FeaturedLocal newsOpinion

Kids confirm it: The Chronicle rocks!

The latest edition of the New Yick Times (the student newspaper at Yick Wo Elementary School in S.F.) featured a story about the recent school field trip to the Chronicle:  “Wow! we all exclaimed entering the main big newsroom.  It looked like a movie.  Dozens of journalists working like busy bees.  That’s when we met editor Audrey Cooper.  She was in a hurry.   By the way, I really think the Chronicle still rocks these days, since in the newsroom they had a two-week-old kitten and a white dog.”…Dr. Dave “Emeritus” Perlman is back home in S.F. after weeks of rehab and surgery for mobility issues that he is quickly putting behind him.  He’s got a fancy new stair lift — more reliable than a Chronicle elevator —  to whisk him between floors.  Now if he can only get around to those science book reviews he keeps promising to write for the paper…

Shopnotes Fun Fact!  The exciting new Hearst employee online fitness plan is being rolled out at the same time that the company is seeking to take away employee sick-leave banks.   If that makes your blood pressure go up, you could have gotten it checked for free on enrollment day in Jeff Johnson’s office, where the fitness plan people were also handing out “complimentary body wipes” (don’t ask) and whey-and-quinoa energy bars (to provide stamina for next round of contract negotiations)…If you’re feeling under the weather from all the bargaining-table drama, remember that Muriel Tabarez, our HR whiz for 15 years, is now working as HR disability case manager at Kaiser Permanente.  Her services are included in your Kaiser health plan, assuming you can afford the up-to-13 percent increase in the employee’s share of the premiums this year…The great former reporter Ernie Beyl has died, one day after a memorable party at Original Joe’s in North Beach to celebrate his terrific new memoir.  Ernie, a veteran of the Chronicle’s Paul Smith era, was all smiles as he autographed books, celebrated his 90th birthday and watched countless friends feast on prosciutto,  red wine and cupcakes…Shopnotes Fun Fact: Former Chronicle reporter Stephen Schwartz is now Lucy Schwartz, following surgery, some of which she described in considerable detail to Kevin FaganCarl Nolte is taking Sailor Girl on a cruise to Europe’s frozen north and a train ride to Bergen, Norway…Dept. of Management Bullying:  A longtime staff member receiving no overscale requested a salary bump after reviewing the Guild’s  pay equity data.    She was summoned to a special meeting, read the riot act by three management reps and  instructed to be thankful to be employed.  She finished her shift and went home in tears.  And she’s not the only staff member to get a similar you’re-no-good-baby treatment, from as many as four managers, for sins like asking for a raise or inquiring about an internal job opening…

Former reporter Vivian Ho married Drew Bruton at Stern Grove, but not before her gauzy white gown attracted every twig and pine needle on the premises.  Vivian’s hard at work on her book about the trio of homicidal drifters, and also hard at work cleaning her gown…

The sky is falling, sort of. This hole appeared in the ceiling above Kurt Aguilar’s desk after a soggy tile plunged to earth. Photo courtesy Curiouser & Curiouser 2018

Dept. of Breaking News:  Weeks after Demian Bulwa was promoted to metro editor, his website bio still listed him as deputy metro editor.  Meanwhile, Trapper Byrne, the new politics editor, finally gets to go home at the reasonable hour that he probably won’t go home at.  Congratulations to both…Former assistant metro editor Bill Hutchinson, who routinely worked 11-hour days at the Chronicle, is all settled in at ABC News in N.Y., where he works 12-hour days.  Sitting beside his high-rise living room window a block from Lincoln Center, he can see the Empire State Building and sketch the skyline with his collection of several zillion colored pencils, on those rare occasions when he manages to go home…Which Chronicle reporter dropped by Hearst HQ in Manhattan, asked to take a look at the building lobby and was told by a guard that his Chronicle ID was no good for admittance?…Fortunately, when the ceiling tile directly above Kurt Aguilar’s desk decided to come loose and plunge onto his chair, Kurt wasn’t on duty…Shopnotes Puzzle!  Rearrange the letters in the following to spell the name of a staff member:  1.  Mr. Inject Humor   2.  Me In Cellar, Ill   3.  Enamel Limo   4.  A Jail Quip On Moon    5.  Taking My Rot.   Answers below…

Whoever is doing the graphic design of the family of former graphic designer Chris Fong knows his business.   Chris left a few months ago but his younger brotherAlex, hired as a casual, has taken his place at the same desk.  You’ll be forgiven if you blink a few times…

The great former Chronicle columnist and entertainment writer Jerry Nachman, who was particular about his words, his music and his candy bars (dark Milky Ways, not light), has died.  Jerry was funny,  played a terrible game of ping-pong, used a dial telephone and wrote a lot better than his hero, Robert Benchley.  His post-Chronicle books on old-time radio, Broadway showstoppers, stand-up comedians and the Ed Sullivan TV show were carefully crafted, masterfully written and definitive.   Lily Janiak said it best in her terrific obit:  “Whether reviewing TV, film, theater and cabaret, sounding off as an entertainment or humor columnist or composing a pedagogic tome, Nachman brought unabashed, even unapologetically supportive enthusiasm to his writing.  He elevated his subject matter, especially when it was the arts, by humbling himself before it.”  He was all that, as well as being dubious about the outdoors, about post-1950 music, about editors and about getting dragged for dinner to “the little Greek place on the corner.”  We miss you, Nach-Nach…

