Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Bench/Bar/Media dinner Wednesday, Jan. 27

"Denying Civil Rights: Reexamining Korematsu and its Relevance Today" is the topic of the The Santa Clara County Bench/Bar/Media dinner on Wednesday, Jan. 27. The discussion will be moderated NBC Bay Area News reporter Robert Handa and panelists will include Judge Roberta S. Hayashi, Judge Drew Takaichi and Bradley W. Joondeph, associate dean for academic affairs at Santa Clara University School of Law. The meeting will take place at Three Flames Restaurant, 1547 Meridian Ave., San Jose. Reception is at 5:30, dinner at 6:30 and the program starts at 7:30. To RSVP, email brada@scscourt.org or call (408) 882-2709.

Friday, January 15, 2016

January 2016 Press Club board minutes

January 14, 2016, 6:30, via teleconference

BOARD MEMBERS: Peter Cleaveland, Laura Dudnick, Antonia Ehlers, Jim Henderson, Jane Northrop, Dave Price, Ed Remitz, Aimee Strain, Marshall Wilson, Jim Watson.


What went right: It was a wonderful day, the guest speakers were interesting, the energy was high. We had more than 400 entries this year.

  • • One of our judging clubs did not finish judging its entries in time. Two other clubs were late. 
  • • There was a learning curve with the new BNC program. 
  • • One person in the event's survey wanted plaques returned; not affordable now.
  • • We were questioned about the digital media category – next year it will be streamlined to separate digital news sites from blogs. We will also include specific language from the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics as part of our contest criteria. John Ellis and Ed Remitz will rewrite the contest categories and rules for approval by the board.
Our contract for BNC (Better Newspapers Contest, the software for our contests) is up and they have given us an extension. We will owe $3,273. Right now, we have $7,835 in our operating account. Of that amount, we need to pay:
  • • BNC $2,800 to $3,200 if we decide to keep it (they have given us an extension to pay this bill and will break up the fee into three installments
  • • $7,000 to our executive directors if they decide to stay (some of these fees can be paid after next year's contest)
  • • Fees to reinstate our club as a 501(c)(3) plus possible fines. At this point, it might be cheaper to work with someone like H&R Block. Antonia will follow up with this. 
  • • We have about $8,000 in the scholarship account with $4,500 earmarked for three recipients.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR 2016: John Allen and Sarah Ellis will remain as directors

HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM BOOT CAMP: The board agreed to move the boot camp to San Francisco City College. SFCC Journalism Professor Juan Gonzales has offered a partnership. It looks as if March 12 might work for this year.

CORPORATE SPONSOR: We are looking for a new corporate sponsor and will begin with Kaiser Hospital.

MEMBERSHIP DRIVE: Jim Watson will chair the membership drive. He will be assisted by other board members. We will begin by calling media professionals and public relations professionals to gain more members.

HOLIDAY PARTY – DECEMBER 2015: Ed, Jane, Jim Watson and Antonia attended the join Press Club Holiday Party at the Cadillac Bar in December. It was a blast and a great way to mingle with members of other clubs. There were approximately 100 people there, and the media professionals had a wonderful evening getting to know each other.

  • • Ed and Jim are going to SF State to build connections with instructors and college students 
  • • We hope to offer professional development for our members and guests 
  • • Ideally, the next Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards should be schedued for early October. If this happens, we will allow for a much earlier call for entries – April time frame 

Minutes submitted by President Antonia Ellers substituting for Secretary Dave Price.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Longtime KCBS broadcaster Al Hart dies

Al Hart
Longtime KCBS Radio anchor Al Hart, a legendary voice in Bay Area broadcasting, died yesterday. He was 88.

According to his family, Hart died following a battle with corticobasal degeneration, a rare, progressive neurodegenerative disease.

Hart joined KCBS in 1966, two years before the station switched to an all-news format. He was first a sidekick and producer for Dave McElhatton, another Bay Area broadcasting legend.

McElhatton, who died in 2010, eventually became a longtime anchor at KPIX-TV. Hart was at KCBS for 34 years, and most of the time was spent as the morning news anchor. He was born in Minnesota and early in his career worked in Shreveport, La., as a DJ known as “Your Pal Al, the guy with a heart."

Hart not only played songs on the radio, but he also recorded one for Mercury Records.

“Al was the broadcaster I wanted to grow up to be. His positive energy and his passion for serving the audience were an inspiration every day. I’m very, very lucky to have had him as a mentor and friend” added Stan Bunger, KCBS morning anchor.

John Madden, who worked for years with Hart on his radio show, said the veteran broadcaster would be “missed by all.”

“I’ve been lucky in my broadcasting career to work with great partners,” Madden said. “I have had Pat Summerall and Al Michaels, and I would put Al Hart in that class as well. Al was a real nice guy, a gentleman, a joy to work with, and along the way he became a good friend. He will be missed by all.”

