The Union’s Op-Ed page: “The left wants to force is (sic) all into Mao suits”

(Credit: eBay)

The Union newspaper seems more confused than ever about its mission statement. On the one hand it thinks its future is a “mobile first” game plan (witness the new website). But its op-ed page remains stuck in the McCarthy era.

The latest example is this little gem from Todd Juvinal titled, “A big thank you to the Democratic Party.”

It is an illiterate, rambling screed (at best). I wondered about this line: “The left wants to force is (sic) all into Mao suits.” Did Todd mean “force us” (not “is”) into Mao suits?

Then there’s this thought: “You ever seen a train to Hawaii? This is a loony idea but embraced by almost all the Democrat running for president. Is this getting a bit more clear?”

Well, no, it is not getting a bit more clear.

And the conclusion: “They (Democrats) are all about changing our great country into a Third World one at best. We cannot let them.”

Well, of course we can’t?!

Upon reading this, I think it’s time to borrow a “line” from Barry Pruett: 😂😂😂 Or from Todd himself: “You can’t make this stuff up!”

I’m reminded of the song “Lord I was born a ramblin’ man” (as in ramble on and on).

St. Nicholas’ Episcopal Church in Tahoe City sold

Editor’s note: St. Nicholas’ Episcopal Church in Tahoe City has been sold. We enjoyed going to church there — outdoors in summer and at Christmas — and our son went to their Camp Noel Porter. A previous post from Christmas 2015 is here.

“Dear Friends in Christ,

“After a lengthy process of discernment stretching back years, in December 2018 the Board of Trustees authorized the listing of Camp Noel Porter property for sale. We have accepted an offer from a Christian organization whose stated purpose is to use the property for long term ministry/camps and God’s purpose. The Outdoor Chapel will remain in use and well cared for by this faithful organization.

“Previous offers and negotiations did not result in assurances the property would continue to be used as a Christian camp. This sale offers us the opportunity for this property to continue as a Christian camp to the glory of God. The Standing Committee, the Board of Trustees, and Bishop Beisner believe this is the best decision for our diocese at this time.

“This is difficult news and causes many of us to grieve the place we have loved so much. Unfortunately, it is not possible for St. Nicholas Church, founded in 1957, to be separated from this offer. The building that has housed St. Nicholas will be transferred as a part of the camp property. We are actively working with the St. Nicholas congregation to live out its mission in a new venue.”

Church dates back to 1900

“The recorded history of the Episcopal Church in Tahoe City starts July 27, 1900 when The Very Reverend Edgar J Lion of the Diocese of California baptized two children and organized a Sunday School.

“The construction of the Outdoor Chapel took place during the summer of 1909 under the dirrection [sic] of Faville and Bliss, architects of San Francisco, ‘costing $2,200 for which the Bishop was responsible.’

“Built on 2 acres of land donated by the Bliss family, also owners and managers of the nearby hotel, the Tahoe Tavern, the Reverend Charles N. Lathrop of San Francisco was the first clergy-in-charge.

“On September 5th of that year, Bishop Moreland noted in his diary, ‘At Tahoe, held my first service in the unique and impressive outdoor Chapel of the Transfiguration just completed. Celebrated Holy communion, also read evening service and preached. About twenty were at the Holy Sacrament, and sixty at the evening service. Confirmed one, a young man – a bellboy at the Tahoe Tavern.'”

Poll: Union “mobile first” redesign gets tepid response (AKA who wants to read Boardman’s column on an iPhone XR?!)

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iPhone XR (Photo: Apple)

The Union newspaper’s “mobile first” redesign is getting a tepid response, according to the newspaper’s own online poll. So far, 70 percent of those who voted said “I liked the old one better.” Just 16 percent said, “Yes, it’s so easy to use on my phone.”

The results are here:

This should NOT come as a surprise, because of the newspaper’s demographics. It reflects an aging, and a flat to declining population around here (AKA a retirement town). School enrollment has been declining. And guess what? Those who are 62 and older are the LEAST LIKELY GROUP to read newspapers on their phones. More of them prefer to read their newspapers in print.

