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Silicon Valley News Notes

Making Money Like Crazy

Psycho Donuts in Campbell continues to be a center of controversy. About 30 protesters walked the corner of Winchester and Campbell Avenue last Saturday holding up brightly colored signs that read, "Why Offend People" and " Mental Illness is NOT funny." Sadly Fly didn't hear any cool chants, but there might have been some earlier. Of course this didn't seem to dissuade the 20 or so people that lined up to get a taste of the mentally challenged donuts. As protesters took public umbrage with the fact that Psycho Donuts seems to make fun of mental illness, patrons stopped to listen, often with a donut in hand. Kip Berdanski and Jordan Zweigoron, co-owners of the shop, didn't seem to mind the attention, and wore their make-believe-doctors' garb to the event. And while the protesters seemed to be giving Psycho Donuts publicity, Berdanski said the steady crowd streaming through the doors was pretty common for a weekend. While on assignment, Fly had to try the Cereal Killer donut, which was better than it sounds.

Insert 75 Cents Into Monitor

After radically downsizing the editorial department of the Mercury News and its once high-flying digital media empire, MediaNews Group CEO Dean Singleton now wants to charge for online access to its content. A May 8 memo from Singleton and MediaNews exec Jody Lodovic outlined the company's interactive strategy, noting "not only does [free online news distribution] erode our print circulation, it devalues the core of our business—the great local journalism we (and only we) produce on a daily basis." The memorandum, which has been widely republished on the net, explains that "our online products too closely resemble the newspaper, and thus fail to meaningfully reach the next generation of readers." The answer to this? "We cannot continue to give all of our content away for free," Singleton and Lodovic conclude. In addition to the Merc, Media News publishes just about every other daily in the Bay Area, including the Monterey Herald, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Oakland Tribune and Contra Costa Times, as well as the Silicon Valley Community Newspapers group of weeklies.

Anti-Pleasure Police

All the Fly wants, besides a place to buy donuts that remind me of my crazy Uncle Floyd (you know, the one no one talked about after his massive head trauma), is a place that doesn't feel seedy to go buy adult toys. Well, Pleasures From the Heart has been told that it needs to move to a light industrial section of the city, remove its adult toy inventory or just get out of Campbell. This women-centric lingerie and adult boutique has been in the Orchard City for more than 10 years and is run by a very nice mother-daughter team. Crystal Mangiameli and Loraine Mangiameli are trying to work with the city to come to a peaceful resolution, they also have a petition in their shop and are urging customers to write to the City Council. Pleasures From the Heart won Metro's 2008 Best Lingerie Shop, and the Fly would be sad if it had to find somewhere else for its ... stuff.


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