Happy Birthday SNR!

Sacramento News and Review celebrates its 25th anniversary this week.

25bugThis week marks the 25th anniversary of the Sacramento News and Review‘s first issue. As Melinda Welsh points out in her editorial, one of SNR’s greatest accomplishments is remaining locally owned and independent while alternative weeklies throughout the country are bought by media conglomerations or ceasing publication. This freedom allows writers to focus on Sacramento area interests and to not take any shit from anybody.

Publisher Jeff von Kaenel pushes a strong progressive and forward thinking agenda in his weekly column, a view that is sorely lacking in other major Sacramento media. His staff produces some of the best writing in Sacramento, from capitol and local political coverage to navigating local food and entertainment choices to in-depth cover stories on everything Sacramento.

This Sacto-centric view is displayed this week with more than two dozen notable and interesting locals and also Brian Crall envisioning Sacramento in 25 years. With luck and diligence, the Sacramento News and Review will be there to tell us all about it.

SacBee reporters honored by Pulitzer

Bee staffers Cynthia Hubert and Phillip Reese were named finalists for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. While they did not bring home the top award, only two stories win the distinction of being a finalist. High praise, indeed.

Their investigation started with allegations that a mentally ill man was discharged by Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services in Las Vegas and sent to Sacramento on a Greyhound bus with no supporting resources or plan of treatment. They uncovered a shameful legacy of more than 1500 patients over five years who were similarly shipped to cities across the country.

Hubert and Reese previously won the 2013 George Polk Award in Journalism and the 2013 Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism. Their entire series can be read here.

Tip 1: Stay indoors

Jenkinson Lake was a good way to cool off over the weekend
Jenkinson Lake was a good way to cool off over the weekend

If you have been conscious for the last week or so, you are aware that it is hot out there. As I have spent the better part of my 37 years in Sacramento, I am mostly immune to it at this point, though I have to remind myself that almost half of that has been spent in an air conditioned office from 9 to 5 every weekday.

Local news is all about pointing out the heat, and they all don their Captain Obvious costumes and present lists of how to beat the heat. KCRA’s craptacular slideshow features a tip of wearing “loose fitting clothing” accompanied by a photo of a girl wearing pants and a sweater. I could not make that up. Thanks a lot geniuses! News10 goes cutesy with photos of cold things. SacBee.com sticks with the facts and figures.

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“Radio Matthew” accused of conspiring to hack

Chicks dig guys with skills.
Chicks dig guys with skills.
One time friend of this here web log, Matthew Keys (“Radio Matthew”), was indicted on Thursday in Sacramento for allegedly conspiring with members of the hacker group “Anonymous” to hack into and alter a Tribune Co. website.

Oddly enough, Matthew wasn’t the first to report this story as he found out about the charges via Twitter.

If convicted, Keys could face up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for each of the two substantive counts, according to federal authorities. The conspiracy count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The case was investigated by the Sacramento and Los Angeles field offices of the FBI. It is being prosecuted by the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California.

Yowza. Judging by his Twitter account, Matthew has a lot of support from his followers and appears to be doing just fine. Details are obviously sketchy, so who knows what the hell actually happened. I just think it is cool that an old school follower of the Sac Rag has gone big time.

Halfway house proposal brings Lemon Hill together

I’m inspired by the community action being undertaken by Lemon Hill residents about the proposed “halfway house” for Federal parolees. From the media coverage I have seen, the residents seem to be taking a direct approach to protecting themselves, while the government at all levels appears to have no concern for doing so. It is disheartening though that the existing problems in that area are taken to be so obvious that they don’t even have to be spelled out for us. Most of the media reports are including simply a mention of this being a high crime area without bothering to recount any recent stats.

News10’s coverage seems biased in favor of the proposal, featuring specific evidence supporting rehabilitation, but lacking any specific numbers on the crime in the area. KCRA is heavier on specifics but also includes a head-scratcher of an argument from a former halfway house resident. Much of the coverage seems to employ a false dilemma between allowing the parolees to be located near playgrounds and preventing them from becoming functioning members of society again. “Some would say the Roman Empire tortured Christians for sport, but others would say it built lots of necessary infrastructure.”

Continue reading “Halfway house proposal brings Lemon Hill together”