The Tardy Times

  ON TIME: The Phoenix staff gets it done before midnight. From left, front row:
  Julie Marchison, Leonel Sanchez, Janice Lee, Fran Clader, Tom Borromeo, Mark
  Canepa, Tom Skeen. Second row: John Moses, Mystery Woman, Philip Liborio   
  Gangi. Back row: Dave Rothwell, Bill Hutchinson, Ed Russo. About 1986?

  Rumsfeld should quit, said Alex Neill, 
  and wonder of wonders, he complied

      Plus: Tom's mantra, Fran's oak leaves, Harold's
        award, Mary's losses, Boku's career, Jon's
        crusade, the Night of Coincidence and a sheaf
        of  items about  journalism alumni

                                          See also:
                                          - SF State: The Red Scare
                                          - SF State: Adventures

    The swabbie and the Secretary
ALEX NEILL, onetime city editor of Phoenix, went from the I-J to USA Today to managing editor of the Army Times (a Gannett weekly).  In 2006 the former Navy sailor collaborated on an editorial that called for Donald Rumsfeld to quit as defense secretary. Newspapers and broadcasters trumpeted the story. It must have been the final straw for the architect of the Iraq war. He resigned. The war, however, continued.
   His wife and SF State classmate, former I-J reporter Tibby Speer, left her job as director of retail operations at the National Archives. She is now the merchandise planner at the new Capitol Visitors Center.  She officially is a federal employee and, yes, her official name reverted to Tibbett when she spent the 1990s as a free-lance writer who specialized in demographics. (She explained years ago that her parents, who lived out in the country, were such fans of Texaco Opera Theater's Saturday broadcasts that they named their only child for American tenor Lawrence Tibbett – the Pavarotti of his day.)
     Alex has been promoted to senior managing editor/news at Army Times Publishing, which means going from No.1 at one paper to No. 2 over the nine Gannett publications aimed at federal employees and members of the various military services. Alex and Tibby lost their mothers in 2007. Maude Speer, 92, died in a Virginia nursing home in July. Death was blamed on emphysema. A head injury from a fall sent Alex’s mother, Wanda Lee Neill, into a coma. She was 78.
   From Alex, a note:
   "We broke the Walter Reed story at the same time as the Washington Post (which  won a Pulitzer). The Army Times’ initial story focused on the bureaucratic mire that disabled troops are stuck in as they try to resolve benefits claims. The Post came out with its much-cited piece on moldy, rat-infested living quarters.
   "To be sure, the Post has done a great job. But so has Army Times, with not enough credit.
  "The Army tried to pre-empt the Post story by calling the media (including us) on a Thursday and offering an interview with commander of Walter Reed, to discuss the “factual inaccuracies” in the Post story that was yet to publish (it came out on Sunday).
  "I declined the opportunity to send a reporter to dump on the Post story and instead moved up publication of our story, which we had been working on for months. We happened to have a Columbia Journalism Review reporter in house that week. She wrote in a CJR blog item that in trying to manage the news, the Army managed to bite itself “in the ass” (as the blog headline actually said) by getting two big pieces on Walter Reed into print the same weekend."

Man from La Mantra
can relate to Cassandra, the Trojan lady cursed by Apollo to foresee the future – but not her own. For the staff of The Tardy Times, his parking mantra remains amazingly successful.  Just the other day on crowded Mission Street the staff began to sing the mantra, to the tune of “Guantanamera”:
          Tom Borromeo, oh he's a
          Tom Borromeo.
          Tom Borro-may-oh, oh he's a
          Tom Borromeo . . .  etc.

     A parking place suddenly appeared. As it always does, except when, like many a mystic phenomenon, it doesn't.
   After leaving the news desk of the Examiner to concentrate on cartooning, he is working from home in Fairfax and practicing his ukelele chops. His wife, Minette Norman, is doing a lot of  traveling for Autodesk (she's with Tom in the photo at right).
    As for the parking mantra, it's still his gift to the world. But it doesn't work, of course, for him.

Do lemon drops melt?
UNDER four-column hed on Page B-2, here's what we found:
   WHEN Mary McGrath Blyskal underwent treatment for throat cancer a few years ago, it was "The Wizard of Oz" that helped her pull through.

