Wednesday, June 9, 2010
"Train wrecks" are everywhere I look lately...
The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
Whatta mess! What makes this a Train Wreck in my estimation, is even though A Roman Legion's-Worth of various Governments' First Responders have had 40+ days to get up to speed, there's still this awful tar and oil washing up on clean beaches in several states! Were these Public Servants surprised that the mess would find the beaches nearly six weeks after the spill became the Lead Story on each and every TV Newscast? Were they "going by the book" for the sake of the sugar sand beaches...or their damn book?
The trick to staying on top of this disaster is to fight it before it comes ashore. Keep it off the beaches and out of the Salt Marshes, Wetlands, and Estuaries. Dispatch ALL of the Corps of Engineers' dredges to the Gulf Shores and build a temporary Seawall of sand to protect the barrier islands, and the above cited environmental treasures. Worry about the Permits after the fact!
TV News Teases
Over my weekend, I was writing an extra blog about the Heavy Winter/Bad Fire Season Connection. I had the SF Giant's Game on the TV, though I was more engrossed in writing than watching. What caught my ear was a TV News Tease asking: Does our long, cold, wet Spring herald a Dangerous Fire Season? I swear Steam came out of my ears! I understand that Local Television Stations' business is attracting and keeping Viewers. However, given the historical record cited in the newspaper article that spawned the Monday Extra Blog, I found the alarmist tone of the News Tease disgraceful, and said so.
This leads to another ongoing Train Wreck...
Newspaper Circulation Plummets
(And it's handmaiden, Network TV News losing viewers) Hardly a week goes by where I don't hear or read another lament about our Mainstream Media's shrinking customer base. Most often this is spun as "Free Internet News hurts the Real Journalist's Broadcasts and Broadsheets" Scornful journalists hear this and think "Pajama-clad 30-something bloggers living in their parent's basements" without a Real Editor, or Guidelines are stealing our viewers/readers!
Remember the 80's? Alternative Music" propelled by qualities that made for good sales numbers, grew to become Mainstream Music. Most of those former readers and viewers of the "Mainstream Media" now get their news from the "New Media", also known as "Alternative Media" The same thing that happened in the music business in the 80's is happening now to Big Media. News Consumers want the News...un-spun, unbiased, and without being talked down to, when it's still new enough to be called "News"
My Neighborhood Oil Spill
Today's News came to @CorduroyPlanet via Twitter. Remember the "Tipped Over Truck" that closed Interstate 80 on the Donner Summit during the last big Snowstorm just before the Memorial Day Weekend? A semi jack-knifed, tipped over, and spilled 3000 gallons of diesel fuel into the freeway median and a culvert that led to Summit Creek, which in turn empties into Donner Lake. Fortunately, most of the 3000 gallons is still in the soil of the median. Clean-up of the soil began today, and will continue until Thursday. The Eastbound fast lane will be closed during clean-up operations. No fuel was detected in Summit Creek today, and clean-up continues all the way down to Donner Lake. Quick deployment of booms obviated any Holiday Closures on Donner Lake.