Showing posts from 2014

Herald Boo-Boo Watch part 39

I had hoped we'd get through the holidays without any more boo-boos, but the Herald gave us one for Christmas. The paper printed the same article twice, once on page 1 and again on page 3. The headlines were different, and the one which began on page 1 and finished on page 5 had three more paragraphs than the one on page 3, but the main text was otherwise identical.  

How to get people to watch a bad movie.

I spent almost a dozen years in the movie theater business. About half of them were in Carmel, but I got my start working in two large downtown theaters in Salem, Oregon. I started out in 1978 selling popcorn, and a year later advanced to assistant manager, and later, manager. My boss was a great fellow named Jerry Proctor. His friends called him Jerry, but everyone who worked for him knew him as Mr. Proctor. He was very businesslike, but easy to get a long with, and he loved to tell stories. One of his favorite stories involved a very bad movie. When he had managed a drive-in theater in Eugene a new coming attraction trailer hit the screen. He couldn't remember the title, but he said it was so offensive he had the projectionist remove it from the film immediately. Too late. A woman in the audience came in and told him in no uncertain terms that she would do everything in her power to keep that movie from ever being shown in Eugene. She made good on her threat.

Herald Boo-Boo Watch part 38

Monday's Herald had just one small boo-boo. The opening paragraph of a front page article was printed in two different fonts.

Carmel's perilous flirtation

This week, Carmel-By-The-Sea is starting a six-month experiment with paid parking. Ten "kiosks," which are essentially fancy parking meters designed to serve an entire block, have been installed along Ocean Avenue to test the viability of implementing paid parking throughout the business district. Carmel has flirted with this idea several times in the recent years, but this is the first time they've hopped into bed with it. The theory justifying paid parking, as I understand it, goes something like this. There are not enough parking spaces downtown to meet demand. Making matters worse, it is believed that downtown employees are parking in on-street spaces, even though they're limited to two hours, taking parking away from customers. It is alleged that employees keep moving their cars to avoid getting tickets. Charging for parking, it is said, will discourage employees from parking on downtown streets and encourage them to park in the free parking spots and lots

Herald Boo-Boo Watch parts 36 & 37

Honestly, is Herald management even aware that their guy covering Carmel doesn't know the territory? It has become painfully obvious that reporter Tom Leyde has never spent any significant time learning about the town, beyond what he's spoon-fed at city council meetings. I have documented numerous careless errors on his part, most recently in my November 7th Mental Note . Today, in an article about the town's experiment with parking meters Leyde magically relocated the north Sunset Center parking lot from the corner of Mission and 8th to "Junipero Street between Third and Fifth avenues." That is more or less the location of the Vista Lobos parking lot (on 3rd between Junipero and Torres) which he didn't place anywhere. At least he finally figured out that Carmel's numbered streets are "avenues" and not "streets." ________________ Elsewhere in today's Herald the weekly "Bits 'N' Bytes" column was publi

Herald Boo-Boo Watch parts 32-35

Herald Boo-Boos are piling up on my desk. Time to clean it off . I am unable to reproduce an image of boo-boo #32 because it was just a teensy bit too large to fit on my scanner. So you'll have to be content with a written description. There was an editorial on Sunday November 16th entitled China climate change pact changes debate . It was under the heading "The Herald's View" which I found peculiar because I wouldn't expect our puny, semi-local Herald editorial board to tackle such a significant international topic. And I was right, for at the end it was signed "Bay Area News Group" indicating that it originated with a San Francisco Bay Area newspaper, and not the Herald. Typically editorials written elsewhere are listed under the heading "Other Views" so their origins are clear. __________ Number 33 was on page B-1 of that same day . It had an interesting story about the grave of a dog located at Carmel's Forest Theater. It i

Big Bank Theory

( Sing to the tune of the Big Bang Theory theme song . ) Our e-conomy was in a stable state, Then nearly thirteen years or so ago Bush tax cuts started, Wait, The deficits ballooned, Bernard Madoff began to croon, Bad housing loans had really zoomed, We started wars, FINANCED BY CHINESE LOANS! Math, science, common sense, Were treated as impediments, Which led to the fall of big banks, BANKS!

