Former Sacramento News & Review sales director Jeff Lang allegedly stole "hundreds of thousands of dollars."
Dresses made entirely of pages from the Sacramento News & Review were recently on display when the alt-weekly celebrated its 21st birthday and new green headquarters, as part of a Design Challenge the paper had put together. This comes on the heels of a LA Fashion Week show in March, "Paper Dresses," that featured clothes made out of the L.A. Weekly.
With medical marijuana dispensaries growing like pot plants in all areas of California, the business has become quite competitive in areas like Sacramento, KCRA-TV reports. To get ahead, many shops are advertising in the Sacramento News & Review, where the TV station reports there are many ads that include perks like free lighters and delivers, and even free grams. While the daily Sacramento Bee and more conservative Sacramento Magazine don't run dispensary ads, News & Review CEO Jeff von Kaenel says he's got no problem with doing so, adding that about 15 percent of the paper's ads are currently medical marijuana-related. "It reflects the values we have at the News & Review," he says. "We let our readers make up their own minds about things. They're mature enough, and we don't want to be a censor of business in Sacramento."
Marc Keyser has been sentenced to four years and three months in prison for perpetrating a nationwide anthrax hoax in 2008. Before mailing out 100 packages in 2008, Keyser sent a hoax anthrax package to the Sacramento News & Review in January 2007. He was questioned and warned by FBI agents, but not arrested, after he mailed a cylinder marked "anthrax" to the alt-weekly because he wanted publicity for a novel he had written.
The California Newspaper Publishers Association recently gave out 480 first and second place awards in its 2009 Better Newspapers contest, and nine alt-weeklies received at least one. The Sacramento News & Review won ten awards, including firsts for Public Service, Columns, Sports Story, Front Page, Freedom of Information. SF Weekly won seven awards, including first-place finishes for Writing, Investigative/Enterprise Reporting and Environmental/Ag Resource Reporting. The North Coast Journal won six awards, including firsts in the Writing, Local News Coverage, Business/Financial Story and Environmental/Ag Resource Reporting categories. Palo Alto Weekly took home five awards -- all first-place wins -- in the Editorial Comment, Local News Coverage, Sports Coverage, Feature Photo, Best Website and General Excellence categories. Chico News & Review won two awards, both firsts, for Editorial Pages and Special Issue. Pacific Sun also took home two awards, both firsts, for Feature Story and Lifestyle Coverage. Metro Silicon Valley, Pasadena Weekly and the San Francisco Bay Guardian each took home one award.
"Slick, shiny new city-owned newspaper kiosks" have replaced the "untidy clusters of First Amendment funkiness" along K Street in Sacramento, the News & Review reports. The city, which implemented the new racks without consulting local publishers, is contemplating expanding the program citywide. While independent publishers lose the branding of individual boxes, the News & Review's distribution manager points out they save money with the new racks too, since the city is now on the hook for the cost and hassle of maintaining the racks, replacing broken windows and coin boxes and painting over graffiti.
After nearly 14 years apart, the Alternative Weekly Network (AWN) and the Sacramento News & Review are once again sharing office space, as AWN has moved into the News & Review's new green building. "We are returning to where it all began," AWN executive director Mark Hanzlik says. Hanzlik adds that in addition to the physical move, the company is currently retooling the AWN website, and upgrading some of the operational processes of the cooperative.
When a Sacramento TV channel did a story last week on the state EPA pulling its 50-plus waterless urinals out of its LEED-certified building, it also headed over to the News & Review's new green building to follow owner Jeff von Kaenel into the men's room. "Ours is working great," he says, showing off the waterless urinal.
The News & Review has finally moved into the "leaky old supermarket" that it purchased a few years ago and then renovated to be as energy-efficient as possible. Co-owner Deborah Redmond looks back at the process and details some of the building's new green features (blue jean insulation, dual-flush toilets and lights that turn off automatically, to name just a few). "Several years ago, I was having green nightmares. Getting here was no easy task," Redmond writes. "Now, I'm inspired to explore ideas about how we can work in an even more sustainable manner."
After a few years and a few million dollars, the paper is finally moving into its new office -- a former supermarket that it purchased and renovated using green-building standards. As News & Review publisher Jeff vonKaenel points out, the move wouldn't have been possible without about $2 million in grants, loan guarantees and other incentives from the city -- but he says that doesn't mean the paper will all of a sudden go soft in its coverage of the city and its redevelopment agency. "During my 36 years as a newspaper publisher, there have been many instances where regular advertisers have called me to complain about a story and to cancel their advertising," he writes. "Our business relationship with the city is no different."