journalism

LION spotlight: Escondido Grapevine

Q&A with LION member Dan Weisman, publisher of the Escondido Grapevine in California. For more visit LION Publishers. By Matt DeRienzo | Jun. 2, 2017 1. When did your site launch, what geography does it cover and why was it founded? We launched the site in October 2015, covering the communities of Escondido, San Marcos, Valley Center, and surrounding areas in San Diego County. The site also…


They threw me out of Bill Clinton’s office

“Ooh, let me get it back, let me get it back,  Let me get it back, baby, where I come from It’s been a long time, been a long time,  Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time. Yes it has” — Led Zeppelin Like a bear breaking out of hibernation, every so often I like to trot out one of my favorite stories….


COVID-19 ain’t so good for poor people

 Over the course of the pandemic, COVID-19 infections have battered high-poverty neighborhoods in California on a staggeringly different scale than more affluent areas, a trend that underscores the heightened risks for low-wage workers as the state endures a deadly late-autumn surge. A California Healthline review of local data from the state’s 12 most populous counties found that communities with relatively high poverty rates are…


Old-time Valley Center newspaper founder Marge Quackenbush dies at age 101

Marge Quackenbush, died December 7 at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, three days after she turned 101 years. Along with husband Derek “Van” Quackenbush, who died in February 2015, Marge Quackenbush came to Valley Center and started The Valley Center Roadrunner in March 1974 with Van as publisher and editor and Marge in charge of the business and advertising. Marge Quackenbush attended Grandview Church, Valley Center…


Meet California’s new Consumer Privacy Act

California’s landmark digital privacy regulations will become the de facto law of the land when they take effect in January, allowing consumers more control over the personal data companies collect about them. Beginning January 1, consumers will be able to ask for direct access to the information about them that companies keep, and request that the data be deleted. Consumers will also be able to…


Feds sued for targeting journalists at border

When the government tries to circumvent constitutional protections, we must hold it accountable. No journalist should have to fear government interference for having the persistence, courage, and commitment to expose the truth. — ACLUF-SDIC As part of a coordinated effort that undermined the freedom of the press, the U.S. government tracked, detained, and interrogated journalists who were reporting on conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border. Five…


Introduction to Herb Caen’s three-dot lounge

Anything following an ellipsis is a friend of mine for the night. It’s code for ‘you didn’t hear it from me, but. … ‘” —  Mark Pargas, “A Visit to the Three-Dot Lounge” It’s been over 20 years since famed San Francisco journalist Herb Caen (1916-1997) died. For journalists and San Franciscans, Caen was a superstar. Known as “Mr. San Francisco,” his columns were a…



Let us now praise Bruce Kauffman

Mensch (Yiddish: מענטש‎ mentsh, cognate with the German word Mensch meaning a “human being”) means “a person of integrity and honor”.[1] Highly savvy in the ways of journalism, and a brilliant analyst of the ways of the world, Bruce Kauffman was the very epitome of a mensch. He always was ready to lend an ear to a friend’s tale of joy or woe and help…


San Diego Free Press announces its demise

Let it be known that Frank Gormlie, Patty Jones, Doug Porter, Annie Lane, Brent Beltrán, Anna Daniels, and Rich Kacmar did something necessary and beautiful together for 6 1/2 years. Together, we advanced the cause of journalism by advancing the cause of justice. It has been a helluva ride. “Sometimes a great notion…” We — the people who’ve overseen this incredible platform called the San Diego…