Monthly Archives: April 2012

Viewers respond to Shame On report

Thanks for your comments!

Here are just a FEW of the responses from viewers regarding my Shame On story.   Spelling and grammar haven’t been changed to preserve accuracy of quotes.

The Positive

“That was an awesome story on the news last night.  Brought a smile to my face.” – John McCollough, via Facebook

“It is about time a news station exposed the truth. I am proud of them.” –Natalie Canaday

“Thank you for reporting on this. I have personally been impacted by the effects of this. I know someone that has run a commercial drywall company for years. One of the owners is the most sincere and honorable businessmen that I have ever known. I respect him and the way he runs his business, I have no reason to believe that he is more than fair with everyone, including his employees. Now because of this unethical protesting, he is losing a significant amount of business, because his clients are afraid to use his company.” - Chris K. via email.

The Negative

“SHAME ON 9News for spreading Right Wing hate and lies!” – Tori Case, via Facebook

“Wow.  Jeremy Jojola is a sleazy reporter.”  – Jack Rivers, via Twitter

AND FINALLY A RESPONSE FROM A UNION MEMBER: 

“I’m a trustee with Local 55, and am very upset with this story! Many of these picketers are out of work carpenters, as well as their family. The $10/ hr these people are getting is more than alot of the people working for these companies being picketed are earning doing very physical carpentry. I know there are more English speaking carpenters on these picket lines, I have been on one myself. Why didn’t you show a clip talking to one of them?” – Michael Gist, via Facebook

On underwear and a union

The Shame On protestors seen around Denver.

I remember when I was seven years old, a kid at day camp somehow got into my backpack and threw my underwear on the roof of the YMCA.

I know.  It’s pathetic I’m sharing this with you.

It was so bright, every kid saw it.  Like an absurd UFO, my privacy hovered over heads for all to see.  All the kids pointed up and laughed.

Oh man, I hate that memory.

I remember going to the local counselor in tears.

Boy did I LOVE it when she found the perpetrator and sat him down one-on-one and questioned him about the underwear throwing incident.

I loved someone standing up for me despite the bully’s silence.

We all know silence often says so much more than words.  We’ve all been in positions where we don’t want to be held accountable for our actions, so we escape and hide and don’t answer.

What am I getting at?

I don’t know and I apologize for talking to you so much about my stupid underwear.

The memory of that bully comes up when I think about the actions of a labor union that is also silent.

Over the years as a reporter, I’ve learned journalists are expected to be advocates for truth and are expected to hold those in power accountable.

The Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters has been using its power to “shame” local businesses who hired non-union contractors.

Many of us have seen the “shame on” signs around town.   It’s a very public protest with strong words on white banners and on flyers accusing businesses of the “erosion of area standards.”

As it turns out, some of the people holding those banners aren’t even receiving union benefits. They’re hired day laborers who often have no clue as to why they are protesting.    They receive $10 an hour to protest.

The public has been bombarded with their “shame on” banners so the public deserves an explanation as to what’s really going on.

So after numerous phone calls and messages with the Local 55, we made our own banner marked with “Comment?” on it.

After all of the effort to get an explanation, all we got was yelled at and more silence.

What a shame.

New scam targets the unemployed

This new scam couldn’t come at a worse time.

And it targets people who are desperate to hear from a state employee about their unemployment benefits.  We’ve heard countless stories of clogged unemployment phone lines taking hours to reach a live human being.

Apparently scam artists are posing as Colorado Department of Labor Employees and asking the unemployed for their PINs to their benefit accounts.   In other cases, the scam artists are asking people to buy pre-paid credit cards in order to receive benefits.

Here’s the alert the state put on the unemployment section of its website:

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has recently learned of a scam targeting those receiving unemployment benefits. Some claimants are reportedly being asked to provide their PINs, Colorado Automated Payment (CAP) Card account, or direct deposit account information. Claimants are also reportedly being asked to purchase pre-paid credit cards in order to receive their unemployment insurance benefits. Please be advised that a CDLE representative will never ask you to provide your PINs, payment account information, or require the purchase of pre-paid credit cards. 

The state says a CDLE employee will never ask for a PIN or ask people to pay for a pre-paid credit card.

If you get a suspicious call, hang up.  The state says it’s trying to track down the source of the scam.