Monday, January 31, 2005

Photojournalist dies in crash
By Millicent Mayfield
Staff Writer

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO -- A van crossing into oncoming traffic caused a head-on collision Sunday afternoon that killed Examiner photographer Susan Caldwell and her 14-year-old daughter, Nina Garrison.

Although witness accounts vary, at around 2 p.m. a Honda van traveling southbound on Bayshore Boulevard near Oyster Point Boulevard crossed a double-barrier line and collided head-on with Caldwell's sedan, police said.

"This accident occurred so quickly and was so violent that it's no wonder that no one can agree on what exactly they saw," said South City police Sgt. Bill Carter.

According to police and fire officials, Caldwell was killed instantly. Garrison sustained massive injuries and later died at San Francisco General Hospital. The male driver of the van is in critical condition at SFGH.

It took about 45 minutes to retrieve all three victims from their mangled cars using the jaws of life.

"It was a very difficult extraction," said Jim Selvitella, battalion chief with the South San Francisco Fire Department. "It was a very traumatic call for all responders. Some of them will never see another accident like that in their entire careers."

The name of the driver of the van was not released at press time and it is unclear whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in the accident.

"There's very little that we can do to conduct that investigation until he's stable," Carter said. Police said traffic was closed along Bayshore Boulevard for about four and a half hours.

Caldwell, who worked with the Examiner and Independent newspapers for about 16 years, was on her way to the Cow Palace to take pictures of the Golden Gate Kennell Club dog show. Her daughter accompanied her because their cat had died a few weeks earlier and they were considering replacing the pet with a dog.

Photojournalist Susan Caldwell dies in accident

By Millicent Mayfield
Examiner Staff Writer

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO -- A van crossing into oncoming traffic caused a head-on collision Sunday afternoon that killed Examiner photographer Susan Caldwell and her 14-year-old daughter, Nina Garrison.

Although witness accounts vary, at around 2 p.m. a Honda van traveling southbound on Bayshore Boulevard near Oyster Point Boulevard crossed a double-barrier line and collided head-on with Caldwell's sedan, police said.

"This accident occurred so quickly and was so violent that it's no wonder that no one can agree on what exactly they saw," said South City police Sgt. Bill Carter.

According to police and fire officials, Caldwell was killed instantly. Garrison sustained massive injuries and later died at San Francisco General Hospital. The male driver of the van is in critical condition at SFGH.

It took about 45 minutes to retrieve all three victims from their mangled cars using the jaws of life.

"It was a very difficult extraction," said Jim Selvitella, battalion chief with the South San Francisco Fire Department. "It was a very traumatic call for all responders. Some of them will never see another accident like that in their entire careers."

The name of the driver of the van was not released at press time and it is unclear whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in the accident.

"There's very little that we can do to conduct that investigation until he's stable," Carter said. Police said traffic was closed along Bayshore Boulevard for about four and a half hours.

Caldwell, who worked with the Examiner and Independent newspapers for about 16 years, was on her way to the Cow Palace to take pictures of the Golden Gate Kennell Club dog show. Her daughter accompanied her because their cat had died a few weeks earlier and they were considering replacing the pet with a dog.

The Susan Caldwell Memorial Scholarship has been started to benefit young photojournalists. Examiner/Independent Photographer Caldwell and her daughter, Nina Garrison, were killed Jan. 30. A memorial was held Feb. 4. The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:
"Susan Caldwell Memorial Scholarship Fund"
c/o U.S. Bank
attn: Teresa Adam
50 North Cabrillo Highway
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

Thursday, January 13, 2005

January 2005 Press Club board minutes

Minutes of the Peninsula Press Club Board of Directors meeting on Jan. 12, 2005 at the San Mateo Daily News.

Meeting commenced at 6:26 p.m.

Directors present: Micki Carter, Jack Russell, John Kane, Ed Remitz and Jon Mays. Also present, Executive Director Darryl Compton and Paul Sakuma.

Absent: Justin Nyberg, Dave Price, Bill Workman and Aimee Lewis. Nyberg called in twice.


Correspondence received.

The board received a hand-delivered letter from club member Brian Bothun admonishing it for allowing the meeting between the press and members of the county's leadership to be off-the-record and closed to the public. Carter said she will respond to the letter.


Treasurer's report.

Comptom reported the treasury was in good shape and that the club had $20,000 in the bank.


