A routine veto message from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger may have had a hidden meaning for the bill's sponsor, according to the San Francisco Bay Guardian, which reports that if you add up the first letter of each line of the message, you get "Fuck You." The bill in question, which would have expanded the financing powers of the Port of San Francisco, was sponsored by state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who earlier this month shouted "You lie!" at the governor and told him to "Kiss my gay ass" at a fundraiser. While a Schwarzenegger spokesman maintains that the message is simply "a strange coincidence," the Guardian's findings have the political world buzzing. READ MORE coverage of the incident from ABC News, the New York Times, NPR, and the Wall Street Journal.

Continue ReadingBay Guardian Finds the ‘Fuck You’ Code Inside Gov’s Veto Message

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

The Houston Press and Fort Worth Weekly were the big winners in this year's awards competition sponsored by the Houston Press Club. The Press won a total of 16 awards. In the big papers division, it finished first for Business Story and General Commentary/Criticism, while staff writer Craig Malisow was named Print Journalist of the Year (his colleague Chris Vogel was runner-up.) In the art and web divisions open to all papers, the Press took home first-place awards for Feature Story, Hard News Reporting, Photo Package and Sports Photo. The Weekly, competing in the small papers division, won a total of 11 awards, including first-place finishes in Feature Story, Investigative Reporting, Politics/Government, Sports Story and Business Story (which it swept). Also in the large division, the Dallas Observer won four awards, including firsts for Feature Story, Sports Story; in the small division, San Antonio Current took home three awards.

Continue ReadingFour AAN Members Clean Up at the Lone Star Awards

"Somebody broke into the Bay Guardian parking lot last night, rammed through the chain-link fence and drove away with our van," Guardian executive editor Tim Redmond writes. "Kinda crazy -- it's ten years old, it's all beat up -- and it has the Guardian logo all over it and a Best of the Bay mural on the side. Hard to hide."

Continue ReadingSan Francisco Bay Guardian’s Van is Stolen

SF Weekly reports the city of San Francisco is reaching out to a handful of websites to potentially run public notice ads, including the website of the San Francisco Bay Guardian. But Guardian publisher Bruce Brugmann says the paper has no intention of participating. "We don't bid, or go in for these city contracts, and we don't intend to do it now," he tells the Weekly.

Continue ReadingBay Guardian Says it Won’t Run City’s Public Notice Ads on Website

As expected, Village Voice Media and SF Weekly filed an appeal to last year's decision in the Guardian's predatory pricing suit this week in the California Court of Appeal. "With this appeal, judicial error, attorney contrivance, expert witness puffery, juror confusion, and statutory imprecision are now cast in the edifying light of reason and clarity," VVM executive editor Michael Lacey says. The Guardian's Tim Redmond says nothing in VVM's appeal is new to them. "We're confident we'll prevail in the appeal, as we did at the trial court level," he tells AAN News.

Continue ReadingVVM Files Appeal in Bay Guardian Case

In the annual awards given out to "The Best in the West" by the Western Publishing Association, L.A. Weekly won in the overall Tabloids (Consumer) category and in the Best News Story (Consumer) category, while the San Francisco Bay Guardian took first for Best Signed Editorial or Essay (Consumer).

Continue ReadingTwo Alt-Weeklies Win Three Maggie Awards

While last year's verdict in favor of the San Francisco Bay Guardian in its predatory pricing lawsuit against SF Weekly and Village Voice Media is being appealed, the Guardian claims VVM is ducking its debts and hiding its assets in an effort not to pay the $15.6 million it owes in damages. VVM executive editor Michael Lacey says that's not correct. "The case is on appeal. You are not entitled to a penny," he writes in a blog post.

Continue ReadingNew Twist in VVM/Bay Guardian Case