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Posts Tagged ‘Laurie Ochoa’

California Chicano News Media Association Announces Ruben Salazar Journalism Award Honorees

Slake‘s Laurie Ochoa and Pilar Marrero of La Opinión will be honored for their career achievements at this year’s California Chicano News Media Association awards banquet. The LA Times will also be honored for its investigation into corruption in the city of Bell, “empowering the mostly Latino community to take back their city.”

On top of the special honorees, the CCNMA will also hand out its annual Ruben Salazar Journalism Awards. LA Times staff writer Louis Sahagun is the winner in the newspaper category for his story on birth defects near a toxic waste facility in the primarily Latino farming town of Kettleman City. For the TV award, María Leticia Gómez of KDTV in San Francisco won for her piece on the impacts of parental involvement in the Bay Area school system.

The banquet will be held June 10, at the Millenium Biltmore in LA.

Slake Launch Party Draws Ginormous Crowd

Local literary journal Slake celebrated the publication on its second issue with a bash at the Track 16 art gallery in Santa Monica. Well over 700 partygoers showed for the shindig, which included readings by Slake contributors Rachel Resnick, James Greer, John Albert, Amy Scattergood, and FishbowlLA’s own Matthew Fleischer. We were bursting with pride over our little Matty, who drew laughs and hoots from the crowd with his reading of “Mushrooms to Mecca.” An excerpt:

In some countries they call pigeons squab and eat them as a delicacy. In America, we tend to let them feed on our scraps and then get pissed when they shit on our cars — a resource turned into a filthy, disease-ridden nuisance. You can learn a lot about a place by its birds.

And here’s our editor celebrating a reading well read. More pics after the jump.

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Slake Debuts Its Second Issue Tomorrow Night at Track 16

Slake is throwing a huge bash for the release of its second issue “Crossing Over” tomorrow night at the Track 16 gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica.  She Wants Revenge’s Justin Warfield will be DJing, there will be readings from various Slake contributors (your humble Fishie included if he can keep his shit together) and we’ve also gotten wind of something about free whoopie pies.

We spoke with editors Joe Donnelly and Laurie Ochoa last night, who told us nearly 700 people have already RSVP’d. Looks like it will be a great time.

RSVP here. Party starts at 7.

Sam Slovick On the Homophobia that Threatened Slake’s Second Issue

Yesterday, Fishbowl LA reported that the upcoming issue of Slake had been delayed by two to three weeks because various printers across the United States refused to publish the book–citing “explicit material” from Sam Slovick‘s story “Tommy Crow,” which contains one line depicting gay sex.

This is the line in question:

“We sit in silence in the backseat for an hour before he spits in my hand, rubs it on my dick and slides it in his ass.”

The printers had no objections to several graphic descriptions of heterosexual sex in the book. We asked Slovick about the blatant homophobia at play. He responded that while he’s faced homophobia before, he never expected get any flack over “Tommy Crow.”

“It never occurred to me that there was anything offensive in there,” he says. “This is a love story–a first love story. It’s semi-autobiographical…I understand the homophobic matrix. It’s not interesting. It’s kind of redundant. I don’t pay any attention to it. But this comes from left field.”

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Homophobic Printers Held Up Slake’s Second Issue

At long last, the second issue of Slake is back from the printer and will be unveiled at an event at the Track 16 gallery on January, 22. We here at Fishbowl LA were more than excited when we got the press release, but were a bit confused when we noticed it contained the following odd caveat:

Slake No. 2 was delayed when several domestic facilities refused to print the book over concerns about Sam Slovick’s short story ‘Tommy Crow,’ which includes a brief sex scene between two gay teenagers.”

We called Slake‘s Joe Donnelly and Laurie Ochoa for an explanation.

“We have a print broker, and they have clients they use for print jobs,” Donnelly told us. “We’d been scheduled to print in Illinois. But the day we were supposed to go to press–the same day Obama signed the DADT repeal as it happens–we got a call from our broker saying there was an ‘interesting development.’

The Illinois printer refused to print the work due to a line depicting gay sex. Slake‘s broker sent the issue to clients in New Mexico and Kentucky, “but the material was ‘too explicit,’” says Donnelly. “One or two lines in a 6,000 word story.”

So what was the offending prose?

“We sit in silence in the backseat for an hour before he spits in my hand, rubs it on my dick and slides it in his ass.”

Really? That’s it?

“If it were a teenage boy and girl and no one would care,” insists Ochoa, noting that one story in the same issue has a sex scene far more graphic than Slovick’s, depicting heterosexual sex. The printers had no objection on that one.

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Slake Throws A Damn Good Party

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In celebration of their premiere issue, the Slake literary journal threw a party at Track 16 on Thursday night, complete with readings, music, an art show, a taco truck, and most importantly – PIE. Beautiful women served up generous slices of apple pie in a vintage 1929 dining car to the literary hordes, which included Jerry Stahl, Luke Davies, John Powers, Iris Berry, John Albert, Joe Donnelly, Deborah Stoll, and Jonathan Gold.

The gallery show of art from Slake will be on display at Track 16 through the end of the week. Track 16 Gallery, 2525 Michigan Ave. Bldg C-1, Santa Monica, 310-264-4678. We recommend taking a peek.

