Albuquerque's The Alibi turned the tables on Gustavo Arellano, the columnist behind the racy ¡Ask a Mexican! column. The paper challenged Arellano to ask a New Mexican, and the result, he says, was "brilliant." Joseph Baca, a wine writer and native of the state, answered questions on Santo Niño de Atocha, curanderas, chile and Hispanos. "That Baca guy has a future outside of vacas!," Arellano says.
Nick Schou has followed up his 2006 book on Gary Webb with Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and Its Quest to Spread Peace, Love, and Acid to the World, which was released yesterday. The book examines the Brotherhood, dubbed the "Hippie Mafia," which grew from a small group of surfers to the biggest group of acid dealers and hashish smugglers in the nation. Schou tells his Weekly colleague Matt Coker that he had to go to some extraordinary lengths to track down Brotherhood members for the book. "I had to hike a mile up a really remote slope in Maui to talk to a Buddhist hermit who was able get me an interview with Ram Dass, [Timothy] Leary's Harvard philosophy colleague and acid researcher," He says. "Another time, I had to play guitar with a Brotherhood smuggler who has a cable access television show in Santa Cruz."
Nine and a half years after OC Weekly's R. Scott Moxley broke the story about well-known AIDS doctor George Steven Kooshian having injected patients with saline and vitamins instead of the expensive drugs they were billed for, the 59-year-old was sentenced Monday to 15 months in federal prison. Kooshian was also ordered to pay $660,955 in restitution to 18 insurance companies for 21 patients who were subdosed.
"Those geniuses at NPR, the network that thinks Garrison Keillor and Mo Rocca are the height of hilarity, have shamelessly ripped off ¡Ask a Mexican! to start a new feature, Ask an Arab," Gustavo Arellano writes. "Oh, and before anyone begins leaving comments about me being so petty and me ripping off 'Ask a Black Dude,' I preface this post with a classic quote from Krusty the Clown: 'If this is anyone but Steve Allen, you've stolen my bit!'"
As Toyota acknowledges design problems with the brakes in its hybrid Prius, it's worth taking a look back at Paul Knight's April 2009 story that ran in the Houston Press and several other alt-weeklies, which details the car's "unintended acceleration" problems. "Toyota spokespeople quoted in the story blamed misinstalled floor mats and simple driver error for the wild rides," reports the OC Weekly, which also ran the story. "But now that the U.S. and Japanese governments are applying heat, the world's largest carmaker seems to be taking Prius horror stories more seriously."
The Sex-Positive Journalism Awards have announced the winners of the 2009 Sexies, the annual awards that go to stories that "improve the quality of dialogue around sex and create a more well-informed reading public." Seven Days' Judith Levine took home a first-place win in the Opinion category, where she also tied for second place with a Village Voice piece by Tristan Taormino. Amanda Hess of Washington City Paper picked up a third-place win in the Columns category for "The Sexist," while in the News/Features (Alt-Weeklies, Monthlies) category the Alibi's Marisa Demarco placed third and Rich Kane (OC Weekly) and Michael J. Mooney (New Times Broward-Palm Beach) both were named runners-up.
Earlier this year, the Denver alt-weekly Westword made waves when it began accepting applications for a critic to review medical marijuana dispensaries. Now its sister paper OC Weekly has also gone to pot -- the paper is hiring a freelance medical marijuana writer. "The ideal candidate will be a skilled, experienced writer and reporter who is well-versed in the history and politics of California's medical-pot laws -- from Proposition 215 to Senate Bill 420 to any municipal ordinances," editor Ted Kissell writes in a blog post.
Gustavo Arellano reports that an unnamed Mexican restaurant in Dana Point has grabbed the logo for his column and is running it in ads that appear in the Dana Point Times -- a local competitor to OC Weekly. While he points out that it is not the first time someone has swiped the Mark Dancey-designed logo, Arellano says he was surprised to find the thievery so close to home. Did the restaurant and the paper "really think they'd get away with using my column's logo and making money off of it without me eventually finding out and throwing barbs back at them?," he asks. "Especially considering it's a Mexican restaurant?"
On a recent episode the show "88 Degrees" on internet radio station Radio White, white supremacist Martin Cox and co-host Jeremy Moody attacked Arellano for his coverage of an incident this summer involving skinheads in Huntington Beach. During the show, Cox called Arellano everything from a "Mexican homosexual beaner" to a "faggot communist" to a "fricking reporter for a newspaper that comes out once a week and it's free," before talking about attacking Arellano. "I know who he is, where he works. I know everything about this dude," Cox said. "We have his home address. We have everything we need to know about that dude."
Republican Michael D. Duvall has resigned from the California state Assembly amid the scandal uncovered on Tuesday by OC Weekly and KCBS/KCAL. The staunch conservative was caught on video talking graphically about two affairs, one of which was with a lobbyist whose clients had business before a committee on which Duvall sat. Weekly reporter R. Scott Moxley and TV reporter Dave Lopez were both chasing the story at the same time on Tuesday -- literally -- as they followed Duvall around the capitol, trying to get him to respond. In a statement, Duvall says his resignation "is in no way an admission that I had an affair or affairs," adding that his only "offense was engaging in inappropriate story-telling."