Friday, March 30, 2007

Something fishy at the Murky News

This morning I was actually reading the print edition of the paper when I came across this story on the front of the local section. It seemed at first like an ordinary story about modern parenthood and kids' over scheduledjou lives, but then I opened to the jump on Page 6 and was created almost two full pages of of full-color ads for various summer camps! I think this would seem suspect even to the less media savvy of the South Bay. Dozens of giant ads right next to a story about the same topic? Close reading of the story itself reveals a rather one-sided view of parents scheduling each week of their summer vacation with video-game camp or Mandarin immersion overnights. I guess it's necessary for dual-income parents of school-age kids. But whatever happened to spending some summer weeks at Grandma's house? My kid's only a year and ahalf, but I know he -- and Grandma -- would love that!

Friday, March 23, 2007

"I support separation of church and hate"

That's the Bumper Sticker of the Day, seen at the Flower and Garden Show.

Also on the same car: "Partnership for an idiot-free America."

Alas, I fear both are pipe dreams.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Baltimore Examiner publisher uses his paper to sell his home

The utter absence of journalistic ethics in the Anschutz-owned Examiner chain from coast to coast is amazing.

The Baltimore Examiner recently ran a full-page piece (with four color photos) on a home that's selling for $606,000. What the paper didn't disclose is that the person trying to sell the "prime property," as it's called, is Examiner publisher Michael Phelps. The paper called on the guy who owned the house before Phelps to describe all of its charms, reports Laura Vozzella.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Drain Hetch Hetchy, Lungren says

Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Gold River, believes it's time to restore Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park by draining the reservoir that has been a source of clean water for San Francisco for more than 80 years.

"Rep. Lungren is the first member of the U.S. Congress to come out in support of this," said Ron Good, head of Restore Hetch Hetchy. "It's a breakthrough."

Lungren's endorsement of draining the 360,000 acre-foot reservoir is being announced in an opinion article the conservative Republican is sending to area newspapers. The cost of the valley's restoration is estimated at as much as $10 billion, although Good said environmentalists believe the cost will be far less.

Congress would have to approve the work, however, and that's where the big rub is. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has been longtime opponent of the restoration idea. No other Bay Area Democrat in Congress has endorsed the idea, especially House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco.

But Lungren is not exactly striking out on his own, either. The Bush administration has included $7 million in the Interior Department's 2008 budget to study restoration.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Celebrity sighting!

We finally saw our first celebrity on this weekend's visit to SoCal! It was this guy, who apparently played the brother on Everybody Loves Raymond. He was at the Subway in Malibu with his kids (well, I assume they were his kids and not just some random kids he borrowed) and a Bernese mountain dog puppy. Since I've never seen the show, I never would have recognized the guy if my brother-in-law hadn't pointed him out. He was actually wearing funny glasses and a hat. And apparently he does a lot of voice work.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Movie reporters too neat

If I'm an opossum who has been recently displaced by construction work, I'm going to the nearest newsroom and making a home within the work space of one of the cops or courtroom reporters. You could burrow a basketball-size hole, feed off half-eaten ham sandwiches and birthday cake and raise a nice opossum family.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Judges go after reporters

First amendment doesn't apply in Kansas and Minnesota, apparently.

The Midwest is a scary, scary place.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Two words: Box turtle

Santorum in talks to become Philly Inquirer op-ed columnist

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum says his talks with the Inquirer are "informal" and the column "may or may not happen." Publisher Brian Tierney confirms "low-level discussions" with Santorum, but puts the chances of the politico's column ever appearing at "one out of 1,000. We'd probably be more likely to have Dan Rather write a column for us. Seriously. And I'm not being facetious."