The Union columnist George Boardman owes his readers another correction

“THINGS MUST be slow in Auburn: The police announced they have rounded up $3,500 worth of abandoned shopping carts,” The Union’s weekly columnist George Boardman writes in his column this week.

$3,500? According to the Auburn Journal, it’s $3,200, not $3,500. “Auburn Police are reporting about $3,200 worth of shopping carts were rounded up and returned to stores this week,” the newspaper reported.

To be sure, I checked with the Auburn Police Department, which directed me to their Facebook page. And sure enough, the Auburn Journal got it right — and Boardman got it wrong (again). See the last sentence below on the Auburn P.D.’s Facebook page.

Another Boardman error; this time he blames spell-check!

You can’t make this stuff up! Last week, I noted that George Boardman (AKA “Bored” Georgeman) somehow confused a hip fast-casual salad chain (Sweetgreen) with Chinese takeout in Queens (Sweet Garden) in his weekly column in The Union. The details are here.

Sure enough, like clockwork, he posted another CORRECTION. But here’s the best part; he blamed it on a spelling error, writing in The Union:

That’s some spelling error, confusing the word “green” and “garden.” Or just plain confused.

But it’s sure not the first! To get an idea, go to TheUnion.com and type “George Boardman” and “correction” into the search engine. Go to “all results.” It’s a real treasure trove of errors!

Another Boardman blooper: confuses hip fast-casual salad chain with Chinese takeout in Queens

Sweet Garden in Queens (credit: Zomato)
Sweetgreen, the “unicorn” startup, AKA an IPO candidate with a value of $1 billion (credit: Nation’s Restaurant News)

You can’t make this stuff up! In his near weekly blooper,  The Union’s weekly columnist George Boardman writes: “One of newest trends in the restaurant industry is the $15 lunch salad at upscale chains like Chop’t, Sweetgarden and Just Salad. This trend is so hot that Sweetgarden recently completed a $200 million round of funding that values the company at $1 billion.”

Sweetgarden? Huh? Does our crackerjack journalist-turned-PR flack and  “business reporter” mean “Sweetgreen” (not Sweetgarden)?

—An article in Forbes magazine, “Why $200 Million Will Make Sweetgreen The Next Big Thing In Delivery (And, Yes, A Unicorn),” is HERE.

“We want to go beyond a food company and become a platform,” Neman, Sweetgreen’s co-CEO, told Forbes in an exclusive interview after closing the $200 million round, which brings the company’s total equity raised to $365 million and values the chain at more than $1 billion.

—Or as Restaurant News reported: “Fidelity Investments has made a $200 million investment in Sweetgreen, bringing the fast-casual salad chain’s total equity raised over the past five years to $365 million, the company said Tuesday.  The Fidelity funding round values the 90-unit Los Angeles-based brand at more than $1 billion, the company said.”

I did, however, find a Chinese takeout joint in Queens called Sweet Garden (two words, not one). The menu is here.

You go George! Ringing in the New Year with another correction.

Update: Boardman refuses to meet with Diaz to amend his “misinformed” reporting

County-clerk recorder Greg Diaz wrote this about The Union columnist George Boardman’s blog entry from earlier this week: “After reading Mr. Boardman’s blog, I called Mr. Boardman to invite him to my office to discuss his blog entry. I left a message as no one answered the phone. I hope he comes in to discuss with me.”

Diaz —now in his third term as Clerk-Recorder — added that Boardman’s post was “at best misinformed.”

But Boardman is refusing to meet with Diaz; instead he is hiding behind a statement — a tactic more common of a public relations person (AKA “flak”) than a real journalist. Of course, Boardman has a career in p.r. The ex-p.r. man wrote:

“Diaz left me a voice mail Friday that I didn’t pick up until about 7:30 p.m. and I have to be out of the house early Monday, so I’m posting my response now:  https://ncroadkill.com/2019/01/26/heres-my-response-to-diazs-claim-of-misinformation/ (AKA I can’t meet with him).

Boardman also declined to post the comment I left on his blog that was stuck in moderation.

Clerk-Recorder’s office points out “misinformation” in Boardman’s reporting

Editor’s note: I am out of town, but I noticed a post on The Union columnist George Boardman’s blog “County election office comes stumbling out of the gate again” that had a big hole: No comment from the Clerk-Recorder’s office. So I took 30 seconds to email their Office for comment. (The response is below).

Let’s hope George meets with the Office and corrects the misinformation on his blog — as George did with an erroneous post about me earlier in the week.

Exit question: Why didn’t Boardman contact the Clerk-Recorder’s office for comment? He didn’t seek comment me either — even to confirm basic facts that were wrong. That’s Journalism 101. I’ve noticed these holes on his blog but also in his column in The Union:

Jeff,

After reading Mr. Boardman’s blog, I called Mr. Boardman to invite him to my office to discuss his blog entry. I left a message as no one answered the phone. I hope he comes in to discuss with me.

As for the article: My official announcement came in the form of a Notice of Election which was published in the Union on 1/19/19. I received the official announcement from the Governor and the Special Election Calendar from the Secretary of State the morning of January 16th, 2019. The Notice of Election was sent to the Union the morning of January 18th. I have attached the Notice of Election for your reference. [It is here: notice of special election]

We noticed the Union got dates wrong, so our office called the Union asking them to correct the dates. It is interesting Mr. Boardman is critical of our office when the Union makes a mistake.

Mr. Boardman talks about ballots in 2016 being sent to vote-by-mail voters were missing a page. Our staff remembers getting a complaint from one person that they were missing page two. We gave them page two. Since only one person complained, we feel perhaps the voter misplaced their original page two. We received one complaint from an elderly voter.

