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Muckraking SF journalist Warren Hinckle dies at 77  
sfgate.com

Warren Hinckle, a happily hard-drinking swashbuckler of San Francisco journalism who mixed leftist leanings with an everlasting contempt for the powerful, died early Thursday. Mr. Hinckle had been in declining health and died of complications from pneumonia at a hospital near his home in San Francisco, said his daughter Pia Hinckle. From his groundbreaking days of editing the iconic liberal magazines Ramparts and Scanlan€™s Monthly in the 1960s and €™70s to his reliably irreverent columns for newspapers, including The Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner, Mr. Hinckle delighted in tweaking anyone in charge of anything and muckraking for what he fiercely saw as the common good. With his ever-present Basset hound Bentley in tow, Mr. Hinckle held forth at watering holes and events throughout the city, tossing off one-liners in a low growl like a late-night comic. Along the way, the one-eyed rapscallion €” he€™d lost his left eye in a childhood car accident and wore a patch €” drew the wrath of mayors, police and anyone who got in his way, and he reveled in it. The resultant rollicking article, €œThe Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved,€ not only launched the over-the-top, personalized journalism that came to be known as gonzo, it began a lifelong friendship between Mr. Hinckle and Thompson. €œIt was kind of like the portrait of Dorian Gray,€ said longtime friend Ron Turner, founder of the book€™s publisher, Last Gasp Books. While executive editor of Ramparts from 1964 to 1969, Mr. Hinckle pioneered €œradical slick€ €” publishing early denunciations of the Vietnam War and diaries by such leftist figures as Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara and Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver in a mass-marketed magazine. The magazine began in 1962 in Menlo Park as a stodgy, intellectual Catholic publication, but when Mr. Hinckle signed on he moved the headquarters to San Francisco and tacked its direction hard left. Mr. Hinckle then embarked on a career as a newspaper columnist for The Chronicle, Examiner and San Francisco Independent, earning a reputation for filing notes from a barstool or ambling into the newsroom just before €” or after €” deadline to bang out his prose. Chronicle reporter Steve Rubenstein, who worked alongside him as a columnist in the 1980s, recalled Mr. Hinckle dictating his copy €œan hour from deadline from any of a number of watering holes in San Francisco, where his beverage of choice was not the same as Bentley€™s.€ The scruffy Dovre Club Irish saloon in the Mission District was one of Mr. Hinckle€™s favorites, and when it was forced to move a few blocks away in 1997 to make room for a building housing service agencies for women, he was so angry he tried to barricade the doors with his pals on its last day. Incensed by police raids on the Mitchell Brothers strip club €” where he often convened with Thompson to rail against restrictions of sexual expression €” he once helped post the mayor€™s unlisted phone number on the marquee with, €œFor a good time, call Dianne.€ €œWarren was always the smartest guy in the room, and at college he was smarter than the teachers,€ said Chronicle reporter Carl Nolte, who was then working in media relations for the university and later worked alongside Mr. Hinckle. After graduating, he joined The Chronicle as a reporter covering mostly crime news, but soon moved on to his magazine work at Ramparts. In 1974 he wrote an autobiography, €œIf You Have a Lemon, Make Lemonade,€ and it served as a sort of manifesto for the puncher€™s attitude he carried throughout his life. Mr. Hinckle is survived by his longtime partner, Linda Corso; daughters Pia Hinckle of San Francisco and Hilary Hinckle of New York; a son, Warren J. Hinckle IV of Boston; a sister, Marianne Hinckle of San Francisco; a brother, Robert Hinckle of Reno; and five grandchildren.
Submitted 1 hour ago by eureka!
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The Nooner for August 24th

 

DISTRICT UPDATES

  • Some people have asked how I decide between Toss-Up, Leans Dem/Rep, Likely Dem/Rep, and Safe Dem/Rep. Well, it is subjective, but generally, here we go:
    • Toss-Up is a true 50% chance, either because of district make up or candidate factors (money, endorsements, etc.)
    • Lean is a 50+ to 60% chance
    • Likely is a 60+ to 90% chance
    • Safe is 90% - 100% (obviously in districts in which two members of the same party advanced to the general)

Good midday Wednesday to you! One week left in the legislative session, including five business days. If the Legislature follows tradition of not meeting Friday, make that four business days. That explains the frenetic pace if you were watching session yesterday, with gut-and-amends still arriving through rule waivers.

One notable thing was how much faster end of session bill consideration goes without former Assemblymember Tim Donnelly, who liked to speak on every bill he opposed (which was most). We even have time to smash some Pokemon during the proceedings!

 

Lara Pokemon

 

For now, barring a Herculean last-minute effort, we're stuck with "spring forward, fall back," meaning my clock radio will be an hour off half the year because I always forget how to change the time.

I'm off to Davis in a few for the first of several appointments following my brain's electrical misfiring on Sunday that landed me in the ER. Hopefully I'm back to Nooner Global Headquarters by the time you read this.

VOTER REG STATS: The latest voter registration numbers are now on the [full Nooner]

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