Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday Night in the Blogosphere

Pressman Marcus Lewis threading newsprint

Kogi BBQ taco truck in the news!

I have contacted the Kogi BBQ Taco Truck in an attempt to have them pay the Olympic Facility a visit some Sunday or Monday night when our cafeteria is closed.

If you haven't tried Kogi BBQ, go to their website @ or follow them on twitter @ to find their locations because you MUST go!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

MediaBistro Party Last Night

Pandora Young, Edward, and Tina Dupuy

Last night I attended the Media Bistro party in Hollywood, with the highlight of the night meeting Pandora Young and Tina Dupuy. The two beautiful ladies write at Fishbowl Los Angeles, which I often link to from here. If you have the chance to meet these two wonderful ladies they are very friendly, extroverted and approachable.

Pressman Richard Olmeda a Legacy Runner

The pressmen and women at the Los Angeles Times are a unique group of individuals, each with their personal stories and hobbies. Richard Olmeda is one with a special story as he prepares to run the 24th Los Angeles Marathon on May 25th, 2009. Completing the 26-mile run is a feat in itself, but Richard belongs to an elite club called the Legacy Runners, which means he has run in every Los Angeles Marathon since inception. Everyone that completes the Los Angeles Marathon receives a metal, as he dons several of the 23 metals he has earned.

From Wikipedia:

As of March 2007, there were 254 runners that have completed every Los Angeles Marathon since the first race was run in 1986. The 22nd Los Angeles Marathon was held March 4, 2007 on a brand new course that started near Universal Studios and
finished in downtown Los Angeles in front of the library. This was the first
point-to-point course in this marathon's history.

The term Legacy runners is defined as runners that have completed all the Los Angeles Marathons. Their numbers decrease year by year but there remains a group that is approximately 10 times larger than that of any other major marathon.

I was unable to locate the information for the 2009 run, but I’m sure Richard will supply this info as it becomes available. We’re very proud of Richard in achieving this milestone and wish him the best in his upcoming run.

Illegal Street Racing Tragedies

Deaths caused by illegal street racing have reached epidemic proportions. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles from 2000 to 2006, drivers plead guilty to illegal speed contests in 50,000 cases. That's an average of 160 illegal races per week. In 2006, more than 6000 people were convicted of participating in illegal speed contests. Watch this moving video and see why Fast & Furious Hollywood Stuntman Sammy Maloof has come up with the solution to this growing problem. Visit

Union: Tribune Co. "is bent on gutting" Baltimore Sun

Topic: Miscellaneous items
Date/Time: 4/29/2009 4:50:47 PM
Title: More cuts at the Baltimore Sun
Posted By: Jim Romenesko

Newspaper Guild release


Layoff notices comes as Tribune slashes 18 senior editors and newsroom managers on Tuesday and Wednesday without warning.

BALTIMORE, Md., April 29, 2009 – Members of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild said yesterday that Tribune Co. is bent on gutting what was once one of America’s great newspapers after 40 newsroom employees, or 20 percent of the staff, received layoff notices yesterday.

The move comes a day after Tribune fired 18 senior editors and newsroom managers on Tuesday and Wednesday without warning. Many of the editors and managers, who are not members of the newspaper guild, were ushered out of the newsroom by security guards.

“Tribune, through careless management practices, has saddled itself under $13 billion in debt and now Baltimore is paying a price,” said Cet Parks, Executive Director of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild. “Tribune is siphoning good jobs from Baltimore and sending work that talented editors, reporters, photographers, copy editors and designers have done here to its home base in Chicago. That is not right.”

Tribune plans to lay off the 40 newsroom employees by May 27. Targeted employees, who include four columnists, photographers, critics and copy editors, received hand delivered letters Wednesday afternoon signed by Monty Cook, senior vice president and editor. Also, in the last two weeks The Sun has laid off seven employees in other departments including advertising and customer service.

Since Tribune acquired The Sun in 1999, the newsroom staff has been cut by more than 60 percent to currently 148 employees from roughly 420.

"While we understand that media companies, especially newspapers, are reeling from declining advertising revenue, shrinking circulation and a year-and-a-half of recession, we believe Baltimore needs a metropolitan paper that covers the important events in the region,” said Angela Kuhl, Guild Unit Chair who works at The Sun. “It is imperative that Baltimore maintains a newspaper that brings people news, exciting and provocative stories and enriches the lives of all who live here.”


