Friday, March 31, 2006

Dennis FitzSimons Update to Employees

From: [Tribune CEO] Dennis FitzSimons
Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2006 3:06 PM
Subject: Update

Dear Fellow Employee:

A story about Tribune appeared in today's Wall Street Journal. It is posted on TribLink in the Media Industry News section. Given the reporter's questions, it is what we expected. Considering the overall industry environment, the recent sale of Knight Ridder and the price of TRB shares, a more balanced story was not in the cards.

Tribune, like many of our advertisers and other media companies, is going through a difficult period. Stock prices of traditional media companies are reflecting this. But Tribune remains financially strong, and we have many positive initiatives taking place throughout our publishing, interactive and broadcasting operations.

At the other end of the spectrum, this week's New Yorker includes a story which recognizes, as we do, that newspapers are a solid business and highly valued by consumers and advertisers.



And the CEO of Tribune Remains

"We're going to operate our way out of this," Tribune Chairman and Chief Executive Dennis J. FitzSimons says.

With the Tribune stock losing eighteen percent of it's value over the last two weeks, we are simply going to operate out of this slump? The employees of the Tribune Corporation want to hear something a bit more solid than simply operating out of this downward trend.

I have been waiting for a bulletin from Chicago on a detailed plan to bring the company value back to where it belongs, I want clarity, a goal. At the rate we are going, the stock will be in the low 20's before long.

How many more employees will lose their jobs at Tribune properties, how many more production facilities will be closed? As an employee and stock holder, I'm seeking out answers from our CEO, on the direction he plans to take our company to improve earnings.

Concerned employee,

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Extra! Are Tribune's Parts Extra?

Media Giant Could Face PressureTo Divest Itself of Some Holdings;
Sell the Cubs? Keep the Networks?

By JOSEPH T. HALLINAN March 30, 2006

It is just days away from the start of a new baseball season, and Tribune Co. finds itself in a pickle: Should it sell the Chicago Cubs, its game-losing but money-making team? Or keep the Cubs and toss out something else?

With speculation mounting that Tribune could be the newspaper industry's next takeover play, the media company faces increasing pressure to do something.

Tribune's stock price has slumped to multiyear lows, Wall Street analysts have slapped the company with rare "sell" ratings, and the company's strategy of corralling advertisers by owning newspapers and television stations in the same markets seems to have flopped.

"Clearly, it has not worked," says John Miller, portfolio manager for Ariel Capital Management LLC. The Chicago-based money manager, with $19.4 billion in assets, has held Tribune stock for years and is one of the company's largest outside shareholders with 10.1 million shares, or about 3% of the company -- but it is growing impatient.

"We feel the stock is significantly undervalued and we would love nothing more than to see the company look to divest some of their properties," Mr. Miller says. For instance, he says, Tribune could sell its broadcast operations and take the company private.

Tribune appears disinclined, at least for now. "We're going to operate our way out of this," Tribune Chairman and Chief Executive Dennis J. FitzSimons says. "We're going to, I would say, stay the course, operate efficiently. But it's a different course, as it has been throughout the company's history."

Tribune's two primary businesses -- newspapers and TV stations -- are concentrated in big-city markets that have taken a pounding from competitors. Its TV stations, such as KTLA in Los Angeles, have lost viewers, and its newspapers, like the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, have lost readers and advertising, largely to the Internet. Nonetheless, Mr. FitzSimons says, "We still like the idea of being in major markets."

Selling the Cubs is tempting. While the club hasn't won a World Series since 1908, its legendary Wrigley Field home is packed for most games. Estimates put the team's value at around $500 million. Tribune bought the Cubs in 1981 for $21 million.

Other healthy investments include Tribune's 31% interest in the TV Food Network, a 24-hour television network focusing on food and entertaining, and a one-third stake in CareerBuilder, the online recruitment company. (CareerBuilder's other two stakeholders are Gannett Co. and Knight Ridder Inc., the nation's top two newspaper publishers, respectively, each also with a one-third stake.)

But the Cubs and the Food Network make money, and CareerBuilder is expected to do so soon. Mr. FitzSimons says he is reluctant to dump any of them, especially considering the probable tax bite a sale would entail.

"To sell at the bottom, when potential buyers aren't necessarily willing to pay a premium price that would make up for the tax hit, wouldn't be wise," he says.
Tribune's price/earnings ratio for this year is 14. That compares with a slightly richer multiple of 19 for the Dow Jones U.S. media-stocks index.

Tribune's dilemma comes at a precarious time for media companies. Earlier this month, the board of Knight Ridder, based in San Jose, Calif., agreed to sell the company to McClatchy Co. of Sacramento, Calif., under pressure from Knight Ridder's biggest investor, Private Capital Management LP. The Private Capital money-management firm, run by Bruce Sherman, is a unit of Legg Mason Inc.

Talk on Wall Street is that Tribune could soon face the same pressure. But Mr. FitzSimons says there are important differences between Tribune and Knight Ridder, including the ownership of big blocks of Tribune stock by presumably loyal insiders. The Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation, of which Mr. FitzSimons is chairman, holds 14%; and the Chandler Trusts hold 12%.

The Chandler Trusts acquired their stake in 2000, when Tribune bought Times Mirror Co., which was controlled by the Chandler family. The trusts exchanged their Times Mirror common stock for 36.3 million shares of Tribune common stock and got three seats on Tribune's 12-member board.

That merger, which occurred at the peak of the Internet-stock bubble, looks increasingly costly. Revenue has barely budged over the past five years and billions in market value have evaporated. Tribune paid $8.3 billion for Times Mirror in 2000, including the assumption of debt. Today, that is the market value of both companies combined.

In the newspaper business, which accounts for nearly three-fourths of Tribune's revenue, fourth-quarter advertising trends were worse than many analysts had expected, and 2006 appears to be off to a slow start, Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Ginocchio said in a March 16 note to investors. Deutsche Bank has a financial relationship with Tribune.

The future isn't much brighter. For the monthly period ending Feb. 26, Tribune's publishing revenue fell 2.4% over year-ago levels, to $314 million. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. analyst Craig Huber predicts Tribune's 2006 newspaper ad revenue will drop 2.7%, versus an industry average of 1.5%. Mr. Huber has an "underweight," or "sell," recommendation on Tribune's shares. Lehman has a financial relationship with the company.

Mr. FitzSimons says advertising appears to have picked up from its February levels.
Deutsche Bank's Mr. Ginocchio, who has a "sell" rating on Tribune, says that, for now, a sale of the company appears unlikely. In his note to investors, which was written as the stock was trading in the low-$30s, he said: "Tribune is not the next Knight Ridder, unless it's in the mid-$20s."

In 4 p.m. composite trading yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange, Tribune's shares were unchanged at $27.51.

Submitted by Pops

Tribune Selling Assets

Also on the M&A front, the Tribune Co. (TRB) is under pressure to sell divisions including the Chicago Cubs baseball team, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday in its "Heard on the Street" column. The report quoted Tribune Chairman and Chief Executive Dennis J. FitzSimons as saying the firm wants to "operate" its way out of its stock market slump and that Tribune isn't interested in selling any of its arms, but also quotes an investor as saying he'd like the firm to sell some of its operations.

