Newspaper with a thing for offensive ledes

The Bee reports today on a sex offender caught preying on boys after being released from prison after serving time for a 1988 child molestation charge.

Robert Precobb, a sex offender with a thing for teenage boys, caught a big break last year when a judge ordered him freed from prison. (my emphasis)

Some guys might have “a thing for” redheads, or for Spanish-looking men, or for apple fritters, but a child molester preys on children. It’s super gross to phrase it that way and the Bee should probably change the wording.

What The French?

Bee careful!
cc, By jurvetson

The Bee has an interesting report today, “Yosemite deaths: Americans may have lost respect for nature’s risks” about recent deaths at Yosemite as evidence of a growing trend in deaths caused by Americans being too stupid/ignorant/tech-obsessed to know when nature is dangerous.

On Wednesday, children waded in a small eddy just 50 yards from the edge. Some playfully teetered on a log that separated the eddy from the river’s torrent. Upstream, a man swam across Emerald Pool and back, crossing the Merced River current and ignoring warnings and prohibitions posted nearby.

Horrifying, right? Read on…

The children playing so close to the edge of Vernal Fall were among a group of 15 Parisians visiting the park.

What. The. French?

But it’s actually a great read with some interesting discussion of a very plausible trend that seems to be affecting people everywhere. Maybe the Bee can research whether Americans are more likely to be literally eating a Big Mac while falling over Vernal Fall.

Slow News Day?

Today's breaking news: holiday parking sucks!

I actually own a newspaper subscription. This morning, I paid for the privilege of reading the following “news,” which appeared on the FRONT page of the Bee:


The story came complete with “parking tactics for holiday shoppers.”

In an effort to help our friends at the Bee with some additional news items, I have created the following list of future stories:

  • Shocking Discovery on Sacramento Streets: Cars Stopping at Stop Signs
  • Scientific Research Shows: American River Water is “Wet”
  • Sacramento Holiday Shoppers Set Trend by Paying in U.S. Dollars
  • Sacramento Mother Tells 20-Year-Old Son: “Santa Not Real”
  • Area Nonprofits Make Radical Announcement: “We Need Money”

June ballot measures add up

Capitol Alert Screenshot
Conflict of interest? Or just annoying?
This story in the Bee about the amount of money spent on the June ballot measures made me cringe.

Nearly two-thirds of that cash came from Pacific Gas & Electric, which has poured $46 million into the campaign for Proposition 16, a constitutional amendment that would require two-thirds voter approval on proposals for a public utility to expand services to new customers or new territories using public funds or bonds.

“PG&E’s spending to support Prop. 16 has eclipsed all other proposition spending this election season,” the foundation’s president, Kim Alexander, said in a statement.

Of course, I scan over to the right side of the page and what did I see being advertised? Fitting, I guess.

Sure seems like this kind of money could be put to better use, huh? Perhaps PG&E could save a library or two and use that exposure to promote their measure? Seems crazy, but these are crazy times, right?

Door to door decisions

This post on the Sacto 9-1-1 blog warning Sacramento about the dangers of door to door solicitors hit home with me. What to do with solicitors in my neighborhood is a hot topic of discussion.

Except when it comes to U.S. Census workers and maybe cookie-peddling Girl Scouts, legitimate neighborhood salesmen are pretty much a thing of the past, said Sherrie Carhart, a crime prevention specialist for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.

Note to self: disguise yourself as a U.S. Census worker the next time you want to solicit door to door.

I kid the person from my community who is hired by the Census Bureau to make sure that my neighborhood gets represented as accurately as possible.

I did find this tidbit interesting…

Carhart said sales people are required to carry a copy of the county permit they must obtain for door-to-door solicitation, as well as a copy of their business license.

So, do I just not answer the door when someone I do not know comes-a-knockin’? Do I look through my peep-hole and give them a once-over to determine if they are cookie-peddlers or there to find out why I didn’t mail it back?

Are Political Ads in the Online Bee Fair?

Since I read the Bee online, I have noticed a trend that makes me a bit uncomfortable. The Bee imbeds political advertising in political articles.

Of course, this is smart targeting of voters. People who read articles about the election are more interested in politics than those who don’t. No brainer.

My problem is when the advertising is sold to candidates about whom the articles are written.

Take a look at an article today here. It reports on the debate between the Republican primary candidates for the 4th Congressional District, which will be won by either Tom McClintock or Doug Ose. While reading the article, the reader gets to listen to and watch series of advertisements for McClintock who is (of course) slamming his opponent, Ose. Readers have to turn off the ad if they do not want to watch it or mute it if they do not want to listen to it. Even if they do so, a big “McClintock for Congress” remains on the page.

Continue reading “Are Political Ads in the Online Bee Fair?”