Wednesday Night in the Blogosphere

Former Orange County Pressman Leon Powell now working at Olympic

Festival of Books Photos

Last Saturday and Sunday I spent my extra time at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, which was held at UCLA for the fourteenth year. The weather could not of cooperated any better with temperatures in the low 70's. Additional photographs can be viewed on Flickr.

Here I am with another former Los Angeles Times writer William Lobdell, who was signing his new book Losing my Religion. I asked William a dumb question? Are you still a subscriber to the LA Times? I'm sure you can figure out his answer.

Here's my favorite Blogger Kevin Roderick signing his book Wilshire Blvd.

Stan Chambers is probably the longest working news reporter in the country as he braodcasts reports for KTLA Channel 5 here in Los Angeles. Stan was signing his book KTLA's News at Ten: 60 Years with Stan Chambers. At Stan's right is his friendly colleague Gayle Anderson who can be viewed on the morning show.

Photos at the Festival of Books have been saved in the collection Special Interest

2 Deaths Linked to Flu in L.A. County

Los Angeles Times
April 28, 2009

The Los Angeles County coroners office is investigating two recent deaths that officials say could be related to the recent global swine flu outbreak. However, no tests have come back positive for the swine flu, and medical examiners have not officially determined what caused the deaths.

[Updated at 9:30 a.m.: Coroner's spokesman Craig Harvey said his office would collect specimens from the deceased and send them to the county public health department, which would determine whether either person died from the swine flu. If so, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be notified, Harvey said.]

Coroners spokesman Craig Harvey said Bellflower Medical Center reported the death of a 33-year Long Beach resident Monday afternoon from symptoms resembling swine flu.

Its that diagnosis that needs to be confirmed, Harvey said. An autopsy will be performed to establish the cause of death.

The man was taken to the hospital Saturday, complaining of shortness of breath and lymphoma. Doctors later diagnosed the patient with pneumonia, Harvey said.

The second case involves a 45-year-old man from La Mirada, whose death was reported Monday to the coroners office. The man died April 22 at Coast Plaza Doctors Hospital in Norwalk.

Read Entire Article At:


Monday, April 27, 2009

Deauthorization Petition

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Re: Deauthorization Petition:

On April 8, 2009, approximiately 70 fellow pressmen/women signed and filed
a “deauthorization petition" with the NLRB. This procedure is spelled out
in the National Labor Relations Act which gives us, as employees, the right
to call for a deauthorization election at any time. Since 30% or more of us
have (legally, without coersion or deception) signed the deauthorization
petition, the National Labor Relations Board will conduct a secret ballot
election (after the current union “blocking actions/ULP’s/challenges” are
investigated and ruled on by the NLRB) to determine if a majority of us
wish to throw out the forced-unionism clause (also called “security clause”,
Article XV, in the union’s forced contract) and thus, we will have the
freedom to decide whether to join and/or pay dues to the union. According to
the National Labor Relations Act, “If the petitioning employees win that
election, then employees cannot be compelled to pay any dues or fees to the
union, and their bargaining unit becomes an ‘open shop’ “.

There are many of us that prefer a workplace where membership and the
payment of dues is voluntary, as it forces the union hierarchy to be more
accountable to the rank-and-file workers. Instead of relying on threats,
intimidation and scare tactics to gain financial support, union officials
have to sell the benefits of union membership.

Since the beginning of the union drive we have been an almost equally
divided shop: 49% against the union and 51% for the union. We are in a
“forced-unionism” work environment. Deauthorization is the process to free
us from being subject to this “forced-unionism” work environment. It’s been
stated by the unions Conference Representative that we want to be
“represented without paying dues”- this is untrue, we don’t want to be
represented or pay dues.

Re: “Rumor/Damage Control”
I encourage all co-workers to read the recently drafted constitution and
by-laws of the GCC/IBT Local 140-N. The executive board has granted
themselves a huge amount of power and latitude with which to govern by,
hence the need for the recent blog entry by the union’s president in
defense of his “reputation and integrity.” Whenever anyone uses the
expression “at this time” (as stated in the president’s blog entry when he
talks about executive board wages and dues being paid by union members for
executive board perks) it really means “not at this time but in the future.”
The union is currently presided over by an individual that no longer works
for the LA Times. This leaves questions of conflict of interest and motive.