SOURCE Market Watch

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Facts and Myths about Online Viruses

It is amazing all the wonderful things the Internet puts us in contact with, so much information, the simplicity of been in contact with friends and love ones. But like everything in life there is a bad side too, threats from viruses. those little programs made by people that like to show their anger to the world, , unsolicited ads, also known as spamware and spyware. There are so many commercial programs to combat these threats, many of them quiet expensive, but there are also companies that offer these services for free and some of them are as good as the commercial ones.
If the tech guys from companies like Norton, Trend Micro, McAfee were to be honest with all of us, they would say that most of them don't even use them, just by following some simple rules:
1 Never open emails from people you don't know.
2 Don't open attachtments you have not requested.
3 Be aware the kind of places you visit.

If you are using an Internet provider that offers high speed internet (DSL) more than likely you will be using a router, which is the box that connects between the phone socket and your computer. These routers, all of them, have a built in firewall, which protects from unwanted visitors that might want to know about your habits and what you do in general. Windows XP also has a built in firewall, but if you are using a router you don't need to have it on, the one in the router should be more than enough. For more information about all topics regarding computers and the Internet I listen to Leo Laporte on KFI 640AM on saturdays and sundays. In his website you can find lots of tips and tricks on how to make your internet experience quiet pleasent. His address is

This is an excert of some of the tips you can read about

If you’re a Windows user you need an Anti-Virus. I do not recommend the current top sellers: Norton Anti-virus or McAfee. They’re bloated and less effective than others. Check any anti-virus before you buy by visiting the independent Virus Bulletin. Any anti-virus you choose should also be certified by the ICSA Labs (all the big commercial products are).

  • If you can’t afford, or don’t want to buy, an anti-virus program I recommend the Free Version of AVG from Grisoft. It’s fairly accurate but to reduce bloat you might want to turn off the background tasks.
  • The best commercial anti-virus is NOD32 from Eset. It’s relatively inexpensive and has a 100% effective rating from the Virus Bulletin. [Disclaimer: ESET is a sponsor of the radio show, but I use it myself and would sincerely recommend it even if they weren’t.]

Symantec’s Anti-Virus Research Center is a good source of virus information. The site also lists hoaxes and offers many free virus removal tools. Most anti-virus companies maintain similar sites. Unfortunately, there’s no standard for virus names, so you may have to look around to find the right page.

If you are having problems installing an AV product it may be that your system is infected. Use one of these free online anti-virus scans to check for infection:

Currently these online scanners require Internet Explorer, but a cross-platform version of Housecall is reportedly under development.

Hope this article will give you some piece of mind about virus threats.
Happy surfing.

Look How the Union Helped These Workers

NCI fires entire union work force in Burbank office

Work has been outsourced to other locations


HOLLYWOOD -- The National Captioning Institute has fired the entire union work force of 16 captioning editors at its Burbank office following a lengthy battle over a new contract.

The editors and supporters picketed the Burbank offices Wednesday. Their union, Local 53 of the National Assn. of Broadcast Employees and Technicians -- Communications Workers of America, has filed unfair labor practice charges with the Natl. Labor Relations Board against NCI for alleged bad-faith bargaining.

NCI, based in Vienna, Va., refused to comment about the firings or the charges filed with the NLRB. Nonprofit org, which also has offices in Dallas and London, launched closed-captioning services in 1980.

Local 53 president Leroy Jackson said NCI took an aggressive tack when negotiations began last spring to replace the previous contract. He said company proposals included wage freezes, tripling and quadrupling of production expectations and wage concessions amounting to 58% of salary.

The editors were fired Jan. 31 after refusing NCI's "last, best and final" offer. Jackson said the work in the Burbank office has been outsourced to other locations. He also said NCI had singled out the workers in Burbank to absorb the impact of companywide problems.

"As a result we offered the logical and fair suggestion to spread any pain of corporate woes across all employees of NCI, not just our union workers in Burbank," he added. "The company responded that it would be too painful for Dallas and Virginia employees to absorb. Clearly, it must be too painful for overcompensated officers to absorb."

Photo's From Whittier, California

As the protests continue around Southern California by high school students here are some very interesting photographs.

Locking down all schools in Los Angeles County did not stop the students from walking out in protest yesterday, so what will school officials do next, to stem this protest from spreading to other schools throughtout Los Angeles?

I have had one of my children walk off campus last year, and I was threatened with a fine and jail time by school officials if it occurred again. I say fine all school administrators if they cannot control the children in their charge as well.

This may be off subject, but I hope my point is understood. How can I physically keep a child on school grounds while at work? It only angers me when I'm threatened with fines and jail time by school officials. So lets turn the tables and give the same punishments to the highly educated educators.

On the other side of the coin, what would the impact be if all illegal immigrants were sent back to their home countries? We have become dependant on immigrants to do many jobs, especially here in Los Angeles, from mowing our lawns, cleaning our homes, babysitting our children, keeping the prices down at fast food outlets, and cleaning our workplaces.

What is the spending power of the immigrants in Los Angeles, I'm sure it's somewhere near twenty-five percent if not higher?

There are no simple answers to this situation.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

April 15th is Closing in.

It's that time of year again when we have to find all of our reciepts for donations, interest paid on our homes, and other tax related deductions.

I started my returns almost two months ago, but for some reason, I have not got around to completing my tax returns? With almost $4,000 in refunds I have been asked all my adult life "Why do you allow the government to use your money, when you could be earning interest on this money?" Well, the sad fact is, I would have spent the money, oppossed to saving it. And even if I did recieve any interest, it would be taxed, and amount to penny's after paying tax on the interest.

Now if I could only find a way to claim my twenty-five year old daughter Kristine, I would be a happy camper. But I have failed all the tests for claiming Kris as my dependant, even though I have paid for all of her expenses.

Maybe tomorrow I will find the time to finish my taxes.

Stay Positive,

PS I'm not going to mention that the Tribune stock fell again today.

Los Angeles Times Blog

The Los Angeles Times Blog is interesting reading. The topic, Immigration.

Easy Writer: Yes, They Can

Easy Writer: Yes, They Can

Trackback Test

This is a simple trackback URL test.

Immigration Issues

Saturday afternoon as I pulled out of the Olympic Facility, I noticed many people walking East on Olympic Blvd., all with Mexican flags in their hands. I had no clue five hundred thousand had gathered downtown to protest changes in the laws regarding Mexican immigrants, but this has been in the news everyday, very hard to avoid this story.

So the schools are going into lockdown, to keep the children in school, this isn't a bad idea. But can we as parents lockdown our homes to also keep our children indoors and at home? I'm sure there is some absurb law against doing so.

For those of you that have visited Mexico, and the neighborhoods, you can understand why many flee to the United States for a better way of life. The things we Americans take for granted, like a hot shower, most Mexican's do not enjoy.

Cultural changes happen because of youth, not because of older people like myself, and I'm waiting to see what happens at the colleges within the next few weeks.

It's easy for the media to blame the Mexican's for the ills that are affecting our country, but what has the war in Iraq cost the American public?

Your opinions on this subject are most welcome.


Monday, March 27, 2006

Still Learning How To Blog

I attempted to trackback to an article on another blog, but somehow did not enter the URL correctly, and users that clicked on the link simply saw a mis-directed message. Not being one to give up easily, I will give it another try tomorrow.

Was I ever happy to see the computers in our learning center replaced with Dell computers this afternoon. Now we have Internet access on six computers, instead of just one. The speed of the computers is fantastic, my new page with the photographs from our last dinner loaded within fifthteen seconds. This is true T-1 speed. DSL will take over seventy-five seconds to load, and cable will load in about sixty seconds. Dialup will, well I would suggest taking a walk around the block while it downloads the images.

Our new pressroom manager will not be announced for another one to two weeks, and this was from the horses mouth. I would apply for the position myself, but I'm over qualified, we generally fill this position with people with no printing press skills or experience.