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Former Publisher On The Firing Of LA Weekly Editor

Michael Sigman was publisher of the LA Weekly from 1990-2002. It was Sigman who originally hired Laurie Ochoa in 2001, and in a piece on today’s Huffington Post he reminisces about his time at the paper and questions the current ownership’s judgement:

The Weekly has cut way back on editorial spending for obvious reasons — the Internet, Craigslist, the recession — and by most accounts Laurie has done a brilliant job keeping the paper’s quality as high as possible under the circumstances.

Was “parting ways” with Laurie — a smart, sophisticated editor who knows L.A. like the back of her hand — a good idea, especially with no replacement in sight? (Ah, but they’re advertising for a new editor on Craigslist!) No. To paraphrase Freud, sometimes a mistake is just a mistake.

Previously on FBLA:
Editor-In-Chief Laurie Ochoa Leaving LA Weekly
LA Weekly Looking for a New Editor…On Craigslist
Media Criticism Via Facebook

Editor-In-Chief Laurie Ochoa Leaving LA Weekly

BREAKING: Just got the lousy news that editor-in-chief Laurie Ochoa is leaving the LA Weekly. No idea if she was fired or finally just lost patience with the tomfoolery of the paper’s owners. Release is below:

For Immediate Release: LA Weekly, Editor to Part Ways

The LA Weekly is announcing that Editor in Chief Laurie Ochoa and the paper are parting ways after eight years.

A former intern, contributor, and special sections editor at the LA Weekly from 1984-1988, Ochoa returned to take over the editor in chief role in 2001.

LA Weekly wishes her luck in all future endeavors.

LA Weekly is actively searching for Editor in Chief candidates who will continue LA Weekly’s legacy of journalistic excellence while expanding its online presence.

Since 1978, LA Weekly has been decoding Los Angeles for its readers, infiltrating its subcultures, observing and analyzing its shifting rhythms, digging up its unreported stories and confronting the city’s political leaders. LA Weekly has won more awards from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies than any other paper in the country, and in 2007 was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for criticism by food writer Jonathan Gold.

The Limbaugh Challenge

Rushcj ioranuv.jpgIn a recent LA Times Op-Ed piece, conservative Andrew Klavan criticized the liberals who complained about Rush Limbaugh without ever having listened to his show. Klavan issued the “Limbaugh challenge”- to listen to the show an hour a day for several days. Four local liberals accepted the challenge- Marc Cooper of the USC Annenberg School for Communication, Laurie Ochoa of the LA Weekly, Norman Lear of People for the American Way, and civil rights attorney Constance L. Rice. Their response ran in the LAT Op-Ed page this past Sunday. From Marc Cooper:

I will grant Limbaugh one slim glimmer of genius. Unlike similar demagogues (I’m thinking of Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity), Limbaugh makes no claim to be a little-guy populist. Instead, he’s a perfect mouthpiece for the most elite portions of our society. He’s a virile defender of wealth, privilege and greed. The rather fabulous trick he pulls off is to attract millions of little-guy listeners and make them believe that their interests are somehow the same as those of the jillionaires Limbaugh idolizes and celebrates.

LA Weekly’s Laurie Ochoa ‘s Letter to LA Observed

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LA Weekly EIC Laurie Ochoa’s email to Kevin Roderick:

Kevin,

I know it makes juicier blog posts to tie everything that happens at the LA Weekly to some kind of Mike Lacey conspiracy against the very paper he owns, but Monday’s item about the Weekly’s new office location being Lacey’s revenge on the staff was just silly. He and Jim Larkin trusted longtime publisher Beth Sestanovich to find a new building and she was the driving force behind the move. And while Lacey does sometimes stay on the Westside, I can tell you that the last two times he was in town, he flew into Burbank and didn’t go west of La Cienega.

Now you’ve finished the week by bundling the good fortune of a few of our writers into a narrative that makes it seem as if Jill Stewart is causing some kind of mass exodus. While I hate to see talented journalists leave the paper, one of the things we do well here is assign good writers the kinds of feature stories that get noticed by a large and influential audience. Sometimes this attention leads to job offers and book or movie deals that are hard to resist. Fortunately, I’ve got a growing stack of resumes from excellent journalists around the country who want to work here. And I know from personal experience that leaving the Weekly doesn’t mean you can’t come home again–I’m hopeful we’ll see work in the future from many of the writers who are moving on.

It’s true that, as any editor would, Jill has brought new voices to the paper (Zuma Dogg, for the record, has written just two stories in Jill’s ten months at the paper). But she is also bringing in good stories from some of our veteran freelancers and has reached out for news pieces from staff writers who wouldn’t normally report to her.

One of these writers just left my office amazed at how different the caricature of Jill is from reality. This writer has had a blast working with her. Yes, there have been some disagreements, but I haven’t worked at a place where editors and writers always see eye to eye. For me, the most important thing is that we’re still doing the kinds of stories that reflect the city and can compete in quality with any magazine or newspaper in the country.

By the way, Marc Cooper isn’t going anywhere–his column is in the paper virtually every week and he’s currently hard at work on a cover story for us. We’re fortunate that he is able to travel around the country and bring back original reporting for us on national issues (most recently he was in Iowa covering the presidential campaign).

Thanks for taking notice of our stories as often as you do, but if you’re going to do an item on the internal business of the paper, I’d really appreciate at least a courtesy email to check the facts of your post.

Sincerely,
Laurie Ochoa

PS: Did you see that Ted Kissell, Gustavo and I responded to the Nation article? The letters were finally printed in the issue that came out two weeks ago.
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Roderick tries to swipe FBLA, but swings, misses, nurses sore paw.

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