Raising an eyebrow in Arizona

The Phoenix New Times is facing grand jury subpoenas of all sorts of crazy crap after publishing a county sheriff’s home address.

Read the whole story (warning – your IP address might end up part of these legal proceedings) in the New Times for all the sordid details, but the rather absurd money quote is the following:

“The subpoena demands: ‘Any and all documents containing a compilation of aggregate information about the Phoenix New Times Web site created or prepared from January 1, 2004 to the present, including but not limited to:
A) which pages visitors access or visit on the Phoenix New Times website;
B) the total number of visitors to the Phoenix New Times website;
C) information obtained from ‘cookies,’ including, but not limited to, authentication, tracking, and maintaining specific information about users (site preferences, contents of electronic shopping carts, etc.);
D) the Internet Protocol address of anyone that accesses the Phoenix New Times website from January 1, 2004 to the present;
E) the domain name of anyone that has accessed the Phoenix New Times website from January 1, 2004 to the present;
F) the website a user visited prior to coming to the Phoenix New Times website;
G) the date and time of a visit by a user to the Phoenix New Times website;
H) the type of browser used by each visitor (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Netscape Navigator, Firefox, etc.) to the Phoenix New Times website; and
I) the type of operating system used by each visitor to the Phoenix New Times website.’
Special prosecutor Wilenchik wants this information on each and every New Times reader online since 2004.”

Without touching on the wild angles that are in play in this story (Minutemen, alleged assassination plots, Mexican drug dealers), it’s clearly a crazy notion that a grand jury could subpoena 3.5 years of user data from a news organization, right? Right?

I figure this is worth bringing to light and throwing some attention at.

via the Online News e-mail list.

[UPDATE: Two Village Voice Media execs spent the night in jail, arrested for publishing the subpoena. By the time I get to Arizona…]

[UPDATE: Charges dropped, special prosecutor fired, all is well, reason prevails, nothing to see here, YMMV…]

The print edition – y’know – for kids

Fellow SJSU grad student Patrick Dwire has a great cover story in this week’s Santa Cruz Good Times, one of our intrepid alternative weeklies here in the Cruz.

Patrick takes a look at what newspapers all over the country are doing to try and hook the 18-24 set. (Note to self: I’m not the target market. Sigh.)

Here’s why it’s important:

“The fate of newspapers may be more symptomatic of larger social shifts away from civic engagement and social pressures to be informed and involved, as well as rising criticism of the news media generally. The prognosis for well-informed young electorate keeping up with complex issues through local TV newscasts and Internet news portals is almost as depressing as newspaper readership statistics.”

What have newspapers done about it? Patrick has some great detail on the launches (and success/failure) of youth-oriented tabloids, weeklies, etc.

Check out the article… in print or online.

Luck of the Irish Pub Concept

Rosie McCann’s Irish Pub & Restaurant (my now former employer – more on that in a moment) has won Best Bar in the annual Santa Cruz Good Times Best Of issue. The GT is an alternative weekly…well, less alternative than the Metro, which isn’t that alternative to begin with.
The point is – we won.
So there.

Actually, I recently gave up my shifts there to spend more time with my family. Heh – cool – I sound like a corporate press release, only this time I mean it. I’m excited to spend more than one day’s worth of daylight a week with my wife and cat.

Oh, and by the way, to the Good Times: I’m sure that if I had been around the day you were asking your questions and checking your facts, I would have happily pointed out that the Lost Coast Brewery is in HUMBOLDT County, and you might have been confused when you said it was in Mendocino. The Anderson Valley Brewery is the one in Mendocino.

But whatever. We won. Thanks GT readers.

If everything’s gone well this week (remodeling), Rosie’s should be reopening Saturday April 30th Wednesday May 4th with a bunch of snazzy new wrinkles to it. Go there. Drink beer. Eat food. Tell them Ryan sent you, and you’ll probably just get a blank stare back, but you’ll be hoisting a cold one by then. Cheers.

UPDATE: Rosie’s reopened Friday May 6th – I stopped by this morning to pick up a paycheck – the place looks awesome. Really. New paint, new booths, new style, new light fixtures — the place finally looks like a real Irish Pub. A fireplace. Another flashy flat screen TV. The works. Go. Eat. Drink. Slainte!