My crew members and myself had a chat with our vp of production this afternoon, and somehow the conversation turned to double speak. What do I mean by double speak? When a company tells share holders why a CEO left the company, such as "He left to spend more time with his family", and what it really means, he was fired. Well today we experienced problems with color registration, we were testing neutral feed blankets. What this really means, they cost less than the regular printing blankets we normally use.

The Tribune stock dropped again, this marks seven straight days of losses.

And lastly, the passports for my children and grandson have arrived. David and JoAnna's passports are good for five years, and Nathan's passport is good for ten years. All we need now are shorts and tank tops, way too hot and humid to wear pants and shirts in Cozumel.

Good Night Everyone,

New Photographs

Photographs of our March 14th, 2006 dinner are now online for your viewing pleasure. Please thank Orlando Salazar for taking so many pictures at our last dinner.

I'm off to the newspaper.

Have a great day everyone,

New Grandfather at Oly

Press Operator Greg Porchia can now be referred to as Grandpa, his daughter made him a grandfather for the first time last Thursday March 23rd, 2006.

Congratulations Greg

Marilyn Cook is Home

Just to give you all an up-date......I got back home from Nebraska Saturday night.

I was suppose to get in toLAX at 6:30 p.m; however, the plane I was suppose to catch in Denver hada problem with the radar system, so rather than leaving at 5:00, wedidn't leave Denver until 7:45 p.m., on a different airplane. I sat inthe Denver airport for 3 1/2 hours.

So I arrived in L.A. at 8:30 p.m., my friend Darlene and her two grandchildren picked me up and then we wentout for milk shakes. By the time I un-packed and got ready for bed, itwas 12:45. I warmed up my "corn critter", got my snuggly pillow and crawled into my very own bed and slept the whole night.

Woke up at 7:00a.m, thought about going to church; and than decided to hold off for another week. Things are so strange here in this big old house. Seems like it has doubled in size now than I'm alone. I think of Rick 24-7....he's everywhere!!

The Memorial service in Deshler was beautiful. It was held in the same church we were married. There were 110 people in attendance which is unusual for someone from out of town.

The day before the service was rather cold and dreary, as was the day after; but the day of the service was absolutely beautiful. The Pastor at the church,(Pastor Nielson) had a beautiful message entitled "With Wings Like Eagles".

After the service at the church, we went to the city cemetary where I had bought two plots next to my parents for Rick and I.. When we got out of the car, a huge flock of wild geese flew over in a "V" formation There must have been a least a thousand.

There were 6 gentlemen from the VFW, so this was a military funeral complete with the firing of guns and a gentlemen playing Taps. They folded the flag that was draped over the coffin and presented it to me. It was a very beautiful and emotional service.

After the buriel, we went back to the fellowship hall at thechurch, where one of the circles had prepared a lunch, we took pictures and visited. I saw many of my relatives and I had seen for a long time. Both the service at Peace Lutheran in Deshler as the one at Redeemer in Norwalk were truly a celebration of Rick's life. He was a wonderful person.....He loved his family and he loved me; but more importantly, he loved the Lord!

He is with Jesus now and one day we will all be together again .... that is a promise we can count on!

"GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME.......NO MATTER WHAT"!.....Love to all of you, Marilyn


A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company.

1. The next time you order checks have only your initials (instead of first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your checkbook, they will not know if you sign your checks with just your initials or your first name, but your bank will know how you sign your checks.

2. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put "PHOTO ID REQUIRED."

3. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the "For" line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check-processing channels will not have access to it.

4. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box, use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks, (DUH!). You can add it if it is necessary. However, if you have it printed, anyone can get it.

5. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. Also carry a photocopy of your passport when traveling either here or abroad. We have all heard horror stories about fraud that is committed on us in stealing a name, address, Social Security number, credit cards.

6. When you check out of a hotel that uses cards for keys (and they all seem to do that now), do not turn the "keys" in. Take them with you and destroy them. Those little cards have on them all of the information you gave the hotel, including address and credit card numbers and expiration dates. Someone with a card reader, or employee of the hotel, can access all that information with no problem whatsoever.

Unfortunately, as an attorney, I have first hand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the thieves ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer and received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record information online.

Here is some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:

1. We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. The key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.

2. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one). However, here is what is perhaps most important of all (I never even thought to do this.)

3. Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit. By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done. There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves' purchases,none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them dead in their tracks.

Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet and contents being stolen:

Equifax: 1-800-525-62852.)
Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-37423.)
TransUnion: 1-800-680-72894.)
Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271

We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along just about everything. Nevertheless, if you are willing to pass this information along, it could really help someone about whom you care.

Live each day as if it is your last. You never know when your last day is coming...

Submitted by Guy Blanchard

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Randy Quaid Sues "Brokeback Mountain" Producers

Says He Was Told Movie was About Heimlich Maneuver

Hollywood was abuzz yesterday with the news that actor Randy Quaid had filed suit against the filmmakers of “Brokeback Mountain,” claiming that he had been told that the movie was a documentary about the Heimlich Maneuver.

“Randy’s angry,” said his agent, Carl Smith. “Ang Lee told him that this was a PBS documentary about the Heimlich Maneuver, and how it saved countless cowboys during the 50s and 60s who were choking on Slim Jims.

”Fellow actor Heath Ledger said that he now better understands Quaid’s behavior on the set.

“We’d be in the middle of a love scene, and Randy would be yelling, ‘QUICK UPWARD THRUSTS! UNDER THE DIAPRAGM, HEATH!’ We just figured he was drinking.”

Friday, March 24, 2006

Newspaper Stocks Down

By David B. Wilkerson, MarketWatch
Last Update: 11:52 AM ET Mar 24, 2006

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- Most newspaper stocks were lower Friday, including McClatchy Co. following Knight Ridder Inc.'s February revenue report late Thursday.

McClatchy (MNI) was down 1.2% at $47.81. The company agreed March 13 to acquire Knight Ridder for $6.5 billion in cash, stock and debt in a deal that will make McClatchy the second-largest U.S. newspaper publisher.

Knight Ridder (KRI) said total advertising revenue was up 1.5% in February, compared to the same month a year ago. Retail ad revenue was up 2.5%, but national plunged 21.2%.
Classified ad revenue was up 10.4%, bolstered by a 14.5% spike in help-wanted and a 26.6% gain in revenue from real estate ads.
Knight Ridder said March ad revenue is on a pace to be up by a low-single digit percentage over the same month in 2005.

Elsewhere among newspaper publishers, Media General (MEG), Tribune Co. (TRB), Gannett (GCI) and New York Times Co. (NYT) all declined.

Tribune Increases Reward to $25,000

Son of Tribune Publishing Employee Killed in 2003 Accident; Story of Luis Mesa Posted on 'America's Most Wanted' Website

CHICAGO, March 24, 2006 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Tribune Company today announced that it has increased the reward to $25,000 for information provided to the Chicago Police leading to the arrest and prosecution of the person or persons responsible for the hit-and-run death of Luis D. Mesa.

Luis was the 8-year-old son of Maria Mesa, an employee of the Tribune-owned South Florida Sun-Sentinel and a former Chicago Tribune employee.

The accident took place on Aug. 15, 2003, when the boy and his family were in Chicago visiting relatives. Luis was struck by a dark-colored, 4-door Chevrolet on the 6200 block of West Grand Avenue. He was crossing the street with his mother and other family members.

"Tribune is again asking the community for help in bringing the hit-and- run driver to justice," said Luis Lewin, Tribune senior vice president/human resources. "We continue to believe that somebody out there has information that could solve this crime. The reward money is least we can do on behalf of Maria, and hopefully it will lead to positive results."