Re: GCC/IBT Conference Representative
It is unfortunate that legal counsel didn’t create a more specific binding
contract with the L.A. Times management, so that union dues wouldn’t have
to be used, after the fact, to rectify short-comings in the (aptly
described by conference representative) “it may not be the best union
contract, but it’s a start” contract. Our recently laid off “brothers and
sisters” would probably agree that legal counsel should have spent more time
on a severance clause in the union’s contract and less time on the “dues
check-off” (Article XVI ).
Our remaining LAT co-workers in other departments seem to be doing fairly
well without union representation.

Re: Motives
I, Lee Carey, and 49% of the L.A. Times work force (if not more, after the
ineptitude of the union leadership) have never wanted to be represented by
a union or be forced to join, support, or pay dues to a group we don’t
believe in. I/we have no reason to lie, deceive, distort facts, mislead or
resort to personal attacts. It's an insult and disrespectful to pressroom
employees as a whole to be subjected to such tactics. We are simply
exercising our legal rights and due process under the National Labor
Relations Act.

My personal motivation is simple: I don’t want to be or need to be subject
to third party representation (or resorted to mendacious personal attacks
from the aforementioned).

Thanks for your support,

Lee Carey
LAT OC Pressman

Editors Message: I’m certain most readers of this blog understand I’m pro-union and a member of the executive board of GCC/IBT Local 140N. I do respect my colleagues that feel the union is not needed within the two pressrooms at the Los Angeles Times, and opt to disagree with them. The purpose of this blog is to communicate as much information as possible to all pressroom employees, which I’m certain will anger a few. Please feel free to comment, BUT omit names or your comment will not be published.

Contract with Pressroom Cleaners to Cease

As the Los Angeles Times seeks methods of reducing costs and generating income the services of the pressroom cleaners will no longer be employed. The minimum wage workers performed the dirtiest of jobs in the pressroom, by removing the floor pans that excessive ink falls into below the roller train, and scraping the excess ink into buckets.

According to Russ Newton, Senior vice-president of production:

"As a courtesy, I want to inform you that the Los Angeles Times continues to look for ways to cut costs and to otherwise operate in an efficient manner. As such,LAT will no longer use the services of an outside contractor to do some of its pressroom cleaning. It is our plan to reassign these tasks to current pressmen and others. If you have any questions, please let me know".

Adverse events at top 100 newspapers, 2006-2009

The bankruptcy roll call from The Wall Street Journal:

1. Los Angeles Times

2. Chicago Tribune

3. Philadelphia Inquirer

4. Star-Tribune - Minneapolis

5. The Chicago Sun-Times

6. The Sun - Baltimore, Md

7. The Orlando Sentinel

8. South Florida Sun Sentinel

9. The Hartford Courant

10. Morning Call - Allentown, Pa.

11. Philadelphia Daily News

Monday Afternoon in the Blogosphere

Newsprint handler Mack Miller

Saturday, April 25, 2009

LAT Festival of Books

As I departed San Dimas for the newspaper this morning at 4:00 am a small amount of drizzle coated my windshield causing some concern that I might need to skip the Festival of Books. But as the morning rolled along the cloud cover burnt away to expose a deep blue sky, aided by a slight breeze that chilled the air.

My transformation from uniform to street clothes was completed in a record five minutes, in hopes I would have a chance to say hello to Kevin Roderick, before meeting David Markland for the Future of News panel.

As fate would have it my short fourteen-mile drive on the Santa Monica Freeway from the Los Angeles Times to Westwood wasted forty-five minutes of what little spare time I had available. By the time I reached David we had to rush over to Fowler Auditorium to take our seats.

Tomorrow the pace will be much different than this afternoon as I plan to arrive about noon for a 12:30 pm panel regarding The Soloist.

See you there.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Message from Mike Huggins GCC/IBT Rep

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As most of you know, there has been a petition filed by a disgruntled employee who has continuously lied to his co-workers in order to get his way. This petition is nothing more than a way to keep the workers divided and for this person to show his ignorance to all.

The purpose of the petition is to remove the union security clause from the union contract and allow him the right to be represented by the union without paying union dues. We are sure that this person has also created the rumors about your local officers receiving job offers, cars and other extravagant perks.

There have been a lot of disagreements between the union and the company since the ratification of this new first time contract and to have a disgruntled worker create division amongst the workers when our union reps are trying to resolve these disagreements is selfish, all about him, and makes him a free rider who wants something for nothing.

We feel that the person who filed this petition with the National Labor Relations Board misled his co-workers and illegally obtained signatures in order get his way. If anyone feels they were lied to or misled, they can contact the NLRB and ask that their signature be removed or create your own petition to have your name removed and file it with the NLRB claiming you were misled and lied to.

