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[whitespace] No Satisfaction: KTEH exec Danny McGuire felt a story in last week's paper didn't promote his station enough, despite this photo of the filmmakers standing next to the station logo.

Unmollified McGuire

Poor Danny McGuire. The apparently besieged KTEH executive producer left an irate, if somewhat incoherent, message on the home phone machine of a lowly Metro scribe last week--a "hand slap," as McGuire termed it--to complain about a review of Bob Gliner and Christine Jensen's new documentary, Silicon Valley at the Crossroads. The offending hack: Geoffrey Dunn. His crime: He hadn't mentioned KTEH enough in the article. "It, uh, it, uh, gets irritating to us," McGuire stumbled. "This was a KTEH production. We funded it, we pulled it together, it was our equipment, our gear, our staff, etc., etc. We only brought in Bob Gliner and Christine Jensen, you know, to help pull it together, you know, we need bodies here, and that was the thing, and so that was very misleading. The only mention of KTEH is at the bottom." ... Never mind, of course, that Gliner and Jensen's picture appeared in front of KTEH's corporate logo at the top of the article, which, for that matter, was given prominent placement in the Metropolis section. And Dunn did, in fact, include KTEH and McGuire's role in the production in his original copy, which was cut due to space limitations. "This is one thing that the press, and everyone else [does], they don't get this straight," McGuire rambled on. "We go to an enormous amount of trouble, time, hassle, expense, equipment, and the public doesn't have any idea that we're the producing entity." With phone calls like this to the press, it's little wonder he's had trouble getting the word out. At the very least, McGuire could stand a refresher course in Public Relations 101. "I had to bark at you," McGuire concluded, "because, of all people, you should know better than that." He was referring to the fact that Dunn is general manager of Santa Cruz's public access station, Channel 71. Dunn also teaches documentary film theory at UC-Santa Cruz and has produced and directed a quartet of award-winning documentaries that have appeared on KTEH. ... Eye recalls that this isn't the first time McGuire has done his junkyard dog thing over free publicity in these pages. Another Metro reporter received a similar nasty phone call following a glowing KTEH piece some months back, which also managed to fall short of McGuire's worship standard. So, harrumph--or rather, woof.

Political Safety

During election season, questions often surface as to whether city employees are misusing public resources for political purposes. This year is no different. The firefighter and police unions are eagerly backing mayoral wannabe Pat Dando--maybe too eagerly, her opponents charge. Readers of this column will recall that Eye pounced on Police Officers' Association treasurer Jeff Ricketts for appearing at Dando's campaign kickoff event while he was still on duty. Another controversy has since erupted over a firetruck and a police car being dispatched to a campaign photo shoot for Dando in March. Here's the story, according to City Manager Regina Williams: Dando went to Fire Station 22 in the Cambrian area to snatch a shot next to a firetruck. When she got there, she discovered that Station 22 only has yellow trucks. She wanted a red truck. So, a deputy fire chief authorized a red firetruck to swing by the Cambrian station. Then Dando's campaign manager, Erik Schoennauer, apparently advised a fire captain that a cop car was supposed to be there. The fire captain called the cops to determine the whereabouts of the car. At this point, Williams explains, "there was some confusion as to whether this was a request by the fire captain for the car to be there." Dando told editors and reporters at a recent Metro endorsement interview that she didn't know how the vehicles got there; they were just there, she said. The city's policy allows anyone, including candidates, to take photos of cop cars and firetrucks as long as it doesn't impact city operations or show an officer in uniform. Somehow, Williams found a way to look past this apparent misuse of public safety vehicles. "I have not found a violation of city policy on the part of city employees," she says. Notice, however, that Williams doesn't mention the actions of Dando or her campaign staff, who are the subject of a complaint filed last week by Almaden Valley activist Dennis Mulvihill, a Ron Gonzales booster. That's the turf of the Ethics Commission, which probably won't decide whether to investigate the complaint until after the primary.

Shallow Roots

Pat Dando's been proudly advertising her support from ex-Mayor Tom McEnery, but apparently the Macster isn't so proud. While driving by McEnery's royal downtown palace the other day, Eye noticed something missing from the ex-mayor's yard: a Dando lawn sign. It's not that His Highness abhors the lawn-sign aesthetic. He has two "Tony West for City Council" signs prominently displayed.

To Catch a Thief

Coming home from a late night at the office, Assistant Sheriff Laurie Smith (also a candidate for sheriff) bumped into a stranger loitering inside the restricted parking lot at about 10pm last Friday. Smith approached the guy and asked him what he was doing there. His story didn't ring true: something to do with being chased by an angry mob who mistook him for a drug dealer so he jumped the fence to find safety. Suspicious, Smith called for backup. The cops later found the trespasser's car and ran his plates. As it turns out, the Belmont police wanted the guy, 42-year-old brick mason Enrique Linares, for attempted murder. "It's good to know that after all these years behind a desk, she can still spot a criminal," gushes Brannan Smith, Laurie's hubby. Of course, it helps when a suspected felon is dumb enough to seek refuge in the sheriff's parking lot. ... Meanwhile, other fodder from the sheriff's race: Ruben Diaz conducted a poll that supposedly shows that he's the top candidate. Coming in at a distant second and third were Smith and Tom Sing. The big surprise is that Capt. Brian Beck, who has run a low-profile campaign, reportedly fared better than union darling Jose Salcido. Insiders are skeptically treating the poll like a weapon loaded with blanks--as well they should: The leading candidate in the race, at this point, is clearly Sheriff Undecided.

Trash Talk

Got to hand it to those multitasking Merc reporters. Not only do they have to deal with corporate garbage, but for a while last month they had to actually carry it out. In a cost-cutting measure, Merc management decided to scale back cleaning services done by an outside janitorial firm. As a result, trash containers in most of the building were only being emptied every other day instead of once a day. Those who couldn't stand the odor of rotting banana peels in their garbage had to carry their decomposing food items to central bins in the lunch area. "We think you will find these changes to be a minor inconvenience," says an office memo, "and we thank you for your cooperation." Apparently, the peons didn't find it a minor inconvenience. Management restored full janitorial service two weeks later.

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From the May 14-20, 1998 issue of Metro.

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