55°
Cloudy
THU
 82°
 56°
FRI
 82°
 54°
SAT
 86°
 59°
SUN
 85°
 57°
MON
 86°
 56°

MORAIN: Remote news gadfly avoids being swatted - once again

  • PC: Tim Crews, editor of the Sacramento Valley Monitor, holds up what he referred to as a threat written by former Glenn County Undersheriff Stanley Kephart in 1997 while addressing the Radio-Television News Directors Association of Northern California at their annual luncheon in Santa Rosa on Saturday. cc0304_Tim_Crews.jpg

    3/5/00: Tim Crews, editor of the Sacramento Valley Monitor, holds up what he called a threat written by former Glenn County Undersheriff Stanley Kephart in 1997. Crews was addressing the Radio-Television News Directors Association of Northern California at their annual luncheon in Santa Rosa on Saturday.

WILLOWS

Tim Crews was in his element, chatting up lawyers, felons and other courtroom denizens and waiting for a judge to rule on whether he needed to comply with the Glenn County district attorney's demand that he turn over notes from some of the muck he had raked.

Crews, 69, his white beard long and frazzled, wore his work attire to Judge Donald Byrd's courtroom: faded jeans with cuffs, red suspenders and stained gray T-shirt that doubles as his press pass.

"The Sacramento Valley Mirror. Means News," printing on the shirt says.

Crews is the founder, owner, publisher, editor, reporter, photographer, ad salesman and delivery boy for the paper that loyal readers call "The Smirror." It's an irreverent, scrappy and opinionated rag of 2,960 circulation that operates by the motto: "If we don't report it, who will?"

Crews is a watchdog, but one, he notes, with a little more drool on his jowls than most. The shoestring on which he operates is frayed. Overhead ran $170,000 last year on revenue of $150,000. He has no website and doesn't tweet.

His assets include a Honda that had 243,981 miles on it last week and Buddy, a black Lab that likes Milk Bones a little too much and sometimes stirs himself to bark when customers come to the Mirror's office in downtown Willows.

Crews barks and bites by pushing the boundaries of public records and open meetings acts, regularly landing in First Amendment battles. The California Newspaper Publishers Association honored him with its Freedom of Information Award at a luncheon in Universal City two weeks ago.

One week ago, District Attorney Robert Maloney subpoenaed Crews and his notes from a story about a guy facing minor drug charges who told Crews that cops roughed him up while a nurse drew his blood.


© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View