Mr. Boardman claims in 2016, ballots were late getting verified. We do not know what he means. In 2014, I found a printing error and we made the correction in a timely manner. The printers’ inkjet nozzle malfunctioned leaving spots on our ballots. I even asked Tom O’Toole to come to the office to view the ballots, and Tom concurred with our evaluation of the problem. I spoke to Tom today, and he can verify my statements are true.

In 2010, some registrars were counting undervotes as votes cast. This was based upon a federal ruling. This issue is still unsettled to this day.

I hope Mr. Boardman comes to speak with me and my staff. I copied Sandy Sjoberg and Abby Kelly as they have been around since 2007 when I was appointed. If you have any questions or require additional information, please let me know. Also, Sandy and Abby, if you have anything to add, please do so.

We have a great elections’ office and Mr. Boardman’s blog entry is at best misinformed. Thank You. Greg.

The Union columnist Boardman: “The dog ate my homework”

In a response to another one of his error-ridden reports earlier this week, George Boardman wrote on his blog (and this is a direct quote):
“As for my supposed conflict of interest … I never wrote about The Stonehouse when I was the business writer for The Union. In the few instances when I wrote about other restaurants, I disclosed my conflict upfront.” (Boardman’s wife was a co-owner of the Stonehouse).

“never wrote about The Stonehouse.” … “I disclosed my conflict upfront.” OK. But I did a quick search on TheUnion.com (this took less than 5 minutes), and  I found this article with Boardman’s byline in July 2005: “No place like home for local wines.”

In fact, the online article by George had (1) included Stonehouse in the article and (2) there was no disclosure. You can read it here:

“The Stonehouse restaurant has emphasized local wines since it opened in Nevada City more than a year ago, and bar manager Joe Benavent reports that they’ve been well received.

“’What you feature by the glass is what sells, and we’ve made it a point to feature those wines,’ he said. ‘They are outselling everything, actually.’

“About 30 of the 75 vintages on the restaurant’s wine list are from Nevada County, and Benavent said interest in them is equally divided between area residents and visitors.

“Nevada City, Indian Springs, and Lucchesi wines lead the local contingent, but all of the local wines carried by the restaurant “sell very well” against wines from outside the area, Benavent said.

“To contact staff writer George Boardman, e-mail georgeb@theunion.com or call 477-4236.”

And this is the best George could do for an explanation. In the comment section of his blog, George  fessed up: “ …The article quoted the bar manager at The Stonehouse, where my wife was a partner at the time, but a note at the end of the article acknowledging my conflict never made it into the paper..” (AKA, the “dog ate my homework.”)

And he didn’t address this one: “I never wrote about The Stonehouse.” Even though he did.

Go figure! Small towns are a hoot!

The Union columnist Boardman: A New Year, a new hatchet job

I sighed when I read the latest hatchet job on the personal blog of George Boardman, who moonlights as The Union’s columnist each week. (Or is it the other way around?)

News outlets often have policies that discourage this because of the risk for conflicts, discrediting the newspaper, and double standards. An example is here.

Boardman’s blog had gone dormant, but with a New Year comes a new hatchet job. In his latest post, Boardman stitched together a string of half-truths and outright lies that confused time and place to build a false narrative — a tactic that I presume The Union would not condone in its news pages. At least get the facts straight.

*”Jeffie had been in Diaz’s camp since he was editor of The Union.” Wrong. And provable. Jeff Ackerman and/or the editorial writer, not me, wrote The Union’s editorials praising Greg Diaz (here and here). I had nothing to do with them. I was never asked for input. That would come out in a deposition during “discovery” proceedings. The Union’s editor, Brian Hamilton, should remember this too.

*”Pelline has been a reliable foot soldier for Diaz over the years, contributing money to past campaigns …” Over the years? Boardman muddied the waters with a vague phrase: Our family’s contribution to Diaz’ campaign was in 2010, long after I was a newspaper journalist and when I was writing this blog. It was disclosed too. (Not surprisingly, Barry Pruett has been gleefully sharing Boardman’s post this afternoon, since Pruett was the loser in this race. In fact, Pruett, a gymnastics-school owner turned small-town lawyer, lost in every precinct. Ouch!)

*”He has certainly reminded me on several occasions, informing me that (Oracle’s) Larry Ellison … has praised his work in the past.” Huh? That also would be proven false. In fact, I have noted that Ellison was a little steamed about this article I wrote for The Chronicle because it expressed skepticism. Example: “But before you nominate ‘people’s champion’ Larry Ellison for president, remember that the concept of a network computer is not new — in fact, it dates back to the ’70s.”

*”It shouldn’t surprise anybody that the recent death of Herb Kelleher, long-time head of Southwest Airlines, prompted Jeffie to write that it was a ‘privilege’ to interview Kelleher during his big-time reporting days. (Privilege? You would think Pelline was granted an audience with a potentate.)” That’s downright distasteful, since I was eulogizing Herb the week he had died.

You get the point. It is time The Union re-examine whether Boardman is meeting its own standards of journalism that parent Swift outlines for its newspapers. Does it condone this?

Meanwhile, lawyers have their own challenges.: “Considering the fake news phenomenon, newspaper and TV reporters tend to score poorly in the honesty stakes.

Lawyers and business executives are trusted even less while lobbyists are rock bottom with only 8 percent of Gallup’s respondents saying they have high or very high honesty and ethical standards,” according to a recent article at Forbes.com. Ouch!