(credit: Tom Meyer)
“New owner at Dorado Chocolates,” read a news story posted at TheUnion.com yesterday afternoon. “The new owner of Dorado Chocolates in Grass Valley has been with the company for seven years and called (the) founder ‘my best friend.’” The article went on to talk about the busy store for Valentine’s Day.
Maybe you saw it too. It promised a full story in Wednesday’s paper.
I was interested, since I bought some chocolates for Valentine’s Day at Dorado Chocolates (one for my son and one for my wife) that same day. It’s a family favorite.
But then no story appeared. Though the link is searchable on Google it reads: “This is an invalid article or has been removed from our site.”
Huh? Why isn’t the Editor offering some explanation for a story that appeared, then disappeared? Where’s the accountability? From where I come from, you don’t do that.
What to beat the recession? You can camp out for free in Walmart parking lots — at least for overnight. Most of the happy campers are RVers but some even pitch tents.
My in-laws recently completed a road trip to Arizona and noticed the phenomena was on the rise. (They stayed at a state park campground, however).
Walmart no doubt figures the RVers will shop there too. Some Walmarts are open 24 hours.
Some locations ban the practice, however, because long-term campers are trying to check in. Some towns also have banned the practice. You’d be well advised to check with the store first.
“Where the Heart is,” the book about the woman who made her home at Walmart is here. The book is set in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, the “Sequoyah equivalent of a town square,” as one review notes.
The current issue of the CABPRO newsletter — a publication of the “hard right” political group that is distributed at local businesses such as Robinson Enterprises gas stations and B&C Hardware around town — has an article that suggests boycotting gasoline made from Middle Eastern oil.
“Nothing is more frustrating than the feeling that every time I fill up my tank, I’m sending my money to people who I get the impression want me, my family and my friends dead,” it reads. (The article has no byline; it just reads “Source: US Department of Energy.”)
It goes on to list some large companies that supposedly do not import Middle Eastern oil.
But the article is eerily similar to one listed under “urban legends” by About .com — an internet chain-mail letter going back to 2005. The details are here.
•It’s off-target. “The boycott is based on the false assumption that all oil-producing countries in the Middle East fund or otherwise support terrorism. It would punish enemies and allies alike,” the About.com analysis reads.
•The facts and figures are simply wrong.
“According to DOE statistics (and taking mergers/acquisitions into account), only three of the companies lauded in these messages for allegedly not importing Middle Eastern oil actually belong on that list: Sinclair, Sunoco and Hess,” it adds. “All the other companies mentioned do, in fact, use varying amounts of petroleum imported from the Gulf region.”
To be clear, the chain letter lists Citgo, Sunoco, Conoco, Sinclair, BP/Phillips, Hess and Arco. The CABPRO letter lists Sunoco, Conoco, Sinclair, BP/Phillips, Hess and Arco, as well as Maverick, FLying J, Valero and Murphy Oil USA. (The analysis, then, cannot vouch for the ones that CABPRO added to the list).
Here’s another important point raised by the U.S. Energy Information Administration: “While interdependence in the Western Hemisphere has been a major United States policy objective, it is important to realize that this combination of size and geographic closeness creates its own short-term vulnerability.
“Take for instance the case of Hurricane Roxanne, which severely damaged a large part of Mexico’s production facilities in the Gulf of Mexico in late 1995. Some 40 million barrels of Mexico’s production was eliminated, the vast majority earmarked for refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast. These refiners, less than a week’s sailing time away, had little time to compensate for this sudden hole in their planned supplies.”
Mergers and acquisitions also make a difference. Added Gibson Consulting: “There are some glaring errors in the list which make me suspicious of all the information. For example, Amoco is an integral part of BP (and Phillips is not and never was). Sinclair was acquired by ARCO many years ago, and ARCO has since been acquired by BP, also many years ago; but since then, the Sinclair brand was spun off and is now an independent company based in Utah.”
“Almost all marketers buy from big refineries, and big refineries have no choice but to use as much crude, from wherever they can get it, to keep going at the 100 percent level,” it added. “If you cut out Saudi crude from the refineries, then you cut out 14 percent of all gasoline.”
Mother Jones has published the second installment of its investigation of the tea party, titled “Don’t ask, Don’t tell.”
“The nation’s largest tea party group wants your money. Just don’t inquire about where it’s going,” it reads. “There’s nothing illegal about what TPP is doing—but it’s certainly not the action of an outfit that welcomes public scrutiny.”
Some highlights of the report:
•”TPP claims it is a 501(c)(4) entity. That means the group does not pay taxes, but donations to the group aren’t tax-deductible. Yet despite raising millions of dollars since its founding in February 2009, TPP has not even applied to the IRS for such official status, according to a TPP spokesman. And the IRS confirms that it has not filed paperwork that would reveal basic information about its finances.”
•”(Jenny) Martin said last summer that she was making $6,000 a month for her work. But activists have been unable to officially confirm her salary or Meckler’s. Asked late last year by Mother Jones, Meckler refused to say how much he’s being paid, though such information is legally required to be disclosed on a charity’s tax forms.
•”TPP’s honchos don’t take kindly to questions about how they are spending the group’s money, either.”
The rest of the article is here.
Newspapers like to shine at light at others but aren’t always good when it comes to writing about themselves.
At The Union, Nevada City beat reporter Michelle Rindels is listed on the online masthead. But her new Twitter account, opened more than two weeks ago, states she is reporting on the Nevada state legislature for the Associated Press.
In recent weeks the sports editor, Brian Hamilton, has been writing about Nevada City and the City Editor, Trina Kleist, is writing about Grass Valley with the byline “senior staff reporter.” Liz Kellar is the court reporter, and Kyle Magin is the county reporter.
And it looks like Angela Diaz — the former reader liaison — is now a staff writer. So who’s the reader liaison? The last information that was posted about the newsroom lineup is here.
A community newspaper is an intimate place: The community and its readers should know what’s up.