Thank you Amber alert

Our cell phone rang with the Amber alert in the middle of the night on Monday. It woke us, but we quickly went back to sleep. And I’ve been driving around the region lately, so I’ve seen the Amber alert warnings on the highways many times. I memorized “blue Nissan” but not the license plate.

Here’s the outcome:

“Suspected kidnapper killed in Idaho — teen girl safe” is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

6 thoughts on “Thank you Amber alert”

  1. I was awakened by the alert not once but twice, and it made it a little uncomfortable for our staff driving around in the SBC car, a blue Nissan versa, but it is worth it.

  2. Thank goodness. The perp is dead and the girl is apparently unharmed. He definitely knew where to go to avoid capture, Highway 395 and the side roads thereof, on the way to the most remote wilderness in Idaho, was brilliant. But not brilliant enough, since he is dead now. Great end to the story.

  3. I have already stated this idea on Facebook, which is where I spend most of my time, as I have groups in the Bay Area as well as here. Ran into Michael at the fair, and he noted my absence from the local boards. I can get all the right wing action on You know you grew up in Berkeley when… (FB group) and all the local controversies on Nevada County Vents (FB group) Generally the interaction is way much faster than any local blog or the log dead The Union comments section, which could be so improved by following the Chrons lead. Anywho, back to the topic at hand:

    Brillliant Idea #2,764: Make the first and last symbols on a license plate twice the size of the rest. Why? Amber Alerts would yield much faster results, as posting W______7 would allow people to see at a glance if they might have spotted the car. Then they can double check the rest of it, by using the Amber Alert app to repeat the vehicle description, on their cell phone. The app already exists.

    It might even be a good idea to pick one symbol position in the middle, and enlarge that as well. This would allow allow one to just get a glance of a blue vehicle in traffic and give it a quick yea or nay for further research. Plus it would give all the rest of the owners of a blue Nissan, in this case, a break, as well as all the folks in the way of an overzealous Zimmerman weaving in and out of traffic to get a better look.

    I find it supremely ironic that a guy on horse back sensed “something funny” and busted him, no license plate involved, at least not directly.

    1. The quick answer Michael is yes, this is part of how people weened on social media are going to process tragedy now. Social media friends become part of a real network of connections including connections to family, friendships, institutions, and society at large that we amass. This may be hard for those of us who are not digital natives to understand, but gradually media will become as much a part of us as family has, and for some it may replace family. Think of this analogy; to many The Enlightenment meant the world of the mind replaced the world of God, Spinoza pointed it out and was excommunicated, and this transformation was largely driven by the invention of the printing press.

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