Denny Smith.

I saw Denny Smith, 64, pushing a cart loaded with books down Valencia Street. He was on his way to give them to the Community Thrift Store.

How did you decide what to get rid of?

Some are books that I’ve either read or, like the Chemistry of Non-Aqueous Solvents, books that I will never, ever read.

I love old textbooks. Some of these have covers that are just incredible. America and The New FrontierChanging Civilizations in a Modern World. These are the books I grew up with.

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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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