More news

Sep. 3rd, 2005 11:28 pm
slyvermont: (Default)
Rehnquist just died.

Two nominees. This could get interesting.

As if the news media wasn’t overloaded already with all the hurricane coverage.

I have to give the man credit for hanging in there to the very end. Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that he insisted he wasn’t going to resign the court? This man died with his boots on, so to speak.

Rehnquist had a summer home in Vermont, in Greensboro, so I’m sure we’ll cover his death with a more personal angle.

Speaking of the hurricane, I did my good deed today, and dropped off three bags of stuff that was packed onto 20+ trucks that Vermont sent to the Gulf regions affected by Katrina. The effort here in Vermont was impressive.

Another thing that is haunting me about this whole Katrina disaster is how poor the evacuation plans seem to have been. The mayor asks that the whole city evacuate. Which is fine if you have a car, or the funds to rent a car. But nothing seems to have been organized for the carless, the infirm, the hospitalized. The images of the patients in hospitals really, really bothered me.

The question I have is – do other communities -- mine? yours? -- have plans to evacuate their hospitals, their nursing homes, their homebound citizens? Because between earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, blizzards and volcanoes, most places in this country are at risk of some natural disaster. And it’s not only evacuation plans, but plans for these people after the disaster strikes. I know that there are emergency drills all the time (I’ve covered them), and I find it unfathomable that New Orleans didn’t plan for this scenario. But if New Orleans didn't, chances are that most other places haven't either.
slyvermont: (Default)
I’ve been watching a lot of the New Orleans news today, in my usual addicted-to-the-major-news-event fashion. And reading stuff online.

One of the scariest things I found online was at the New Orleans Times Picayune website (www.nola.com), which is finally running news after being down for two days. (I always try to read the local newspaper's coverage in situations like this, figuring it will have the most complete information.) There’s a section where friends of people who need to be rescued are writing in, describing their plight. Specific addresses are given; these are often people who are ill, infirm, on medication, elderly, etc. – and have been without food or water for days. I can’t read too many of these, because they are so upsetting, but it points to how slow the rescue effort is.

The future of the newspaper is interesting to ponder, too. There’s a comment from the publisher that the paper will continue to publish, but it’s strange to think of a newspaper covering a city that hardly exists anymore. The advertisers are under water and readers are scattered in other cities. Its circulation used to be about 250,000, and while I’m sure many of its readers lived in the suburbs, which may still be intact, the majority of its hard-copy subscribers must not be around to pick up a paper. It can keep posting stories on its Web site (its presses are currently under water), but is it still a newspaper if it does that? New Orleans desperately needs its newspaper coverage, but how can a newspaper continue to survive when its community vanishes?

And a little thing that bothers me: when the people move onto the busses that are taking them away from the Superdome, they have to first slosh through a foot of water. There is something so demeaning about that, that no ramps are provided. People are starting their 12-hour bus ride with soaking wet feet.
slyvermont: (Default)

The news coming out of New
Orleans
is just unreal. The newsroom came
to a standstill tonight and we watched the evening news, something we don’t
typically do. When there was a story about the deteriorating conditions in some
New Orleans hospitals,
I had trouble staying calm. Especially after that story, I am really worried
about Bobbi. I hope someone gets in touch with her soon.






It’s hard to imagine such third-world conditions here in the U.S., but that
seems to be the case. Apparently CNN had a split screen today, with one half
showing a Bush administration official saying the government had everything under
control, and the other half showing a bare-chested man breaking a store window
with a baseball bat. Conditions at the convention center sound incredibly
scary.






Anti-Bush people can follow this link to an interesting photo of our
in-charge, in-control president.






On a more humorous note, here is a new ad that my newspaper is running:






There is a picture of a gorgeous woman hugging an attractive man. The
text (which was clearly not proofed first – copy editors don’t read ads!)
reads:






“Joe, you just got a great new job, your fiancé is a Nobel Prize winner
… and a super model, and you bat .400.




“How do you do it?”




“I read The Times Argus, Fred. In the 21st Century, knowledge is power,
my friend, and nobody informs
Central Vermont like The
Times Argus.”




“A newspaper makes you smart, sexy and successful?”




“Sure Fred, the newspaper, the Web site, timesargus.com, the whole
Times Argus package.”






Then, at the bottom of the ad:




DISCLAIMER: The Times Argus guarantees to make you better informed
about politics, business, sports, health, arts and entertainment, and just
about everything else. It can help you buy a car, find a new home or land a
job. The Times Argus does not guarantee that you will ever bat .400 or date a
supermodel.






Well, she may not be a supermodel, but we can get you a Nobel Prize
winner, apparently.






Nice to know I work for a paper that has a sense of humor.

Katrina

Aug. 31st, 2005 01:39 am
slyvermont: (Default)
I just came back from work. I designed the front page, which meant having to sort through the hundreds of photos from Louisiana and Mississippi of the damage caused by Katrina.

The devastation is quite sobering. That storm unleashed a lot of power. Pictures of I-10 in pieces … boats piled on top of each other … the missing Superdome roof … the flooded streets of New Orleans. The city is under water, and I am concerned about the handful of people I know who live there.

Then, there was the photo of this guy calmly paddling down Canal Street on a piece of Styrofoam, using a green umbrella as an oar.

It’s going to take a long time and a lot of money to clean this up.

ETA: Here's a page with the photos we chose, including the "styroman," as we so affectionately called him at work: http://www.timesargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050831/NEWS/50831003/1002&template=morephotos

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