Monday, April 20, 2009

Cover it live embed test

Saturday, October 4, 2008


UPDATE: In case the below post is not clear, what this means is that there will be no new posts at this blog. Everything will be posted at from now on.

Starting today, I will be blogging using Wordpress instead of Blogger. The new-ish Rhetorical Wasteland can be found here.

It's the same blog, and all the posts and comments appear to have imported successfully. (Images, not so much. If I have time, I'll transfer some of the more recent, but this might just be a consequence.)

Please update your RSS feeds accordingly; I think this will work:

Eric Stoller is ultimately responsible for this move, like it or not, and will therefore get all the blame if anything goes wrong.

[LCSD] Everyone should read this

A comment left over at LT's blog:

After Monday's board meeting you won't have any allies left at the district or the hish [sic] school and your reign of error will be over LT.

That's a little disconcerting. We're talking veiled threat/vengeance/black helicopter territory here.

Placed in context, it also suggests that there is something major planned for Monday, like the removal of the Superintendent.... and the LHS Principal?

Friday, October 3, 2008

[LCSD] Liveblogging the next board meeting

I will, of course, be liveblogging the next LCSD board meeting if at all possible. There's a good chance I'll be working that evening, so that may not happen.

If there were Internet access in the Elections Office in the Linn County Courthouse, I'd liveblog the vote count too, but there's not. I asked. I'll post a link to the webpage where they will report the results when I find the link.

Electoral Map

Based on polling, if the election was held today, this is what would happen.

The big question, as always, is turnout.

GT revampification & miscellaneous newspaper thoughts

According to GT Publisher Mike McInally, the GT is undergoing several changes:

First, on Friday, you will notice some major changes to the Entertainer: The weekly publication now will include a somewhat abbreviated version of the TV listings that used to appear in Sunday’s TV book.

Here’s how the combined Entertainer and TV book will work: One of the covers will be the Entertainer cover for that week. Then, if you flip the publication over, you’ll see the cover of the TV book. It sounds a little odd, but I’m betting it will seem natural when you see the combined product on Friday.

We will stop publishing the TV book that used to be part of Sunday’s paper.

This is a move that allows us to save some money; like businesses everywhere, we’re doing everything we can to keep a close eye on costs.

Translation: They either didn't make enough money last fiscal year, or worse, they didn't make any money; in either case, Lee Enterprises told them to cut costs somewhere.

(As an aside, whether or not they needed to cut costs really does depends on how much money they didn't make. Newspaper companies, including Lee, have been notorious in the past for seeking relatively high profit margins, so I'm leaving open the possibility that this cost-cutting is actually to increase existing profit, not to get back to making a profit. Anyone have the answer?)

Speaking of cost-cutting, here are a few mores changes listed in the piece (I have reordered and numbered them):

1. The job of compiling [the Entertainer's] calendar listings falls to Brandon Goldner, a journalism student at Linn-Benton Community College who also moonlights as the G-T’s afternoon receptionist. He’ll be busy.

2. We’re rolling the Home & Garden section into the Lifestyles section, a move that should allow us to retain the content of each but package them together.

3. A redesign of the G-T to go along with a move to slightly narrower newsprint.

Given the state of the newspaper industry, and given that we're talking about Lee Enterprises here, it seems clear that there was a mandate to significantly cut costs. My question is this: How much control were GT staff given over deciding where to cut costs and what changes to make?

For that matter, is the GT ever going to replace any of the staff that's leaving? AFAIK, Jake TenPas didn't do much besides edit the Entertainer, and Nancy Raskauskas already works at the GT. Is this change workload-neutral for her, or is this another case of more work, less people?

... don't get me wrong. Most of the time, I like the GT, and I like the people I know who work or have worked there. And I am pleased to see that, at least according to this editorial, there are no staff cuts taking place as part of these changes (aside from the aforementioned practice of simply not replacing people who leave). But, like many other people, I don't see how shrinking the newspaper (literally and figuratively) is going to help increase subscriptions.

Of course, maybe I've been making a mistake in assuming there is a way out. Maybe what's happening really is a downsizing of newspapers due to the ability of readers to get their news other places, like the Internet. Maybe it really is inevitable, and it's just going to be painful, and no amount of focusing on local coverage (my preferred solution) is going to help, at least not in the short term.

Oh yeah: Are similar changes coming down the pike for the DH and LE? Inquiring minds want to know.

[Nerdy Goodness] Pandora


Corvallis City Council Ward 6

From the GT:

Ward 6 Candidates Joel Hirsch and John Detweiler and Ward 1 incumbent Bill York and challenger Mark O’Brien took questions from the G-T’s editorial board and the audience.

When asked about which city services might be at risk if the council was asked to make cuts in lean budget times, Detweiler suggested Parks and Recreation as a potential place to start.

“I don’t know why the city is in the recreation business,” he said. “I’ve never needed it. I don’t know why I’d want it.” [emphasis added]

Hirsch couldn’t have disagreed more.

“Parks and Recreation is not only a valuable service, with as much as it costs to register a (softball) team, it’s also a good business for the city,” he said.

Good grief. Logically, the problem here is that Detweiler's not on the City Council to represent his own personal wants and needs; he's on it to represent those of his constituents, and I bet more than a few of them like having Parks and Rec. Plus, you know, it's Corvallis. I can't imagine this town without a vibrant Parks and Rec program.

Then there's the sheer silliness of this comment:

When asked about the current council’s tendency to enact resolutions pertaining to national issues, such as the recent council support for a U.S. Department of Peace, the Ward 6 difference was black and white.

Detweiler said such resolutions were “a waste of time.”

“It’s a feel-good thing and there’s a lot more to governing the city than making people feel good,” he said.

Hirsch disagreed.

“I think part of governing the city is helping people to feel good,” he said.

I agree with Hirsch, and this also makes me miss Stewart Wershow, just a little. Click here to see a ward map, and if you live in that area, please vote for someone besides Detweiler.

I'm lucky - I live in Ward 5, which is represented by the awesome Mike Beilstein, who happened to be walking the neighborhood a day or two after I move with voter registration cards. Convenient, that.

[Hering] It's just.... good

The only quibble I have with this editorial of Hering's is that he fails to mention the obvious reason Sizemore got this measure on the ballot: It would deprive the state of money. Specifically, of $4-8 million per year, according to the state Elections Division. But the writing is decent, and Hering actually uses logic and evidence, for once. It's like a real editorial!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Slow-mo party fracture

Steve Benen on some of the politics of the bailout earlier this week:

Let me get this straight. The Republican president supported the bill. The Republican Senate leadership supported the bill. The Republican House leadership supported the bill. The Republican presidential nominee supported the bill. And the Republican National Committee runs an ad insisting that Obama's bailout package "will make the problem worse."

I'm so numb to this stuff I have no outrage left. I'm just confused. be fair, the Republican rank and file dissented just enough for the first attempt to pass the bill in the house failed. But I think that only sort of proves my point about the party fracturing.

....the left hand is campaigning for the bill and the right is campaigning against it, and there's no cognitive dissonance whatsoever. Funny.

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