The “day of reckoning has arrived,” President Obama told the nation tonight. Apparently, Hearst Corp. was thinking the same, and earlier today told the San Francisco Chronicle newsroom that staff should pretty much, well, quit their day jobs. In light of the vague but ominous announcement of massive cuts, bets are being placed on whether the paper will survive at all. According to an article by some of his soon to be ex-employees, publisher Frank Vega said he “[hopes] our readers will stick with us.”

As a news outlet ourselves, with, oh, a slightly smaller newsroom, Mission Loc@l is curious what would make you stick with the Chron, if you’ve stuck with it thus far? Do you ever pay for the paper anymore? Would anything motivate you to pay for news?

Of course, one of the factors leading to the death of newspapers is all the free content you can get on the web, like the Political Insider, which reports from today’s Board of Supes meeting that D9 Supe Campos introduced legislation supporting Ammiano’s proposal to the State Assembly to legalize pot.

But before you jump to the conclusion that our elected officials are all a bunch of hippie-loving hedonists, keep reading. They may be down with ganja, but they draw the line at back rubs. Especially ones performed by lingerie-clad ladies. So if that’s what your girl gave you for Valentine’s Day, tell her to expect a letter in the mail, which is how officials are threatening parlors suspected of violating city code. Some supervisors and failing newspapers seem to think this is a big problem, but lacking law enforcement resources. Perhaps the same vice agents that formerly raided pot clubs can now be placed on masseuse detail. It’s a tough job, sure, but…

In other depressing news, one issue that emerged throughout the American Apparrel debacle was that of empty storefronts lining Valencia. Of course, more and more neighborhoods and towns are dealing with such blemishes these days, which is why we bring you this discussion from Rooflines, the blog of the National Housing Institute (thanks Curbed) about alternative ways businesses and towns are dealing with them. Which made us wonder, what should go in some of those storefronts while they look for a business (preferably non-chain) to move in? Do you know of any neat things people are doing inside or outside of them?

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Founder/Executive Editor. I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

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