Gary Webb is the newest reporter at the Sacramento News & Review, where he will cover politics and state government. Webb has won more than 30 journalism awards, including a Pulitzer Prize given to the editorial staff of the San Jose Mercury News for its coverage of the 1989 Bay Area earthquake. He is the author of "Dark Alliance," a book based on his series of articles for the Mercury News in which he exposed connections between Los Angeles crack dealers, Nicaraguan Contra rebels and the CIA.
It turns out that Arnold Schwarzenegger views being governor of California as just another movie promotion: Give the press five minutes, tell them what the questions will be about, and move on. The press isn't any too happy about it, Jeff Kearns reports in Sacramento News & Review.
Sacramento News & Review contributor Harmon Leon hopes he'll get a closer relationship with the FBI when he attends FBI Media Day at the agency's Sacramento headquarters. Instead he suffers a case of blushing bladder after being escorted to the restroom, beats the polygraph test when he lies, and leaves his thumbprint and footprint for who knows what purposes. But he and other reporters do get an FBI official's assurance that the Patriot Act has "minimal effect" on what the agency does.
Most publishers would like to soften New York's Local Law 23, which imposes fines for "dirty" news racks, and some contend the law is unconstitutional. Since last April, when enforcement began, the city's Department of Transportation has assessed more than 2,000 fines, totaling almost $1 million, Cynthia Cotts of the Village Voice reports. The burden is greatest for smaller businesses. New York Press publisher Charles Colletti says the weekly has received fines of almost $100,000 and has hired a cleaning contractor to comply with the law.
Scott Hassenflu moves from the San Francisco Bay Guardian to take over the News & Review's flagship Sacramento paper. He replaces Dave Schmall, who returned to Minneapolis as associate publisher of Tom Bartel and Kris Henning's new monthly, the Rake. Meanwhile, Terry Garrett, former publisher of the Weekly Planet in Tampa, is moving to Marin County after being named sales director at Pacific Sun.
Tom Walsh, editor of the Sacramento News & Review, remembers his time in Afghanistan, when another war was raging. "I remember looking at the Toyota long-bed truck and wondering if this would be where I would die," Walsh writes. Obviously he survived, but others did not come back from the war against the Soviets. One of them was Jim Lindelof, who wrote: “I know this trip is crazy, but for the pictures and the story we’re after, it’s worth the risk; that is, as long as we don’t get killed.” Lindelof was killed on his way out of Afghanistan with what he believed was the first-ever film of a CIA-supplied Stinger missile knocking a Soviet fighter jet out of the sky. His film was never found. Now Walsh sees the journalists pouring back into Afghanistan and wonders if that country will ever know peace.
A freelance writer for the Sacramento News & Review booked a round-trip flight from Sacramento International to LAX for a story on airport security. He stumbled into war-against-terrorism hell.