   Mary? Our Mary McGrath?
   "When troubles melt like lemon drops..." she said. That movie, that song, just really gave me a sense of hope during some very hard times.
    The Chronicle story, published on Halloween, continued.
    When she recovered, she built a life-size Halloween tribute to the beloved "Wizard" character in the fron tyard of her Oakland home, delighting neighbors, pre-school kids, tourists and trick-or-treaters. But the Winged Monkeys swooped in Tuesday night. Thieves stole Dorothy, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, Tin Man, Glinda and the Yellow Brick Road from their perch on Benevue Road in Rockridge.
    They got the little dog too.
    We can't go on. Read the full story by Carolyn Jones at
    The kidnap of Dorothy and her fellow characters capped an eventful decade for Mary, the ex-SF State J-grad and demon reporter. A few years back, she left the Associated Press bureau in New York for the joys of matrimony. With her husband, Jeff Blyskal, they bought a home in Elk Grove so her mom, age 90, could live with them. One month later, mom suddenly wanted to live in an old folks' home. They sold the house and decided to move back to New York, but then decided their 6-year-old boy would be too far from family and friends. That's how they wound up in Oakland. “These have been the craziest years of my life,” said Mary last year.  “I've had five addresses and 10 phone numbers.” Jeff's job with Consumer Reports allows him to work at home. When they moved in 2005 to El Cerrito, the Wizard display didn't move with them. Neighbors persuaded Mary (at left, credit San Francisco Chronicle) to set up the display at a friend's house so the characters would stay on Benevue Road.  "I'm crestfallen," Mary told Jones. "If were in the Land of Oz, I could just click my heels and get them home again." Instead, she said, she'll make another set of the Oz character. Here's Mary's new address: 145 Pomona Ave., El Cerrito CA 94530. New e-mail: “It's been total chaos,” she says, “but we're fine now.” 

Major responsibility
FRAN CLADER’S voice: “We can confirm...” “We can't comment further..." “The report stands on its own....”   Yes, that was Frances Louise Clader, our very own Fran, as the official voice of the California Highway Patrol. She was named the CHP's deputy commissioner for communications, an appointment that combined her background in news (Phoenix staff, editorial assistant at the Examiner, reporter and city editor at the Vacaville Reporter), public affairs spokeswoman (the state’s Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board and Office of Criminal Justice Planning) and the Army Reserve (from Pvt. F.L. Clader in a military police unit to her present rank, Major Clader). And Fran (at left) is just as ebullient as ever. ...It's been a long time since the irrepressible Sheilah Downey gave up her reporting job at the Examiner and moved to the boondocks of northwest Arkansas with her husband, former Examiner artist Jack Desrocher, and their daughters, Addie and Hannah. Now in Rogers, a lakeside community so isolated that Little Rock looms as an urban getaway, Sheilah is looking for a job: At a newspaper. “It has been an eternity since I was a reporter,” she writes, “and I am now ancient, according to the journalistic trends.” ...Paula Nichols, now separated from Jim Distefano after 18 years of marriage, has moved out of their San Rafael home. But she's only a block away. When their daughter completed a summer stint with a youth group in trail repairs in the Blue Ridge Mountains in 2006, Paula and Melina returned from North Carolina via a transcontinental train ride. And now Paula dreams of life in Asheville – but only after after Winn, Melina's little brother, is off to college. Maybe. Melina spent last summer doing the same chores in another trail mecca, Montana. ...After 25 years with Long’s Drugs, Linda Wilcox's husband Jim Jenevein left for Bed Bath and Beyond in San Francisco. Now he's the manager of the Oakland store. She's still a deputy county counsel in Contra Costa County.