Anyone with information about the accident is encouraged to contact the Chicago Police Department at (312) 745-4521.

Separately, details about the Luis Mesa tragedy now appear on the website of "America's Most Wanted," the popular crime show that airs nationally on the Fox television network. Visit and click on "My Story," the section of the site devoted to letters from the public seeking help with unsolved crimes involving people they know. The story of Luis Mesa was submitted this month by Kevin Courtney, a colleague of Maria Mesa at the Sun- Sentinel.

TRIBUNE (TRB) is one of the country's top media companies, operating businesses in publishing and broadcasting. It reaches more than 80 percent of U.S. households and is the only media organization with newspapers, television stations and websites in the nation's top three markets. In publishing, Tribune operates 11 leading daily newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Newsday, plus a wide range of targeted publications such as Spanish-language Hoy. The company's broadcasting group operates 26 television stations, Superstation WGN on national cable, Chicago's WGN-AM and the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Popular news and information websites complement Tribune's print and broadcast properties and extend the company's nationwide audience.

SOURCE Tribune Company

Another Week Comes to an End

How quickly time turns as we age, just seems as if the new year was here last week, but in a blink of an eye it's another Friday. Here's a quick overview of the events in my life the past week.

Vacation Nearing

The Children and I will be in Mexico City about this time, in three weeks, but who's counting the days till we visit Cozumel?

Plant Director Departing

Our plant director at the Olympic Facility will be leaving for her new assignment today, so be polite, and wish her well.

New Pressroom Manager

A new pressroom manager will be named on Monday, or at least that's what the LA Times Grapevine is telling me.

New CEO Soon ?

As the Tribune stock reaches new fifty-two week lows everyday, word on the street has the CEO of the Tribune, leaving to spend more time with his family by next Friday.

Mood at Olympic

The culture at Oly is making a transformation, that is a welcome change, and the equiptment is even being repaired. Last week I reported on the electronic Operator Report that my secondary Ferag dropped five thousand eight hundred copies, yesterday it dropped fewer than three hundred and fifty copies, someone's paying attention. Thank you for making the needed repairs.
The press runs are being completed sooner, with fewer crews working through lunch, which also improves moral.


Michael Carlson's mother passed away this week. Words of sympathy are most welcome at this time. Michael is the senior press operator at the olympic Facility.

Once is not enough

Long time journeyman, Mercy, told me that he was working for the city of Los Angeles the next few days, seems Larry was in such a hurry, he forgot to buckle up with his seat belt, and was caught by the LAPD. This is the second time for Larry, wonder if the $350.00 fine will be increased for a second offense?

Los Angeles Marathon

Press operator Richard Olmeda completed the Los Angeles Marathon last Sunday in five hours and thirty some minutes. Running twenty-six miles is a feat in it self, but Richard is in a special club for runners that have ran in every Los Angeles Marathon, since it was started some twenty-six years ago.

Saying Goodbye

Rumor has it, another Olympic Pressroom employee will be departing within the next few weeks. It's currently a secret to whom this mystery person might be, your favorite webmaster knows who he is, but will not say at this time.

Photographs of Past Dinner

Orlando Salazar will be sending all the pictures taken at our last dinner, ten days ago, and they will be placed in a special folder for your enjoyment. Thank you Orlando.

United Way

The annual United Way campaign has kicked off, and you can make your pledges online by following this link. DONOR All Los Angeles Times employees will use the code lat2006. Have your six digit employee number ready, if you plan to make a donation.

That's all for now,

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Meeting at Chilis

Photographs by Mike Randall

Do I Have a Choice?

"Hey Ed hows it going !! ...just would like to get an " answer " if you will. If we ( times employees - pressroom personal )have been getting hammered shortchanged ( not including Mtg) and you see that not having a Union is the " answer " ...just what is YOURanswer ( please explain ) If you have one"

The Los Angeles Times Pressrooms have not had a union contract since 1968, since then there have been many attempts at organizing the workers, and even five union votes. The employees have soundly defeated all union votes.

Before an election can be held, pledge cards must be signed, and we have had upwards of sixty to sixty-five percent sign the cards. But when it comes time to vote, the union is lucky to gain thirty percent of employees favor with a yes vote.

Sure I would like to have what every executive has, a contract, but this is not going to happen, especially at the Los Angeles Times. We witnessed what the Tribune will do if you threaten a slowdown or strike, bring in workers from their other newspapers. This put a stop to the possible strike at the Baltimore Sun a few short years ago. How many employees would risk losing their livelihood by striking today?

Remember the strike at the market chains, which lasted for many months in Southern California two years ago? What did the employees gain through their strike, and what have they lost?

And some of us remember when the San Fernando Daily News was sold, their union contract was voided, and everyone had to reapply for their jobs. With the Tribune stock at an all time low, the possibility of the newspaper being sold increases, so if a union vote were won, would the new owners of the Los Angeles Times honor a contract?

The men and women of the Los Angeles Times have spoken, through their voting, that they do not want a union at the newspaper. Even though many will sign pledge cards, just to keep the peace and not be ridiculed by individuals that want a union.

As for having answers to alternatives to a union, I do not have any solutions, but am open to new and fresh ideas from my co-workers.

When the time comes that I am asked to sign a union pledge card, I will be declining at that time. But will have no ill feelings for those that choose to sign a pledge card.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Somethings Got to Give

After a little research I see why many are selling Tribune stock. Here's a few of the reasons below.

Morningstar Alert


03-20-06 09:07 PM Change in this year's EPS estimateThe current fiscal year consensus EPS estimate for this stock has changed from 2.03 to 2.00. For details, go to

Morningstar Alert


03-20-06 09:07 PM Change in next year's EPS estimateThe next fiscal year consensus EPS estimate for this stock has changed from 2.12 to 2.10. For details, go to

Moody's may downgrade Tribune ratings

03-17-06 11:22 AM EST

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Moody's Investors Service on Friday placed Tribune Co.'s (TRB) A3 senior unsecured long-term debt ratings on review for possible downgrade. The review doesn't include Tribune's P-2 commercial paper rating, the agency noted. It's prompted by Moody's ongoing concerns about the outlook for the newspaper sector, combined with increased event and risk as well as Tribune's high debt burden vs. operating cash flow for its A3 rating following the debt-financed Matthew Bender and Mosby tax liability. Moody's said the review will focus on Tribune's ability and commitment to materially reduce debt over the next 18 to 24 months, and its ability to improve its operating trends and margins. The company's ability to mitigate event and risks surrounding the newspaper industry will also be considered.


With so much bad news at the Tribune the past few years, is it any wonder so many workers are looking to union involvement.

I'm hearing more of my co-workers say we have nothing to lose by forming a union, but is that really the answer? I think not. I myself was a union member with the GCIU for several years, helped organize three campaigns, that failed. I'm no longer pushing for a union at the Los Angeles Times.

Yet, when I mentioned that many former Chatsworth employees gathered at Chili's last Sunday, management questioned if this was a union meeting? It was simply former co-workers getting together for a few beers, and nothing more.

If I was advertising some type of union meeting, I would simply state it here. I'm fairly upfront about things, no need to hide or pretend, as I see it.

As the company stock continues it's decline, many are wondering how much further we will cut, by downsizing the work force? The grapevine at the newspaper is saying another round of cutbacks will be coming our way this July. Again I say, maybe that statement of further cutbacks was a slip of the tongue last year, later retracted by AP, as a misquote?

