We are a group of Carmel citizens who feel the truth needs to be exposed about Carmel Pine Cone Publisher Paul Miller. We have laid out some facts about this guy and leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions. We are also expressing our opinions at times in this website, which we’re entitled to. We have cited specific examples of Miller’s behavior as an publisher/editor and a citizen, culminating in a hilarious account of Miller’s behavior in a local bank when confronted by a friendly citizen.
Simply read on and draw your own conclusions. Perhaps you have had first hand dealings with this guy. In any event if you agree with our opinion, and are dismayed by the facts as we’ve laid them out, consider joining us in boycotting the Pine Cone paper and its advertisers, which is also our right and your right; for our part we now read and patronize only businesses from the Monterey Herald, the Monterey County Weekly and Carmel Magazine.
Old Saying: You don’t go to war with someone who buys ink by the barrel!
New Saying: the internet has leveled the journalistic playing field. The truth will out!!
PETER DAVI OBITUARY TURNS CRUELLY NEGATIVE:
In December 2007 when Peter Davi, a celebrated and well liked local surfer (profiled in such periodicals as Maxim and the New York Times) was killed in a surfing accident off of Ghost Tree in Pebble Beach. Miller’s Pine Cone, rather than simply report the untimely demise in a Dec 7 obituary of Mr. Davi, used the piece to resurrect Davi’s “checkered past” detailing his arrest record and drug use as a younger man. Community
members and friends of the popular Davi, now a respected citizen and father, were outraged and a group of them responded by driving around Carmel and Monterey and loading their cars and trucks with copies of the Pine Cone which they proceeded to throw out.
MILLER FILES ‘DEED IN LIEU OF TRUST, DUMPS PROPERTY ON BANK:
The ever righteous Miller, walked away from a property he owned that was “under water,” by filing ‘ A Deed in Lieu of Trust,’ which returned the property back to the lender (Bank of America took it back on 3/30/12) , making it their problem and causing the bank a loss of $330,000; the sale was recorded by Monterey County on 6/15/12. Nice one Paulie! Miller apparently paid extra to keep this filing out of the public newspapers,
but we have it here.
MEANWHILE, while Miller was preparing to default on his loan to BOA, he somehow came up with the cash to put a deposit on and buy (on 2/23/12) a second property, the one he now resides in at 1017 David Ave in Pacific Grove, CA. We wonder where Miller found the funds when his first property was in foreclosure (according to Monterey County Recorder Vagnini on 12/22/10)? And we wonder how Bank of America feels about this.
HIS CORPORATION ‘IS A SHAM’:
According to Miller’s ex-wife, Christie Wilde, in a petition filed with the Superior Court of Calif in Monterey on Nov 3, 2011, Miller’s Carmel Communications Corp “Is a sham” and that:
1. “For the past 14 years, neither Paul nor I kept the required documentation in the corporate Minute Book. He did not hold a single meeting of the Directors from 1997 to 2005, nor from 2007 to 2011.”
2. “There is no separation between Paul’s and Carmel Communications’ checking accounts, credit cards, nor payment of bills. Paul pays his two home mortgages, his gardener, his doctor bills, and his personal credit cards with Carmel Communications checks. Paul has used Carmel Communications payroll checks to pay $90,000 to a personal friend who never worked for the company….”
4. Paul has not passed a single resolution to authorize Carmel Communications to do anything, even though it, in fact, did all of the following:
A. Borrowed $27,000 from an employee
B. Borrowed $50,000 from Monterey County Bank.
C. Paid distributions to Paul several times a month for more than a decade
D. Made short term loans to the corporation…”
We wonder if the IRS should investigate?
