Thursday, March 15, 2007

Feb 11 - 18 (5)

Big Iraq vote in the House today: Is it important?
The House of Representatives is on the cusp this morning of passing the nonbinding resolution on the Iraq war and the troop surge sought by President Bush to carry out his new policies for the war. Since this news will be widely reported once it occurs -- look on for the latest -- we will come back in Saturday's edition with coverage that analyzes the vote and what it means for the president and his policies.We're also going to gather some local reactions. A question we plan to ask is: Was this vote important? If yes, why? So we'd love to get your thoughts, which you can leave here._ Tad Weber
Posted by Tad Weber at 9:49 AM 0 comments Links to this post
Thursday, February 15, 2007

What will Mardi Gras 2007 bring to SLO?
I won't forget the Mardi Gras weekend of 2004. I was the on-call senior editor that weekend, meaning I would help our news team with any major developments that might occur. I had worked a really busy week leading up to that fateful Saturday night, so I went to bed around 10 p.m., hoping for a good sleep. Around 10:30 then-Assistant City Editor Matt Lazier calls me to say trouble was brewing. "Tad, it's going down," he said. " You better come in." Reporter Cynthia Neff was telling him that students were gathering en masse near California and Foothill. Groggily, I dressed and hustled down to The Tribune. Then City Editor Rick Jackoway had just arrived, too, and was helping Matt direct our reporters to hot spots whenever we heard police on the radio scanner call for help. What followed were three hours of constant action, as riots broke out and officers swarmed to control the streets near Cal Poly.Matt became a rewrite editor, taking feeds from the reporters in the field (three other reporters were called in to help Cynthia) and photographers Jayson Mellom and Laura Dickinson captured the chaos in news photos.By 1:30 a.m., we had remade our front page for the Sunday edition three times, updating the story with ever higher arrest totals and more details from the streets. In the end, more than 200 people were arrested and the enforcement cost the city $500,000.The city clamped down hard on subsequent years of Mardi Gras, and things have gotten much quieter. In today's Tribune and on we have a story looking at Mardi Gras 2007, which occurs this weekend. Police Chief Deb Linden is hopeful that it will remain quiet and be free of the rock-and bottle-throwing crowds of three years ago.What are you expecting to happen this year?_ Tad Weber
Posted by Tad Weber at 10:04 AM 0 comments Links to this post
Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Behind the scenes of Lindsay Lohan's Hollywood film
You’d think a movie production company would like publicity, especially when it has a chance to show the oft-troubled Hollywood star Lindsay Lohan in a good light.But it turns out it’s just like a fair-weather friend.Last December we arranged through Cameo Casting, a local casting company, to have reporter Sona Patel work as an extra on the movie set for the SLO filming of “I Know Who Killed Me.’’ Patel planned to write a first-person account of her experience, and our photographer would be on hand to shoot memories as well.But after our Opinion Page Editor Bill Morem criticized Lohan’s “party girl, self-absorbed behavior’’ for delaying the movie shoot and upsetting local extras’ plans, we were suddenly shut out.Except for one local TV station, the set was declared off-limits to us.Ultimately, of course, we got a story by talking to extras and observing the scene from afar. We also shot a great photo of Lohan arriving on the set, cigarette in hand. And that first-person story? We got that too, thanks to copy editor Chrissy Janocko’s off-duty work as an extra.
Posted by Sandy Duerr at 9:52 AM 0 comments Links to this post
Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Here's our call on taking photo of Lindsay Lohan (or her double)
It’s rare that a top celebrity appears in our county, so when Lindsay Lohan arrived Monday to begin filming “I Know Who Killed Me” at SLO High School, we were there to capture the scene. Photographer Jayson Mellom caught what appears to be Lohan, surrounded by bodyguards. When we called the publicist for confirmation, however, she denied it (without seeing the photo). So how should we handle this situation ethically? We decided to publish the photo along with a cutline below it, asking: Is this the Hollywood star or a body double? Then we asked online readers to tell us what they think. Would you have made the same decision? Let me know.-- Sandy Duerr
Posted by Tad Weber at 9:45 AM 1 comments Links to this post
Monday, February 12, 2007

More troubles for Atascadero State Hospital
In case you missed Stephen Curran's front-page story in The Tribune Sunday on ASH, you can search for it on our Web site. More psychiatrists are leaving the hospital for higher-paying jobs in the state prison system. Now ASH has a vacancy rate of 80 percent for psychiatrists, which is astounding. Those remaining are left with incredibly difficult jobs trying to manage big caseloads.If you work at ASH and want to share your story with Stephen, you can e-mail him at Or you can simply post a comment here.Stephen will continue to break important stories off the ASH beat in coming weeks, so make sure to read it first in The Tribune and Tad Weber
Posted by Tad Weber at 10:18 AM 0 comments Links to this post
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