Time will tell.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tribune Stock Tumbling

The Tribune stock has lost over six percent the past two trading days, and I hope this downward trend stops today. Last Friday we watched the stock drop $1.41, and yesterday we lost another 62 cents on news of advertsing revenues for February were down three percent.

As employees and investors watch the price fall to near new lows, something has to change to turn this company around.

My mood, Concerned...


Monday, March 20, 2006

The Countdown has Started

My children and grandson have started counting the days till we leave for Cozumel, Mexico, they are so looking forward to this vacation. After returning from Cozumel in August of last year I had many photographs to share with them of the clear water and shear beauty of this island paradise.

Then Hurricane Wilma stuck the island, and their grandmother was forced to evacuate back to the States. The destruction on the island appeared as if an earthquake had hit the island, entire buildings came down into piles of rubble. The street behind the seawall was tore to bits and pieces by the storm surge. But the rebuilding has continued to a point, where very little damage can be seen, by first time visitors.

My mother and her boyfriend returned to Cozumel in January, to rebuild their home, but I had not planned to stay with her this time. On my last visit I stayed with my mother for six days, and had to move into a hotel due too the lack of running water or air-conditioning. I stayed at Hotel Meson, it's only rated a two star hotel, but after staying with my mother, it felt like a five star hotel.

Mexicana Airlines has sent our confirmation letter, and our hotel is also paid for, just waiting for the children's passports to arrive, and were all set for our trip next month.

I will be blogging from the island, as there are Internet Cafe's just about everywhere, and at ninety pesos per hour, it's a very good deal.


New Blogger to Join us Soon

We will have a female voice on this blog very soon, and this will add a completely different slant to things. So keep reading this blog and welcome our newest addition when she comes online with us.


Saturday, March 18, 2006

You Snooze You Lose

I'm off to my favorite restaraunt this afternoon for some of the best Mexican food in Los Angeles. It's called El Tepeyac's and also Manuel's. I have eaten here for over thirty-five years and it is as good now as it was in 1971.

Looks like I will be forced to keep the top for my car in the up position, could rain at any time.

Hope you have a good day,

The Best of Our Blog

Based on the number of comments, here's a list of the best posts.

Pressmen's 20 Year Club: Michelle Leaving Operations">Michelle Leaving Operations

Pressmen's 20 Year Club: Passports and Children">Passports and Children

Pressmen's 20 Year Club: Good Night, Mr. Chandler, Well Done.">Good Night, Mr. Chandler, Well Done

Photographs of our March 14th, 2006 Dinner

Photos by Orlando Salazar

Tribune Stock Down 4.58%

When I arrived to work yesterday and was greeted with comments regarding the three dollar drop in the price of Tribune stock. I asked if it wasn't a three percent drop in price, because the stock was down just over a dollar when I last looked at the stock, around noon.

When I came home tonight I took a look at what the stock did today, it high today reached $30.97, and the low for the day was $29.34. That's a $1.64 difference in the high and low for the day. Tribune stock was down $1.41 or 4.58%, a far cry from a three dollar drop.

Here's why the stock fell so hard yesterday.

Broker action

Deutsche Bank cut media group Tribune Co. (TRB) to sell from hold, citing worse-than-expected newspaper revenue. The bank said things could deteriorate in the second half, especially if real-estate classified ad revenue falls as the housing market slows.

Tribune Revenues Down 3.0% in February

Publishing Advertising Revenues Down 2.2%; Television Revenues Down 5.0%

CHICAGO, March 16, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Tribune Company (TRB) today reported its summary of revenues and newspaper advertising volume for period 2, ended Feb. 26, 2006. Consolidated revenues for the period were $408 million, down 3.0 percent from last year's $420 million.

Publishing revenues in February were $314 million compared to last year's $321 million, down 2.4 percent. Advertising revenues decreased 2.2 percent to $248 million, compared with $254 million in February 2005. -- Retail advertising revenues decreased 4.7 percent with weakness in the food & drug, department store and electronics categories.
Preprint revenues, which are principally included in retail, were down 6
percent due primarily to a decline at Newsday. Excluding Newsday,
preprint revenues were down 1 percent.

-- National advertising revenues declined 11.5 percent principally due to
lower automotive and movie advertising.

-- Classified advertising revenues rose 7.2 percent due to gains in real
estate and help wanted, which rose 35 percent and 5 percent,
respectively. Automotive classified advertising fell 11 percent.
Interactive revenues, which are primarily included in classified, were
$17 million, up 24 percent, due to strength in all categories.

Circulation revenues were down 3.9 percent due to volume declines at most of the company's newspapers and selectively higher discounting.
Broadcasting and entertainment group revenues in February decreased 4.8 percent to $94 million, compared with $99 million last year. Television revenues declined 5.0 percent; weakness in auto and package goods was partially offset by increases in media and education. Radio/entertainment revenues decreased 0.9 percent primarily due to lower syndication revenues at Tribune Entertainment.

This press release contains certain comments or forward-looking statements that are based largely on the Company's current expectations and are subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties. Such comments and statements should be understood in the context of Tribune's publicly available reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including the most current annual 10-K report and quarterly 10-Q report, which contain a discussion of various factors that may affect the company's business or financial results. These factors could cause actual future performance to differ materially from current expectations. Tribune Company is not responsible for updating the information contained in this press release beyond the published date, or for changes made to this document by wire services or Internet service providers. The Company's next 10-Q report to be filed with the SEC may contain updates to the information included in this release.

TRIBUNE (TRB) is one of the country's top media companies, operating businesses in publishing and broadcasting. It reaches more than 80 percent of U.S. households and is the only media organization with newspapers, television stations and websites in the nation's top three markets. In publishing, Tribune operates 11 leading daily newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Newsday, plus a wide range of targeted publications such as Spanish-language Hoy. The company's broadcasting group operates 26 television stations, Superstation WGN on national cable, Chicago's WGN-AM and the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Popular news and information websites complement Tribune's print and broadcast properties and extend the company's nationwide audience.


Friday, March 17, 2006

Birth Certificates

The children and I have just arrived home from applying for their passports, it was only a three hour process. The birth certificates, that were issued by the Registra-Recorder, are no longer accepted.

I had to drive to Norwalk and get new birth certificates for all three children. There was no fee involved, but the traffic was murder, and the lines ran out the doors of the building, and new birth certificates were made and in my hands.

If you need a birth certificate I would suggest getting a new one as soon as possible, so you aren't made to visit your nearest Registra-recorders office as I was.

If this message saves one person the hassle of running here and there for a new birth certificate, then it was worth putting it in writing.

Have a good day, and TGIF,

Ready for Passport Process

Nothing like waiting till the last minute to fill out the application forms for a passport, but it only took a few minutes, and I'm all set to visit the San Dimas Post Office. The children are all getting ready to have their pictures taken, and have their first passports issued.

When I recieved my first passport I visited the federal building in Westwood. Waited in line for an eternity ( 7 hours) and paid an extra $30.00, on top of the $60.00, to have my passport ready the next day.

Today a passport costs $112.00, plus $15.00 for passports photos, not sure what the fees will be to have the passports ready in four weeks at the moment?

Lets hope the process is painless and goes by quickly.

Wish me luck,

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Department of Justice

Last week I mentioned the interesting visitors to our web site, the most unique visitor was from the Department of Justice, well maybe not interesting but it caught my attention. Even though I know I have done nothing wrong, chills ran up my spine after seeing a visitor from this arm of the law.

A few days ago an email arrived from this visitor, letting me know they would like to see me this weekend. So how could I say anything but yes? I responded with a maybe, if I'm not working this weekend.

