.We need news writers; RIP George Houser; and more

Hello and welcome to the Fishing Report blog. Here is its history, for the sake of the permanent record: I first started writing an occasional print column about 10 years ago called the Fishing Report that used to run in the now-shuttered New Haven Advocate and Fairfield County Weekly, over in Connecticut. I’ve always loved to read actual fishing reports, but the original idea behind the column was to write about anything except fishing, and yet call it a Fishing Report. I grew up in the age of irony, see.  

Well, I’m very psyched to re-animate that column as a blog, and plan to actually do some fishing and write about it—just not every day. A man’s got to work. With that in mind, I’ll cover the waterfront, too, and whatever bits of curious flotsam, jetsam and corruption happen across my trail. Always looking for tips and leads, and a good sandwich, so don’t hesitate to send an email if you’ve got a hot tip or crazy lead on a story, or a snack suggestion, [email protected]

But let’s start with this bit of in-house business: The Bohemian and the Pacific Sun are looking for news stringers who can cover Napa, Marin and/or Sonoma counties. That means we’re looking for freelance reporters who have stories to tell, who know how to work sources, and who can deliver hard-hitting news stories in the 750-1150 word range with a minimum of drama and a maximum of reporting. There is pay involved, not to mention glory. Please kick me an email at [email protected] with a clip or two and some strong language indicating why you’re up for the job.

Before you do, however, please take note that we are looking for news stringers. It is not “news” if you are a DJ with an upcoming gig and you want to write about it. But good luck to you.


George Houser was a Civil Rights hero who lived in Santa Rosa and died yesterday at the age of 99. Thanks to locally-based Black Panther founder and activist Elbert “Big Man” Howard for linking me to this celebratory obit from an upstate New York Gannett paper; Houser formerly lived north of New York City. You’ll read all about him yourself, but he was a pacifist and co-founder of the Congress of Racial Equality, and his early marches against Jim Crow were a direct antecedent to the legendary Freedom Rides that would come later. Here’s to Houser, and while we’re at it: Here’s to the continued existence of the 14th Amendment of the U.S Constitution, GOP presidential candidates notwithstanding. Strike the Bob Dylan song, “I’ll Be Your (Anchor) Baby Tonight” and lift one in Houser’s honor. 


While we’re on the subject of the GOP, I just read a spot-on takedown of NY Times columnist Frank Bruni, who wrote a real barnburner this week on the subject of Jeb Bush. It seems Bruni found him to be wanting. On his website, my pal and former editor Russ Smith finds Bruni to be a nightmare master of the hack. A classic takedown. And if you are wondering, per that headline, “What the %$&# is a ‘Bruni Goo-Goo,'” only Eddie Murphy can answer that question for you. 


Got an emailed press release from the city of Santa Rosa the other day that announced upcoming plans to finish the ongoing expansion of Stony Point Rd. The work’s been going on awhile, and yeah, it has presented some traffic-snarl hassles. I’ll occasionally take that route home if Highway 101 out of Santa Rosa is overly congested, which it was on Wednesday.

It seems that this last phase of construction on Stony Point Rd is pretty well-timed: I came upon a crazy accident yesterday on a really tight stretch of the road that involved several vehicles and resulted in what appeared to be a downed power wire, and a U-Haul in a ditch. A civilian man stood in the road directing traffic around the downed wire while everyone else stood around and waited for the cops to show up. I spotted a guy on the side of the road cradling what at first looked like a small baby, with a worried look to his face that made me think: Uh-oh. But as I passed by I saw he was holding a small dog. From the look of things the dog seemed to be okay, maybe a little freaked out. Other civilians were descending on the scene to help out with the mess, but five minutes down the road I watched a CHP cruiser scream by to end the momentary anarchism of the accident scene.

The rest of the drive home was uneventful, except I almost threw a Jane’s Addiction CD out the window in a fit of pique. 


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