Sunday, April 30, 2006

Take Back the Times: BusinessWeek Publishs Speculation Tribune Co. May Be Sold

Take Back the Times: BusinessWeek Publishs Speculation Tribune Co. May Be Sold

Plans Don't Always Work Out

Here's our picture from Playa Del Carmen, which I will send to the San Gabriel Tribune, they publish vacation pictures of subscribers.

Somehow we left the our house a bit late yesterday, and naturally had to deal with traffic on the San Bernadino Freeway. Stopped at El Tepeyac's for lunch, and the line was forty-five minutes, before being seated. I attempted to take a picture of the owner, Manual, but my batteries were dead, next time.

I wanted to meet Kevin Roderick at the book fair, but by the time we arrived in Westwood it was too late, so we just continued on to the beach. At Redondo Beach we listened to Urban Dread play three sets before returning home, and as we watched the people and listened to the music the sun poked out from under the clouds. So it turned out to be a very nice day after all.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Where's the Sun Today?

It was suggested that I write something regarding my children or grandchildren instead of writing about working at the Los Angeles Times by one of my supervisors. So I listened, and at the right you will see my daughter Joanna, and Grandson David.

The three of us are off to UCLA for the Festival of Books this morning. Not before stopping at my favorite Mexican Restaurant, El Tepeyac's, for something spicy.

I had planned to meet one of our contributor's (Kanani) but due too health issues, this will not be occurring today. I will be meeting one of my favorite blogger's, and will have my picture taken with him if possible. I'll keep you in suspense till I post the picture tonight or tomorrow morning.

From UCLA we will visit Redondo Beach for some live Reggae music, it will be a great day for the three of us.

Enjoy your day,

LA Times News Rack Destroyed in Bomb Scare,0,1036982.story?coll=ktla-newslocal-1

Friday, April 28, 2006

Archives Now Running

For some reason the archives were not running correctly, when you click on past months, only a small portion of posts appeared. After double checking the path of the archive.html file, I found my mistake. I had entered archive and not archives as the target folder.

This was brought to my attention by the person using the handle The Rat.

Thank you Mr. Rat.


Tribune Stock Up over Rumors of Buyout

Tribune's Tribulations

Will Tribune (TRB) go on the block next? Some pros are betting on it. Like most other newspaper stocks, Tribune has been beaten to a pulp on poor earnings caused by a slump in ads and readership. Its stock is down 25% in the past year, hitting 27 on Apr. 5. It now languishes at 27.87. Of 19 analysts who follow the stock, 16 are down on it. But Lawrence Haverty of Gabelli Global Multimedia Trust (GGT ), which owns shares, sees Tribune as takeover bait. It is "extremely cheap" based on its assets, including the Los Angeles Times, New York Newsday, Chicago Tribune, 26 TV stations, a radio station, and the Chicago Cubs. "With its assets valued at wastebasket prices, Tribune will attract a buyer," says Haverty. Analyst Barry Lucas of Gabelli puts Tribune's intrinsic worth at $13.2 billion, or $40 a share. Haverty expects its "unhappy shareholders to band together and seek changes -- as they did at Knight Ridder (KRI )," which has agreed to be taken over by McClatchy Newspapers (MNI ). The Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation owns 14% of the company and Chandler Trust 12%. Tribune has little debt, notes Haverty, and trades below peers, based on price-earnings and price-to-cash flow ratios. He says Tribune will earn $2 a share in 2006 and $2.20 in 2007, vs. 2005's $2.08. James Peters of Standard & Poor's (MHP ) sees Tribune continuing to reduce costs and move resources to growth areas, such as the Net. It's encouraging, he says, that Tribune plans to derive 12% of its ad publishing revenues online in three years, up from 6% now. Peters rates Tribune a "buy." A Tribune spokesman declined comment on buyout talk.

Old Utility Crew Photo

This photograph was taken sometime in December, 1976 at the 2nd Street entrance to the Los Angeles Times.

Middle row from left Kasasi Ramussus, George Dunn, John Cooper, Jim Bernaisconi, Bill Sperry Jr., and Elliot Collins.

Sitting down, unknown, David Joe, and Mike Smith.

Laying down again, Woody Johnson.