The visitor was my brother Mike.....

And I thought Jesse had broken the law.

Keep Smiling,

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Passing of Shirley Howe

Shirley Howe ( Rodger's ) wife passed away this morning March 15 at home.

Services are pending, please pass along as soon as I know more I will keep you informed..............Billy Widner

Rodger Howe
6451 Holly Oak Drive
Alta Loma, CA. 91701

Michelle Leaving Operations

I heard yesterday our plant manager Michelle will be leaving Operations at Olympic to take on a new assignment in Ad-Ops. We would like to wish her the best in her new position.

Almost every Friday Michelle would walk through the pressroom to say hello to as many workers as she could, her Friday visit's will leave a vacancy in the pressroom.

The Blogger server is acting up, I have attempted to upload Michelle's picture without success, I'll come back tonight and try again.

Missing Checkbook

The club's missing checkbook has been located under a pair of shoes in my walkin closet, not sure how it ended up in that spot, but I'm happy I have found it.

Sunday Brunch

Have been informed many pressmen from the Chatsworth Facility will be gathering at Chili's this Sunday at 3:00pm. Chili's is located at McBean and the 5 Freeway. I will supply additional information as soon as possible. I plan on attending, if I'm not working this Sunday.

Have a great day,

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Great Dinner Tonight at Taix Restaurant

Our dinner was a success in many ways tonight, we had sixty-one members and guests in attendance, and one female joined our group as a guest. Linda Olmeda, from the Olympic Mailroom, joined us as her husband's guest. Linda's husband is press operator Richard Olmeda of the Olympic Facility.

Russ Newton (vice-president of production) came to our dinner tonight and opened the bar for everyone, and we would like to extend our thanks to Russ for this kind gesture.

Ken Reich also came, and even in his poor state of health, gave a short speech on the media and the Los Angeles Times. Thank you Ken for attending.

Our president of the club (David Joe) decided to retire from his post as our leader, a title he has held for five years, naturally to spend more time with his family. David Joe has given his best to our club and we would like to thank him for all his efforts.

Tony King has had a change of heart and will remain the vice-president of our club for a few more dinners, thank you Tony.

We have elected a new president for the Los Angeles Times Pressmen's Twenty Year Club, and he is Tony Specht, shift supervisor at the Olympic Pressroom. Tony was selected because he has worked at both the Orange County Times and the Olympic Times Facilities. As president of our club, Tony has the final say on almost everything regarding the club.

Welcome aboard Tony Specht.

Door Prize Winners

Pete Mastin

Bill Blank

Jose Gomez

Larry Jordan

Bert Badajos

Eddie Enriquez

All won bottles of booze

Our 50/50 drawing was won by Gary Connaught $162.00 went into our bank account and $162.00 went into Gary's wallet.

On another note, somehow I misplaced the club's checkbook, so I left home a bit later than expected. And naturally there was an accident at the 605 and 210 Freeways, that only made me arrive at David Joe's house thirty minutes late. Not knowing what I should do about the missing checkbook, I brought my personal checkbook to the dinner, and paid the tab ($1,990.75) from my personal funds. I informed David Joe of my error, in misplacing the checkbook, and will reimburse myself when the club's checkbook is found. I was told I'm suffering from CRS (can't remember shit), and they might be right!


Passports and Children

Nothing like waiting till the last minute to apply for passports for my children and grandson for our trip next month to Cozumel, Mexico. I was under the impression the law did not change till December 31st, 2006, but I was wrong. My first mistake this year!

Birth certificates arrived yesterday, all the needed forms have been filled out, and we have an appointment with the San Dimas Post Office on Friday to apply for the passports. The San Dimas Post Office takes the passports pictures and will have the three passports in my hands within three weeks, at an extra cost. I estimate each passport will cost close to $200.00 each, looks like I will have to spend a few more Saturday's at work to cover this expense.

For you new users, my mother lives on the Island of Cozumel, but the children and I will be staying in a hotel, not at my mother's home. My mother returned to Cozumel in January to rebuild her home, hurricane Wilma destroyed her home and just about everything else on the low lying island.

Tonight's dinner will be one of the largest crowds in memory, with over seventy guests confirming they will be attending, it will be fun for all in attendance. I will be buying a larger memory card for my digital camera, so I will be able to share with pictures for those that have to work.

Ken Reich will be in attendance, and if he feels up to it, may say a few words to the crowd.
We will also need a ride for Ken back to the San Fernando Valley area, as Ken is not driving at this time.

I took a call yesterday that a female will be attending our all male party, what will we do? Our club is something like Fred Flintstones Water Buffalo's, all male. We just do not wear the hats or have a secret handshake.

Time to hit the streets and get the children off to school.

Stay Positive and good things will happen in your life.

Eddie AKA I.P. Eddie

Monday, March 13, 2006

Good Night, Mr. Chandler, Well Done.

Here's a nice closing for Otis Chandler by Kanani Fong.

The Hard Part is Over

Somehow I survived working both of my days off this past weekend, the Saturday shift was hard because of the short turn around and my daughter JoAnna becoming sick. And now my son Nathan seems to have caught the same illness, he may miss school this morning?

When I arrived home Saturday all I wanted to do was jump into bed and sleep, but somehow I managed to do a little cleaning around the house, feed the children, and wash some clothes. I finally laid down in my bed and turned the radio on about four in the afternoon. The next thing I knew, it was seven at night, so I had something to eat and it was off to sleep for me. Running up and down the catwalk at work also gave me a good workout Saturday, as the top balloon was giving the operator headache's.

Just the previous day (Friday) my balloon gave me the same problems, running around and breaking, so I was hoping to gain some knowledge by watching how the operator resolved his balloon problem. It's sad to say he was also unable to control his top balloon from running and breaking, just as I was unable to do so on Friday. And we we're on a completely different printing press on Saturday. Balloon problems equal additional waste, and Saturday we generated over ten thousand waste because of the balloon problems.

As a press operator I have not worked the second inker position, and did not know how to operate the CCR (color control registration) computer, after Saturday I now can setup and run this tool.

Yesterday only two of my crew members showed up for our crew overtime, and the men that filled in were two other press operator's and a first colorman. Needless to say we had an excellent day.

Our friend Ken Reich may not be able to attend our dinner tomorrow, Ken was in the hospital all of last week, we hope he's back on his feet soon.

I have caught up with all email messages this morning, working so much overtime did not give me time to respond to all messages, but I'm caught up now.

David Joe has mentioned he will be stepping down as the president of our club tomorrow, if you know of anyone you might like to have as a new president, nominates will be taken tomorrow. We are also in need of a vice-president, and would like to have a representative from Orange County as president or vice-president.

And in closing, after our new pressroom manager is named, we will no longer make jokes about short people, while he is in charge.

Have a great day,

Saturday, March 11, 2006

What was I thinking?

For some reason I agreed to work an overtime shift this morning, the only problem was getting to sleep last night. As I tossed and turned while watching my alarm clock, my sleep was broken many times as my daughter JoAnna ran to the restroom to vomit. I drove over to Circle K last night and bought her a bottle of 7UP, ers, and Pepto Bismo to settle her upset stomach.

I had maybe three hours of broken sleep, but don't feel it. I feel rather good, especially since I'm not operating the printing press this morning, instead I'm operating a computer as the second colorman this morning.

The Saturday morning shift has changed from the 6:00am to 5:00am, and all the donut shops I visited were still closed. I really could do without the donuts anyway, my stomach size is trying to keep up with my age.