If this petition moves forward to an election date, it will be the responsibility of our union to defend our members right to keep intact the union contract that was negotiated and ratified by a large majority of our members. This will cost more of your dues and ultimately divide us when we should be uniting.

During these troubling times newspapers are facing, we should spend our energy on creating a working relationship with our employer and provide the best skilled labor possible to put out what is still the finest newspaper in the world, the Los Angeles Times. Our jobs depend on a working together and making this newspaper profitable.

Don’t let this person, who is only thinking of himself; wipe out all the hard work that you have put into in gaining a voice in your wages, hours and working conditions. As quoted by the majority of you at the ratification meeting “It may not be the best union contract but it’s a start”
Keep the faith.

Mike Huggins
Conference Representative

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Electronic-Maintenance Person Needed

Hello Ed,

This is Ken Coates at the San Antonio Express-News, we have a position we are trying to fill here for an experienced electronic/maintenance person for Goss Colorliner Presses. If you know of anyone that would be interested have them contact me @ 210-250-3676.

Thank You
Ken Coates
Press Manager
San Antonio Express-News

Sammy Maloof in San Bernardino, CA Sat April 25th

Bethel Temple
Hollywood Stuntman Sammy Maloof
Saturday, April 25th at 6:00 pm

Sammy will be sharing powerful principles about marriage with the men's ministry of Bethel Temple in San Bernardino
Fathers, Son's, Uncles and Grandfathers -- ALL ARE WELCOME!

This is a FREE event and one you will not soon forget!
Click here for a video preview
1087 W Mill Street (Between S K St and Bunker) San Bernardino CA 92410

Call (626) 292-2258 for more information

Preparations for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at UCLA

For the 14th year, the UCLA campus is preparing to welcome the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. More than 100,000 visitors are expected April 25-26 to meet authors, listen to panels and browse exhibits -- all about books and all free.

Thursday Afternoon in the Blogosphere

Pressman Paul Anders scanning the newspaper for defects

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Save Our Trade: Rumor Control

By Ronnie Pineda

I have been asked to respond to some of the current rumors floating around in the shops. The first thing I want to say is, I am only doing this because I was asked to and not because I need to defend myself from the same rumor mongers that have perpetuated the lies against me time and time again.

First fact is, I have not been hired by the Teamsters nor have I been offered a job by them.
If I had a buck for every time that was said or assumed, I could have retired long ago.

Second fact, I am NOT drawing a salary from Local 140-N nor the Teamsters. I am still on disability as a result of the shoulder injury I suffered in November 2008. I know there were some of you that thought I was milking it on light duty while working in the office. A recent MRI revealed a tear in my rotator cuff and I will be undergoing surgery soon to repair my shoulder. We all know who takes advantage of light duty, and I was not one of them. Don't forget I returned to the press in less than 7 months after a full knee replacement. I doubt my critics would have returned as quickly.

The Constitution does allow for officers to receive a salary, but as I stated to the Constitution and By-Laws Committee, It makes no sense for me to accept a salary from our Local when on disability because my disability benefits would be reduced by the same amount. So, I am forgoing any salary the Constitution authorizes me to receive at this time. For the record, a salary has not even been established by the Executive Board. None of the officers are receiving a salary at this time as all of our resources are committed to Attorney expenses attempting to resolve our conflicts with management. None of the shop stewards or officers are having their dues paid by the Local at this time either.

Next, there is nothing in the constitution that states I or any of the officers will receive a car. The Local does not require it's officers to need a business vehicle. We on the E-Board have agreed that our own vehicles will suffice. There are provisions for fuel and/or mileage reimbursement for officers travels in the course of their duties.

The Constitution does provides for a "per diem" of $100.00 dollars a day for Officer's meals and beverages when attending International Conferences representing the members of Local 140-N. Any unused portion will be returned to the Local's Secretary Treasurer.

I hope this puts to rest the B.S. that has been floating around lately because it only serves to divide our members. My reputation and integrity are just as important to me today as it was my last day I set foot on the pressroom floor.

Any questions regarding the Constitution and Bylaws can be answered by the committee members and they are Chairman, Keith Denson, Mark Austin, Denise Kolm, Gary Bunch and Dan Beruman.

