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In Lacey’s mugshot, he looks wearily at the camera, like a mob boss coolly calculating his revenge.When I saw that mugshot online, I almost felt sorry for Arpaio; he didn’t know what he’d unleashed.To me, that story was about Lacey and Shafer's butt-kicking tendencies; and more generally, about the swaggering machismo of New Times, and of alternative newspapers in general.

The papers reached those elusive young consumers in their twenties. I needn't have worried about about Jim Simmon: The Press's editor-in-chief wasn't boring.

We wrote investigative stories, and profiles, and stories that were really about how it felt to be alive right there, right then -- at a karaoke bar, or a church Christmas play, or amid a knot of transgender activists. But now, looking back over a blasted media landscape, it seems like a golden age.

On September 26, I got an email about my swaggering old über-boss, Mike Lacey. Mostly from a distance, I followed his exploits: the muckraking stories, the bare-knuckled fights, the awards, the threats, the wild gouts of praise, the epic flights of profanity.

His lawyers, Becker & House, wrote that their client, Lacey, was “attempting to develop a database of former employees of the New Times and/or Village Voice Media for communication purposes.” I wasn’t sure: Did he want to send us all Christmas cards? Houston wasn’t Lacey’s main focus -- that was Phoenix, where he’d founded his empire; and San Francisco and Los Angeles, which were way more glamorous — but occasionally, he’d blow through like a hurricane. IN 1970, Mike Lacey was a Vietnam protester, an Irish kid from Jersey who’d dropped out of Arizona State.

First amendment lawyer Liz Mc Dougall is general counsel for the company that runs the classified ad website

She says the website is actually one of the good guys, working with law enforcement behind the scenes to help save adult and child victims and put their traffickers behind bars. The Backpage grew into Backpage.com, a classified-ad space that seemed as wide-open as the internet itself. In 2010, Craigslist stopped taking ads for escort services; attorneys general had called it “the Wal-Mart of child sex trafficking” and "the only player in the sex industry who is in a position to stop these ads." But of course the ads didn’t stop; they largely migrated to Spicy classified ads were baked into the business model.Readers often started the paper at the back, so the New Times displayed the most prominent of those little ads on the tabloids’ last page. There were personal ads, of course: all sorts of people seeking all sorts of hookups.Had he joined a 12-step group and was making amends? They won tons of awards — sometimes for writing, sometimes for investigative stories, sometimes for stories that Lacey had written or edited himself.They bought the cash-starved, four-year-old Houston Press in '93.As details of the arrest came out, the sheriff looked ridiculous.

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