Ouch: Double Vision hits the SF Chronicle twice in one week: The San Francisco Chronicle had the same cover photo of an Iraqi sand storm as the New York Times on Tuesday, and shared a Cindy Sheehan story photo with the Oakland Tribune on Wednesday. If papers rely more and more on stringer photographers and wire services such as Associated Press, are there some procedures they could employ to prevent this embarrassment in the future? It seems like the press version of showing up to a cocktail party - only to discover two other guests wearing your dress :(
The San Francisco Examiner is just humming along. Today it expanded beyond a five-day-a-week paper with its Saturday-Sunday edition. Roger from A Clean Well Lighted Place for Books says there may be a weekly local Independent Bookseller's Recommendations feature. The Exam is so different from the Chronicle: it takes a hyperlocal focus on San Francisco, the city, instead of trying to cover the entire bay area; it's a service-oriented paper with "what to do in SF today" sections prominently printed inside the front flap instead of buried inside the Datebook in tiny font. As a reader, I think both papers look better when there are such contrasting alternatives to choose from. (For more on local coverage upping reader trust, see Jack Shafer's Slate piece Why I Don't Trust Readers.)
insurance renewal insurance policy deciphering registration renewal fee title transfer fee state title fee nonusage fee blah, blah, blah
CityCarShare sends technicians to check up on cars at each POD every Wednesday. Insurance and maintenance fees are all included with membership. All I have to do is pay my $10 monthly membership fee, plus monthly usage fees, keep my driver's license, and return the car with at least a half a tank of gas. There's even a gas card in the glove compartment.
For absent-minded folks, all parking tickets are promptly paid by CityCarShare, then charged to you as part of your monthly usage fees. No separate envelopes for the GoldenGate Bridge ticket, city of Mill Valley ticket, Berkeley ticket and San Francisco Parking and Traffic ticket. Just one consolidated payment to CityCarShare.
Zipcar is for-profit. It will be interesting to see how it competes with nonprofit CityCarShare.
Elsewhere: Dan Gillmor weighs in on carsharing at Bayoshphere: "Today, car sharing in the Bay Area is just about invisible to the general public. Bring on the competition."
Over the past few months, trees have been replanted in the median strips up and down Van Ness street. I'm sorry there is no "before" picture to show the contrast, because they freshen the appearance considerably. Today we saw some trees in the Potrero area with Friends of the Urban Forest labels tying their trunks to stake supports.
Trees, according to fuf, 1) cut down on traffic noise, 2) trap dust particles on their leaf surfaces, 3) offer wind protection, and of course 4) remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. My friend and I noticed that without removing litter, the trees made certain streets appear cleaner.
Fuf will plant a tree in any public area where at least 30 trees are requested. Fuf also offers guidelines for planting your own tree, including permission applications to submit to the department of public works, and step-by-step instructions for cutting a hole in your cement sidewalk.
Lopez' post titled That Time of Year about typical May and June stories of government budget decisions shows both cynicism and sweat: "It can get maddening, if not confusing, reading the various stories on
government budget plans, and our job as editors is to challenge how the
stories are being written and presented so that they are comprehensible
and relevant to people's every day lives."
Grabbed my first print copy of The Onion in San Francisco almost directly in front of the Black Horse London Pub on Union at Van Ness. I nearly missed the shiny new white newsrack; The Examiner's racks are also white, so it's easy to walk right by.
A Clean Well Lighted Place for Books at Van Ness and Golden Gate may also become a distribution point. ACWLP's manager and staff fawned over the print edition of the satirical rag tucked under my arm, which I happily donated to the store. Staff member Roger said he will be on the phone with circulation managers first thing tomorrow to see if the store can stock a stack next to the SF Bay Guardian and other alt weeklies.
East Bay Express, a free weekly, was the only paper dedicated to the entire east bay area (East Bay Area=Contra Costa + Alameda counties). Now Knight Ridder has purchased a free daily chain from the peninsula, and launched the East Bay Daily News which is delivered "to area stores, offices, restaurants, and coffee
shops. Knight Ridder plans to ramp up the circulation to 10,000 in a
matter of days, according to a statement." - From Editor & Publisher.
(An ad for the SF Examiner, taken at an underground bart/muni station.) Papers across the country and world are converting to Tabloid format. The San Francisco Chronicle still prints on quarter-folded broadsheet.
From what I recall, "Tabloid" used to be synonomous with racy,
cheeky "yellow journalism."
Brad Bird, writer and director of The Incredibles, summoned a packed film festival audience to get out of their DVD-playing family rooms, go back downtown and demand better showmanship from their community theatres.
Bird delivered a "State of the Film" address to a Kabuki theatre audience during last week's San Francisco International Film Festival. While Bird praised Steve Jobs as a great studio boss (The Incredibles was created by Jobs' Pixar,) he admonished studios and theatre managers for ruining the movie-going expierience.