During his 34 year career at KCBS, Hart delivered the news of the day, including major Bay Area stories such as the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and the 1991 Oakland Hills fire.

Hart retired more than 15 years ago to tend to his wife Sally, who was fighting a battle with ALS. After her death, he remarried, but it wasn’t long after that he was diagnosed with a slow killer called corticobasal degeneration.

Chronicle obit. Merc obit. KCBS obit.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Paul Grabowicz, former Trib reporter, dies

Paul Grabowicz
(Associated Press) Paul Grabowicz, a former Oakland Tribune reporter who became a digital journalism pioneer at UC-Berkeley, has died.

The UC-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism said in an obituary on its website that Grabowicz died Thursday (Dec. 24). He was 66 and suffering from cancer.

Grabowicz, or "Grabs" as he was referred to by students, arrived at the school in 1995 and founded its New Media Program, which teaches students to combine video, audio and other media to create stories online.

Grabowicz also taught students what public records were available online and how to access them. Before joining UC Berkeley, Grabowicz spent 20 years as an investigative reporter for The Oakland Tribune.

Photo by Richard Koci Hernandez.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Longtime AP political writer Doug Willis dies

The following is AP's obit for Doug Willis.

BY TOM VERDIN, Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Doug Willis, who followed Ronald Reagan from the governor's office to the presidential campaign trail and covered Jerry Brown's first stint as governor during a three-decade career writing about California politics for The Associated Press, has died. He was 77.

He died Tuesday night at a hospital in Sacramento from complications following hip surgery, said his wife, Judy. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's about three years ago and had been living in a memory-care home since summer, she said.

In this Jan. 19, 2011 AP photo by Rich Pedroncelli,
AP Correspondent Doug Willis talks
to Gov. Jerry Brown in Sacramento.
Judy Willis said it was especially sad that her husband suffered from dementia because he had such a quick wit, nimble mind and fail-safe memory throughout his journalism career and their 22-year marriage.

"Somebody once called him a walking encyclopedia," she said. "It's absolutely heartbreaking."

Indeed, Willis was something of an anomaly in a profession notorious for its aversion to math: He had won a full-ride engineering scholarship to Stanford University before getting bored with that major and switching to journalism.

Colleagues recalled him as a congenial but fierce competitor who never forgot a fact or let sources off the hook.

"He didn't give up. He would get his question answered," said Rebecca LaVally, a Sacramento State University communications lecturer who was a reporter and manager in the state capital for the competing wire service, United Press International, during the 1970s and 1980s.

She described Willis as determined, cordial, tenacious — and a bit rumpled.

"He didn't try to be showy or flashy," she said. Willis started with the AP in San Francisco in 1969 after beginning his career as a police and general assignment reporter for the old San Jose News and a brief stint as an editor for a newspaper in Bend, Oregon.

A year later, he was offered a temporary job helping the AP's Sacramento bureau cover the state Legislature. He did so well he was invited back the following year, when his assignment in the capital became permanent. He became correspondent, the bureau's top position, in 1974.

In a memoir written a decade after he retired, Willis recalled his first big scoop as a young reporter covering state government, one that relied on his analytical skills: Piecing together various threads of information, he was able to say how much state taxpayers were shelling out for each trip then-Gov. Ronald Reagan took in a leased private plane. Willis said his reporting on the cost every time Reagan flew to an event "annoyed both Reagan and my press corps rivals for the next three years."

Willis covered Reagan's last term as California governor and his two runs for the Republican nomination for president, in 1975-76 and 1979-80. He also was the AP's lead reporter covering another famous California governor with presidential aspirations. In his memoir, Willis described the abrupt transition from Reagan to Brown, who was 36 years old when he stepped into the governor's office the first time in 1975.

The buttoned-down formality of the Reagan years transitioned to an administration populated with Buddhist monks and former astronauts, Willis wrote. Reporters covering Brown in his current stint as governor would recognize some of Willis' successful techniques in getting the famously hard-to-nail-down governor to talk.

"Forget the press office," Willis wrote in his memoir. "Just catch up with Brown anyplace where there weren't a lot of people around to distract him, and just start asking questions. Once he was talking, if he started to lose interest and cut off an interview, I would just repeat one of his points back to him, but in a slightly inaccurate way. It always worked. He would stick with me until he was absolutely certain that I understood."

No reporter had better access to Brown than Willis, said Chuck McFadden, who was an AP reporter in Sacramento from 1970 to 1974. "Jerry admired people with brains, and Doug had a super abundance of brains," he said.

It was Willis who in March 1976 dictated the urgent news that Brown would run for the Democratic nomination for president, calling it in to the AP's San Francisco bureau from the governor's office and beating rival UPI by 35 minutes. Willis wrote that the governor hovered over his shoulder as he made the call and offered suggestions about what the story should say, "which I ignored."

