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Eric Francis

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Eric Francis Coppolino
Eric Francis (born 1964).jpg
Born 1964 (age 53–54)
Brooklyn, New York
Residence Kingston, New York
Nationality American
Education SUNY Buffalo
Occupation Journalist
Employer Planet Waves, Inc., New York Daily News
Known for Planet Waves, Book of Blue
Website Planet Waves

Eric Francis Coppolino (born 1964) is an American investigative reporter who specialized in corporate fraud and toxic torts litigation, and also the astrologer for the New York Daily News and Marie Claire magazine.

In 2005, while based in Paris, he created Book of Blue, a fine art photo studio and series of online books.[1]

Early life

Eric Francis was born in Brooklyn, New York to Joseph Coppolino, a professor of communications, and Camille Cacciatore, a language teacher. At John Dewey High School, he was editor in chief of Gadfly, the official social science journal.

Journalist

Eric Francis' first journalism job was as a staff reporter for the Echoes-Sentinel in Warren Township, New Jersey. This was a straightforward municipal reporting assignment (covering the Township Committee, the Planning Board and related functions). His editor at this newspaper, Florence Higgins, introduced him to astrology. She moonlighted as a professional astrologer and owner of a New Age bookstore, Aquarius Rising Books. She taught him the rudiments of both newspaper reporting and astrology. He purchased his first deck of tarot cards from her store as well.

He took a position as senior editor at Whitaker Newsletters, Inc., assigned to Health Professions Report, where he covered the American Medical Association, the American Nurses' Association and other medical industry issues, at the height of the nursing shortage in the late 1980s.

In 1984 Francis founded Generation, a weekly student magazine at the University at Buffalo.[2]

He then moved into investigative journalism, in 1989 founding New York State Student Leader, later the Student Leader News Service (SLNS), in New Paltz, New York. SLNS covered higher education for the State and City University systems in New York; it chronicled the chronic budget cuts and tuition increases of the time, and was the first dependable student news entity covering the State University Board of Trustees and the New York State Legislature. The New York Times described Francis as one of the few people not on the state payroll who understood the state budget.[3] Beginning in the late 1990s, he also wrote a column for Chronogram magazine.[4]

Coverage of PCBs and dioxins

As editor of SLNS, he covered the SUNY New Paltz PCB disaster of December 29, 1991, in which a transformer accident contaminated several dormitories with PCBs and dioxin, one of few reporters to do so after the first month of what became a decade-plus cleanup that cost state taxpayers $50 million by 1997.[5] His investigative articles on the issue have been published in Sierra, the magazine of the Sierra Club,[6] the Village Voice, Woodstock Times, the Las Vegas Sun, The St. Louis Journalism Review, Lies of Our Times, and other national and international publications.

His persistent coverage led to his being banned from the New Paltz campus as an alleged public nuisance on May 5, 1993. Challenging the ban, he brought a federal lawsuit against the State of New York in the persons of college president Dr. Alice Chandler and associate vice president for student affairs Dr. L. David Eaton, on freedom of speech and equal protection grounds (1st and 14th amendments), represented by civil rights attorney Alan Sussman. In summer 1994, the case was settled out of court, he was paid $20,000 damages, and the ban was rescinded with an acknowledgement from the state that his civil rights "may have been violated".[7]

Astrology

Francis also writes the astrology columns in the New York Daily News and Marie Claire magazine, and formerly also for Chronogram. According to his biography on the Daily News website, he is "the world’s only astrologer to carry international press credentials. After a long career as an investigative reporter covering corporate crime, Eric went from the front page to the horoscope page."

#MeToo allegations and dismissal

In 2018, after an internal investigation involving multiple #MeToo allegations, Chronogram severed ties with Francis.[4][8][9][10] Editorial director Brian K. Mahoney published a statement in the July 2018 issue.

References

  1. ^ Kingston Daily Freeman, "Fresh Faces in Business" section, August 2008 edition.
  2. ^ Generation was founded with Eric F. Coppolino as editor in chief in Sept. 1984 and is published by Sub Board 1 Inc, the student services corporation of SUNY Buffalo.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ a b Chronogram, Editor's Note, "Make Choices, Have Reasons", by Brian K. Mahoney, July 2018 issue.
  5. ^ Uphill Fight: Raking Muck On Campus by Mike Winerip reports the price tag at $45 million just two years after the incident. Between 1993 when the article was published and 1998, the Coykendall Sciences Building was entirely renovated at an unknown cost, though estimated to be about $8 million. [2]
  6. ^ [3]
  7. ^ The New York Times [4] covered this lawsuit.
  8. ^ "Wicked Game", by Eric Francis Coppolino.
  9. ^ "Nature of the Beast", by Eric Francis Coppolino.
  10. ^ Smith, Jesse. "Controversy over local astrologer brings #metoo movement home to Ulster". Hudson Valley One. Retrieved 22 July 2018.