Photo provided by John Cooper.

Click on picture for a larger view.

Los Angeles Times to Publish Special Section this Sunday

Section is Second of Eight to Be Published by the Times to Mark Its 125th Anniversary Covering Southern California

LOS ANGELES, April 27, 2006 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Los Angeles Times on April 30 will publish a 44-page special Home section chronicling Southern California's magnificent 125-year obsession with real estate, home ownership, architecture and design.

The section is the second in a series of eight special features or themed sections marking The Times' 125th anniversary covering Southern California. It will be available online April 30 at

The Home special section will include:

* A Portrait of Our Obsession -- Finding meaning amid the city's famous sprawl is not easy, but a series of written snapshots of nearly 30 historic touchstones reveal a greater truth about the land beneath our feet and the roofs over our heads. At, a comprehensive interactive map will offer "pop-up" photos of those locations along with short audio narrations.
* Glass Houses -- The use of glass as an architectural element may not have originated in Los Angeles -- that honor goes to Germany's Bauhaus school -- but Times Architecture Critic Christopher Hawthorne argues, the relationship between glass and architecture was perfected here.

* States of Denial -- Like moths drawn to the flame, we build -- and rebuild -- in the city of our dreams, no matter the psychic cost or how frequent the fires, floods, landslides or earthquakes. We talk to the people who live on the edge of disaster and learn why they would have it no other way.

* The Sound of a Boom -- If you find yourself shaking your head at today's giddy run-up of housing prices, you might want to reflect back on the famous real-estate boom of the 1880s. It began honestly enough with genuine accounts of the region's beauty and it ended with shameless speculation. And that was before the bottom dropped out.

* A Sense of Place -- For more than 40 years novelist Carolyn See has written about the connection between the home and the eccentric, loving, manic and brilliant behaviors of her characters. In a personal essay, she looks at her own life -- and where she has lived -- to chart our common dreams.

* Patt Morrison -- To some, Pickfair -- built by Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford and later rebuilt by Pia Zadora and her husband -- reigns as the quintessential "Hollywood House." But its history and fate continue to tell us more about power, real estate and Hollywood that we might want to admit.

* Hot Property -- This regular Sunday Real Estate feature takes a special 125-year look back at celebrity, noteworthy and notorious real estate transactions, beginning with the first wooden home built in 1880 by Isaac Newton Van Nuys.

* Five Degrees of Separation -- Follow some of the more intriguing residential pedigrees in the city's history. From Bugsy Siegel to Madonna. From Rudy Vallee to Jane Mansfield to Engelbert Humperdinck. From Michelle Pfeiffer and David E. Kelley to Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas to Dylan McDermott -- if only we could listen to what these walls had to say.

* What Were They Thinking -- Not always the pinnacle of high design or architecture, Los Angeles has produced gaffs notable for both their ambition and evanescence.

* Reading L.A. -- A guide to the 10 most essential fiction and non-fiction titles that have captured the image, history or truths about the development of Los Angeles.

On May 21, The Times will publish its third 125th-anniversary themed section, "Hollywood," that will look at how movies and entertainment became entwined in the city's history, and at Hollywood's influence on the world and the world's influence on Hollywood.

Future special sections will focus on California's car culture, higher education, fashion trends and the people who made Southern California what it is today.

The Times' year-long anniversary celebration, leading up to Dec. 4, 2006, also includes community events in partnership with other prominent Southern California special events and institutions, a Publisher's Forum series highlighting The Times' journalism and other public speaking engagements featuring Times executives.

About the Los Angeles Times

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, with a daily readership of nearly 2.4 million and about 3.4 million on Sunday. With its media businesses and affiliates -- including,, Times Community Newspapers, Recycler Classifieds, Hoy, and California Community News -- the Los Angeles Times reaches approximately 7.7 million or 59 percent of all adults in the Southern California marketplace every week.