Save Our Trade: Rumor Control

Prop. 8 Panel Discussion at LA Press Club

Prop. 8 Panel Discussion @ the Los Angeles Press Club

L.A. Press Club Board Member, Cal State LA Professor and Award-winning KPCC Guess Host, Jon Beaupré, is moderating

Hollywood, CA. The Los Angeles Press Club is hosting another great panel discussion at the Steve Allen Theater . It is co-sponsored by the Media Image Coalition and the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, and GLAAD.

WHO – Moderator: Jon Beaupre, Award-winning guest host on KPCC Radio’s “AirTalk” and “Talk of the City”


  • Robin Tyler, Original Plaintiff in the CA Supreme Court Lawsuit, Tyler v. County of LA, with her wife, Diane Olson, they became the first lesbian couple to sue for marriage equality in California in 2004. Robin and Diane are also petitioners in the recent CA Supreme Court Case to overturn Proposition 8 (Tyler et al. v. State of California ).
  • Willis Edwards, Civil Rights Pioneer and NAACP National Board member
  • Jessica Garrison, Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times
  • Monica Trasandes, Director of Spanish Language Media, GLAAD
  • Karen Ocamb, News Editor, Frontiers IN LA
  • Marshall Wong, LA County Human Relations Commission; responsible for compiling LGBT Hate Crimes Statistics

WHAT – Prop. 8 Panel Discussion

WHEN – Thursday, April 23, 2009; Food & Beverages @ 6:30 p.m. Program begins @ 7 p.m.

WHERE – The Steve Allen Theater at the LA Press Club; 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 90027; Plenty of free parking behind the building (enter off of Berendo Street); Click here for a map; Metro: Red line, Sunset/Vermont station

WHY – Against the backdrop of the CA Supreme Court hearing on the legality of Proposition 8 and its passage, we will examine what impact the entire Prop 8 debate has had on the coverage of LGBT issues, and its impact on the LGBT community as a whole. What role did religion play in the debate? Were newsroom reporters encouraged or able to cover non-Prop 8 stories within this community? Did the media pit one minority group off of another? Did the "Prop H8" platform lead to an increase in hate crimes against the LGBT community?

FYI: This event is free and open to everyone (bring a friend!). Refreshments and snacks will be provided. RSVP:


The Los Angeles Press Club stands as an organization devoted to improving the spirit of journalism and journalists, raising the industry’s standards, strengthening its integrity and improving its reputation all for the benefit of the community at large. For more information, go to

The Media Image Coalition, established in 1989 by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, represents the first multiracial, multicultural, inter-religious media advocacy and education organization in the US . MIC promotes increased visibility, diversity and balanced imagery of all groups that it determines to be subjects of discrimination or unfair treatment in media and the arts. For more information, go to

The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations is dedicated to promoting positive race and human relations in an increasingly complex and multicultural county by developing programs that proactively address racism, homophobia, religious prejudice, linguistic bias, anti-immigrant sentiment, and other divisive attitudes that can lead to inter-cultural tension, hate crimes and related violence. For more information, go to

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. For more information, go to

Headington Media Group is a full-service communications firm dedicated to promoting public affairs in Southern California , specializing in image management, branding and public relations. For more information, go to and/or visit

Tribune Seeks Court Permission to Pay Bonuses

From: Tribune Communications
Sent: Wed 4/22/2009 12:23 PM
Subject: Message from Randy Michaels and Gerry Spector/Motions Filed Today

This afternoon, Tribune filed two important motions with the United States Bankruptcy Court in Delaware regarding employee matters. They are scheduled to be heard by the court on May 12. These motions were the subject of much discussion and deliberation, both internally and with our Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors. These motions are likely to get media attention, so we would rather you first hear about them from us.

Both of these motions continue our efforts to minimize the disruption of the Chapter 11 process on our employees. We started by obtaining court orders to pay prepetition wages and employee expense reimbursements, and later got court approval to continue commission payments and various local incentive payments to our sales people and other employees throughout the organization.

One motion filed today seeks approval to reinstate severance payments for former employees of the company who lost their jobs in the months prior to the bankruptcy filing. This amount is approximately $2.5 million and covers approximately 70 employees who stopped receiving severance payments when we filed under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code.

Another motion seeks approval to make incentive payments of approximately $13 million to approximately 700 individuals across the company for their work in 2008. This is consistent with the company’s long-standing practice of recognizing managers, directors and others for their work during the preceding year. These incentive payments are also an important component of the compensation earned annually by these individuals in the normal course of business.

