On April 28, the California First Amendment Coalition (CFAC) filed a legal complaint against Los Angeles after the council refused to "cure and correct" an inadequately noticed Feb. 18 agenda item that called for 4,000 city workers and positions to be cut. This complaint follows a letter sent by Random Lengths News publisher James Preston Allen to City Council president Garcetti and City Attorney Carmen Trutanich protesting what his paper believes to be a violation of the Brown Act. After Garcetti and Trutanich failed to respond, Allen contacted CFAC, which decided to file suit.

Continue ReadingAfter Alt-Weekly’s Letter, First Amendment Group Sues L.A.

"To the uninitiated, Random Lengths News may appear to be a leftist journalistic exercise carried on by a deluded few, but it is a vital news source for an increasingly frustrated constituency," Julia Murphy writes in a profile of the San Pedro, Calif., alt-weekly that appeared in a recent edition of Swindle magazine (not available online). "There is an essential nexus between Main Street business, progressive politics and the well-being of the communities we serve," publisher James Allen says. "The locals trust [our paper] even if they don't agree with it."

Continue ReadingRandom Lengths News Carves a Community Niche on Its Own Terms

The Holden Landmark Corp. yesterday purchased the alt-weekly from Worcester Publishing Ltd. for an undisclosed sum, according to reports. Landmark owns four community weeklies in Central Massachusetts and a monthly parenting magazine. Owner and publisher Allen Fletcher tells the Worcester Business Journal that he sold the magazine because he had arrived "at a time in my life when I was looking to make a change. It's a personal path I've been on for a few years." He told the Telegram & Gazette that the paper was in good health, with this year seeing a 30 percent increase in revenues over last year. Landmark publisher Gareth Charter says they have "no interest whatsoever in suburbanizing Worcester Magazine," but he hopes it can expand the company's advertising reach, by allowing businesses to target the city as well as individual suburbs where Landmark already has weeklies. The deal is expected to close Aug. 29.

Continue ReadingWorcester Magazine Sold to Local Weekly Publishers

The local peace group San Pedro Neighbors for Peace & Justice has named James Preston Allen 2008 Peacemaker of the Year "in recognition of the consistent coverage by his paper of the peace community, for his critical editorials and for the newspaper's hard hitting exposes of the lies and war profiteering of the war on Iraq and Afghanistan," according to a press release.

Continue ReadingRandom Lengths News Publisher Named ‘Peacemaker of the Year’

The Albuquerque alt-weekly celebrates it's quinceañera by tracing its history from Oct. 9, 1992: the 12-page, black-and-white debut as NuCity, threats of a lawsuit from Chicago's Newcity, the name change to the Weekly Alibi, all the way to, well, this week's 15th anniversary issue and a newly unveiled print redesign. But it's not all good news in Duke City: editor Steven Robert Allen is leaving the paper on Oct. 1 to become executive director of Common Cause New Mexico. "I fully expect the paper's best days are ahead of it," he writes in a farewell column. "That's one reason why I don't mind making an exit, not too much, anyway. To tell you the truth, I'm eager to just be an ordinary reader, to pick up the Alibi on Thursday from one of those ubiquitous blue metal boxes, just like everyone else, and take a peek inside."

Continue ReadingAlibi Turns 15, Redesigns, Loses Editor

At the Worcester's Stars dance benefit for Centro Las Americas held Saturday night, Allen Fletcher won the cha-cha category, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports. Fletcher beat out Police Sgt. Miguel Lopez and Worcester County Food Bank executive director Jean McMurray. The benefit, which took its format from the TV show Dancing With The Stars, paired local celebs with dance instructors, and gave the team a few weeks to get ready for the competition.

Continue ReadingWorcester Magazine Publisher is Cha-Cha King

Ben Allen, a conservative Ward 1 Councilman in Jackson, Miss., is authoring a blog hosted on the Jackson Free Press Web site. The blog went live on Jan. 12 with a post in which Allen explains that Free Press Editor in Chief Donna Ladd is "a personal friend," and that he can "live with" the paper's liberal bent if his blog is a venue for two-sided political discussion. Allen goes on to say that he is "enthusiastic about the depth of many of the local ISSUES researched AND REPORTED in-depth by the JFP. We in government get so weary of the lack of real information in local and state issues as covered by our State's largest newspaper." In its first week, the blog generated nearly a thousand views and some polite questions about bike lanes and streetlights.

Continue ReadingJackson Free Press Launches Councilman’s Blog