Gretchen Giles is one of 12 U.S. journalists to win a place in the first International Arts Journalism Institute in the Visual Arts. The program, which provides mid-career art critics and writers the opportunity to participate in a two-week intensive training, is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. State Department.

Continue ReadingNorth Bay Bohemian Editor Tapped for NEA Program

Last year, John Sakowicz began writing "smartly prescient" pieces on the impending financial collapse for the North Bay Bohemian, editor Gretchen Giles writes, so she kept publishing him and even dubbed him contributing editor on the paper's masthead. However, as Sakowicz's work at the Bohemian landed him a local radio show and "expert" status at the Institute for Public Accuracy, some people started digging into his background. Ultimately, Giles found that she couldn't confirm some details of Sakowicz's biography, and the paper has cut ties with him. "It appears that Sakowicz, while talented at understanding and predicting the economic moonscape, does not have the exact background he claims to have, one that we underscored by repeatedly printing it at the end of his articles," Giles writes in a mea culpa. "A credible publication cannot publish the works of writers whose credentials cannot withstand scrutiny."

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Parts Ways with Writer After His Credentials Are Questioned

Peter Byrne is on leave from the North Bay Bohemian to write The Devil's Pitchfork: Multiple Universes, Mutually Assured Destruction, and the Meltdown of a Nuclear Family, a book he tells AAN News is about "quantum mechanics and multiple universes." Byrne recently learned that the project received a $35,000 grant from The Foundational Questions Institute, a group with a mission to "catalyze, support, and disseminate research on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology."

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Reporter Gets $35,000 Grant for Book Project

Miami New Times' Isaiah Thompson was awarded a IRE certificate in the local circulation weeklies category for his stories on how residency restrictions forced sex offenders to live under a Miami bridge. In the same category, the AAN-commissioned "Who Killed Brad Will?" was a finalist, along with Peter Byrne's series on Sen. Dianne Feinstein in the North Bay Bohemian and Wayne Barrett's reporting on Rudy Giuliani in the Village Voice. The Texas Observer's reporting on sexual abuse at a state-run youth prison and the cover-up that followed it was also a finalist, in the Magazine/specialty publication category. The Chauncey Bailey Project, which the San Francisco Bay Guardian took part in, was awarded this year's Tom Renner Award, which honors "outstanding reporting covering organized crime or other criminal acts."

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Projects Win IRE Awards

Metro Silicon Valley and North Bay Bohemian report this week that Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s husband was a major beneficiary of military appropriations blessed by a subcommittee that she headed, parent company Metro Newspapers announced today in a press release. Feinstein (D-Calif.) approved billions of dollars in military construction expenditures awarded to two firms that were controlled by an investment group headed by the senator’s spouse, financier Richard C. Blum, according to the investigative story by Metro's Peter Byrne. The story "examines the many ways in which Sen. Feinstein committed repeated breaches of ethics as (the subcommittee) chairwoman or ranking member from 2001-2005," according to the release.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weeklies Reveal Sen. Feinstein in Conflict on Military Contracts