The Reader this month published Judith Moore's A Bad, Bad Boy, which looks at the life of Frank Bompensiero, "the most feared mobster in Southern California for 30 years." Moore, who passed away in 2006, spent 10 years following the traces of Bompensiero, a Mafia hit man who later became the basis for the Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bompensiero character in The Sopranos.

Continue ReadingSan Diego Reader Releases Posthumous Book by Former Editor

A law firm representing Platinum Equity, the Beverly Hills-based buyout firm that in March bought the San Diego Union-Tribune, sent a threatening letter last month to the San Diego Reader after it learned the alt-weekly was working on a story about sexual improprieties at Platinum. The Reader's story was based on public records arising from three lawsuits filed by former employees of Platinum, all of which were dismissed. The letter written by lawyer Martin Singer (nickname: Mad Dog) claimed his firm would sue the Reader for "potentially astronomical damages" if it published a story "that (Platinum) engaged in wrongdoing as alleged in those lawsuits or otherwise". In a sidebar to the main story, the Reader published Singer's letter in full despite his warning that it was confidential.

Continue ReadingNew Owner of San Diego’s Daily Threatens Reader Over Lawsuit Story

Proponents of the California ballot initiative to mandate parental notification before teen abortions tell the Oakland Tribune they will likely try a fourth time after this year's attempt, Proposition 4, was narrowly defeated last week. The ballot measures are funded in large part by San Diego Reader publisher Jim Holman. "Talking to Mr. Holman, he was commenting about how close it was, and I think he was feeling a little down as if a little extra effort might have put it over," Proposition 4 spokesman Albin Rhomberg tells the Tribune. "When you see it's that close, it sort of increases that sense of obligation to follow through."

Continue ReadingJim Holman May Float Parental Notification Iniative Again

LEO Weekly founder John Yarmuth was re-elected to Congress yesterday, where he'll continue to serve Kentucky's 3rd District. Today's Louisville Courier-Journal reports that with 99 percent of precincts reporting, unofficial vote totals had Yarmuth, a Democrat, with 59 percent of the vote and Republican challenger Anne Northup with 41. In California, San Diego Reader publisher Jim Holman once again bankrolled a ballot measure that would require doctors to notify parents before performing an abortion on a minor, and the Los Angeles Times reports that it remained too close to call Tuesday night. With four-fifths of precincts reporting last night, 52.8 of voters were opposed to the measure while 47.2 favored it, according to the AP, which says the initiative "appear[s] headed for defeat." Holman contributed more than $1.3 million of the reported $2.6 million raised for the measure, the AP reports. UPDATE (4:55 pm EST): A number of news outlets are now reporting that the ballot measure was indeed defeated.

Continue ReadingLEO Founder Re-Elected, Jim Holman’s Measure ‘Too Close to Call’ Fails

A little before noon yesterday, a 5.4 magnitude earthquake hit Southern California, with an epicenter 29 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, according to the US Geological Survey. The quake, which was the largest in SoCal in more than a decade but apparently caused no major damage, was felt in AAN-member offices from San Diego to Santa Barbara, judging by a quick perusal of blogs. "[It] felt like I was standing on a rocking waterbed for at least 12 seconds. The building swayed back and forth. A large corkboard fell off my office wall," the OC Weekly's R. Scott Moxley reports. "An energy drink can stupidly placed (by me) on top of a file cabinet flew three feet in the air. The staff quickly evacuated the building and found phone lines dead." Up in Culver City at LA Weekly's offices, Mark Mauer notes: "The new LA Weekly building shakes like a leaf (at least around my desk) every time a car enters or leaves our garage, so it took a few extra seconds to figure out this was an actual earthquake and not just an SUV trying to find a parking space." The Santa Barbara Independent's Matt Kettman reports feeling a "long, rolling sensation," while San Diego CityBeat's Kinsee Morgan wins the award for brevity, simply noting the quake was the "biggest one I've felt yet."

Continue ReadingEarthquake Hits Southern California, Alt-Weekly Offices Feel It

As he's been doing for, "like, 15 years," the Simpsons creator and cartoonist behind the "Life in Hell" comic criticized the Reader while in San Diego for Comic-Con. The strip, which runs in LA Weekly and other alts, "used to be in the San Diego Reader, but they don't like portrayals of gay couples in their publication, like with the characters Akbar and Jeff," Groening said, according to Variety. "So now every year I come to Comic-Con and denounce the San Diego Reader." Groening was also asked if he had any plans to turn the strip into an animated series. He said it was possible but explained, "There is a satisfaction in working in a collaborative process in animation," but "there's another kind of creative fulfillment of doing something completely by yourself."

Continue ReadingAt Comic-Con, Matt Groening Rips San Diego Reader

Kinsee Morlan "lays her head down in one country, earns her bread and reputation in another, and co-runs an arts collective somewhere in between,", an online project of the San Diego Union-Tribune, writes. Morlan has lived in Tijuana for close to two years while working at CityBeat. She says while working at the local NBC affiliate to supplement her CityBeat income, she was asked to do a story on a waterskiing squirrel, and realized she had to figure out a way to "not have a horrible part-time job and just work at CityBeat." Moving to Tijuana, which has much lower rents than San Diego, was her answer, and she's been there ever since.

Continue ReadingSan Diego CityBeat Arts Editor on Cross-Border Work/Life Balance