OVER BEERS, Bud Liebes answered someone's question about World War II. It was an informal faculty-student outing almost 40 years ago in the bar of the Lake Merced Lodge near the campus. Bernard H. Liebes (he hated "Bernie") was then the chair of the SF State Journalism Department. As a kid, he had been a waist gunner on a B24 in bombing runs over Germany. After the war, when he was working for Stars and Stripes, he tried to visit every city that he bombed. He wasn't sure why, but he just had to see.
   Petra Fischer, glamorous and worldly, was the student city editor of  the weekly Phoenix. Abruptly she asked – with a hint of Marlene Dietrich's accent – if he had bombed Munich. She called it München. Yes, he said. In 1944? Yes. When? In November.
   "That's when I was born," she said. "In München, during a bombing raid."
   That was the first coincidence.
   I turned to William P.G. Chapin, the popular professor recruited by Bud from the Chronicle. I asked Bill, Isn't that about when your B24 was shot down in Italy?   
    "My God," said Petra.
     She said her father had been a Messerschmitt pilot. He was killed about then in Italy.
     No, said Bill. Not a fighter. Not in Italy. Yes, his B24 took off from a field in Stornova in western Italy, but it was about 19,000 feet above Mitrovica (in Yugoslavia, now in Kosovo) when it took three direct hits from flak. Only four of the crew got out. When he parachuted, the tail broke his leg. It was his 24th mission. They called it a "milk run." That became the title of the book he would write while recovering in a military hospital, learning how to walk on a wooden leg and trying to forget his even months as a POW in Stalag 17-B. Forty-five years later, he dusted off the manuscript and, with minor edits, it was published by Windgate Press in 1992. 
   In 1944, I mused, I had just turned 11. To me, warplanes were for doodling in Mr. Hill's class at Park School in Mill Valley.
   Bill asked, When is your birthday?
   "Nov. 5."
   That was the day when my B24 was shot down, he said.
   The silence was broken by our Boku Kodama, the 21-year-old managing editor of Phoenix. The same year had a lot of significance for Boku. His future father, he explained, had been studying in Japan when he was trapped by war, unable to go back to America.  In late 1944 the unlucky man, along with Koreans and Okinawans and other non-volunteers, was impressed into the Kamikaze Corps. The war ended before he could become a suicide bomber.
    War stories.
Bill Chapin died in 2003. He wrote "Wasted: the Story of My Son's Drug Addiction" (McGraw-Hill, 1972), which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. He also wrote "Deadlines and Lifelines : My Years at the Chronicle" (Bookpartners, 2003).
   After the death of Bud's French wife, Georgette – whom he met and courted while with Stars and Stripes –  the former chair of the SF State journalism departmen moved from Seattle to  Bethesda, Md., to be near his daughter and granddaughters. "I frequent the museums in D.C. so frequently," he said, "that the security guards recognize me."
  Boku, now 59, lives in Emeryville. He has had a rewarding career as a small-business entrepreneur – and now he teaches its secrets to low-income Oaklanders.
  Petra? Bud kept in touch with her for years after she moved to Guatemala. He heard from her when she was editing an English-language magazine for the government oil company in Mexico.  A woman by that name owns an upscale B&B in Mexico City. We'll check it out.

Indian summer

forwarded a long letter from Lisa Swenarski, whose latest post with the Foreign Service took her, her husband and 12-year-old daughter Maricris from Egypt to India. “We must like crowded, lively, polluted cities, because the transition has been easy from Cairo to New Delhi,” she writes. She is editor of a State Department-sponsored bimonthly magazine called Span (“as in bridging U.S.-India relations”). “Unlike at my last two posts, the people here love America. Surveys show that the U.S. is more popular in India than in any other country. A lot of this has to do with American education, as 85,000 Indians are studying in the U.S.” . . .  As for Professor Emeritus J. T. Johnson, he is ensconced in Santa Fe as founder-director of the Institute for Analytic Journalism.  (

Diversity index
THIRTY YEARS ago, the SF State journalism five-man faculty was all-white. In the fall term of 2008, half of the 10 full-timers are women. Four are white. Four are black. One is Asian. One is Native American. Four are former undergraduates who left to see the wide world out there – and came back to teach.
   – Professor John Burks, who started journalism in the 1960s as a student on the Golden Gater, succeeded Medsger as the chair. He replaced the Gater and Phoenix nameplates with (ugh) Golden Gate [X]Press. (He is now back in the classroom, having relinquished the chair to former Examiner reporter and non-alumna Venise Wagner.)
Assistant Professor Rachele Kanigel, who was a reporter for the Oakland Tribune and the News & Review of Raleigh, N.C., was named Journalism Educator of the Year by the California Journalism Education Coalition. An adviser to the (ugh) Golden Gate [X]Press, she is the author of a $32 how-to-do-it paperback, "The Student Newspaper Survival Guide" (Wiley-Blackwell, 2006).
    – Assistant Professor Cristina Azocar, who worked as an undergraduate with the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism, returned with a Ph.D from the University of Michigan. In 2002, Dr. Azocar became the Center's director. In a faculty loaded with "doctoral equivalency" on the résumés of former working journalists, she's the only doctor in the house.
   – For the fourth alumnus, see the next item.  