In a statement issued Wednesday, the governor praised Willis' reporting style. "Doug was dogged, honest and a real pleasure to work with," Brown said. "We could use a few more like him."

An only child, Willis was born April 16, 1938, in Oakland, California, and was raised by his mother and grandmother. His father died during World War II, shot down in the Pacific while serving in the Army Air Corps.

Judy Willis said her husband never regretted changing majors from engineering to journalism. Rather, he fed off the excitement of being present at some of the biggest events of the day.

Willis was one of four AP staffers covering President Gerald Ford's visit to Sacramento in 1975 when Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme tried to shoot the president as he walked toward the Capitol. In addition to covering politics, he wrote about Cesar Chavez's farmworker strikes, got a jailhouse interview with mass murderer Juan Corona and helped cover one of the biggest tragedies in Sacramento history, when a fighter jet crashed into an ice cream parlor during an air show in 1972, killing 25.

He even smoked cigars and drank rum with Fidel Castro during a reporting assignment to Cuba in the 1980s. "He led a good life in Sacramento, and it was immensely gratifying for him," McFadden said. "It had to be gratifying to be a major political reporter in a state as big as California."

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards announced

The San Francisco Peninsula Press Club presented the 38th Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, which honored the work of more than 140 journalists representing 35 media organizations. The club presented nearly 200 awards during the luncheon at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City.

The club received received 398 entries from the 11 counties in the Bay Area. The contest was judged by press clubs in Cleveland, Florida, New Orleans, Orange County and Kern County.

Top award winners for Overall Excellence included:
•   South Bay Accent, First Place, Magazine/Trade Publications/Newsletters
•   India Currents, First Place, Digital Media
•   Palo Alto Weekly, First Place, Newspapers/Non-Daily
•   Pacifica Tribune, Second Place, Newspapers/Non-Daily
•   The Press Democrat, First Place, Newspapers/Daily
•   The San Francisco Examiner, Second Place, Newspapers/Daily
•   The Daily News Group, Third Place, Newspapers/Daily

Michael Howerton, editor-in-chief of the San Francisco Examiner, gave a keynote speech, and investigative reporter Jonathan Greenberg was a guest speaker. The SFPPC awarded three $1,500 scholarships to promising student journalists: The Jack Russell Award was presented to Kellen Browning of Davis Senior High School; and Herb Caen Awards were presented to Maci Martell and Kyle Schmidt, both from Santa Rosa Junior College.

A new scholarship was established to honor the journalism career of Bill Workman, a former SF Chronicle reporter and past president of the SFPPC. Marla Lowenthal, Workman’s wife, presented the Bill Workman News Writer Award to the First Place winner of the Newspaper/Daily News Story category, Glenda Anderson of The Press Democrat.

(Click on the awards for better resolution)

Friday, December 4, 2015

Press Club awards luncheon tomorrow

The Press Club's Excellence in Journalism luncheon is tomorrow (Dec. 5, 2015), and below is a list of those who won, although we're not saying who got first-, second- or third-place awards until tomorrow's event. The luncheon will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1221 Chess Drive, Foster City.

Click here to register.

Organizations who won include: 

Al Jazeera America, The Argus, Bay Area Reporter, Bay City News, Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg News, Central City Extra, Daily News Group, The Daily Post, East Bay Express, Fusion, Hechinger Report, The India Currents, KDTV Univision 14, KQED 9, KSRO.com, Los Gatos Weekly Times, Oakland Tribune, Pacifica Tribune, Palo Alto Weekly, Prep2Prep.com, Press Democrat, Re/Code, San Francisco Bay Guardian, San Francisco Examiner, The San Jose Mercury News, San Mateo County Office of Education, Santa Cruz Sentinel, SFBay.ca, South Bay Accent, Sweatpantsandcoffee.com, Traditions Magazine, WaccoBB.net

Individual winners include: 

AJ Marson, Alexis Madrigal, Ali Thanawalla, Ali Winston, Alison Vekshin, Anita Felicelli Anne Campbell, Annie Pong, Antonia Ehlers, Aris Bernales, Ben Schein, Bert Johnson, Beth Schlanker, Bill Johnson, Breena Kerr, Carol Blitzer, Chris Bollini, Chris Roberts, Christopher Chung, Cierra Webb, Coburn Palmer, Cynthia Stone, Daily News Group Staff, Daniel Brown, Darwin Bond Graham, Dave Price, David Bacon, Debra Schaffner, Dick Sparrer Donna Krey, E.A. Barrera, Elena Kadvany, Elizabeth Schwyzer, Erin Baldassari, Gabriella Gamboa, Gennady Sheyner, Glenda Anderson, Godofredo Vasquez, Greg Frazier, Greg Silva, Horace Hinshaw, Jake Nicol, Jamey Padojino,