The Los Angeles Times, which this year marks its 125th anniversary covering Southern California, is part of Tribune Company (TRB), one of the country's leading media companies with businesses in publishing, the Internet and broadcasting. Additional information about the Los Angeles Times is available at

SOURCE Los Angeles Times

David Garcia of The Los Angeles Times, +1-213-237-4715,

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Take Back the Times: John Carroll, In Speech, Reports Local Moves To Buy Back The LAT

Take Back the Times: John Carroll, In Speech, Reports Local Moves To Buy Back The LAT

The Spanish Star-Spangled Banner

"The Star-Spangled Banner"
(First verse)

O, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

"Our Anthem"
(Translated from Spanish)
Verse 1

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail as night falls?
Its stars and stripes floated yesterday
In the fierce combat, the sign of victory
The flame of battle, in step with liberty.
Throughout the night it was said, "It is being defended.


Oh, say! Does it still show its beautiful stars
Over the land of the free, the sacred flag?

Verse 2

Its stars and stripes, liberty, we are the same.
We're brothers, it's our anthem.
In the fierce combat, the sign of victory,
The flame of battle, in step with liberty.
Throughout the night it was said, "It is being defended.

"Chorus: "

Oh, say! Does it still show its beautiful stars?
Over the land of the free, the sacred flag?"

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

This weekend is the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at UCLA. Admission is FREE. For further information click on the title.

I have attended this event for many years, and have also worked as a volunteer.

See you there,


New Joint Venture


LOS ANGELES, CA AND WINDSOR, CT, APRIL 17, 2006 – The Los Angeles Times,
ADVO, Inc. (NYSE: AD) and MediaNews Group’s LANG newspapers have entered into a joint
preprint insert distribution arrangement including both "late week" and "early week" programs
each targeting five million households in Southern California. The programs will be sold
independently by each organization.

Beginning in August, a new "late week" co-branded "Local Community
Values™ShopWise®" preprint insert package will be created in conjunction with LANG,
combining inserts from leading retailers across the region into a package with richer content and
even greater consumer appeal. This package will combine the companies’ existing late-week
insert programs, streamlining distribution efficiency. It will be delivered to Los Angeles Times
and LANG subscribers with their newspapers on Fridays and through the mail to non-subscribers.
The new arrangement also will offer advertisers the capability of targeting their in-home
print advertising at the sub-ZIP Code level across a combined newspaper/mail platform.

The combined "late week" package will be produced by the Los Angeles Times at its
printing, production, packaging and distribution center in Irwindale, Calif., operated by
California Community News, a Los Angeles Times affiliate.
ADVO will continue to produce its "early week" ShopWise® package, built on the
company’s ATZ sub-ZIP platform and currently distributed by mail and to LANG subscribers.
Under the new arrangement, Los Angeles Times subscribers will be incorporated into this
distribution. In addition, the Los Angeles Times will now also sell into this "early week"
program, an arrangement that currently exists between LANG and ADVO.

ADVO will continue to offer its advertisers access to an additional two million Southern California households outside of the Los Angeles Times and LANG distribution areas in both "early week" and "late week."

"In creating more compelling advertising packages, we are providing tremendous reader
benefits and improved R.O.I to our clients," said Jeff Johnson, president, publisher and chief
executive officer, Los Angeles Times. "And the new selling opportunity created by adding
early-week distribution will further enhance the profitability of our rapidly growing preprint

"Insert programs remain one of the most important marketing strategies for advertisers.
The richer and more varied content of our packages, along with the flexibility of two weekly in-home dates, will benefit advertisers in this dynamic market," said S. Scott Harding, chief
executive officer, ADVO. "The agreement also significantly accelerates the financial progress
we have been making with the late-week mailing program we launched 18 months ago. We are
very pleased to be working with the Los Angeles Times and MediaNews Group in this important
growth market."

Gerald Grilly, president and chief executive officer of The Los Angeles Newspaper
Group and executive vice president and chief operating officer of MediaNews Group, added,
"Advertisers continue to look for ways to reach their targeted household. This program allows
the opportunity to refine that reach, at a sub-ZIP Code level, with both the desired paid
subscriber and direct mail."

About ADVO

ADVO is the nation’s leading direct mail media company, with annual revenues of nearly
$1.4 billion. Serving 17,000 national, regional and local retailers, the company reaches 114
million households, more than 90% of the nation’s homes, with its ShopWise® shared mail

The company’s industry-leading targeting technology, coupled with its unparalleled
logistics capabilities, enable retailers seeking superior return on investment to target, version and deliver their print advertising directly to consumers most likely to respond.

