The Press, The Government and Disappointment

There are a few issues that have caught the attention of Bar-K investors lately.  You know what they are, right?  The Olympia Brewery in Tumwater, WA and the Siena Hotel and Casino in Reno, NV.

I’ve been disappointed by the lack of media coverage on these two issues, with the exception of the Channel 4 in Reno and an obscure blog.  When the local TV station  and a blog upstage the local newspaper, something is wrong, especially when it comes to investigative journalism.  The Reno Gazette-Journal (“RGJ”) writes a story here and there on the Siena, but, ultimately, they are just skimming the surface, which does less harm to the local economy.  I get it.  I really do.  There are jobs at stake here.  This has a profound effect on lives, relationships and families.

I’m sure rank-and-file employees are not thrilled with the the way its members have been treated.  We’ve seen Channel 4 report on paychecks falling short of minimum wage requirements, on paycheck deductions for medical insurance that was going straight into the corporate coffers while letting the insurance coverage lapse and we saw one brave (former) Siena employee get fired for telling the truth.  Meanwhile, the RGJ, through their silence, seems to be telling people to look the other way.  Maybe they would feel differently if their company were one of the creditors – the 430 pages of creditors – listed in the bankruptcy filing.

In Tumwater, a picturesque city located 2.5 miles south of Olympia, the capitol of Washington State, there has been little coverage there, as well.  The local paper, The Olympian, has run some stories, touching on the All-American Bottled Water debacle, the foreclosure and the “auction”, but they, too, have not cared enough to delve too deeply into the specifics.  The AP has picked up the paragraph on the “auction”, which then ran in the Seattle Times, the Tacoma News Tribune and, strangely, the San Jose Mercury News, but that’s about it.

Meanwhile, the SEC is nowhere to be found, having only taken a cursory glance at the RE Loans issue, presumably choosing to hide behind the Exchange Agreement per a December 3, 2009 letter from Michael S. Dicke, Associate Regional Director of the SEC.  No information was given as to the scope of the SEC’s investigation.  Maybe Dicke and his associates are too busy surfing the net for porn to conduct a thorough investigation.  We’ll have to trust they did everything they could.  Tax dollars well spent, no doubt.  While the SEC was browsing erotic materials online, the CA Department of Corporations chose to discontinue their investigation into wrongdoing as well.

Finally, our elected officials have let us down.  From the Attorneys General of California and Nevada (and probably a dozen other states as well) to the other various local, state and federal officials elected to represent us, there’s not a single one who appears to care.

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