Jamie Morrow, Jane Northrop, Jane Tyska, Jason Lelchuck Jason Green, Jason Leskiw, Jaya Padmanabhan, Jayme Roy, Jeramy Gordon, Jeremy Hay, Jesse Garnier, Jessica Christian, Jessica Kwong, Jim Sweeney, Joanne Engelhardt, Joaquin Palomino, Joe Matazzoni, Joe Fitzgerald Rodriquez, Joel Engardio, Joel White, John Murphy John Angell Grant, John Orr, John Reid, Jonah Lamb, Jonathan Allen, Jonathan Greenberg Jondi Gumz, Julia Park Tracey, Kalpana Mohan, Kara Swisher, Kashmir Hill, Kathleen Richards, Kent Porter, Kerry Benefield, Kevin Kelly, Kevin Roose, Lillian Mongeau, Lindsay Oda, Lisa Rosenthal, Lise Stampfli Torme, Liz Gannes, Lowell Cohn, Luke Tsai,

Malcolm Fleschner, Marjorie Beggs, Mark Hedin, Matt McFetridge, Matthew S. Bajko, Matthew Stensland-Bos, Melissa Chan, Michael Barba, Michael Howerton, Michelle Wilkinson, Mike Anderson, Miles Garnier, Nancy Magee, Natalie Yemenidjian, Nellie Bowles, Norman Bonney, Pam Marino, Patty Hayes, Paul Dunn, Paul Gullixson, Peter Kafka, Peter Waldman, Phil Barber, Richard Gunderman, Robert Cartagena, Robert Digitale, Robert Gammon, Roxanne Pasibe, Sam Lefebvre, Sam Levin, Sara Gaiser, Sarah Burke, Sarah Todd, Sarita Sarvate, Scot Tucker, Scott Compton, Scott Morris, Sean McCourt, Shawn Whelchel, Shayna Rubin, Sue Dremann, Susan Hathaway, Susan Kerr, Terri Lobdell, Vandana Kumar, Veronica Weber, Vytas Mazeika, Walt Mossberg

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Examiner editor Michael Howerton will be the keynote speaker for Press Club luncheon

The San Francisco Peninsula Press Club's awards luncheon is set for Dec. 5, and the keynote speaker will be San Francisco Examiner Editor-in-Chief Michael Howerton.

Howerton is the vice president of editorial for the San Francisco Media Company, which publishes the Examiner and SF Weekly. He has worked at The Wall Street Journal, The Daily, the Marin Independent Journal and The Berkeley Daily Planet. Michael has taught writing courses at Berkeley City College, UC-Berkeley and San Francisco State.

Please CLICK HERE to register for the 38th annual Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards luncheon.

It will be from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City.

The luncheon will honor the outstanding work of Bay Area TV, print, radio and digital media journalists, as well as the exceptional work of photographers, graphic designers and public relations professionals. The contest has several divisions: Digital Media, Magazine/Trade Press/Newsletter, Newspaper, Photography, Public Relations, Radio and Television.

The Press Club also will award journalism scholarships to high school and college journalism students.

Come and toast the best journalists in the Bay Area and our scholarship winners!

Friday, November 6, 2015

November 2015 Press Club board minutes

Minutes of November Press Club board meeting Nov. 4, 2015, 6:30 p.m., Serra High School, 451 West 20th Ave., San Mateo

PRESENT: Antonia Ehlers, Ed Remitz, Jim Watson, Dave Price (via phone), Peter Cleaveland and Jim Henderson. ABSENT: Marshall Wilson, Aimee Strain, Jane Northrop.

FINANCE REPORT: Antonia said the club is doing better than she expected. She said there was $8,000 in the scholarship account, $7,967.76 in PayPal (contest entry fees), and $5,319.22 in the operations account. Antonia said the club has enough to cover the luncheon.

CONTEST BANQUET: The luncheon has been postponed until Dec. 5 because the judges need more time, Antonia said. She has put down a deposit for the room at the Crowne Plaza for that date.

IRS MATTER: The tax-exempt status of the club lapsed several years ago. The board discovered this fact earlier this year. Antonia and bookkeeper Ana Glodek conducted a conference call with the IRS. A penalty is possible. The main goal is to correct the situation and renew the nonprofit status. The board voted unanimously to get an estimate and a proposed retainer agreement from a CPA firm for the work that is necessary to correct this situation.

AWARDS LUNCHEON SPONSOR: Antonia reports the club is in negotiations with a corporate sponsor. They are offering help including finding a guest speaker.

SCHOLARSHIPS: Ed said the scholarship committee has selected one high school winner and two college winners. They'll get $1,500 each, for a total of $4,500. The board unanimously voted to increase the number of college scholarships to two, and approve the $4,500 expenditure.