Have heard the new pressroom manager at the Oly Facility will be announced next week, wonder if the LA Times Grapevine was correct in stating whom this might be?

Well, I better get back to work and pretend I'm working.

Enjoy the rain,

Friday, March 10, 2006

From Dick Lipsett

The Los Angeles Times Grapevine

The grapevine at the newspaper is one way employees are kept up to date on happings at the newspaper, especially the information that affects everyone. The grapevine has told me our 2% raise will be applied on Sunday March 26th, 2006 to most employees salary. I say most employees, because anyone caught breaking the safety rules last year will not be given a raise.

Have also heard we do not need two vice-presidents of production, or three plant managers, with only three production facilities in operations. This grapevine is about seventy-five percent correct, at the Los Angeles Times.

The grapevine also told me the budget for the pressroom is currently in the works, and will be increased to get the presses back in running order, it's about time!

As our March 14th dinner nears, I have forty-five confirmed guests attending, Ken Reich said he will be there, as well as Russ Newton, Mike Morrison, and George Zambrano. Russ Newton is the new vice-president of production, George Zambrano was one of our former plant managers, and Mike Morrison was our pressroom superintendant. Looks like we will need the larger room, as ten or more never RSVP, they just show up. After speaking with Jill from Taix Restaurant, she's moving us to the larger room.

Well, I have to get the children off to school, more news coming later....

Stay dry and positive,

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Blog Down This Morning

For some reason the blog went down this morning, and looks as if it was down for over an hour, until Jesse dropped an email my way. The index file was corrupted, and had to be replaced, and now everything is running correctly. Unsure why this happened, but all you could see was a blank white page.

Please report any problems as soon as possible, and either Jesse or myself will resolve the problem as quickly as possible.

At the home page I have added nine more Tribune properties, with many more to go, to give you an idea of the size of this company.

Thank you Jesse

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Interesting Visitors

As a Webmaster it's always interesting to see where visitors are from, and how many visits (Hits) your web site generates. If you click on the blue icon at the lower right side of the home page, you can see some of the stats for this site.

One visitor that caught my attention was from Sacramento, with the ISP of The Department of Justice. I wonder why they would visit my pages?

All I can say, if there's anything illegal here, Jesse did it.


It's About Time

On Sunday March 12 the Olympic Pressroom will finally discard the hard copy operator report, for the EOR (electronic operator report). I say it's about time, because the new reporting system could not be any easier to use.

The only flaw in the new reporting system is the timing out of the page, very similar to that error message you see while surfing the Internet "server not found". As long as the operator hits the back key, when the system times out, entered data will not be lost.

And once everyone feels they understand how to navigate each page, we can implement addition fields, which will cut down on all the paperwork our supervisors churn out on a daily basis.

But this was said when computers entered our lives, so I guess this means more paperwork in the future.

Stay Warm,

This is a Long Week

After working on my day off Sunday, the week just seems off balance. I keep thinking I'm one day ahead of the actual day, today feels like Thursday, but it's only Wednesday. At least I'm half way through the week.

Wells Fargo has emailed with news that Cash Systems needs to re-issue another check, because the provisional credit the bank deposited into my checking account is only good till May 9th, 2006. Cash Systems did send a check, but once I told them about the provisional credit, they stopped payment on the check. I have sent a request for another check, with the Wells Fargo email attached. Let's hope this ends sometime soon.

No word on when our 2% raises take effect, I'm sure we will be notified soon, if not I will find out and post here.

Stay Positive,

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Chandler Family

I was informed by our favorite tour guide Darrel that the Chandler children will be touring the Olympic Pressroom at 4:00p.m. today. We usually hear about VIP's days in advance, but today it was a last minute notice. So the pressroom was cleared of newsprint on the floors and any other trash that would be considered an eye sore.

I have not been doing much online because of a problem with my daughter Joanna. Hopefully things will improve with the additional attention directed towards her from myself.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Blondes, you just gotta love 'em!

This was sent to me by a friend(and yes, before you ask, she is a blonde).

One frozen winter morning a couple was listening to the radio over breakfast. They hear the announcer say, "We are going to have 8 to 10 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the even-numbered side of the street, so the snowplows can get through." Norman's wife goes out and moves her car. A week later while they are eating breakfast again, the radio announcer says, "We are expecting 10 to 12 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the odd-numbered side of the street, so the snowplows can get through." Norman's wife goes out and moves her car again. The next week they are again having breakfast, when the radio announcer says, "We are expecting 12 to 14 inches of snow today You must park ...." Then the power goes out. Norman's wife is very upset, and with a worried look on her face she says, "Honey, I don't know what to do. Which side of the street do I need to park on so the snowplows can get through?" With the love and understanding in his voice that all men who are married to blondes exhibit, Norman says .....
"Why don't you just leave it in the garage this time?"

No Computer Time Over the Weekend

I had a rather busy weekend, and didn't have much time to play on the Internet. Since Jesse is off today, he can post some interesting comments while I print tomorrow's newspaper.


Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Weekend is Upon us

Below you will see what I was given after my attempt to debit my checking account, incase any of you doubted me. Click on the image for a larger view, and note this was a credit transaction, not a debit, the Bicycle Casino may want to screen their employees to keep agressive types away from the public in the future. I sent the casino an email letting them know I'm not happy with just a verbal apology over the telephone. Two free nights at the Commerce Casino would help me forget this nightmare. The image will not echo back the larger size for some reason?
Ken Reich will be one of our special guests on March 14th at Taix Restaurant. Ken is a retired Los Angeles Times writer, and also blogs at Take Back the Times. Several members of our club have requested that we invite Ken to our dinner again.

Good News

Here at the Los Angeles Times, if you are off work for twelve weeks and one day, you may no longer be employed by the newspaper. If I'm incorrect on this policy, please chime in and clarify the facts for me. Anyway, one of our employees was recently left without a job because he was off work sick. The good news, this employee was just given his job back by either Mark Kurdich or Russ (Wayne) Newton, when our Press Trainer Matt resigned. Thank you gentlemen.

Fun Facts

All comments go through censorship on this blog, either Jesse or myself review every comment before publishing. This week a message that should not have been published, was in fact published in error. The message was directed at a user here and caused hurt feelings, the user was so hurt they said they would no longer visit our page or leave comments again. If I were able I would block the offending party from this blog, but alas, I cannot block anyone from visiting.

Jesse and myself have thick skin, feel free to attack the two of us, we enjoy the attention be it positive or negative.

And remember, keep smiling,

Friday, March 03, 2006

My Personal Experience with the Bicycle Casino

Many times I share my experiences with different businesses, the good, the bad, and the ugly. My experience with the Bicycle Casino would be filed under ugly.

On Saturday February 18th, 2006 my best friend Manuel called and invited me to join him at the casino for a few beers and some card playing, which I accepted. After several hours of gambling we both ran low on cash, and Manuel asked me to lend him $500.00 so he could continue playing.

I proceed to the cash advance system and swiped my ATM card, and pressed the $1,000.00 withdrawal, which was approved. I was then given the message from the machine to proceed to the cashier for my cash.

I gave my ATM card to the cashier, and two forms of identification, which she took to a machine that was spitting out forms. The cashier then called over an older woman, and they both talked for a moment before the older women took my card from the cashier, and walked over to me. The older woman then introduced herself as the manager of the casino cage, and she told me "Your ATM card is wore out, and we cannot give you your money". She then showed me the back of my ATM card, where your signature goes, and the words void could be seen through the signature area.

