Friday, December 29, 2006

Be an editor Part II

You have probably heard that the cartoonist who does Fox Trot is stopping production of his daily comic -- he'll continue to do Sunday strips.
Of course, it's too late for you guys to help me with this particular strip (I wish I would have thought to ask you earlier) because it ends tomorrow.
However, the comics pages are pretty fluid. I can remove and replace strips at will -- IF I'm ready to be pummeled. Because, you see, every strip has its fans -- and even if I think it is lame or has run its course, I get letters of complaint if anything changes on those pages.
So, you comic junkies, are there any strips you read elsewhere, you'd like to see in The Chronicle?
Let me know.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas everyone

So, I know the "just settled in for a long winter's nap" line is about Christmas Eve but -- at least at our house -- the line is so much more appropriate for Christmas Day. We ate and then laid around watching "Cars." I bought it for my little boy (who's 20!). Now it's time for a snooze. What do most people do when Mass is over, the presents are opened and the leftovers are all in the fridge? Are we the only lazy people?
By the way, if you saw the bizarre weather map in the Chronicle today -- sorry about that. Someone (ME) should have called Accuweather and told them we had an early deadline last night. It didn't come in time for our deadline.
The resourceful news editor, Dan Shortridge, (who found a weather map to get in there) tried to cheer me up. After I apologized for failing to make sure he would get the weather map by Christmas Eve deadline, he said, "It wasn't that bad ... the forecast was just the same old yada yada it's been, rain and above-average temps."
It is great to have smart people in the newsroom who can punt when they are up against it. I appreciate them every day.
Have a good night. Hope everyone got everything they wished for from Santa.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What will they build at Ford?

Has anyone heard what they plan to put on the Lorain Ford site?
Can it possibly be another industrial park? They can't fill the ones they have, can they?

I think it would be a great place for an OUTLET MALL. That site seems like exactly the kind of place they put those outlet malls ... right off a highway but sort of in the middle of nowhere.
They seem to do pretty good business although I don't know if that would translate to revenue for the city.

In trouble again

How about what happened with Michael Ross?!?!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Six (five and a half, really) shopping days left

OK, this is it -- coming down the stretch before Christmas.
I have about 25 percent of my Christmas shopping done.
Of course, I have hard-to-find items on wish-lists from my boys, things like a throwback Browns hooded jersey. Type those four words into Google and you always get three out of four. Know what I mean? Like I found lots of 1.Throwback 2. Browns 3. Sweatshirts -- minus the hood. Or I found lots of 1. Browns 2. Hooded 3. Sweatshirts -- minus the throwback.
It's like a huge game this Internet shopping but I guess it beats walking around store after store and mall after mall.
I know, I know, that's the "fun" of Christmas. Well, maybe it would be IF THERE WERE 30 HOURS IN EVERY DAY or if I didn't have to do time-wasting things like ... ummm, SLEEPING!
Wonder how others are making out finding what they need -- at a fair price -- this year.
Oh, BTW, I DID find eventually find my 1. Throwback 2. Browns 3. Hooded 4. Sweatshirt! It has a picture of the elf guy on it. That was almost as thrilling as a Browns win!

Friday, December 15, 2006

He's caving a little

We were out with Keith McGuckin today as he was putting up Part II of his holiday window display in Wellington -- a gay snowman -- and he said that if he gets a lot of negative feedback about the gingerbread Nazi display over the weekend, he may take it down. He says he doesn't understand the flap. You can listen to him in his own words in a video on the ct newsroom blog

Cookie monsters or not?

They kicked Keith McGuckin and his swastika-swathed gingerbread man out of Oberlin so McGuckin took his show down the road -- to Wellington -- where a won't-give-us-his-name storefront owner allowed him to set up his display.
Did you see the picture of the display in the paper? If not, here it is.
Do you think McGuckin is doing this for publicity or is he truly an artist in search of artistic freedom? Boy, try to write that sentence in an unbiased way! Seriously, I don't know the answer to the question myself. I really don't want you to think I'm trying to persuade you one way or the other.
All I know is that when his cookie creatures got booted out of Oberlin, the story was all over the world -- literally. I found it on U.K. and Australian newspaper Web sites. I guess that means the story is news ... or does it?
We had a newsroom battle at the Chronicle last night (wish you could have been there) about where to put the story in the paper. The opinion in the newsroom was HEAVILY in favor of putting in on the front page -- but it wasn't to be.
Maybe, Mr. McGuckin, if you are reading this ... you can tell us yourself just exactly what you are up to.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Smoking in the bars

So what's with all this smokin' in the bars?
It's i-l-l-e-g-a-l. Don't people know that?
Ohio voters banned smoking in just about every place except the far corner of your basement and yet, go into just about any bar and chances are good you'll be able to bum a cigarette from the guy (or girl) sitting next to you.
Conscious objectors, that's what the bar owners are.
A guy who owns a bar in Cleveland was on NPR this morning and he said there is no way he's putting away his ashtrays because in the bar a couple doors down, people are smoking.
I'll lose business, he said.
So, the deal is: There's this law but there are no enforcers.
Hmmm. Think about that ... if no one was going to nail you for speeding, would you obey the posted limit? Shoot, I wouldn't.
Are they smoking in the bars you've been in since the law went into effect?
Is that OK with you?
Let me know.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Be an editor

Friday night, Julie Wallace, our new assistant managing editor, was editing stories when she swiveled around in her chair and said to me, "Patti, did you see this Off-the-Beat item? The one about the girl standing in the cold? I think you oughta take a look at it."
Off-the-Beat is a column that we run Saturdays in the print edition of The Chronicle. It's a spot where reporters can tell readers about the fun, funny or bizarre things they ran across during their week covering the mean streets of Lorain County.
Well, it seems some of those streets are a little meaner than others for what Julie wanted me to see was the report of a 15-year-old girl made to stand out in the cold wearing a reindeer nose and antlers AND a placard around her neck that said, "I'm a liar."
The teen told our reporter (her quote was in the story), "I'm embarassed. I want to go in the house. I need to stop lying and behave myself."
Her father told our reporter (his quote also was in the story), "I want the attention for people to see her so maybe next time she'll know better."
Well, we decided not to run it.
We really didn't see the news value of heaping more humiliation on an already humiliated teenage girl. It just didn't feel right to us.
What do you think?
Is it news? Would you have run the story? The picture?
And, why or why not?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Flood aftermath

Wow. There are a lot of people angry about the flooding in Lorain.
Getting water in your basement is bad enough but when it's sewer water, it is almost too much to take.
Does anyone know how many homes on the west side of Lorain were affected? We are trying to figure that out but the city doesn't even know.
I actually live in that area myself but my home wasn't affected. I'm not sure why ... maybe my home is up higher.
Let me know if you or someone you know had raw sewage backing up into his or her home -- and what they are doing about it.
Also, do you think the City of Lorain should be responsible for the cost of the cleanup?