MEMBERSHIP DRIVE/CONTEST: Antonia reports that the club got 430 entries for this year's contest. Jim Henderson suggested that we change the entry process next year so that everyone entering the contest would pay a membership fee with their first entry. Price suggested the club conduct a membership survey at the upcoming awards luncheon on Dec. 5. Price will send a draft of the survey to board members and Jim Watson said he would tabulate the results.

HIGH SCHOOL BOOT CAMP: Antonia said she is shooting to hold the camp in the third week of February. She'd like to open the high school contest the same day as the boot camp so that attendees could be encouraged to submit entries.

Meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m. Minutes taken by Secretary Dave Price.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Former LA Times sports columnist wins $7.1 million verdict in age and disability bias case

This item is a bit out of the bailiwick of the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club, but it might strike a chord with some of our members. A Los Angeles Superior Court jury tonight awarded $7.1 million to former LA Times sports columnist T.J. Simers on his claim that the newspaper discriminated against him because of his age and disability.

Simers’ attorneys claimed during the six-week trial that the Times tried to stifle his critical coverage of former Dodgers owner Frank McCort and then diminished his role at the paper after he suffered a mini-stroke and was diagnosed with complex migraine syndrome. Simers, now 65, was making $234,000 a year when he was forced out of his job in 2013. The Times said it will appeal.

The verdict was reported by Variety and the Times.

Save the Date: Press Club awards luncheon date changed to Dec. 5

The 2015 San Francisco Peninsula Press Club's awards luncheon has been rescheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5.

Why? It's taking a little longer than anticipated for our out-of-state judges to review this year's entries.

The location of the luncheon will remain the same, the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1221 Chess Drive, Foster City. Please save the date, Dec. 5. The luncheon starts at 11 a.m. Winners will be notified in advance via email.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chron suspends Warriors writer Rusty Simmons

Rusty Simmons, the San Francisco Chronicle's Golden State Warriors beat reporter, has been suspended without pay after he wrote an article Monday that was nearly a word-for-word copy of a team press release, Columbia Journalism Review reports.

Simmons cut-and-paste a news release the Warriors issued announcing the team had purchased land for a new arena in the Mission Bay neighborhood from the software company Salesforce.

PR man Sam Singer, who represents the arena's opponents, saw the duplication and sent emails about it to his contacts. Examiner reporter Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez took Singer’s tip and tweeted screen shots of the press release and the Chronicle story.

Chronicle editor Audrey cooper confirmed to CJR that Simmons, a sportswriter at the paper since 2002, has been suspended without pay pending an investigation of his entire body of work at the Chronicle. But Cooper also told CJR that she'd be surprised if the review reveals that copying press releases was a "chronic practice" of Simmons.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Press Club to award $1,500 scholarships

Friday, Oct. 23 — That's the deadline for submitting entries to the 2015 college scholarship competition sponsored by the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club.

The competition is open to high school, community college and college students from 12 Bay Area counties who are planning a career in print, broadcast, online or photo journalism. The counties are Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and Yolo.

The club selects one college student to receive a $1,000 scholarship named for Herb Caen, the late San Francisco Chronicle columnist, and one high school student for a $1,500 scholarship named for the late Jack Russell, club co-founder.

Scholarship funds will be paid to colleges each recipient plans to attend, or is attending, to defray education-related expenses.

Work published, broadcast or webcast from fall 2014 through spring 2015 is eligible.

Entrants should send:

• A one-page resume.

• A letter of recommendation from an instructor in journalism, communications or English.

• Three to five examples of work as published or distributed. All entrants must include at least two examples of news writing or news coverage and may complete the submission with samples of feature writing or feature coverage. Only one example may be opinion-based.

• The entire package — resume, letter of recommendation and examples — should be combined into a single PDF that includes the entrant's name in the title. Video reports should be provided as links on a single PDF that is added to the combined PDF.

Entries should be emailed by Oct. 23 to: sfpen-pressclub@sbcglobal.net

Winners will be honored at the club's 37th Annual Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards Luncheon on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Book, concert focus on My Lai Massacre

Hugh Thompson Jr.
The 1968 My Lai Massacre, one of the most shocking episodes of the Vietnam War, will come into focus this Saturday (Oct. 10) at 6 p.m. when the musical/monodrama titled “My Lai” will be performed by the Kronos Quartet at Stanford's Bing Concert Hall.

Prior to the performance, author Trent Angers will give a brief talk about the heroism of Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson Jr., who played a major role in ending the massacre and testifying against the U.S. Army soldiers who committed the murders.

Angers, a seasoned journalist and editor from Louisiana, was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work on the Hugh Thompson story.