JON FUNABIKI, who spent 15 years as deputy director of the Media, Arts and Culture unit of the Ford Foundation, returned in 2006 to SF State as a full professor. In addition to teaching, he has launched the new Center for Renaissance Journalism, “a new interdisciplinary center on emerging opportunities for community, ethnic and other forms of news media.”
   In a walk around Lake Merced, the onetme Phoenix ME talked about problems afflicting big newspapers and how this affects the future of the little guys – newspapers, paperless newspapers, independent magazines, “neighborhood radio” and all the other community-based ventures below the radar of most journalism programs.
   After covering the Pacific Rim in his 17 years at the San Diego Union and collecting an armful of fellowships, he founded the SF State Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism. Then he left for New York and the Ford Foundation.
   Back home,  he serves on the boards for the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the National Economic Development and Law Center. He also works with another Phoenix alumnus, Juan Gonzalez, who for years has directed the  the journalism program at City College. In his spare time, Juan is publisher of El Tecolote, a bilingual, non-profit Mission District newspaper that he founded 30 years ago.
   Jon assigned students last spring to develop stories for El Tecolote. In a related project, he is doing volunteer work to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the first Spanish-language newspaper in the U.S., El Misisipi, in New Orleans.
   “The idea is to use it as hook to mark 200 years of  Latino journalism in the U.S.,” Jon told us. “Juan and a few others came up with the idea, and there's a core group of about six developing the plan.”
   Jon is also coordinator of the Otto Bos Scholarship program, which this year selected Trey Bundy as the winner (the founder of the The Tardy Times joined David Kutzman and Michael Grant on the judging panel).
   Jon outlines the mission of  the Renaissance Center, together with other concerns,  in an e-mail interview by Rick Edmonds at the Poynter Career Center. See:               

Book burning, a novel idea
BECKY BAILEY reports from Vermont that husband Jim Schley, executive director of Frost Place in Franconia, N.H., was given pause when the Robert Frost homestead and poetry center was fictionally incinerated in Brock Clarke's novel, “The Arsonist's Guide to Writer's Homes in New England.” “The author sent Jim a free copy, with an apology.” Hmmm. As for Becky, she still works part-time in the Dartmouth College PR office, directs the children's chorus for Revels North and sings/solos with various choral groups. Lillian is a sophomore in high school and, not surprisingly, is enjoying “all manner of theater and singing.” ...Marilee Enge, cut loose from the Mercury News copy desk after a distinguished career as prize-winning reporter, landed on her feet as a grant writer for the Audubon Society. She misses the newsroom but not the night shifts and the commute from her home in Berkeley. Marilee (at left)  has more time to spend with lively daughters Marit and Lily now that George Frost is getting a lot of legal work, including a post as general counsel to CivicAction. The Berkeley-based outfit calls itself  “a collection of computer-savvy political wonks” who want to “transform politics from the grassroots up.” In his solo practice, George advises startups on IP (Internet Protocol, whatever that means) and recently served as special counsel to the state Senate Judiciary Committee.  George’s sister, Jacquelyn, has put her career aside while active in parental duties. Her  husband, Charles Pelton, keeps busy as general partner and co-founder of Modern Media Partners. ...We hear that Chris Feldhorn, who took the buyout last year from the Chronicle copy desk, has resumed her passion for singing. She’s still living in El Cerrito. It was her fifth departure from the paper. “They tell me it’s final. I tend to believe them,” she told her colleagues. Next? “I want to finish my play and my screenplay, take an acting class, see the Taj Mahal and spend a few months in England followed by a few months in Rome.” 
   Liberation through layoff?    