Herald Boo-Boo Watch parts 30 & 31

Just when I thought the Herald was starting to clean up its act and put the Boo-Boo Watch out of business two more careless errors dropped onto our front porch Tuesday morn. Boo-Boo #30 came in the form of a strange headline indicating that a new Senate chairman was planning a border. That's funny. I thought our country already had borders. Based on the content of the article, the headline would have made perfect sense if the word "bill" was tacked on the end, but it wasn't so it didn't. Incomplete sentences seemed to be the theme of the day. In a guest commentary the writer identified himself in his opening sentence as representing "The Planning and Conservation League." But in the little biographical blurb at the end Harold identified him as a member of "the Planning and Conservation." I guess the new space-saving policy at the Herald is just to lop off words when you run out of room. The remaining words still mean the same thin

Herald Boo-Boo Watch parts 28&29

The good news today is that Herald boo-boos seem to be coming less frequently, but this week we had two. A couple of months ago a new reporter named Tom Leyde started covering Carmel news. In reading his stories I get the impression that the man has never spent much time in Carmel, and he doesn't seem to know his way around. Worse, he has written reports containing significant factual errors. I discussed two of these in detail in part 13 and part 14 of the Herald Boo-Boo Watch. Since then I was beginning to think that maybe he was starting to get the lay of the land. His reports on the happenings at city hall were in accord with reports from other sources. However, Leyde's reports were limited to city council activities. They did not require a broader knowledge of the town layout and features, and unfortunately his ignorance of the territory became glaringly evident again this week. In Tuesday's paper dated November 4th Leyde wrote about the council's decision

Herald Boo-Boo Watch part 27

We've gone ten days without finding any significant boo-boos in the Herald. I guess that's a sign of progress. But we're back today because the Herald printed the same article two days in a row. It was a Q&A piece about Apple Pay. The one printed yesterday had two more Q&As than the one printed today, but otherwise they were identical.

My 25th Anniversary Earthquake Story

It has been 25 years since the Loma Prieta earthquake, and time for everyone to re-tell their stories. Here's mine. My wife Heidi and I were living on Second Street in Monterey, in the Oak Grove neighborhood between Lake El Estero and the Navy school. Our dwelling was the second story of a free standing apartment building. Below us was a three car garage, two slots of which belonged to the tenants of the duplex at the rear of the property. Heidi had just sat down to watch the World Series. I was in the bathroom washing my hands when I felt a slight rattle. I didn't think anything of it because our apartment had been rattling intermittently for a few days. An old school building across the street had been recently demolished to make way for a new low-income senior housing complex. A parade of dump trucks and earth moving equipment had been working to level the ground for the new construction. We had gotten so used to the light shaking that we weren't too conscious of it a

Night Arc Lights

In the 1960s, when I was a kid, we lived along Hatton Canyon behind Carmel High School. One night when I was about 7 I went to bed, and a few minutes later I saw a blue ball of light form on the curtains. It faded after a couple of seconds, then came back several seconds later. I thought my dad was playing with a flashlight from the hall, so I said "Daddy...." The next thing I knew the room was filled with a blinding flash of blue light that scared me out of my skin, and out of bed to my parents. Meanwhile my parents were in the family room. My dad was at his desk facing the window. My mom said she saw my dad's jaw drop and he began staring out the window in silence. When she got up to see what he was looking at she saw that same blinding flash that frightened me. We learned the next day that there was a PG&E substation in the canyon partially concealed from our view. Evidently some equipment failure caused massive arcing resulting in the flashes of blue light. Now

Ralph Rubio's "momentum"

When I saw Ralph Rubio's campaign ad in Sunday's Herald I nearly choked on my Cheerios. Under his list of "accomplishments" it read "Keep the momentum going!" Momentum? Inertia is more like it. Under Rubio's leadership, the city of Seaside has been one of the most stagnant cities on the Monterey Peninsula. Rubio was first elected as mayor in 2004. In 2010 he was replaced by my good friend Felix Bachofner by a mere 21 votes. Rubio took back the mayor's chair in 2012, winning by a little over 100 votes. In Sunday's ad Rubio listed several "accomplishments" the first of which was a claim that he balanced twelve budgets. Unfortunately, he did it by digging into the city's cash reserves, which were nearly depleted by the time Bachofner took office in 2010. Felix actually did balance the budget without needing to dip into the reserves. In fact, under Bachofner's leadership, the city actually started replenishing its financial

Herald Boo-Boo Watch part 26

The Herald's "Sounding off" feature seems more prone to careless errors than any other part of the newspaper. On Saturday October 11 they once again left off the names of the people who wrote the comments, printing nothing more than single quotation marks in their place. Honestly, is anybody proofreading anymore?  