Angers has written a revised edition of his first book on Thompson. The revised edition, titled “The Forgotten Hero of My Lai,” reveals how Nixon initiated and led an effort to sabotage the My Lai Massacre trials.

One of Angers’ sources for the book were the handwritten notes of White House Chief of Staff H.R. Bob Haldeman. In a Dec. 1, 1969, meeting, Haldeman wrote that Nixon wanted to get the soldiers responsible for My Lai off the hook by destroying the reputation of Thompson. “Dirty tricks — not to high of a level … Discredit one witness … May have to use a Senator or two,” Haldeman wrote.

As for Saturday's concert, the music was composed by Jonathan Berger of Stanford; the lyrics (libretto) were written by Harriet Scott Chessman. The singer/main character is Rinde Eckert (who plays Hugh Thompson), with master Vietnamese musician Van-Ahn Vo.

For more about the concert, go to http://live.stanford.edu.

For more about Angers book, go to Amazon.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Marinucci jumps to Politico

Carla Marinucci, a longtime political writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, has landed a job at Politico, which is launching a California section. Politico is starting several regional sections, and most of the writers for these sections are coming from newspapers. The news that she had taken a new job was announced by Politico’s Mike Allen. Marinucci has been covering politics for the Chron since 1996 and has been with Hearst Newspapers since 1983. Here’s her Chron bio. (Photo credit: Chronicle)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Newspaper launches a serialized novel

On Tuesday, Sept. 8, the Daily Post in Palo Alto began publishing “Palo Alto Odyssey,” a serialized novel about life in present-day Palo Alto, written by John Angell Grant.

The Bay Area newspapers have printed serialized novels before. The San Francisco Chronicle published Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of the City," a series that began in 1978.

“Palo Alto Odyssey” focuses on Miranda Jones, a woman who grew up in Palo Alto, attending local public schools, and later Stanford as an undergraduate.

After obtaining her law degree in New York, Miranda stayed in New York for a law career. Now she is returning to Palo Alto, perhaps to retire there, perhaps to sell her parents’ bungalow home in the Southgate part of town. Miranda is surprised at the changes she finds in Palo Alto from her childhood. It is no longer the sleepy university town she grew up in. Millionaire 20-somethings inhabit the cafes, creating new startups, as other wannabe entrepreneurs watch with envy. Housing prices have skyrocketed. New residents in the town, with more money, push out the earlier population. Families struggle.

Miranda’s old friend from high school is now a schizophrenic panhandler on University Avenue. Parents and teachers worry about the pressure on children and Palo Alto’s teen suicide epidemic. Women and men, both, struggle with conflicts between career and marriage.

“Palo Alto Odyssey” will run six times a week in the Daily Post through Oct. 5, in short chapters of about 500 words each. This is the right length, says Daily Post Editor and Publisher Dave Price, “for a reader to enjoy over a cup of coffee.”

Price says that the serialization gives the Daily Post another dimension. One dimension is simply reporting the news and the second is the Opinion page, where local issues are debated. This creates a third level where local trends and happenings can be brought to life through the serial.

The novel’s creator, John Angell Grant, is a longtime journalist and the author of 12 produced stage plays. Grant is also the theater critic for the Daily Post. Back episodes of “Palo Alto Odyssey” will be downloadable daily at the author’s website at johnangellgrant.com.  

Full disclosure: Price is the Press Club's secretary and webmaster.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Chron's Henry Lee jumps to Channel 2

Henry Lee, who covers crime and courts for the Chronicle, has joined KTVU as a justice reporter and anchor, TV Spy reports. Lee will lead the new Crime Files franchise for Channel 2. His reports will air on the Sunday edition of the 10'O Clock News. He has been at the Chronicle since 1994. Here's his bio. The last Chronicle reporter to jump to TV news was Cecilia Vega. She went to Channel 7 as a reporter in 2008. She joined ABC News in 2011, and this year became a weekend anchor for ABC.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Police release video of suspects in robbery of Examiner photographer

San Francisco police have released this video showing the black Pontiac Grand Prix that two robbers used as a getaway car after they robbed a San Francisco Examiner photographer of his camera on July 23.

The photographer was walking east on Bryant Street, near the Hall of Justice, when two robbers pushed him from behind.

As he fell, the robbers grabbed his Canon EOS-1D digital camera and dragged him 20 feet. The camera and lenses are worth more than $9,300.

The robbers fled south on Langton Street and a surveillance camera captured footage of them driving away in the Grand Prix. The video also appears to show a possible "Good Samaritan" chasing the suspect in a Toyota Tacoma pickup or a similar vehicle.

Police are asking the public to help identify the Good Samaritan in the pickup truck or the robbers. Anyone with information is asked to call (415) 575-6039 or the Anonymous Tip Line at (415) 575-4444. Tips can also be sent by texting TIP411 and starting the message with SFPD.