Dateline: Tooting Bec
MIND THE GAP: Jeff Kaye writes from London that he can vote in November's presidential election despite becoming a British citizen some years ago in his life as a journalistic ex-pat. “I have dual citizenship thanks to some landmark 1980s ruling that said the US can't take away the citizenship of anyone who doesn't want to give it up,” he writes. We can understand how anyone would become a Brit, and not just because of how the White House has become a puppet theater. Of all the former Phenoids, he has by far the best mailing address: Tooting Bec. ...Anita Whités continues to work toward a position as a court reporter. ...Ed Remitz is adviser to the College of San Mateo’s student newspaper and online partner, The San Matean, which again won top honors this year in the annual contest of the Journalism Association of Community Colleges. Ed is treasurer of the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club. ... Bill Owens, the student photographer who documented the Black Students Union's assault on the Gater staff in 1967, founded and eventually sold the Bay Area's first brewpub (Buffalo Bill's), launched American Brewer Magazine and published “How To Build a Small Brewery” (1992). Today, as president of the American Distilling Institute, he writes, edits and publishes its online newsletter on pot distilling. The pot  (not what you thought) is a big copper tank or kettle at the center of a legal moonshine-type, small-scale operation. After leaving SF State, he shot pictures for the weekly Independent in Livermore from 1968 to 1978. He published the highly acclaimed “Suburbia” (1972) and other photo books about ordinary folks – “Our Kind of People” (1975), “Working: I Do It for the Money” (1975) and “Leisure” (2004). As he entered his 69th year, he planned to resume photojournalism with publication of “Cars,” a hymn to the gas guzzlers of the 1950s and 1960s, followed by a U.S. tour to “photograph the New Suburbia.”
Baby boomers
KEN GARCIA'S move from the Chronicle to the new Examiner gave him new prominence as a highly promoted columnist of the free home-delivered twice-weekly in San Francisco. But he doesn't play basketball any more. Knees. He made the switch to the Ex at about the same time as his pending divorce from his former SF State journalism classmate, Yvette DeAndreis. Their kids: Nick is at UC Santa Barbara, Laura at St. Ignatius HS. Yvette worked for years with the Edgewood Family Center, which laid her off in a staff cutback blamed on a funding shortfall. ...We hear from Jane (Thrall) Corley in Dallas that she's spent more than a year as an attorney in the Fort Worth office of the U.S. Small Business Administration's Disaster Relief Office, working on loans to victims of the hurricane triumvirate, Katrina, Wilma and Rita. Ariel, 16, plays the flute; Nathaniel, 14, the bassoon. ...Art Beeghly, another deserter to Arkansas, sent a photo of him soaking his head at the Gullfoss (Golden Falls) in Iceland. ...George Bremner came down from Oregon and caught a Giants game in July with Joe DeLoach, who didn’t know until the next day that his name wasn’t on the list of 23 editors and reporters terminated from the Contra Costa Times – its third  newsroom massacre since December 2006.

DONNA HOROWITZ spent a lot of time in trying to get back into newspaper reporting. No job offers. She was lucky. Few new hires would have survived the newsroom massacres this year. Instead, she signed on last April with a job at a startup newsletter, The Life Settlements Report. It covers “the secondary market for life insurance.” Surprise: “I'm enjoying working here.” No surprise: She gets to write about “all the scoundrels in this industry.”
   For more than a year, Donna has been associate editor of the online report, which is published by DealFlow Media in Petaluma. “Don't let the title fool you. I haven't jumped to the dark side. I'm basically a reporter, although I do have four freelancers working for me. Not only do I write for the electronic newsletter (no hard copies are printed), I also advise our company on which panels to do and who to invite to our annual conference.  Anyway, while there's so much gloom and doom at newspapers, we're very upbeat here because we don't give away content for free and our revenues are growing quite rapidly.” Donna also reports that her long-time companion, John McGeoughan, has been ill with diverticulitis. He had part of his intestine removed last year at the VA in SF. “He now needs a second and third operation. He's not happy about this.”