At this point I asked about my $1,000.00 withdrawal, and the manager became irate and said "You only withdrew $200.00". The manager walked over to the machine printing out receipts and brought back a receipt for $200.00, which was voided. Again I stated I had made a request for $1,000.00 and this was not my transaction, and again the manager corrected me (in an aggressive manner) with the claim I had only requested $200.00. She also said my funds would be returned to my account within three days.

The transaction at the casino did not show up till February 21st, so I took it for granted my funds would not be returned till the 24th of February. On Saturday the 25th of February I was still without my refund, so I called the casino, and was told to call Cash Systems.

When I called Cash Systems I spoke with William, he was very nice, and he asked for the first four digits and last four digits of my ATM card. After a short wait, William returned to the call, and asked several times in different ways how much cash had the casino gave me. Several times I told him they gave me no cash at all. He then made chills run from my head to my toes when he said the funds had been dispersed. William said I should call my bank as soon as possible, and file a dispute, because there was nothing more he could do for me.

I logged onto Wells Fargo Online, and filled out the online form, with a short explanation of what had occurred one week prior to reporting this problem. Wells Fargo responded the next day, and said a fraud investigation was started for the transaction.

In the mean time I started sending emails to the casino explaining what had happened, and asking where my money might be? The casino did not respond till after the sixth email.

On Monday February 27th I drove the thirty-five miles (in the rain) to the casino, and spoke with the day manager of the casino cage. He called Cash Systems, and gave the phone to me. On the other end of the line was a very nice young lady named Penny, she again asked for the same information William asked for. After a short wait, she returned to the phone and said a check would be mailed to me within three to five business days. I thought this nightmare was over now.

Wednesday March 1, 2006 a representative from the casino, Tina Zagato, called and said they were sorry for the problems the casino cage manager caused me. Then she asked if my phone number could be given to Cash Systems, and naturally I said yes. I received a call from Steve Penz, and he also was very sorry for the hassle I was going through. I told him I was not angry with Cash Systems, or the casino, just the manager of the casino cage.

Steve Penz is what would be considered a people person, very charming on the phone. I spoke with Steve three or four times, and exchanged emails as well, fully explaining what had happened.

When I checked my checking account online, I discovered the funds had been returned to my account by Wells Fargo. Last night as I picked up my mail, a check for $1,016.95 was waiting for me from Cash Systems.

I have contacted Wells Fargo, but must wait till their investigation is completed, before this nightmare is over.

The apology over the phone from the casino is not good enough, I want to be reimbursed for my five hours of wasted time and the loss of sleep over this matter.

So remember to check the back of all your credit and debit cards for the words void, so this will not happen to you!

Have a great weekend,


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Invitation to Employees for Otis Chandler Tribute

From Jeff Johnson

While we are saddened by his loss, there is much to celebrate in Otis Chandler's life and accomplishments. There will be a tribute at the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, March 7 at 5:30 p.m. in the Chandler Auditorium. Members of the Chandler family and many former Times Mirror and Los Angeles Times employees are expected to attend.

You are invited to join us. However, space is limited so please reserve your seat early. After you have RSVP'd, Public Affairs will send you notice of your confirmed seating. Please RSVP to or by calling ext. 75713.

If we are not able to accommodate you with seating at the event, please know that the tribute will be broadcast on closed circuit television throughout the downtown facility. The program will also be videotaped, and we will make those tapes available to all Times facilities so you will have an opportunity to see the program later if you are unable to attend on March 7.

Wishing it Were Friday

A New Friend Leaves

We would like to wish Matt Matloch (sic) the best as he ventures from the Los Angeles Times to relocate in Oregon, to work in the family business. With only two months at Oly, Matt jumped at the opportunity to work and move elsewhere, he will be sorely missed at Oly. At first look, Matt appeared to be rather stiff, but no, he was down to earth, helpful, and funny as hell.

Free Pizza Today at Oly

Pizza and beer, we wanted beer, will be served at 9:30 AM, 2:30 PM, and again at 9:30 PM to celebrate making ontime delivery last weekend. This is a nice way to show appreciation for a job well done.

Donations Needed

Our senior secretary Gatha Hayes is seeking sponsors for her March 11, 2006 Walk for Diabetes. Gatha's goal of reaching $300.00 in pledges came $40.00 closer when your favorite webmaster donated yesterday. She is $100.00 away from her goal, so break out the cash everyone and support this worthy cause.

March 14th Dinner

We will have a few special guests at our upcoming dinner in twelve days, so be sure and let us know if your planning on attending. We have been moved to a smaller room, but if we have more than fifty-five guests, I will need to have us moved to the larger room. We are attempting to move back the pre Tribune days and have our special guest buy one round of drinks for everyone in attendance, lets see what happens?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Tribune 1st Quarter Earnings to be Announced April 13th, 2006

Feb 24, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Tribune Company (TRB) will announce first quarter 2006 earnings on Thursday, April 13, before the market opens. A conference call to discuss the results will be held that day at 8 a.m. CT (9 a.m. ET, 6 a.m. PT). The full text of the earnings announcement and accompanying financial tables will be available on Tribune's website, .

To access the call, dial 800/901-5218 (domestic) or 617/786-4511 (international) at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled 8 a.m. start. The participant access code is 11607847. Replays of the conference call will be available April 13 through April 20. To hear the replay, dial 888/286-8010 (domestic) or 617/801-6888 (international) and use access code 89538262.

A live webcast will be accessible through and . An archive of the webcast will be available April 13 through April 27.

TRIBUNE (TRB) is one of the country's top media companies, operating businesses in publishing and broadcasting. It reaches more than 80 percent of U.S. households and is the only media organization with newspapers, television stations and websites in the nation's top three markets. In publishing, Tribune operates 11 leading daily newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Newsday, plus a wide range of targeted publications such as Spanish-language Hoy. The company's broadcasting group operates 26 television stations, Superstation WGN on national cable, Chicago's WGN-AM and the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Popular news and information websites complement Tribune's print and broadcast properties and extend the company's nationwide audience.

SOURCE Tribune Company

Is it March Already?

Time is an odd creature, as we age time just slips by so quickly, yet we never seem to have enough time.

Twenty Year Invitations
131 invitations to our March 14th dinner were mailed Friday and Saturday, 80 invitations were given out at Oly yesterday, and 50 invitations will be mailed to the Orange County Facility today. If you did not find your invitation and would like to be added to our mailing list drop a line to David Joe or Ed Padgett

Tax Returns
It's that fun time of the year when we get to prepare our tax returns, and that of family and friends, so no updates to the webpage for a few more days. I use TurboTax and find it rather easy to enter the needed data into the forms. Once my tax return is accepted, my refund is direct deposited to my checking account within days of uploading.

Home Repairs
If your a home owner you know how things are constantly in need of attention, so I have surveyed my home and made a list by rooms and what is in need of repair. There are many useful sites on the Internet that explain how to repair this or freshen that, and for free. When our washing machine was leaking water, I looked up our brand and model, and found out which hose needed to be replaced. Total cost was under $20.00, but locating the part was the trick. Sure felt good once the job was completed and no more puddles of water gathered on the floor for every load of clothes washed.

Email Today
This mornings email was again full of messages from Pay Pal, explaining how I need to log on and update my account, right! The usual advertisments for Viagra, penile enlargement, and our friendly Nigerian's wanting to share many millions of dollars with me.

Censorship on the Blog
All comments go through Jesse and myself before posting. Personal flaming can be sent directly to the person you dislike, not here. For you new users to the Internet, flaming is attacking others online.

Well, it's that time again, have to start driving children to schools.

Have a good day,