Suspect jailed in robberies of TV news crews

Bay City News reports that a man suspected of robbing and assaulting two TV news crews covering a homicide at Pier 14 last month has been arrested and jailed.

Michael Anthony Jones, 23, was arrested on July 27 and booked into jail on suspicion of robbing and assaulting the news crews with the help of two accomplices who remain at large.

Jones pleaded innocent on July 30 and remains in jail with bail set at $250,000.

On July 2, a group of broadcast news reporters were robbed at gunpoint of their camera equipment as they were covering the shooting death of San Francisco resident Kathryn Steinle. At about 6 a.m., news crews had gathered on The Embarcadero, in front of Pier 14, when the suspects approached them. The suspects demanded camera equipment from NBC Bay Area and KTVU Fox-2, according to San Francisco police.

Police said there were two armed suspects and a third suspect who acted as a getaway driver. Part of the attack was caught on camera by one of the crews preparing for a live broadcast. One cameraman was struck in the head with a pistol and suffered a laceration to the head. The three other victims were not injured.

The suspects made off with camera equipment valued at over $100,000.

The three suspects fled in a black BMW 7 Series sedan, Gatpandan said. Investigators were able to locate the BMW used in the Pier 14 robbery and on July 27, San Francisco police investigators, with the assistance of the Oakland and Fremont Police Departments, identified Jones as a suspect and located him with the BMW at a Motel 6 in Fremont, police said.

Following a brief foot pursuit, Jones was arrested as he was leaving a room at the motel, police said.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Redwood City photojournalist Reg McGovern dead at 95

The Palo Alto Daily Post is reporting that well-known Redwood City photojournalist Reg McGovern has died after complications from a fall. He was 95. McGovern died Wednesday (Aug. 5) in Mountain View, said his wife Janet.

The two met at the now-defunct Redwood City Tribune, where McGovern was a staff photographer for 36 years. She said he taught her a lot about journalism, and he was well-known because of his colorful personality and sense of humor.

He was not only a photographer, but a reporter too, and knew how to become friends to develop sources, said his wife. McGovern proclaimed that he had “telephonitis” when every evening he would call lots of his friends round robin style, she said.

“He was a maverick,” longtime friend and former co-worker George Gananian said of McGovern. “He always went against conventional wisdom.”

When on assignment for a San Francisco 49ers game at Kezar Stadium, Gananian remembers the herd of photographers huddled together in one section of the sidelines. But McGovern was at the other end of the field, waiting for the play to come toward him. At just the right moment, when the sun was behind the offensive team, McGovern snapped a photo that worked with the sun, highlighting the players.

The other photographers had to zoom in and then crop their photos while McGovern knew how to frame his photo without much editing, Gananian said. “He damn near always got the shot he wanted,” Gananian said. With tight deadlines at the Redwood City Tribune, McGovern invented shortcuts to make the photo editing process go faster.

This photo by Reg McGovern of a 1952 magnesium
fire in San Carlos won a top award for spot news

Gananian recalled a car crash on the corner of Veterans Boulevard and Main Street at noon, close to the 12:30 p.m. deadline for the afternoon newspaper. McGovern had a special fast-acting chemical solution he called “Jungle Juice” that he invented during his years in the South Pacific. The developer converted the negatives in just one minute instead of three to make deadline.

McGovern was born in Redwood City, the son of San Mateo County Sheriff Thomas McGovern and his wife, Hilda, who became the first woman state traffic officers in San Mateo County in 1928, months after her husband’s death, said Janet McGovern.

McGovern lived in Redwood City for most of his life, and attended Sequoia High and San Mateo Junior College. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard in the Pacific aboard the ammunition ship the U.S.S. Murzim.

McGovern was first hired by the Tribune in 1945 as a staff photographer. His wife said he had a “natural nose for news and an eye for unusual angles.” He won numerous awards during his years at the Tribune, his wife said.

Years later, the McGoverns collaborated on the local history books “Redwood City,” “Redwood City Then & Now” and most recently “Menlo Park.” McGovern loved band music and in the early 1950s began his won record company, Fidelity Sound Recordings.

McGovern is survived by his wife, Janet; his two sons, Thomas of South San Francisco and James of Walnut Creek and his wife, Kim; two grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Plans for his memorial are being made, but donations can be made in his honor to the Salvation Army, Golden State Division, 832 Folsom St., San Francisco or Kainos Home & Training Center, 3621 Jefferson Ave., Redwood City.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Report: SFWeekly/Examiner publisher says there's no wall between editorial and ads

The new publisher of the SF Weekly and Examiner, Glenn Zuehls, declared in a staff meeting on Friday that there is no wall between advertising and news, according to Joe Eskenazi, who wrote for the SF Weekly for eight years. Eskenazi's report was carried by San Francisco Magazine.