Herald Boo-Boo Watch parts 23-25

Three days, three boo-boos. Wednesday October 1st a Herald editorial meant to endorse Dave Jones for Insurance Commissioner ended by recommending a vote for his opponent Ted Gaines. In a rare move, the Herald acknowledged this boo-boo and reprinted the endorsement the following day with the correct final sentence. ___________________________ Thursday October 2nd had an article on the front page with a mid-sentence font change. _________________________ Friday October 3rd an ad on page A9 announcing a joint Herald/Google advertising program employed atrocious grammar. I'm thinking it was written by one of those employees in India, where the Herald has outsourced its advertising work (yes, really ). Addendum 10/12/14: This ad actually ran for five or six consecutive days and never was corrected. As I noted in previous Mental Notes, careless errors such as these have been appearing with alarming regularity since Digital First Media moved Herald productio

Herald Boo-Boo Watch parts 20-22

Part 20 of the Herald Boo-Boo Watch occurred last weekend. They say history repeats itself and in the Herald three historical events repeated themselves the following day! _____________________________ Part 21 from the September 27th issue indicates an over reliance on spell check and not enough checking by the human eye, adding to my suspicions that the production staff is spread way too thin. I'm pretty sure the title of this letter should say "pursue" and not "purse." _____________________________ And part 22 is another in the continuing series of improperly formatting the "Sounding Off" feature. Looks like they left off a word at the end. This one was from today's paper of September 28th.

An Hour With Angelo

Angelo DiGirolamo passed away last weekend, one month shy of 93. Angelo was the proprietor of Monterey's Bruce Ariss Wharf Theater on Fisherman's Wharf. But that doesn't begin to describe the sweetest man ever to inhabit our little corner of the world. Angelo was pure light and joy. The beacon of Fisherman's Wharf for much of his long life. I don't know a lot about his history, only that he owned a restaurant on the wharf called Angelo's for several decades before he opened the Wharf Theater in the 1970s. I had the privilege to know him only because my wife Heidi was the musical director at the theater from 1991 to 2002. I remember when I met Angelo, the first time I attended one of Heidi's shows. I approached the box office and introduced myself to him as "Mr. Heidi Toy" and I can hear his resulting giggle in my head to this day. He provided me with the first of many complimentary tickets and I made my way inside. After the show he took gr

Herald Boo-Boo Watch part 19

I'm almost a week late posting this boo-boo from last Thursday's Herald. On the front page of the September 11th sports section they wrapped text around a blank space. I think the space was meant to hold the writer's name and photo. The good news is I haven't seen any Herald boo-boos in the last six days.

Herald Boo-Boo Watch part 18

I thought I was going to make it all the way through Sunday's Herald without finding any boo-boos. But page D1 let me down. Under the Your Town news briefs was a notice about impending road work at two locations near Salinas. The notice in and of itself was fine, except that Harold put it under the "Monterey Peninsula" subheading. Harold, perhaps it's time to invest in a map.

Herald Boo-Boo Watch parts 16&17

Two new Boo-Boos came off the presses this week. Number 16 was a line in a September 3rd editorial praising the recently concluded Monterey County Fair. "The theme of 'Party With The Animals' evoked memories of the Central Coast's rural past,...." Whoever wrote that needs to get out of town more often. The vast majority of the Central Coast is still farms and ranches to this very day! And for Boo-Boo number 17, another formatting error was found on the September 5th editorial page. Once again the "Sounding Off" feature was missing the credit line identifying the writer. (I posted an example of a correctly formatted Sounding Off comment in Boo-Boo Watch part 4. )

Herald Boo-Boo Watch part 15

We begin September with a pop quiz for Harold. What is the name of the organization that hosted the sailboat races in Monterey this weekend? A) The Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club (as stated in the Herald's page 1 photo caption). B) The Monterey Bay Yacht Club (as stated in the subheading introducing the page 1 article). C) The Monterey Yacht Club (as stated in the article, when it finally gets mentioned near the end). The correct answer is A. There is no such thing as the Monterey Bay Yacht Club or the Monterey Yacht Club. Oh Harold, it's sad to see a once great local newspaper become so incompetent so quickly.

Herald Boo-Boo Watch part 14

The same rookie Herald reporter who gave us Boo-Boo #13 a few days ago has now given us #14. It was located on page A4 of the August 28th issue. The article was about the dedication of a bench by the Carmel post office to honor the late Carmel cartoonist Bill Bates. As every Carmelite knows, some of Bill Bates' cartoons have graced the walls of the Carmel post office for decades, save for a brief period of time in 2006. On Thursday the Herald printed this explanation for the hiatus: "Bates' cartoons were taken down from the post office when an art gallery complained it should have the right to hang its artwork there." I don't know where the reporter got that information, because that's not what happened. To my knowledge no commercial business in Carmel ever claimed the right to display its merchandise at the public post office.  What really happened was that a US Postal Service "retail standardization team" visited the post office and set pl

