important question is, Who? Without names we cant kick them out of office.
    Also keep inmind you are writing to Woodland so don’t expect high levels of comprehension.

  21. Joe Kapp


    I am one Stanford grad that appreciates you going to Cal. I do not see you landing a job outside of the Vanguard. Please try and make some sense? What is this Sheriff supposed to do live with Sergeant twenty four hours a day. Eric I hope you earned a partial scholarship otherwise your parents wasted their money. Looking forward to the “Big Game” so I can write back to you and this editor (Griswald). Hardy har har.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for