Zuehles was upset that the Graton Casino in Rohnert Park pulled $68,496 worth of ads over a humorous story in the SF Weekly about the casino. Eskenazi said Zuehls ordered the newsroom to do a puff piece on the casino in the hopes of getting the ads back. When the newsroom staffers objected, Zuehles said the staff should dig into their own pockets to come up with the $68,496.

Eskenazi says three editorial employees have "parted ways" with the Examiner over the dust up. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Gannett reportedly looking to buy the Merc

The San Jose Mercury News is a likely takeover target of Gannett, the Wall Street Journal says.

The story is based on comments by Gannett CEO Robert Dickey that he has assembled a team of banking and legal advisers to pursue deals in markets with populations between one and three million people.

“We are aggressively pursuing all the opportunities in front of us,” he said.

The Journal says: “The list of newspapers in markets of over one million people is short. One such title, the San Jose Mercury News, was recently put on the block by owner Digital First Media along with its 75 other daily newspapers, but all were taken off the market in May.”

Thursday, July 2, 2015

News crews robbed, assaulted in San Francisco

News crews from two Bay Area television stations were robbed at gunpoint and a cameraman was pistol whipped during live broadcasts this morning.

The robbery and assault occurred at about 6 a.m. Thursday along the city's waterfront, SF Gate reported. Several camera crews were broadcasting live reports for local morning shows about a killing that occurred nearby Wednesday night.
KTVU reporter Cara Liu was reporting live when someone ran up and stole camera equipment belonging to KNTV, which also had a crew on the scene.

During the incident, KNTV camera operator Alan Waples was pistol-whipped. KTVU anchor Brian Flores was introducing the story and preparing to go live to Liu when she appeared startled and said, “Hold on, hold on, wait,” before disappearing from the screen, as KNTV reporter Kris Sanchez and Waples, 54, were being robbed at gunpoint.

The assailant, one of three suspects, came up behind Waples, who was was adjusting Sanchez’s lighting, and put a gun to his head.

“Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!” Sanchez yelled.
The KTVU camera that was stolen.
Photos from the San Francisco Police.

Waples said, “Take the camera!”

He recalled later that he was waiting for the click of the gun. “I thought he was going to kill Alan,” Sanchez said.

he man then threw Waples to the ground and hit him with the gun in the ear, causing a large gash and leaving a big bruise on his upper arm.

All of this unfolded quickly as KTVU was broadcasting live, although the incident wasn’t audible.

One of the robbers.
“Cara, you still there?” Flores asked. “Sorry, there’s an incident out here,” she replied as she and KTVU photographer Keith Crook left to tend to the stricken KNTV crew.

“What’s going on out there, Cara, doing OK?” Flores asked.

The robber drove away in a black BMW with two cameras and two tripods from stations KTVU and KNTV.

Two other camera crews on the scene weren't robbed.

Waples was examined on the scene and wasn't hospitalized.

The gun used in today's robbery.
Local television and newspaper crews have been robbed several times in recent years, though usually the incidents occur in Oakland.

Many crews travel with armed guards when reporting in high-crime areas.

Wednesday's murder and Thursday's robbery occurred at Pier 14 along the Embarcadero, a popular spot for tourists and locals.

San Francisco police were first called to the pier at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday where they found a 31-year-old woman wounded with a gunshot to the upper body. Police detained a "person of interest," but released no further details about the shooting. The woman died later at a hospital.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

GraceAnn Walden, pioneer in local food media, dies

The Chronicle is reporting that its former Inside Scoop columnist GraceAnn Walden has died.

"She made restaurant news and gossip a dedicated beat in this food-obsessed town, breathlessly chronicling the paths of chefs through town and tracking the underbelly of the restaurant scene with her sharp, witty and sometimes controversial writing," the Chron's Inside Scoop blog said.

She wrote the Inside Scoop column from its inception in 1991 to 2005. In recent years, she had been living in the North Bay, conducting food tours around North Beach, and sending out her food-centric newsletter. (Photo credit: Chris Stewart, Chronicle)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sports writer Ron Bergman dead at 80

Longtime Bay Area sports writer Ron Bergman died today (May 28). He was 80.

The AP reports that Bergman had been suffering from Parkinson's disease. Bergman worked for the AP in the 1960s and covered the Beatles' final concert at Candlestick Park in 1966.

He later worked for the Oakland Tribune and San Jose Mercury News, covering the Oakland Athletics dynasty of the 1970s and writing a book, "Mustache Gang," about the 1972 title team.

He later covered the Golden State Warriors, Raiders and college sports.

The A's were planning a moment of silence in Bergman's honor before their game Thursday night against the Yankees.

He is survived by former wife Sally, children Anne and Adam; a brother Jim; and grandchildren Henry and Ella.