SAN FRAN’S NEWSRACK LAW ON HOLD

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By: Mark Fitzgerald

Judge Refuses To Lift Injunction

San Francisco will not be allowed to enforce its controversial newsrack ordinance before a scheduled Dec. 8 court hearing, U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup ruled recently.

The city wants all paid and free papers that are now distributed in about 12,000 free-
standing newsracks throughout the city replaced by a far lower number – estimated from more than 1,000 to just 485 – of pedestal-mounted newsracks with individual boxes for six papers in each rack.

The city argued that the injunction, which another judge, Saundra Armstrong, imposed in June, should be lifted since the Board of Supervisors in August changed a provision in the law that led to the injunction. Judge Armstrong said she barred enforcement of the ordinance because the law lacked procedural safeguards for granting permits to newspapers to be included in the new newsracks.

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Mark Fitzgerald (markf@mediainfo.com) is editor at large for Editor & Publisher magazine.





(c) Copyright 1999, Editor & Publisher

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