Herald Boo-Boo Watch part 13

Hey kids! We went one whole day without finding any careless errors in the Herald, but today we found a doozy. There are three problems with this article from page B1 of Saturday's paper.  Let's start with the headline. It's just plain wrong. The gas explosion in Carmel last March was not a pipeline explosion. Gas leaked into a house and the house exploded, not the pipe. Second, the article says "An electric crew was working nearby on a natural gas pipeline." (See the red underline above.) Wrong again. I'm pretty sure PG&E doesn't assign electric crews to work on gas lines or gas crews to work on electric lines. According to reports written at the time, it was a "welding crew." It's a sad state of affairs when the reporter doesn't know his subject well enough to know the difference between electricity and gas. That goes double for his AWOL out-of-town editor. The third issue I have with this article may put me on sligh

Herald Boo-Boo Watch parts 11&12

Careless errors keep rolling off the Herald presses like water off a ducks back. Today the Herald ran a story about the Monterey Downs EIR on page 2, and continued on page 4. The segment on page 4 said it was continued from...wait for 4. And while we're at it, the AWOL editor missed this typo from Kenneth Peterson's financial advice column on page A7. Of course, the writer made the error, but this is the sort of thing editors are supposed to catch, the mistakes spell-check can't. (Note to Mr. Miller: sight=vision, site=place.) These two Boo-Boos were in the A section. I haven't even gotten around to reading the B section yet.

Herald Boo-Boo Watch parts 9&10

I thought I might overlook the Herald Boo-Boo I saw on Tuesday August 19th. It was just a small formatting error and I didn't think it worth pointing out. I changed my mind when I saw Wednesday's paper. Letters to the editor normally have the name of the writer at the end and the name is in italics. This is followed by a blank line before the title of any following letters. The first letter Tuesday had neither italics nor a space. Here's how it looked. Click image to enlarge. Then on Wednesday a letter had more than just the name italicized, but the last two and a half lines of the letter, too! Click image to enlarge. It would appear that the people who put the paper together aren't checking their work - probably because they're spread too thin and don't have time. And it would seem there's nobody to double-check their work to ensure that careless errors don't make it into the final product. As we've seen over the past weeks and mon

Robin Williams

One of the biggest news stories last week was the tragic suicide of comedian Robin Williams. There is no question that the world lost a great comic genius . His improvisational skills were unparalleled, and he made a lot of people laugh, including me. Many of his fans, along with other Hollywood stars he preformed with, have talked about his warmth, passion, and humor, and they were uniformly stunned that a man who was so delightful and had everything one could want, would just kill himself like that . But when I read the news, I wasn't the least bit surprised. Sad, definitely, but not surprised. Although Robin Williams could make me laugh, he also creeped me out a little bit. Not intentionally, of course, but whenever I watched him I always felt a little uneasy. I sensed he had a dark side. It was nothing I could put my finger on or in any way define. Just a vague sense that deep inside of him something was terribly amiss. So while I found him to be entertaining, I never

Herald Boo-Boo Watch part 8

This was just a little Boo-Boo , the kind that might slip by any writer from time to time. It was in an August 14th story about a new ordinance in Sand City prohibiting camping on the beach. In one paragraph was a double negative reference to the "no anti-camping law."  I've done this sort of thing before. I'll start to write something one way, then go back and write it another way, and forget to delete the unneeded words. So the writer probably started with "no camping law" then decided to make it "anti-camping law" but he forgot to delete the "no" resulting in a double negative that means the opposite of what was intended. It's quite understandable that the writer missed his mistake. That's one reason why newspapers have editors, to catch mistakes before the news is printed. But as I've noted in previous Mental Notes, the Herald doesn't have its own editor anymore, and things like this are slipping through the crack

Herald Boo-Boo Watch part 7

This promo was in today's Herald on page B-11. "Is that a phone in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?" Click image to enlarge.

Herald Boo-Boo Watch parts 5&6

When I started this Herald Boo-Boo Watch I didn't really expect to be posting entries more than once a week. But the Herald's careless errors keep rolling off the presses with disturbing regularity. I suspect that Dismantle-it First Media's consolidated production staff in Chico is spread way too thin to do adequate proofreading, or even automated spell checking, as we see below. Boo-Boo number 5 comes from the Monday August 4th Opinion page. Two of the three commentaries that day had headlines, but for some odd reason, one headline went missing. Click image to enlarge. And Boo-Boo number 6 was also on the Opinion page the very next day. Just a simple typo, but a glaringly obvious one that should have been caught, by spell check if not by the human eye. Click image to enlarge.