Of course, 2008 was anything but normal. As you would expect given the difficult economic environment and business climate, these incentive payments have been dramatically reduced from previous years, in some cases being cut by more than 70%. Importantly, the top ten executives in the company are excluded from receiving any payment under the motion.

As the motion states, we think these payments are “…necessary to reward the participants for their extraordinary contributions during an exceptionally difficult year, including implementation of strategic initiatives in 2008 that are expected to generate approximately $425 million in incremental annualized cash flow and the consummation of transactions generating over $1 billion in proceeds.” Without these actions, and the leadership of the people covered by the motion, we would not be able to collectively transform the company as quickly as we must given the challenging economic conditions our businesses operate in today.

As a company, we’ve made tremendous progress over the last year because of your efforts and those of your colleagues. We are a very different company than we were just a short time ago—more nimble, more efficient, and more innovative. Thank you for your continued hard work, your energy and your optimism.

Randy and Gerry

SOURCE: Kevin Roderick

Earthlink Servers Down Most of Day

I was unable to blog today due to Earthlink going down across the nation this morning. Earthlink hosts my web space and has been a very reliable company the past four years, so I’ll take this network wide crash as an unfortunate mishap. All phone systems and email systems went down at Earthlink headquarters in Atlanta sometime this morning, with no way to contact the ISP I tried my luck with Twitter, and the answer was located as three million users were affected.

Here's what I found on Twitter this morning:

  • industrynews: ISP EarthLink Goes Offline on Earth Day
  • SurfBeagle: Earthlink spent most of the day down. No email, no web-hosting, nothing. If it can happen to them. It can happen to you. Surf Technologies
  • loisgeller: It was so interesting that theonly place to find out that Earthlink was down today was here on Twitter.
  • lkaminoff: #earthlink site came back up & no mention of outage + no Twitter presence = not learning lessons from #amazonfail Get it together folks
  • rajmitra: Per their customer service person that I finally got through to after all day Earthlink's Atlanta data center went down.
  • zudfunck: EarthLink suffers Earth Day Crash serves an estimated 2.8 million subscribers in the United States.
  • Suntimes Earthlink dies on Earth Day? Come on, this can't be a coincidence, right?
  • jamner Yea mindspring & earthlink all connected related & owned by the same and now seemingly all out @LeoLaporte live.twit down?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

MSNBC: State of Newspapers

Thursday Night in the Blogosphere

Guille and Fernando Gonzalez

Save Our Trade: De-Authorization Petition Blocked

On Friday April 10, 2009 GCC/IBT Local 140-N received a notice from the N.L.R.B. that Orange County Operator, Lee Carey filed a Petition for a de-authorization election. The purpose of de-authorization is to have the union security and dues check-off language stripped from the contract. The remainder of the contract remains in force.

Although Carey, Saterlee and Espinosa have the right, their motives are again questionable at best.

Our Attorney informed our Local that our pending board charges serve to block the attempt to have the Board grant an election at this time. We have also informed the board that we are challenging the petition and charge that the solicitation of signatures was tainted. This will prevent the petition from being considered at a later time when current charges are addressed by the board.

More on this subject as it progresses.

Save Our Trade: De-Authorization Petition Blocked

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In-Depth Look - Zell On The Economy - Bloomberg

Analysis and discussion with billionaire real estate entrepreneur Samuel Zell of Equity Group Investments with his oulook and opinion of the economy. (Bloomberg News)

Wednesday Afternoon in the Blogosphere

Boston Tea Party

The War Against Unions

Elaine Bernard: Legal system in the US is major obstacle to worker organization

Message from Gerry Spector to Tribune Employees

Tribune Company
435 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611

April 2009

Dear Tribune Employee:

As you know, Tribune Company and many of its subsidiaries (Tribune) filed for bankruptcy protection on December 8, 2008. As part of the bankruptcy process, we are required to give creditors the opportunity to file claims for damages they believe are owed them by Tribune as of December 8, 2008. These claims must be filed by June 12, 2009, which is called “bar date”.

Enclosed is a copy of the “bar date” notice, a claim form and instructions for filing a claim. As an existing employee of Tribune, bankruptcy law requires that you receive this notice.

In most instances, you don’t need to take any action. The bankruptcy court has exempted existing employees from having to file employee-related claims, except in certain situations as described below.

