The Spring of the Year

More Change at the S.F. Chronicle

As you may know, I write a weekly column for the SF Chronicle, and the paper has been going through great financial difficulty recently.Part of the result of their financial difficulty has been a restructuring of sections that moved most of the Home and Garden content from Wednesday to Sunday. Another part has been that they have been trying to reduce their staff. Changes continue.

After longtime Home and Garden editor Lynette Evans left the paper at the end of 2008, Simar Khanna, who was previously editing the 96 hours section, took it over. Yesterday, I got an email explaining that she had taken a buyout and had only stayed on for the past two months to help with a transition. And she said that Laura Thomas, who has been in the department for some years, has also taken a buyout and left.

The new Home and Garden Editor is Deb Wandel, who has been working in the Food Section for many years, and whom Simar says is experienced and good to work with.

I just write the columns and hope they are treated well. In the past couple of months, the H&G section has sometimes been so tiny--one sheet, 4 pages--that they have not been able to run my column every week. Then, last week, they cut a couple of paragraphs from the middle of an answer, adding a bit of mystery as to how we got from the first part of the answer to the last part. But I still think the Chronicle is an extremely valuable resource and hope they/we can find a way to keep it in print. 

In the garden, we are transplanting onions, collards, tomatoes, leeks, and lettuce, and sowing seed of arugula and Spigarello broccoli. That last is a broccoli grown for leafy shoots. I want to compare it to gai lan, or Chinese broccoli. Seems like the Italians and Chinese have a few similar greens, which each culture stir-fries with different condiments.


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Spidra Webster

I'm subbed to the H&G section via RSS and the difference has been striking. I'm sure if it weren't for my RSS sub, I wouldn't be able to find any garden stories at all. The SF Bay Area is one of the most literate and creative areas in the US. The SF Chron has never been a paper of the quality you'd expect for the area it serves. However, lately it's been appalling. I hope they keep treating you well and printing your excellent column. However, if things continue going downhill, I'll be switching to other newspapers. Even for local news.

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