This week, we're running one of the strangest corrections that I have ever seen. You can find it here.
Here's what happened: We received a tip that the local Veterans Affairs folks had brought in Disney to do some sort of employee training. I asked Tim Vanderpool to look into it.
Tim asked the local VA public affairs rep what Disney was doing here, and he was told all about this $92,000 program to train the VA's volunteer concierges. Therefore, he reported that the Disney Institute was doing this $92,000 program. He asked a direct question, got a response, and understandably ran with it.
Understandably, but regrettably: We now know that the $92,000 concierge program had almost nothing to do with Disney—and the truth is a lot more interesting. Turns out that the Disney training—of all regional VA employees, apparently—is being done as part of a $4.5 million, five-year contract awarded to a Goodyear-based firm.
This whole mess raises several questions: What all is this $4.5 million going toward? How much of that is going to Disney? Why is the VA bringing in freaking Disney to do customer-service training?
Also: Why did the VA rep bring up a mostly unrelated concierge-training program when directly asked what Disney was doing here? Was she trying to deflect Tim, perhaps?
Anyway, we're trying to answer that first set of questions. We'll keep you posted.
• In other news: I'd like to welcome Ryn Gargulinski to our collection o' columnists. She's joining Irene Messina, Renée Downing and Randy Serraglio in a four-person rotation.
The former Tucson Citizen staffer and woman-about-town has been writing a weekly column for The Range, our online daily dispatch, since last December. She'll continue doing so, and once every four weeks, that column will make a fine addition to the dead-tree edition.