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Dog Bites 

Wednesday, Jul 7 1999
Smartass Hed Goes Here
Healthy competition is -- well, in theory -- what makes capitalism work. So Dog Bites was overjoyed to hear of the Chronicle's plans to launch its own as-yet-to-be-named, Friday-publishing alternative weekly.

Well, it's a sound business decision: God knows, this is where the money is.
The Chron is already hiring staff for its effort, and Dog Bites, bent on launching a covert fact-finding mission (at least, that's the story we're telling our bosses here at New Times -- and we're sticking to it), is trying to score a job interview at Fifth and Mission, so we can finally see for ourselves whether the newsroom blinds are always kept down.

Plus, we hear the vending machines over there are, like, fully loaded, whereas here in the Weekly offices a full eight of the 24 vending machine slots are completely empty, while the Milky Ways and Red Vines are positioned so that, even if we part with our hoard of quarters, the snacks will not fall.

Anyway, while we're waiting for our summons to the venerable publishing institution -- surely they've received our resume by now! -- we've been doing what research we can, and have learned that the first issue's lineup may look something like this ...

Premier Issue of Untitled, Ultra-Secret Chronicle Weekly Publishing Project, Dec. 10, 1999

*Beyond the Pink Upstart cosmetics companies Hard Candy and Urban Decay make a splash with nails of decidedly different colors. (short feature)

*Cocktail Nation For twentysomethings, the kinds of mixed drinks their parents might once have enjoyed are the latest rage, and martinis and Cosmopolitans are replacing beer as the party beverages of choice. (short feature)

*Smokin'! Cigar bars are back -- and here's our ultimate guide to the best S.F. has to offer. (short feature)

*The First $20 Million Hot new author Po Bronson chats about his gimlet-eyed take on Silicon Valley's vagaries. (profile)

*Loft-y Ambitions Chronicle architecture critic Zahid Sardar explores a young San Francisco couple's Steven Saitowitz-designed SOMA hideaway. (pictorial)

*A Giant Suck-ing Sound In the Web's vast sea of flavorless pablum, e-zine Suck is the hipster's Tabasco sauce. We get the inside scoop from the zine's own Carl Steadman and Joey Anuff. (feature)

*Completely Charmed Life With the release of its first album, up-and-coming S.F. band Third Eye Blind hopes for success to match its members' ambitions. (entertainment profile)

*It Don't Mean a Thing All around the Bay Area, twenty- and thirtysomethings are signing up for swing dancing lessons. (short feature with sidebar guide to popular classes and venues)

Meanwhile, and Just as Relevant
Of course, the new weekly will face some pret-ty stiff competition.
That would be from the Guardian, whose, um, irrepressible publisher, Bruce "B3" Brugmann, sent us over one of his weird brown paper bags full of the usual random crap, which we itemize here for readers who think we make this stuff up:

*One (1) photocopy of June 23 editorial page, with article titled "Save the Chron!" check-marked. (Bruce: See above.)

*One (1) photocopy of the very same editorial page, with other editorial, "The new public-power mandate," check-marked instead.

*One (1) photocopy of June 2 "Follow That Story," with item Advocate papers to remain in AAN check-marked; one (1) photocopy of May 19 "Follow That Story"; one (1) copy of May 26 "Follow That Story"; one (1) May 12 "Follow That Story"; one (1) May 5 "Follow That Story," with item titled Motion filed to block alternative press buyout check-marked; one (1) April 28 "Follow That Story," single item titled Hartford residents fight alternative press buyout.

*One (1) photocopy of memo from Jean and Bruce B. Brugmann to the Association of Alternative Newspapers' board of directors, re alternative weekly in Hartford, Conn.

* One (1) photocopy of April 21 editorial titled "High Noon in Hartford."

*One (1) photocopy of press release, dated April 20, re proposed sale of Hartford Advocate to Hartford Courant.

*One (1) photocopy of letter, dated April 20, to Senate and House Judiciary Committee, re proposed sale of Hartford Advocate to Hartford Courant.

*One (1) photocopy of memo, dated April 20, to Justice Department Antitrust Division, the Federal Trade Commission, re proposed sale of Hartford Advocate to Hartford Courant.

*One (1) photocopy of court filing in case of Alyssa S. Peterson and Mitchell Auto Group, Inc. vs. Times Mirror Company, The Hartford Courant Company, and New Mass. Media Inc. (11 pages, mostly illegible).

*One (1) photocopy of San Francisco Frontlines article titled "How SF Weekly and the Examiner Promote Violence."

*One (1) copy of city attorney's summary of proposed ballot measure on access to public meetings and records.

*One (1) copy of full text of proposed ballot measure on access to public meetings and records (12 pages).

*One (1) photocopy of statement of Stephen R. Barnett, Elizabeth J. Boalt Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, made June 14, 1994, at a hearing before the Economic Vitality & Social Policy Committee, Board of Supervisors, City and County of San Francisco, concerning the newspaper joint-operating agreement between the San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Chronicle (five pages).

*One (1) photocopy of May 19 editorial titled "Saving the Two-Paper Town"; one (1) photocopy of May 19 article titled "Toward a One-Paper Town."

*One (1) bumper sticker reading "Homosexuals Rule."

*One (1) bumper sticker reading "Marijuana Is Medicine."

*One (1) photocopy of page proof for June 30 issue titled "Guardian Pride."

*One (1) copy of entire June 30 issue.

*One (1) personalized scrawled note reading, "L/ Sorry to be neglecting you, more to come, B3."

Uh, great. And of course, the best thing about the next mailing will be that it will contain almost all the same stuff as this one did, which gives the whole exercise the kind of comforting predictability we enjoyed so much as a toddler, when we used to request that The Little Engine That Could be read to us over and over and over again. Bruce: Thanks for being there, man.

Reader Contest! Reader Contest!
For some time now, Dog Bites has been desperately casting about for a way to promote this column to our potential reading audience. And now we think we've got it: advertising!

Of course, we don't have much of a budget, which means we're going to have to start in a small publication: the commemorative program booklet for Muni's 16th annual Safe Driver Awards Banquet, to be held Oct. 2, in which we can buy a whole quarter-page for just $75.

So, since we're not graphic artists, we turn to you, our readers, to design a suitable advertisement for Dog Bites. Since the ad has to be submitted, camera-ready, by Aug. 2, our deadline for entries is -- oh, let's say July 16. And it should measure 3 3/4 inches wide by 4 3/4 inches high. The contest winner will receive a copy of The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types, which we'd like to get rid of, as it's depressing us with its dire warnings about our many personality defects. Plus, you'll be published in both the banquet program and Dog Bites.

Enter early! Enter often! Remember, if you don't, we'll have to write this entire column ourselves.

As told to Laurel Wellman

Tip Dog Bites -- especially if you're disgruntled. Phone 536-8139; fax 777-1839; e-mail

About The Author

Laurel Wellman


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