Machel's Ranch

The newspaper wars taking place in Rancho Santa Fe

I ate a habanero pepper tonight on my salad and I broke out in hives. I sat there watching “L.A. Confidential” with my husband, wondering about what to write about this week. Sometimes, my mind is so full I do not know what to share with you. There are many stories to write about, but when it comes down to it, there is just a void — a thought, a moment, a day, and too many newspapers in Rancho Santa Fe.
They say competition is good for business. However in the war of the papers, I find it to be rather tiresome. I am so tired of everyone asking me about the merger of the papers and if we merged with the Review. With six years in the publishing business as a PR writer, a columnist and an advertising representative, I have learned a few things in the business — like what makes a great paper, and what doesn’t.
 If you think I am going to tell you we are the best and forget the rest, you are wrong. I am here to explain the fundamental difference, so I don’t have to endure one more question about the Rancho Santa Fe Record/Rancho Santa Fe Review becoming one. The Review was basically bought out by The La Jolla Light.
I would never want to insult the editor there, Lorine Wright. She is an amazing journalist, editor and very fair person to work with, and I feel fortunate to have worked two years with her in the beginning of my career. However, with the recent retirement of publisher Dex Allen, just know that if Lorine ever leaves the Review, there will be no reason to pick it up anymore. 
This newspaper — The Rancho Santa Fe News — is part of  The Coast News Group, which began more than 23 years ago, near Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. The back story, which is important to most Ranch residents, is my publisher Jim Kydd worked for the original owners of the Rancho Santa Fe Review, Ben Jacoby and Shireen Alafi, who were subsequently bought out by Bob Page. Bob and Jim became good friends, and Jim want on his way to start Beach News, which than became The Coast News. When Bob sold the Review to Dex Allen six years ago, Jim launched the Rancho Santa Fe News, since his original loyal “no compete” was with Mr. Bob Page (who is now the publisher of Metropolitan Magazine).
Guess what? You know that current theme, support your local businesses and buy local? Well, it goes for the newspapers business, too. I am proud to say, that my journey has brought me to my final destination in the newspaper publishing business. What The Coast News brings to the table is just honest reporting. Some are liberal, some are conservative. My editor here is amazing. Laurie Sutton manages her weekly deadlines like a pro, while turning out stories you would have missed in the Union Tribune, or North County Times.
We are not owned by outside investors. This is a father/son team that cares about what you have to say. They have worked hard to provide interesting stories for you over the years, while producing content that is educating, informative, and dare I say it? We are fun to read.
Just know the next time you pick up this paper, there is passion in between these pages. If you have a wonderful story, please share it with us. We care and want to hear from you.
On a side note, skip the habanero peppers, I mean other papers here in town.
Around town
On Feb. 26, Santa Fe Christian shared some exciting news of what’s going on at their school. At the beginning of the year, Santa Fe Christian students placed in their grade at the 2010 ASCI Regional Spelling Bee. More than 160 students from San Diego participated in this annual competition. Ribbons were awarded to Andrew Varghese, third place; Cameron Anthony, fourth place; Griffin Douglass, first place; and Bradley Weeks, fourth place. At the beginning of March, one of my very best friends, Jill Sorge, informed me that Santa Fe Christian was voted No. 1 private school in San Diego by the readers of Ranch and Coast Magazine. And, beginning March 19 for two weeks, the school production “Cinderella” will take the stage. Tickets will be available at or you can call (858) 755-8900 for more details. Congratulations to Santa Fe Christian on all of their wonderful accolades recently, and to those performing in the play, “break a leg” as they say in show business.