feed/back feedback
DAVID COLE was a student when he started to produce and promote  feed/back, the California press review. He left before it was squelched at age 11 by Betty Medsger, then the chair of the SF State journalism department (she took an early retirement and got out of town). For the past 20 years or so, Cole has published Cole Reports and News Inc., newsletters for the front office executives of the nation's newspapers. His dispatches are packed with breaking news on the latest cutbacks, mergers, write-downs and other disasters in the newspaper industry that he has loved since a boy in Richmond.  . . Shannon Bryony succeeded Cole as the feed/back editor. She resigned with the other editors “because of Medsger's interference.” She has been battling various ailments – primarily  an incurable spine disease brought on by a fall while she was working on the  copy desk of the San Jose Mercury News. Unable to work for the last 15 years, she lives near Ocean Beach with two Persian cats and a lot of books ( Len Sellers, professor emeritus and another feed/back editor, who went from the Phoenix to earn a doctorate at Stanford and a professorship on his return to SF State, gave up journalism a few years ago for the risks and riches of the world and various entrepreurial adventures. His new address: Tiburon. In Spanish, it means “shark.”. . . His good friend, Jon Donhoff, 57, who traded SF State  journalism training for a career as a deputy attorney general, died of lung cancer on June 28.

Phoenix managing editors: Updates

ROGER JACKSON (at right, with his 25-year-old daughter Allison), now in his 11th year at ESPN The Magazine, is its deputy research chief while working on a year-long project to put together the “ultimate encylopedia of college basketball.” When he worked for Sports Illustrated years ago, he covered hundreds of games. ...We hear  that Caroline Scarborough met an old boyfriend at a school reunion, reconnected by long distance telephone, fell in love, decided to get married in August and, now that her daughters are in college, has moved from Marin County to Florida . . . When four frat boys from Chico State went to Butte County jail for the fatal water hazing of a pledge, Terry Vau Dell cranked out the story for the Chico Enterprise Record, the Oroville Mercury-Register and all the other outlets for his MediaNews Group bureau. He covers courts, cops and county supervisors in Oroville. He says he much prefers community journalism. . . .   Lenny Limjoco is art director for the San Francisco Study Center and the main photographer for its first-rate newspaper, the Central City Extra. The Tenderloin newspaper is edited by its founder, Geoff Link (SF State in the 1960s), when he isn’t writing headlines at the Chronicle. . . . Geoff’s colleague, Courtenay Peddle, is counting the days until he can quit the Chronicle copydesk in a year or two, collect his pension and go birding with his lovely wife, Pam Magnuson. He says, however, that the job has  has become more fun. The latest newsroom boss, Steve Proctor, has reversed the long-standing hostility of his predecessors to wordplay in headlines. ...We've lost track of Bill Gallagher, but it's rumored that he has been radio personality, talk show host and news director at various stations in Portland.

MIKE BROCK and Patsy Gerber, long-time expats in the suburbs of London, are celebrating the scholastic achievements of their daughter Emma: “She pulled the grades she needed for the Edinburgh University bio-med three-year master's program.” Their other daughter, Elizabeth, is working on a master's degree in astrophysics at Exeter University. . .  . . .  Simar Khanna, editor of the “92 Hours” entertainment supplement in the Thursday Chronicle, survived the sackings last summer and now appears in half-page promo house ads. Her ex-husband shares custody of their two daughters. . . .  Ruth Snyder teaches fifth grade in Redwood City; her husband, Jay Goldman, also a former Phoenix M.E., is recovering from pancreatitis and working in his law office every other day. Their twins, Eli and Daniel, are already in the third grade at Alvarado Elementary in San Francisco (see Notes from Kenny). ...Eric Newton, who parlayed his job as managing editor of the Oakland Tribune into “managing editor” of Gannett's Newseum, was named vice president in 2001 as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s “director of journalism initiatives.” Look up “The Future of News” at the website of the University of Texas in Austin, where the  ex-newsman gave a lecture to an honors convocation. Although not a Phoenixer, his wife, Mary Ann Hogan, years ago the Oakland Tribune’s best writer, is a talented singer still missed by the Usual Suspects  – a band now called The (Beloved) Flapjacks. She is a writing coach and consultant. Eric’s staff includes SF State's Denise Tom, who worked as a sportswriter when Eric was managing editor of the Tribune. Her seven-year career at USA Today was cut short in 2001 when, with two other women staffers, they traced “Kilroy Was Here” on a new sculpture outside the Gannett executive offices. The women thought it was dust. Instead, it was pigment that hadn't been sealed. They were fired, the kind of absurdly disproportionate punishment that may bring unionization to USA Today.