As Pew reports: “About seven-in-ten adults ages 18 to 29 (71%) often get news on a mobile device, compared with 37% of those ages 65 or older. Moreover, those 65 and older are still more likely to often get news on a desktop than on a mobile device (47% compared with 37%, respectively). This is the only age group more likely to get news on a desktop or laptop computer than on a mobile device.”

“Square peg, meet round hole.” Bottom line: The Union needs to find some more fresh content to draw new readers, not just repurpose its existing content on a mobile platform. Content is king — not the platform.

PG&E names utility industry veteran as new CEO, announces 10 new board members

“After months of pressure from California officials and shareholders, PG&E Corp. on Wednesday tapped a longtime utility executive to run the company and unveiled a plan to replace most of its board of directors,” as The Chronicle is reporting.

“Bill Johnson, the outgoing chief of the Tennessee Valley Authority, is expected to take the post of PG&E CEO later this month, replacing John Simon, who has served as interim CEO since Geisha Williams abruptly left the company right before it announced it would seek bankruptcy protection three months ago.

“At the same time, PG&E said it is appointing 10 new directors, replacing all but three of the board’s current members. They will join the board at the next meeting, which the company plans to hold as soon as is practical and choose a chair from its ranks.

“PG&E is also proposing that Johnson sit on the board. All 14 of its proposed directors will stand for election at the May 21 shareholders’ meeting, PG&E said.

“The next chief executive and the new directors face the daunting task of steering the company while it restructures in Bankruptcy Court and tries to minimize the likelihood that its power lines will ignite more catastrophic wildfires.

“Both PG&E Corp. and its subsidiary Pacific Gas and Electric Co. filed for bankruptcy protection in late January, citing potential wildfire liabilities that could exceed $30 billion.”

The rest of the article is here.

George Boardman’s column and “mobile first” — an incongruous business formula for The Union

So let me get this straight: The Union is going “mobile first” to meet digital demand, relaunching its website, we learned in a column this week.

Yet its content is George Boardman’s weekly column, a “keepsake” of the print era.

Memo to The Union: Content is king more than distribution. More here.

Lori Lightfoot wins, becoming Chicago’s first African-American female mayor

Editor’s note: When I lived in Chicago as a graduate journalism student at Northwestern University, Jane Byrne was mayor. “Over her single term in office, Byrne launched Taste of Chicago and crowd-pleasing celebrations like Blues Fest, inspired the redevelopment of Navy Pier and the Museum Campus and encouraged moviemaking here in a big way by luring production of box office hits like ‘The Blues Brothers,'” as the Chicago Tribune recalled.

Tonight, Lori Lightfoot won Chicago’s mayoral race to become the city’s first black woman mayor.

Mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot photographed in the Chicago Tribune studio Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)

Attorney Lori Lightfoot defeated Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in Tuesday’s election, making her Chicago’s first African-American female mayor, according to unofficial returns,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

“Lightfoot jumped out to an early lead over Preckwinkle, a longtime political power broker, and had what appeared to be an insurmountable lead.

“Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor making her first run for elected office, had 74 percent to Preckwinkle’s 26 percent, with 1,583 of 2,069 precincts reporting, according to unofficial vote totals.

“The two candidates emerged from a record field of 14 candidates in the Feb. 26 first-round election for the chance to become Chicago’s 56th mayor.

“Lightfoot becomes the third African-American to serve as mayor. Harold Washington was elected in 1983 as the city’s first black mayor and won re-election in 1987 before dying in officer later that year. Eugene Sawyer, the city’s second black mayor, was appointed to serve out Washington’s term until a 1989 special election.

“Lightfoot becomes just the second woman elected mayor, following Jane Byrne, who served one term from 1979 to 1983. She also is the first person elected Chicago mayor not born in the city since Anton Cermak took office in 1931.

“Chicago also becomes the largest U.S. city ever to elect an openly gay mayor.

“Lightfoot has touted herself as a change agent at a time when City Hall is the focus of a federal public corruption investigation. Preckwinkle, meanwhile, has emphasized her nearly three decades of experience in government and her background as first a teacher then a Chicago alderman.”

The rest of the article is here.