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Los Cerritos Community News Garners L.A. Press Club Finalist Nomination

Los Cerritos Community News Garners L.A. Press Club Finalist Nomination

May 23, 2022

Staff Report

Los Cerritos Community News Garners L.A. Press Club Finalist Nomination

For the tenth straight year, Hews Media Group-Los Cerritos Community News Publisher Brian Hews has garnered a Los Angeles Press Club finalist nomination to be awarded at the 64th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards in June.

The contest was judged by journalists at press clubs across the nation, including the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

The nomination category for HMG-CN was Best Investigative Series.

“It is an honor to be nominated with such talented journalists,” said Hews, “I am very fortunate just to be mentioned with them.”

Hews was again nominated in the prestigious category for his six-part exposé titled Megataxers.

The story centered on the California School Bond process and those behind the scenes who made millions; the movers and shakers, those who scam and scheme: the Megataxers – those who build and tax, put a penny in and take millions out.

The Megataxers are individuals, companies, partnerships, architects, engineers, lawyers, developers, financiers, underwriters, and unions who court local school board members and encourage them to pass massive public school bond resolutions.

They professionally frame ballot measures created and designed to secure the votes of residents of their districts to invest, in the name of education, into public spending programs for the capitalization of districts, or so they say.

The first wave hit the Bassett Unified School District, Measure BB. The wave first rolled in at $50 million; the tax rate statement showed that it churned into $96 million in issuance costs and interest for BUSD taxpayers.

The second wave soaked the foothills and the communities surrounding Citrus Community College, Measure Y. This wave was nearly three times the size of BUSD’s, clocking in at $298 million. Still, the swell grew to more than $500 million in costs and interest.

The third wave, modest in comparison, hit Duarte Unified School District, Measure S, at $79 million, which swelled to $147 million.

But that’s nothing compared to Inglewood Unified School District’s Measure I. That wave started at $240 million but crested at well over $469 Million.

The next wave, the biggest of the set, was LAUSD’s Measure R.R. Timed with Ethnic Studies, feigning the amount of $7 billion but really coming in at over $11 billion.

Second to last was Pasadena Unified School District, proffered with Non-Citizen Voting on the agenda, at $516 million, swelling to $798 million.

The end of the set was Whittier Union High School District, a $183 million bond that will cost $406 million.

Through a series of investigative stories, HMG-CN exposed the individuals and firms who contributed funds to get the bonds passed, imposing a staggering $13 billion dollars in property taxes in L.A. County – under the rubric of education, but really to line their own pockets.

Journalists also nominated with HMG-CN include:

Scott Schwebke, Southern California News Group, “Firefighter ordered by captain to drive away from crash that injured 2” 

Scott Schwebke, Southern California News Group, “LA commissioner used influence to win COVID-19 testing contract” 

Scott Schwebke, Southern California News Group, “Los Angeles DA George Gascon vs. Crime Victims” 

Helene Seifer, Larchmont Chronicle, “Neighborhood regular sparks chats and compassion (“Giorgio’)”

The awards event will take place June 25 at the Sheraton Universal.

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