The Women’s Political Committee brought its Lemon Award out of a 10-year retirement so that it could be given to News-Press owner and publisher Wendy P. McCaw for instigating the meltdown at Santa Barbara’s oldest daily paper, which has now seen more than half its newsroom quit in disgust over McCaw’s direction and management style. “There is no other name – with the obvious exclusion of Bush and Cheney – that can, without exception, bring a sour pucker to every face I know,” said Sharon Hoshida, as she held up a basket of lemons.

The National Labor Relations Board rejected claims of union intimidation and coercion filed by News-Press owner Wendy McCaw about one week prior to News-Press writers and editors voting to have the Teamsters represent them at the bargaining table. McCaw and her attorneys contended that union supporters engaged in loud and intimidating behavior. Investigators with the NLRB concluded there was no basis for the charge. McCaw can still appeal the decision. McCaw has made similar objections to the results of the union vote – held a month ago – in which an overwhelming number of newsroom workers voted to be represented by the Teamsters. The NLRB has yet to rule on the merit of that claim.

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