San Fran Free Papers Could Face Fines for Unwanted Deliveries

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By: E&P Staff

Publishers of free newspapers in San Francisco may have to start paying high fines for unwanted deliveries under a new proposed law. But the statute would not apply to newspapers that have paid subscribers.

The law, proposed by city Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, would require newspapers to publish an e-mail or phone number which people could use to put their residences on do-not-deliver lists. Papers delivered to these residences would incur steep fines — $100 per residence for the first offense, $200 for the second violation, and $500 for all subsequent violations.

Mirkarimi has claimed that the papers are a blight on the community, piling up in spots and turning into trash on city streets.

The San Francisco Examiner would be the paper most affected by the law, as it distributes copies daily to around 120,000 residences, the San Francisco Chronicle reported today. The Examiner already has a phone number posted on the newspaper bags to sign up for the do-not-deliver list, but the first time 25,000 bags went out with the number on them, fewer than 200 people called, the Examiner?s publisher John Wilcox told the Chronicle.

The proposal is in response to complaints of litter around the city by residents whose responsibility it is to clean up newspapers on the sidewalks in front of their residences according to the city?s Department of Public Works.

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