HOWARD FINBERG'S fascinating career took him from the Phoenix at SF State to Phoenix, Ariz., then in various stages to Florida as director of interactive learning for the Poynter Institute's online training and education program, NewsU.  At the Journalism Department's own graduation ceremony last June, Howard outlined the amazing changes that have shaken the newspaper business in the nearly four decades since he put together "Crisis at S.F. State," a compilation of articles about the 1968 classroom boycott and "strike" that convulsed the campus. It's no surprise that his remarks are online: 
   Howard will make a return appearance at the 2009 graduation in McKenna Theater on May 25, when the  the 1971 graduate will be honored with a new award, Distinguished Journalism Alumnus. All former J-students are invited to an alumni reception at 7 p.m. at the Delancey Street restaurant at 600 Embarcadero in the South Beach district – and if you never heard of South Beach, it means you've been away too long. Also honored at both events will be Martin Reynolds, editor of the school paper in 1989, as Journalism Alumnus of the Year. He was named recently as the new editor of the Oakland Tribune and as assisting managing editor of the Bay Area News Group, East Bay.
   Curiously, the Journalism Department makes no mention of their student accomplishments. Here's the announcement:
   Finberg, who has been with the Poynter Institute since 2003, developed and now directs its News University, an online training portal for journalists. Before joining Poynter, Finberg enjoyed a long career as an editor at several papers including the Arizona Republic, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribune. While at the Republic Finberg launched the creation of the award-winning online service, Arizona Central, He later co-founded and served as managing director of Finberg-Gentry, the Digital Futurist Consultancy. The firm helped media companies develop strategies and publishing technologies for the Internet. He was also a corporate vice president at Central Newspapers before it was sold to Gannett.
    Reynolds, who grew up in Berkeley, started at the Oakland Tribune as a Chips Quinn intern in 1995. He's been with the paper since then moving his way up as a metro reporter, assistant city editor, associate editor for special projects, and managing editor.

Dave Swanston, 64

FRESH from teaching English for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia, he learned the basics of news reporting at SF State while marching in the civil rights demonstrations of the mid-Sixties. Hired by the Chronicle, the bearded young reporter covered the tumult of the times in Berkeley and the University of California. Then he began a long career in Washington, D.C., where his honesty and hard work confounded the perception that public relations is somehow a calling less noble than journalism. 
   David Culver Swanston, co-author of the ethics policy of the Public Relations Society of America, died of cancer on June 24, 2006, at a hospice in Arlington, Va. He was 64.
   Leaving the Chronicle in 1969, Dave got his first taste of PR as a public information manager for the Peace Corps. Then he wrote speeches for Sen. Alan Cranston and helped launch the Public Broadcasting Service. In 1974 he formed David Swanston and Associates and stayed on when he sold it to TMP in 1984. He also taught PR and ethics classes at American University and the University of Virginia. He earned five Sivler Anvil Awards from the PR society, and he served twice as president of its capital chapter.
    If Dave had a role model, Ray Colvig comes to mind. As the public information officer at UC Berkeley in the 1960s and later, Colvig truly believed that public information should be public information. He loaded down the beat reporters with facts. figures and useful background. And he was such a paragon of honesty that the reporters could tell if he had been ordered to withhold information. After all, that's part of the job. But Ray's face would twitch.

    Dave leaves his wife, Walterene Swanston, two children and three grandchildren. He met Walt (the name she prefers) when both were journalism students and civil rights marchers. Starting at the Sun Reporter under editor Tom Fleming (see the obit on the Editors page), she was hired as a reporter at the Examiner and in 1969 persuaded then-publisher Charles Gould to begin a newsroom minority training and intern program – the first of its kind. She moved with Dave to Washington before the internships began, but she made up for it in a big way.
   After working at the Washington Star, she moved to WETA-TV, the PBS station, and to WUSA-TV. From reporting the news, she worked to add color to the nation's news staffs as executive director of the National Association of Black Journalists, later doing the same for UNITY: Journalists of Color. She was director of diversity programs for the Newspaper Association of America Foundation while consulting for Knight-Ridder and other companies. She went to the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation in 2000, then in 2003 to her current job as director of diversity management for National Public Radio.

                                         Lynn Ludlow, Class of '55.
Gater editor, 1953
Lecturer and writing coach, 1967-87

The Tardy Times
October 2008

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