Showing posts from October, 2014

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