Old business.

The calendar shows the awards dinner for June 2.

Part of the agenda was taken out of order to accommodate late arrivals.


New business.

The board discussed giving a $100 donation for the Beverly Kees Memorial Fund Scholarship for journalism. The donation was approved.


Contest rule changes.

Circulation requirements. The board decided instead to allow the San Mateo County Times, the Contra Costa Times and The Examiner staffs to enter under the masthead of their individual paper within the larger media organization. Therefore Examiner staff members can enter under the San Mateo Examiner or the Redwood City Examiner rather than just The Examiner which would force them into Category A. The same is true for the San Mateo County Times and any other paper under similar circumstances.

Category changes. Several new categories were added and some were removed to reflect a more realistic representation of entries.

1. Additions.

A. Breaking news.

B. On-going coverage.

C. Sports game story.

D. Analysis.

2. Deletions.

A. Television photography (all three categories). There are not many entries and photographers can enter in regular television categories.

B. Public relations (all four categories). PR people can enter in magazines/trade publications categories.

C. Editorial cartoon.

3. Modifications.

A. Columns were broken into two categories of news column and feature column.

It was also agreed that series work and on-going coverage can include stories outside of the calendar year if the bulk of the reporting was done inside of the calendar year. This would accommodate stories such as Scott Peterson trial coverage.

Sakuma mentioned there will be a Peterson reception at the San Mateo County History Museum and he is asking for help in obtaining front pages of newspapers covering significant dates in the Peterson trial for the display. Carter said she would assist.


The meeting was adjourned at 7:47 p.m.

The next meeting of the Press Club board will be Feb. 9 at 6:15 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Jon Mays.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Fang sues to regain control of Examiner

Florence Fang and other members of her family are suing to regain control of the San Francisco Examiner and other publishing assets, alleging they were misled into a $20 million sale last year by the betrayal of a former executive, Scott McKibben. The Fang family, which owned the Examiner for three years, wants a San Mateo County Superior Court judge to nullify the paper's sale to Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz as part of a lawsuit filed against Anschutz and the paper's current publisher, McKibben. Before Anschutz bought the Examiner 11 months ago, McKibben oversaw the paper for the Fangs.

Fangs sue to regain control of Examiner

By The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO - The Examiner's former owners are suing to regain control of the San Francisco newspaper and other publishing assets, alleging they were misled into a $20 million sale last year by the betrayal of a former executive.

The Fang family, which owned the Examiner for three years, wants a San Mateo County Superior Court judge to nullify the paper's sale to Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz as part of a lawsuit filed against Anschutz and the paper's current publisher, P. Scott McKibben. Before Anschutz bought the Examiner 11 months ago, McKibben oversaw the paper for the Fangs.

In their suit, the Fangs allege McKibben rebuffed other potential buyers so Anschutz could buy the paper and other assets at a deeply discounted price. The suit contends McKibben concealed a possible conflict of interest as he negotiated the deal - his brother, Ryan, was an Anschutz consultant at the time of the sale.

After the Fangs agreed to the sale, Anschutz named P. Scott McKibben as the Examiner's publisher and subsequently named Ryan McKibben as chief executive of Clarity Media Group, the San Francisco paper's newly formed parent company, according to the lawsuit.

P. Scott McKibben declined to comment on the lawsuit when contacted Wednesday.

The Fangs filed their complaint in November after McKibben sued them, alleging the family owes him a $1.2 million commission for brokering the Anschutz deal.

In their suit, the Fangs say they never signed a contract authorizing the commission. What's more, the Fangs say they should be rewarded $11 million in damages and the sale should be nullified.

Anschutz, one of the country's wealthiest men with an estimated $5.2 billion fortune, is trying to resuscitate the Examiner as a free tabloid. The paper, once a cornerstone in the publishing empire of William Randolph Hearst, hemorrhaged readers - and money - for years as readers defected to the larger San Francisco Chronicle and suburban rivals.

The persistent headaches prompted the Hearst Corp. to jettison the Examiner shortly after buying the Chronicle for $660 million in 2000. As part of an unusual deal, Hearst turned over the Examiner to the Fangs with a $66.7 million subsidy to help keep the paper alive. The Fangs, longtime owners of numerous San Francisco Bay area weeklies, sold the Examiner after the subsidy ran out.