REFERRED TO WOMEN AS SLUTS IN PAPER:
Miller stirred up more scorn on Feb 8th, 2013, when his paper referred to a dance troupe of women as ‘Sluts’. Miller used the word ‘Sluts’ as its jump line and as the title of a photo caption. A local attorney, Jeanette Witten, attempted to have a judge order copies of the newspaper removed from their racks. Kelly Nix reported in the Pine Cone:
‘According to court documents filed by Witten, “continued distribution” of The Carmel Pine Cone with the words “SLUTS” in bold and caps over the photograph of the models and the headline that contained the words “disgusting and appalling,” will cause “irreparable harm” to the models’ reputations. Witten also asked a judge to compel The Pine Cone issue a “redaction and written apology in print.”
Eve Vawter on website Mommyish.com was one of many irate women who saw Miller’s
choice of words as sexist and derogatory. She writes on Mon Feb 11 2013:
Hey Carmel Pinecone, f you, f you from me, from every other woman, from every parent who
lives there and lets their child read this print newspaper, from every human in the world who understands that calling or referring to women as “sluts” is lame and offensive and sexist and derogatory and incredibly stupid. I am not allowed to use the word “fuck” in headlines, per my bosses, or else I would have just headlined this article “Fuck You Pinecone.” This weekend we were talking with our two youngest kids and my daughter asked me: Mom, am I a feminist?
And I asked her: “What is a feminist?”
And she replied: It’s a lady who is also a woman who believes things. Wait, what is a feminist?
So I explained, in young kid terminology, what feminism means and how that the basic idea is that men and women should be treated as equals. My daughter interrupted me:
Mom, I am a feminist! And my son interrupted her:
Mom, I am a feminist! I can be a feminist too!
And yeah, excellent, two new feminists in the world and then I have to wake up and read bullshit like this from a local newspaper in one of the wealthiest parts of California, where you would assume that due to privilege and income per capita and college degree statistics that the people there would know better than this…’
Read more: http://www.mommyish.com/2013/02/11/carmel-newspaper-sluts/#ixzz3CHe72yOu
SELECTIVELY POSTS THE TRANSGRESSIONS OF PROMINENT CITIZENS:
Miller regularly puts prominent citizens, including bankers, doctors, publishers on the front pages of his paper for their transgressions (DUI’s among them) which, while we certainly don’t condone drinking and driving, we don’t feel DUI’s warrant long-winded front page articles with pictures, placed “above the fold.” We feel Miller is strategic in what people he selects to write about. Miller, then “publishes” these accounts on the internet via the Pine Cone Archives, thus keeping the story “alive” in cyberspace, and
often the first thing people see when searching for these individuals on line. How low can you get?
PARTICULARLY as his motivation is seemingly not to fight DUI’s, but to shame people. For how else could he write a scathing letter directed towards the Monterey Herald (8-13-11) in which Miller attacks the Herald for its decision to publish a story about the DUI of a public education administrator of “local note,” with Miller essentially saying it WAS NOBODY’S BUSINESS. Here is a quote from Miller’s goofy hypocritical Pine Cone editorial, “(A) DUI arrest is a relatively minor event that does not warrant the damage to a person’s reputation or career that publicity in the news media might bring.”
Replied the Herald, ‘While the DUI of a respected public educator might not have been newsworthy for the Pine Cone two years ago, Miller spared no expense in reporting a local publisher’s arrest, devoting page 5 and part of a jump page to a richly detailed account.’
In our opinion it’s as if Miller uses his Mickey Mouse paper, to “get even.”
HAS A WEAK CHIN: Has a weak chin which he hides with a sparse beard. He features a rather heroic picture of himself on his website, which is not how he appears in person when we’ve seen him. HA! We couldn’t help ourselves and this is, of course, only our opinion. Some people find weak chins and sparse beards beautiful.
DENIED THE PRESENCE OF HUNGER ON MONTEREY PENINSULA:
In an out-of-touch editorial, Miller denied the presence of hunger among the poor on the Peninsula. Shortly afterwards his offices were picketed. “We were very disappointed by the editorial in which The Pine Cone seemed to mock the fact there are hungry people in our county,” picketer Alan Haffa of Monterey told a Pine Cone reporter. Channeling a balder, chinless RFK, Miller “took the high ground” posing expansively in what would become a Pine Cone front page picture on 3/2/12: Miller braving a small phalanx of bearded and sandaled protestors to discuss their point of view. Nor was he apparently fooling anyone; shortly after this article was published, someone broke the windows at the Pine Cone Office.
