Weekly attorney Rod Kerr last week argued for a stay of the predatory-pricing trial's $15.6 million judgment until 10 days after Judge Marla Miller rules on post-trial motions, which could have delayed the enforcement until July 28, the Guardian reports. Kerr said that the current economic turmoil combined with the company's belief that the judgment amount would be substantially lowered during post-trial rulings made it hard for Village Voice Media to secure a bond for the full amount. The judge granted a stay, but only until June 18. She also said she'd allow "the defendants to return to court to ask for more time if they can provide evidence showing how it will result in a bond being issued," according to the Guardian. When reached by AAN News, a representative from VVM said the company had no comment on last week's development. Both sides will appear in court July 8 for post-trial motions, including one by VVM to throw out the verdict and order a new trial.
In the 31st annual awards competition, sponsored by the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club, the Palo Alto Weekly, SF Weekly, and San Francisco Bay Guardian all took home awards in the Newspapers: Non-Dailies division. Palo Alto Weekly -- and its online home, PaloAltoOnline.com -- won a total of nine awards, including first-place finishes in Analysis, Entertainment Review, and Page Design. The paper also finished in a second-place tie with SF Weekly for General Excellence. Speaking of the Weekly, it took home a total of four awards, including firsts in Sports Story and Technology Story, where it shared first place with the Bay Guardian. The Guardian also took home four awards total, with that shared first in Technology Story, plus firsts in Columns-News/Political and News Story.
AB 1778, sponsored by Assemblymember Fiona Ma, passed the California Assembly by a vote of 45-24 on May 22 and is now headed to the State Senate, the Berkeley Daily Planet reports. The law would require recycling companies to identify those who bring recyclables and newspapers worth $50 or more to sell. "This should give us the ability to cut off the [poachers'] money supply," East Bay Express publisher Hal Brody says, since a full pick-up load of newsprint usually fetches $80 to $100. The Express, along with the San Francisco Bay Guardian and other Bay Area publications, has been pushing for more action on newspaper theft in the wake of a rash of heists.
As expected, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Marla Miller on Monday raised the amount the Weekly must pay in damages to the San Francisco Bay Guardian, from $6.3 million to $15.9 million. Miller also issued a 10-year injunction, barring the Weekly from selling display ads below cost, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. In the lawsuit, the Guardian accused the Weekly and its parent company Village Voice Media of selling ads below cost with the intent of harming the Guardian. A jury ruled in favor of the Guardian in March. SF Weekly still plans to appeal. Read more on the latest ruling from the Weekly and the Guardian.
The New York Times this weekend explored the movement of "mad pride," which entails people publicly speaking frankly about their experiences with mental illness. The Times noted that Philadelphia Weekly senior contributing editor Liz Spikol, who chronicles her struggles with bipolar disorder for the paper in her column and on her blog, is a leading and prominent voice in this area. Spikol says she's "so excited" to be in the article -- and so is her mom. "Imagine my mom seeing the link on Mother's Day, and keep in mind, we are a Jewish family," she writes. "We ran to WaWa to get a copy of the paper because, for some reason, I wouldn't believe it was 'real' until I saw the print edition." The Times also traces the origins of the prominent online forum and support network The Icarus Project to the alt-weekly world -- it began six years ago when "one of its founders ... wrote about his bipolar disorder in the San Francisco Bay Guardian."
Judge Marla Miller of San Francisco Superior Court said Friday she's inclined to boost a jury's damages award against the Weekly from $6.3 million to $15.6 million, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Miller, in what she described as a tentative decision, said she would triple the portion of the damages that equals one year of losses, bringing the total to $15.6 million. She also said she'll likely issue an injunction barring the Weekly from continuing to sell ads below cost. She is expected to make a final ruling this week. The Weekly says it will appeal. Read more from the Bay Guardian and the Weekly.
Kat Swift, who worked at the alt-weekly from 2002-2006, is gunning for the Oval Office, seeking the presidential nomination of the Green Party. "The FEC filing is insane," she tells the Current. "You can see how they sort of made it where companies can make money off of the government's inability to be simplistic and straightforward." Swift, who the Current calls "San Antonio's newest perennial candidate," started at the paper as receptionist and worked her way up to credit manager. In this Q&A, she talks about why she's running, the need for third parties, and how hard it is to get on the ballot.
San Antonio Current publisher Chris Sexson has accepted the position of publisher at Detroit's Metro Times. Both papers are owned by Times-Shamrock Communications. Sexson, who has been with the Current for five years, will take over at Metro Times in mid-June.