Dog Bites

TV Jibe
The downsizing of the Chron/Ex continues. After jettisoning columnists and squeezing pages out of the Comics section, the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle & Examiner has claimed another victory for profit over content by cheapening the already cheesy TV Week. In recent weeks, the TV book (controlled by the Chronicle) has shed its editorial content for advertorials -- including the cover. This week's cover -- which looks like a teaser for a story inside -- trumpets Alex Bennett's new cybershow, Wired Again. Wrong. Inside is a paid advertisement for Bennett's program.

The cover also includes a banner ad for an 800 number. What next? Ads on the cover of the Examiner magazine? Oh wait, they already do that?

Lick Dick
Longtime Nixon hater Tom Zajac captured the Zeitgeist last month with a four-color envelope that tosses the Tricky stamp behind bars. Zajac, who edits the Santa Cruz Comic News, says sales took off when the San Jose Mercury-News ran a story on the Nixon Envelopeª on July 6. A subsequent AP story fed the national media maw, forcing Zajac to order a third batch of 100,000 from his printer.

Zajac commemorated the 21st anniversary of Nixon's resignation on Aug. 9 by visiting the Watergate postal station in Washington, D.C., where he had a slew of his envelopes canceled on that date for collectors. (While in D.C., Zajac lodged at the Howard Johnson in the same room in which the burglars conducted their surveillance of the break-in.)

Currently inundated with ideas for sequels -- Marilyn over a hot-air grate or Elvis on a crapper -- Zajac intends to keep his message political. He doesn't want to give his next idea away, but promises an envelope that places Nixon in a rogues' gallery of '60s politicians. For information on how to order the envelopes, call (408) 426-0133.

Garcia's Last Hurrah
When 20,000 fans finally cleared Golden Gate Park after the seven-hour memorial to Jerry Garcia Aug. 13, the city was left with more than an untidy Polo Field. Along with the Deadhead detritus came a bill for overtime from Recreation and Park staffers along with cops called in for crowd control.

Because San Francisco has more than its share of heroes, the city frequently foots the bill for the increased staffing such spontaneous idol worship demands from the Police and Public Works Departments. (For instance, last winter's 49ers victory parade cost about $100,000 in DPW cleanup and police overtime.) And although Bill Graham Presents, long associated with the Grateful Dead, picked up the tab for the stage, public toilets, and other miscellany related to the public wake for Garcia (a spokeswoman for BGP declined to divulge a dollar figure for the event), the city is still out some $53,000 in combined Rec and Park/Police overtime.

One positive note: According to Rec and Park, the Polo Field survived the memorial with little permanent damage, the only significant cost being $450 to replace three sprinkler heads destroyed or lost during the event.

By George Cothran, Jack Shafer, John Sullivan

 
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