Is One of CalCoastNews’ Biggest Lies Finally Dead?

Aaron Ochs
4 min readAug 28, 2021

Every now and then, I get a comment or a message from some anonymous account out of nowhere, accusing me of being part of the left-wing conspiracy to “shut down” and “kill” CalCoastNews. These accounts used the same language and phrases that website co-founder Karen Velie used in various articles and court filings. Either she is behind these anonymous accounts or her cult-like devotees recite her every word without a hint of self-awareness.

This has gone on for years. At first, I’d fiercely deny the allegations. Then I decided to write a book about it, hoping that would clear things up. But no. They kept appearing. Instead of having a conversation with them, I’d hit the block button. Giving them a piece of my mind was neither productive nor effective at that point.

Would the state 2nd District Appellate court ruling handed down on Aug. 26 sway any of their opinions? Probably not. But to me, it was icing on the cake.

Velie filed a pair of lawsuits against the late SLO County Supervisor Adam Hill, who died by suicide prior to the Dept. of Justice revealing he accepted bribes from marijuana mogul Helios Dayspring. In her lawsuits, Velie claimed Hill and his “left-leaning” political allies orchestrated the attacks in retaliation for reporting on the supervisor’s conduct, even going as far as to accuse Hill of using his influence somehow to “kidnap” her three grandchildren, temporarily place them into foster care, and restrict her access to county records. Velie claimed the conspiracy and Hill’s remarks about her violated her civil rights.

In court records pertaining to these lawsuits, Velie repeatedly mentioned me and my Facebook page under the false premise that I was Hill’s “agent” or “business associate.” Velie first made the false allegation was she was a guest on 920 KVEC Dave Congalton’s show in 2013. When Congalton asked if she had evidence, she assuredly said, “Oh yes. I have many, multiple screenshots.” Despite her boastful “yes” answer, Velie never provided a single shred of evidence to back her allegations about me for nearly a decade.

The allegation was reverberated far and wide.

In an email to Velie, Former state Assemblyman and State Senator Sam Blakeslee referred to me as an “apparent surrogate” to…

Aaron Ochs

Author, artist, advocate and entrepreneur from Morro Bay, California.