Employees do not need to file claims for:

  • Wages and benefits for which Tribune already received approval tom pay, including claims for wages, reimbursable expenses, health care benefits, vacation time, disability and workers compensation.
  • Other employee benefits programs for which the court has not yet authorized the company to fully pay or perform, such as incentive compensation and rights relating to the ESOP. Likewise, employees do not need to file for various “contingent” claims that may arise in the future based on employee benefit programs existing prior to the petition date, such as retirement programs. If an employee has an individual contract, he/she does not need to file a claim for those contractual rights.

If, at any time during the Chapter 11 proceedings, Tribune will not be able to fully honor any of the foregoing employee benefits or will not perform under a contract with an individual employee, all impacted employees will receive notice and be given 30 days to file a claim.

If you feel you have been adversely impacted in some way by Tribune for actions that occurred prior to December 8, 2008, you should file a claim for the damages you believe you sustained. If you want to assert rights under any benefit program that was in place prior to December 8, 2008, but was subsequently modified (e.g. the severance program), you should file a claim. Claims must be filed by June 12, 2009.

If you have questions, contact the claims agent, Epiq, at 888/287-7568. You should consider consulting your own legal counsel if you feel you have a claim to file against Tribune.

Gerry Spector
Executive Vive President/Chief Administrative Officer

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Evolution of News - Jeff Jarvis

Technology journalists Jeff Jarvis and Michael Arrington discuss the future of news reporting. Jarvis predicts a widespread shift from large, mainstream multimedia outlets to small, "hyper-local" communities of news gatherers.

Panelists Jeff Jarvis (Buzzmachine), Carolyn McCall (Guardian), Michael Arrington (TechCrunch), and Tyler Brule (Monocle) discuss the evolving world of online publication, debating whether or not print media can survive in this era of digital media.

Jeff Jarvis is an American journalist. He is the former television critic for TV Guide and People magazine, creator of Entertainment Weekly, Sunday editor and associate publisher of the New York Daily News, and a columnist on the San Francisco Examiner. Until recently he was president and creative director of Advance Internet, the online arm of Advance Publications, where he developed the children's educational site "Yuckiest Site on the Internet" with Susan Mernit. Jarvis currently consults for Advance Internet. He has also consulted for the New York Times Company at, where he worked on content development and strategy. In 2006 he became an associate professor at City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism, directing its new media program. He has a fortnightly column in the MediaGuardian supplement of the British newspaper The Guardian.

J. Michael Arrington is a entrepreneur and was the maintainer of TechCrunch, a blog covering the Silicon Valley technology start-up communities and the wider technology field in USA and elsewhere. Wired and Forbes have named Arrington one of the most powerful people on the internet. In 2008, he was selected by TIME Magazine as one of the most influential people in the world.

Complete video at:

If Obama Twittered…


Monday, April 13, 2009

Newspapers Plagued by Bankruptcies, Closures

In March, the Chicago Sun Times newspaper filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It was the latest in a series of newspaper bankruptcies and closures across the United States. As VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports, the recent troubles come as new and emerging digital technologies are putting the future of news print, once revered and unassailable, in question.

David Sarno joins Business desk as technology reporter

Here is the memo sent to staff from John Corrigan, LAT Business editor:

I’m very pleased to report that David Sarno is joining the Business staff as a technology reporter.

No doubt you’ve seen David’s fine work on the ever-popular tech blog and on the Calendar cover, where he wrote the weekly Web Scout column. David will continue to be one of the mainstay contributors to the tech blog, but he’ll also aim to tell longer stories that will be of wide appeal in print as well.

Among the subjects he'll mine for news and features are the L.A. tech scene, Internet privacy and security, Twitter and the technologies that bind and divide old- and new-media companies.

David grew up surfing the waves off Hermosa Beach and has an eclectic resume, serving as associate editor with the Huffington Post, a writing intern on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and an engineering intern at Sun Microsystems.

David, who has a B.A. in computer science from Yale, and a master’s in fiction writing from the University of Iowa, will report to technology editor Chris Gaither. Please join me in giving him a warm welcome to Biz.

h/t Kevin Roderick

Monday Morning in the Blogosphere

Los Angeles Times Building at 2nd and Spring Streets

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Today is a day of celebration for families around the world. Let us be forever mindful of its' meaning by speading love and goodwill to all.

Happy Easter to one and all!


(CNN) -- The American captain of a cargo ship held hostage by pirates jumped overboard from the lifeboat where he was being held, and U.S. Navy SEALs shot and killed three of his four captors, according to a senior U.S. official with knowledge of the situation.

Capt. Richard Phillips escaped from pirates holding him in a lifeboat, a U.S. official said Sunday.

