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S.F. Newsstand Operator Seeks Kiosk Exemption

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

S.F. Newsstand Operator Seeks Kiosk Exemption

Article excerpt

Nick Nano works 78 hours, seven days a week, at his newsstand at Sansome and Sutter streets in San Francisco's financial district, where hundreds customers depend on him for newspapers from the New York Times to Italy's La Republica.

But now progress, in the view of some municipal officials, threatens his livelihood.

In a deal with the city, a French company, JCDecaux, will install 70 cylindrical, European-style news kiosks around town this summer to replace the boxy metal stands that have previously been used for years.

The changeover will not drive Nano, 54, out of business but will drastically cut the display space in which he peddles newspapers from 25 states and several foreign countries. No other outdoor newsstand in San Francisco has close to his selection.

The problem is the fact that the French kiosks have more than a third less space than Nano's 32-square-foot facility.

"I just would not have enough room to handle the hundred or so papers I get every day," he said in an interview.

So Nano, whose business supports his family, appealed to the Department of Public Works for an exemption to let him keep his place.

As it happened, a doctor's appointment kept him from attending a hearing on the matter, but one of his steady customers, Harold Treskunoff, spoke on his behalf, saying the French kiosk would impair Nano's right to make a living in addition to depriving scores of pedestrians of their papers.

Hearing officer Vanessa Conrad promised to issue a ruling on Nano's request in 30 days.

Nano told E&P it took him 10 years to build up his stand from "nothing" - a tiny operation with only local papers - to its present size.

He said he works from 6:30 a.m to 7:30 p.m., five days a week, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

"It's the only way you can make it selling newspapers," he said.

Nano's stand is owned by the San Francisco Newspaper Agency, which publishes the Chronicle and Examiner. …

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