MORE ON HUNGER: On Oct 10, 2013 in Monterey County Weekly addressed Miller’s
Hunger editorial and wrote:
‘A FOR, UM, EFFORT… Squid wants to know: If a pine cone falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, did it really fall? What about, say, a newspaper called the Carmel Pine Cone? Squid admits enjoying the circular, philosophical questions it sometimes poses in editorials – those in the vein of, if we don’t see poor people, it means they must not exist.
(Which the paper did, astoundingly, after the Weekly’s 2012 story on hunger in Monterey County.)’
7-28-11 The Coast Weekly wrote:
More Hunger: NO TIME FOR LOSERS… Squid’s colleagues may lack the bushybearded bravado of Carmel Pine Cone Publisher Paul Miller (Squid has it on good authority that Miller uses the tears of baby otters mixed with the glandular oil of dehydrated Carmel River steelhead as grooming cream), but what they lack in antienviro ego, they make up for in journalistic badassery.
Hunger: We were contacted by a local authority on hunger, Rich Sturm, who was present during the picketing of the Pine Cone office. Says Sturm: “Every day, someone goes hungry in every community across America, including the wealthier towns like Carmel and Monterey. For Miller to question that, shows how out of touch he is with the society around him. Shame on him.”
BUT HOW MUCH OF A BAD ASS JOURNALIST IS HE REALLY, TO BORROW THE COAST WEEKLY’S DESCRIPTION? Well, read on Macduff. The following made us laugh out loud.
MILLER SCREAMED FOR HELP WHEN LOCAL CITIZEN INTRODUCED HIMSELF:
We heard about this weird 2012 encounter in a Pacific Grove bank between Miller and a prominent local citizen, Mr. T. McDowell of Pacific Grove. We tracked down Mr. McDowell. The case is long dead, and he was kind enough to share the actual police report he was asked to supply to the Pacific Grove Police Dept, ( in response to a report Miller first filed against this same citizen.) It makes for fascinating and hilarious reading and says everything about intrepid former foreign desk editor Paul Miller.
REPORT TO OFFICER GARCIA, PACIFIC GROVE PD. May 3, 20012.
“First of all, I have only met Miller one time, before today. Except for three e-mails, I have not had nor sought any other contact with Miller, who I now feel is xxxxxxxx xxx, judging from his dramatics this morning. I’ve heard from others that Miller is a bully with a narcissistic tendency to attack local people in his paper, people whose success, for whatever reason, threatens his fragile ego. Coincidentally, we own a house in Pacific Grove that was once owned by Miller, and know something of his xxxxxxxx history with the neighborhood; many of these same neighbors have described him as arrogant and unstable.
Today’s Encounter: This morning (5/3/12) around 12:30ish , my 12 year old son, xxxx and I drove to xxxxxx Frame Shop on Lighthouse in Pacific Grove to re-frame a large picture. I had just parked in front of the frame shop and was removing the painting from my car, when I noticed a man I thought might be Paul Miller (I had only ever met him one time) walking by. He looked older, smaller and balder than his picture on the Pine Cone website, but I determined it was him. It occurred to me on the spot to ask him, quite courteously, whether we could talk about our former e-mail confrontation. That’s all there was too it. By the time I caught up to him, he was in the Monterey County Bank. I thought, what the hell, and still holding this large oil painting and my son’s hand, we entered the bank. I saw Miller, and extended my hand to shake his, while still holding my painting. I introduced myself and shook his hand, and he immediately said, “Do I need to call the police?” I thought he was joking and laughed. He then walked away to pick up a deposit slip, I’m guessing, and I said, “Paul, could I have a minute?” and he flipped and shouted, “Get away from me, you!” at the top of his voice.