Capt. Richard Phillips escaped from pirates holding him in a lifeboat, a U.S. official said Sunday.

Capt. Richard Phillips was helped out of the water off the Somali coast and is uninjured and in good condition, the official said. He was taken aboard the USS Bainbridge, a nearby naval warship.

At the time of the shootings, the fourth pirate was aboard the Bainbridge negotiating with officials, the source said. That pirate was taken into custody.

Maersk Line Limited, owner of the cargo ship that Phillips captained, issued a statement saying it was informed at 1:30 p.m. by the U.S. government that he had been rescued. John Reinhart, president and CEO, called Phillips' wife, Andrea, to tell her the good news.

Crew members from the ship, the Maersk Alabama, were "jubilant" when they received word, the statement says.

"We are all absolutely thrilled to learn that Richard is safe and will be re-united with his family," Reinhart said. "Maersk Line Limited is deeply grateful to the Navy, the FBI and so many others for their tireless efforts to secure Richard's freedom."

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Thursday Night in the Blogosphere

2002 service awards for LAT Employees - Awards ended in 2007 to save $$$

Nicholas Bosc visits Los Angeles

Nicholas Bosc is a skater as well as a gymnast in this entertaining short video that I felt was worth sharing.

Chronicle of Mark Crawford

Former Los Angeles Times Pressroom supervisor Mark Crawford has released a copy of his memoirs covering his thirty-two years in the pressroom. His short story spans from on or about 1975 to his buyout of June 2007 in ninety-three pages that is a humorous and frank tale that will delight many in the pressroom at the Times or any other newspaper pressperson.

At Mark’s request nothing from his memoir will be placed onto the Internet, and if you would like to have a copy for your reading pleasure, drop me an email and I will forward the zip file to you.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Los Angeles Times Ghost

Twenty years ago the press crews at the Los Angeles Times began the migration from Times Mirror Square to our current production facility called Olympic, which is located at 8th and Alameda. My crew was the first night crew to begin production at the new facility and iron out the bugs of the new printing presses, and many nights we produced nothing as everyone became accustomed to the new equipment.

One particular night twenty years ago still stands out among the others as different than the norm as a security guard questioned the pressmen regarding seeing an old man walking within the building. Seems a cafeteria worker had witnessed an old man walk into a wall and disappear, she was so distraught she refused to re-enter the building to retrieve her belongings, and never returned to work at the Olympic Facility again.

As the days turned to weeks and the weeks into months we have heard of many additional sightings within the confines of our building, with several colleagues coming forward with the agreement their names not be revealed.

One of our machinists told me he was working on the third floor of the building with a metal cart holding his tools in the chiller room, which is rather noisy, and as he turned to grab a tool discovered the cart was thirty feet away from him. This startled him and made him wonder how the cart could move so far away as the floors are very level.

Another machinist (Chuck Hart) has actually seen our guest on two occasions when he felt someone was looking at him, and did what we all do, turned his head and caught sight of an old man with a white beard staring at him from around a corner.

The machinists are not the only ones to have seen our guest, Times Security Guards revealed their sighting in the early morning hours of a Sunday morning, after everyone had left the building. As the two guards entered the hallway that surrounds the pressroom they spotted a man at the far end of the southeast hallway. One guard headed directly toward our guest while the other guard ran through the pressroom to cutoff his getaway. They found no one after searching for over an hour.

The majority of the sightings have occurred on the second and third floors at the southeast portion of the building. According to Brady Westwater the property was once a slum many years ago, and before that he was not sure?

I have no idea whom our guest could be and hope I never see him myself, but after running across the video below I thought I would share that the Times Olympic Facility could be haunted.

Hello ... from the pressroom of the York News-Times. The old pressroom is the place in which resides the print and type machinery of yesteryear.

From within this space pressmen loaded ink and attached the type, securing rolls and rolls of newsprint into place. But it has been abandoned. The newspaper industry has turned its back on this green dinosaur. Yellowed papyrus now hangs forlornly from the skeleton which was once the heartbeat of the News-Times. And here at the daily paper, we fear someone is angry at that fact. For the building seems wrought with strange happenings.

"I usually hear it after 3 p.m. Last week it happened. I shut it off and it was back on within five minutes. I guess I thought it was a little odd ... the faucet was turned fully on -- it wasn't just a leak," says Patrick Checketts.

Wednesday Afternoon in the Blogosphere

Former Pressroom Supervisors Mark Crawford and Owen Brennan