On Feb. 27, I attended Karian Forsyth’s Spa Party in the Crosby. This is a monthly event Karian hosts at her house, and I am always thrilled to go when I can. This time, I pampered myself with a facial. Oxygen Spa was on hand for all of the treatments. Each guest luxuriated by the fire, while sipping mimosas. That day was one of the last rainy days of February. Guests also enjoyed a vegetarian chili, gourmet cheeses and Karian’s own personal leafy green, gorgonzola salad with fresh blueberries. Karian posed with Denise Webb, and me for a cute photo, which captured that perfect moment that day. I was quite impressed when I found Denise is also a well-known painter/artist in San Diego. In fact, the piece of art behind us was one of her very own. Thank you Karian for including once again, at one of your fabulous spa days.
On March 5, Meredith MacDonald, Karian and Tom Forsyth, and gorgeous Susan with her new beau J.D. Bowls met at Mille Fleurs and enjoyed a wonderful late afternoon of cocktails and conversation. Take it from me, make time, at least once a month when you can breathe easy and enjoy your friends after your work day has ended. I find on those particular weeks, I am more motivated to work harder because I know that I will be relaxing by Friday with them. I snapped a few photos that day on the courtyard, just before the sun went down. Featured are Susan and J.D., and J.D. with Tom Forsyth, who is well-known in town for his successful granite business. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon in Rancho Santa Fe.
On March 8, I attended the Rancho Santa Fe weekly Rotarian meeting at the beautiful Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. That meeting, I felt was extraordinary. I had the pleasure of hearing Carlsbad City Council candidate Farrah Douglas as the featured speaker. Sometimes in life, you know when you are in the presence of greatness and this is how I felt as I listened to Ms. Douglas’s personal story of how she fled Iran in 1979 with her husband and son. What was most informative for me as a woman was to hear a first person account of how at one time Iran was similar to the rest of the Western countries, allowing women to even dress in normal attire. Then to hear how that was all taken away just broke my heart. What I admired about her speech was her passion and conviction in which she shared this poignant story to all of us that day. If you are wondering how she ended up in Carlsbad, her family once inside the United States, accepted an invitation to visit some friends in Carlsbad. Thirty-one years later, Farrah Douglas is now running for City Council with the blessing of Mayor Bud Lewis. Thank you to Ms. Douglas for being such an amazing example of what courage and compassion reflects in your own personal story. You are an inspiration to me. Also at that meeting Kyle McGlynn and Charlie Reed were awarded certificates of appreciation for their efforts in raising $5,000 dollars for Water for Sudan. Ms. Reed had already raised $2,600 for this cause. The proceeds go to water wells drilled in Sudan to provide clean water for more than 150,000 people. Women and children walk for miles each way to get water for their villages. Many children die right now before the ages of 10 from waterborne diseases. Congratulations to Ms. McGlynn and Ms Reed for their humanitarian efforts in helping others worlds away.
 Later that day, At Irene Valenti’s sprawling estate, members of the Swing for Kids, which will be held Sept. 3, mingled with other Rotarians and guests, while raising money for Kids Korps USA. President Marice Rahimi, Patrick Galvin, Elanore Clark, Bob O’Conner were some of the Rotarians there, just to name a few. This golf tournament will be at the Del Mar Country Club. For more information, visit How gracious of Irene to hold such a fabulous event
at her exclusive Valenti estate, which is nestled in the heart of the covenant.
Save the date
Reserve your tickets for “wine tasting, delicious appetizers and adoptable animals” hosted at the Fairbanks Ranch Community Clubhouse. One bottle of premium wine per couple with a rate of 92 points or higher, is your ticket in to the fun mixer. Or if you prefer, you can write a check to Helen Woodward for $75. The donations will go toward the Spring Fling event, Best in Show, which will be held on June 5 this year. For more information, visit and check under events section. Trust me, this is one of the hottest tickets of the year in Rancho Santa Fe. I’m proud to mention that my mother-in-law, Katie Shull is an active member on the Spring Fling committee. Help save  an animal’s life this year!


sister~ March 29, 2010 at 1:56 pm

you tell ’em machelly….enjoyed this read….

Dick Chambers March 29, 2010 at 11:17 pm

The Coast News is a joke, totally awful. So is the other one. Too bad. At least you’ll be out of business soon and do everybody a favor.

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