I was shocked by his rage, and just stood there flatfooted with my painting and my son. Miller then walked past me to get in line, which was right in front of me, I took a step forward, saying very calmly, “Listen, when you’re finished, could-” And he cut me off by screaming, “You’re dangerous, I’m going to get a restraining order against you!” I just stood there, shocked by his behavior and annoyed that he was shouting at me in front of my son in the bank. He then screamed, “Get out or I’m calling the police!” He then screamed to the tellers, “Call the police! Help! Call the police on this man!? Call the police, help!” This was extraordinary behavior which didn’t make any sense and was out of all proportion to the situation. Then I grew angry and shouted, “You fucking pussy!” at him for acting so insanely and cowardly, when all I’d intended was to talk to him quite pleasantly. Miller continued to scream, “Help! Call the police! Call the police!” I fully expected him to start sobbing, it was THAT weird. I then shouted something to the effect that he was crazy, took my son’s hand and walked out.
Later that afternoon, I telephoned the bank manager and apologized to her for the bizarre incident, and indicating to her that I barely knew this fellow Miller. Should you wish to investigate this surreal event further, I suggest you review the event on the bank security cameras, as they will show plainly what happened and reveal to you Paul Miller’s bizarre and paranoid response to what was initially a pleasant overture on my part. Thank you for allowing me to tell my side of this story. Sincerely, -Thomas McDowell “
When contacted by us, Mr. McDowell replied, “I think the report speaks for itself. God knows what prompted him to file a police report in the first place. The whole thing was very odd.”
We agree and think it was ridiculous for Miller to race off to the Pacific Grove Police Dept to file a police report about the incident. FURTHER, McDowell’s side of the story is supported by bank branch manager Simi Jones, who, when contacted by the PG Police on May 3 2012, described the following:
Officer Garcia: “I contacted branch manager Simi Jones. I asked if she had witnessed the incident between Miller and McDowell and she said yes. I asked her what happened and she provided the following statement in summary:
Jones said she was helping Miller at teller #2, when McDowell came in. When both Miller and McDowell were talking it seemed they were friends and there was nothing wrong. All of a sudden Miller said, “Leave me alone” and asked for the police to be called. I asked Jones if she heard what was said between Miller and McDowell and she said no. Jones said it only became uncomfortable when Miller asked the police to be called. Jones said McDowell left and Miller no longer needed police.”
Case closed, in our opinion.
It looks like balding, sparse-bearded, weak-chinned Paul Miller is actually (in a round about way, in our opinion) kind of endorsing this site and our right to air his own weird dirty laundry. In his editorial of 3/27/15 ‘More Examples Of Privacy You Don’t Have,’ he goes into a long winded rant justifying, it would seem, his pathetic pattern of embarrassing local prominent people by chronicling their human frailties in stories in the Pine Cone. Two of his most recent targets have been local businessmen Dave Bernahl and Rob Weakley. Miller must be salivating over the opportunity to bring these two down a peg. Miller writes:
“Exhibit B: David Bernahl and Rob Weakley have been engaged in a series of nasty court fights, full of sordid allegations of fraud, conspiracy and theft. Would these two businessmen prefer that their disputes be kept private? You bet they would. But their legal skirmishes are conducted in full public view because they are pursuing them by fil- ing lawsuits, and the government long ago decided that (except for juvenile cases) what goes on in court must be public. If you file a lawsuit to settle a dispute with someone, that dispute will not be private, regardless of what the constitution says about anybody’s “inalienable” right to privacy.”
What’s so telling about Miller’s excited little rant, is that he completely and utterly misses the point. Sure, one can use public records to embarrass and shame that person in a weekly newspaper. The honorable man, the good man, would empathize with the struggle of others and elect not to write about it. The misanthropic goof, with a jealousy for all who dare to succeed, races to print these struggles on the front page of what was once a nice little community paper.