Monday, April 30, 2007

Coming: Yet more Renzi

Via AZ Congress Watch, today we learn that Grant Woods has either been pushed aside or jumped ship as Renzi's lawyer, the East Valley Trib is calling on the Congressman to pack it in, and the Daily Star has come out with an interesting angle on one of his land-swap deals. Tons o'fun. I'll watch for what gets printed.

Besides, 200 is a nice round number for posts in April.

Coming: Plugging the dike

I'm looking forward to the Courier editorial responding to Virginia Governor Tim Kaine's executive order today expanding background checks for gun-seekers. Place your bets.

Background on the Luer Rocket story

In comments this morning Steve LaVigne offers an inside angle on the story from April 24 and what had gone before, including a cookie for Jason Soifer.

"The Courier refused news about the rocket in September 1984. (We had the rocket right out front of their office!) The Prescott Sun got the scoop instead! 22 1/2 years later the Courier puts together an article! Jason did a good job and researched the article. It actually seems to have a small amount of meat in it.

"Interestingly enough, The original Courier incident in 1984 made me come to the conclusion that the Courier really wasn't interested in local news!"

Those were the days of Jim Garner, who'd been on the paper since the late '50s, and nobody on the Courier now was involved then, I expect. You gotta wonder whether the office culture changed much, though.

Followup, 11:20am: Steve tells me that the the Courier eventually carried the story because Jason Soifer happens to have a family connection to the rocket's history. I kinda figured it was something like that, as that's how things usually work in smaller towns.

Amster: "Glut of information leads to apathy and confusion"

The glitch in the headline on the free version is apropos. Randall nicely restates the condition of our world that psychologists and Alvin Toffler first predicted in the '70s. But to what end? I kept looking for some suggestion, again to make the voter smarter, but I can detect no call to action here other than a sort of vague 'get used to it.'

Randall (two Ls in your name this week -- where was the other before?), as the token local leftie we depend on you to speak to the local leftie consciousness on local issues. I know you don't want to be drawn into standard ideas of oppostion and conflict, but there's no one else who can say these things. Take a position!

Editorial: "Teaching girls to fight back"

In the anodyne of the repackage-page-one-plus-"this is icky" formula, we have a repackage of page one plus "I like this." Waste. Of. Space.

A journalist, on the other hand, might have made a couple of calls and come up with a quote from the public-ed czar about adding the program to the statewide curriculum, for example, or maybe a cost estimate and options for paying for it, in other words some contribution to the public discourse that makes the voter smarter.

Editor: You have to knock out a couple hundred words a day. It might go better if you treat it as an opportunity rather than a dull chore.

A1: "Statewide tobacco compliance operation kicks off"

Let's see, you take out a full-page ad on Wednesday warning businesses that you'll be checking on whether they sell a highly addictive drug to kids, then run teenage ringers on them for four hours on Saturday and you still get a kill rate of over 20%. Yet for some reason I'm not getting from Mirsada Buric's story that anyone thinks we have a serious problem here. Rather it reads like good news that PV retailers spotted the ad and tightened up. Sheesh.

We do get some stats on why tobacco is a problem that needs dealing with, and that's to the good. But it's all pretty light.

I'll look forward to reading about a compliance operation against the bars that flout the statewide smoking ban starting this week -- holding my breath, but not for the story.

A1: "Opinions on frontage road go both ways"

Honestly, you go to all the trouble of laying tons of new asphalt for them, and some people just complain, complain, complain.

Um, exactly what makes this news?

A1: "Developer pressing Chino on projects"

From Doug Cook we learn the litany of complaints from a rich developer, and it's certainly not outside the bounds of possibility that Chino Valley is doing him dirty, but I don't see that Doug went to town officials for the other side of the story on why they're demanding so much. What's up with that?

Again, Doug, it's 'leaching,' not "leeching." You need verb agreement in the subhead too.