The Chronicle won top honors in the California News Publishers Association contest for the third straight year.  Hooray for us!  The judges cited the Chronicle’s great reporting, editing, designing, editorial writing and picture taking…The Chronicle has yet to win an award for figuring out how to let an online subscriber read it without re-entering a password every single time.  That would be an award worth winning…The great Josh “The Wizard” Zucker can find stories in CCI that do not technically exist…Jenna Lyons has departed to teach English in France…This just in from the Chronicle Grammar and Stylebook Police:  “Taser” is OK, internet and web are lower case and bullshit is “bulls–.”  No more parentheses for area codes!  No more hyphen for 3D!  And you need no longer be moving to be involved in a collision!   Life is change…

David Wiegand did everything and made it look easy (except, perhaps, persuading Angus the Wonder Dog to behave). With skill and joy, David wrote, edited, advised and made daily fashion statements.  He also encouraged all art forms except the idiotic TV shows he was compelled to weigh in on.  And would have instantly spotted that the last sentence ended with two prepositions.  We can do without most of those TV programs, but David is irreplaceable.   The flag atop Fifth and Mission flew at half staff in his memory, the first time anyone could recall that tribute accorded a staff member… And farewell also to former longtime copy editor Shirley-Anne Owden, universally admired for her kindness, who would have caught the above mistake if she weren’t so busy with her beloved squirrels…

Dept. of How’s That Again?  It took a year, but HR finally turned over (as required) employee data so the Guild could conduct its landmark pay equity study, which shows salary discrimination against employees of color, women and older employees. When the Guild then asked to schedule a meeting with the company to discuss its findings, HR first demanded  to know where the data that it had supplied came from.  Hello?… Solutions to Shopnotes Puzzle:   1. John McMurtrie  2.  Caille Millner  3.  Emma O’Neill  4.  Joaquin Palomino  5. Kitty Morgan…

The premise behind the ad department’s  “Premise Team” was that they would sell lots of ads.  Then three brand-new Premise Team members were laid off, including one whose picture was still appearing on the newsroom video screens as a new hire when he found out he’d lost his job.  An HR memo told what happened:    “The Premise teams were reorganized and integrated…separate Premise structure had not scaled…it required a larger cost structure…A few positions were eliminated due to restructure.”  Well, that explains that premise…

Another great newsroom afternoon ice cream party, featuring five different flavors of It’s Its.  The editor in chief split a mint one with Curiouser and Curiouser, after asking around the newsroom if anyone had a pica pole to divide it with.  “What’s a pica pole?” said Josh Koehn.   The times they are a-changin’.  FYI, cappuccino was the first It’s Its flavor to go.  Question for the Stylebook Police:  What’s the plural of It’s It — is it It’s Its,  is it It’s It’s, is it It’s Itses?  (if you’re keeping track, that’s 14 consecutive variations of “it’s” in one sentence , a Guinness record, probably)…

Farewell to ad department members Deann ChinnKakazi KitengeSandy O’DeaTyler ScottGautam Sondera and Taylor Burns, some of them veterans and some new hires…

Not long now until the grand opening of Guild Executive Officer Carl Hall’s new Bayview coffee house, named Word, located at Third and Revere, only steps from the Muni Metro stop.   The place features a genuine wind-up Victrola that spins 78 rpm records, cool art, a book exchange rack and Carl the barista, assisted by Trixie the dog, behind the counter. Specialty of the house is Carl’s amazing peanut butter smoothie.   The secret code for the coffee house bathroom door is 12345, because there are no secrets among union brothers and sisters…Michael Macor is stopping down his aperture and retiring from the photo department and we miss him already.  He and his wife are moving to a cabin in the Sierra foothills, near Auburn…Mike “We Shall Not Be Moved” Cabanatuan’s birthday is on May Day, the holiest day on the labor movement’s calendar.  Coincidence?…

Drama of the Newsroom Refrigerator!  Note left by chagrined reporter:  “To the Owner of This Salad.  I apologize.  I opened the fridge door and your salad fell to the ground and spilled.  Feel free to yell at me.”   Reply left by salad owner:  “Not a big deal.  No use crying over cruciferous greens.”…

This just in from the terrific all-hands meeting, featuring great sandwiches and late-breaking updates on delivery complaint rates and on the new system in Fremont for moving newspapers into delivery trucks.  Unfortunately, during the two minutes allotted for Q&A, nobody asked for an update on the contract.  So here is what management would have replied if someone had raised his or her hand and inquired about the status of contract negotiations.  “We’re offering you a raise of 1%. We’re offering you a retirement benefit of nothing.   We’re offering you a chance to reduce your membership by one-third by agreeing to throw your members out of the union.”  Well, the sandwiches were very good.

— Curiouser and Curiouser

Keep up with the latest from the Chronicle Guild via our private Facebook group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/550886571763539/

“Like” the Pacific Media Workers Guild Facebook page (the entire local, beyond the Chronicle):

https://www.facebook.com/PacificMediaWorkers/

Pacific Media Workers Guild

Pacific Media Workers Guild

We are the Pacific Media Workers Guild, Local 39521 of The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America. We represent more than 1,200 journalists and other media workers, interpreters, translators, union staffs and freelancers.

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post

Highly profitable DFM again refuses to offer pay increase

Next post

Bay News Rising Journalists Take Flight