ADVO employs 3,700 people at its 24 mail processing facilities, 33 sales offices and
headquarters in Windsor, CT. For more information, visit

About the Los Angeles Times

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times is the largest metropolitan daily
newspaper in the country, with a daily readership of nearly 2.4 million and about 3.4 million on
Sunday. With its media businesses and affiliates – including,,
Times Community Newspapers, Recycler Classifieds, Hoy, and California Community News –
the Los Angeles Times reaches approximately 7.7 million or 59 percent of all adults in the
Southern California marketplace every week.

The Los Angeles Times, which this year marks its 125th anniversary covering Southern
California, is part of Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB), one of the country's leading media
companies with businesses in publishing, the Internet and broadcasting. Additional information
about the Los Angeles Times is available at

About The Los Angeles Newspaper Group

The Los Angeles Newspaper Group is comprised of eight daily newspapers including the
Daily News, Press Telegram of Long Beach, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News,
Whittier Daily News, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, San Bernardino Sun and the Redlands Daily
Facts. With a daily newspaper readership of 1.3 million, a Sunday newspaper readership of 1.5
million, and nearly 15 million page views per month on its eight websites, the Los Angeles
Newspaper Group is one of the most powerful providers of local editorial and advertising content in Southern California. The Los Angles Newspaper Group also owns ImpactoUSA, the largest home-delivered, ABC audited, Spanish language newspaper in the United States reaching over 250,000 households as well as, the local source for dining, nightlife and fashion in Los Angeles.

David Garcia, Los Angeles Times

Chris Hutter, ADVO

Bill Vanlaningham, LANG

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Gasoline Prices

So President Bush and Governor Schwarzenegger want the oil companies investigated for price gouging, it's about time!

Granted, the price of a barrel of oil has increased, but isn't it odd that the oil companies are making record profits?

First quarter profits are at record levels for all oil companies, yet the Federal Trade Commision does nothing.

Oil companies were making 25 cents per gallon, but this was not enough of a profit margin, and today they are reaping 50 cents to 75 cents a gallon profits.

In addition, I feel we are being gouged by the excessive taxes placed on gasoline. We pay 18.4 cents per gallon in federal excise taxes, 18 cents a gallon in state excise taxes, and 8.75% sales tax (Los Angeles County) per dollar, which adds another 20 to 25 cents per gallon.

Lets start an investigation of tax gouging as well as price gouging by the oil companies.


LA Times Outsourcing Article

Our Weekly has the story regarding outsourcing work to India, just click on the title or the link for the full story.

Lets hope the links I have inserted run?


Outsourcing to India

Outsourcing — A memo going around the L.A. Times says the paper plans to outsource graphics work to India for a two-month trial, starting with classified ads in the Orange County edition.

Michael Hiltzik"s Blog Taken Down

Los Angeles Times Blogger Michael Hiltzik is no longer blogging at the Times for posting messages as someone other than himself.

Notice from the Editors

The Times has suspended Michael Hiltzik’s Golden State blog on Hiltzik admitted Thursday that he posted items on the paper’s website, and on other websites, under names other than his own. That is a violation of The Times ethics guidelines, which requires editors and reporters to identify themselves when dealing with the public. The policy applies to both the print and online editions of the newspaper. The Times is investigating the postings.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Changes at Olympic

One definition of insanity can be said to be, doing things the same way over and over and expecting different results.

Since many of the people running the Los Angeles Times are not insane, we are doing things differently.

Above is our new pressroom manager, Johnny Walker.

This is our new Plant Manager Greg Malcolm

This is our new vice-president of production Russ (AKA Wayne) Newton. (pictured on the left)

Great Job

Kanani and Jesse did a wonderful job in my absense and I would like to thank the both of them.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

We are back...

We had a great vacation and taking some time to relax and return to our normal routine. Back to school tomorrow for the children, and back to work for myself.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Written from Cozumel, Mexico

Well it's our last night in Mexico, and we're all looking forward to returning to the good old United States.

I have not really had the time to log onto the Internet as I generally do, don't like leaving the children alone for very long. Not too worried about the boys, just Joanna. The young Mexican men keep their eyes on her. Don't mean to be sexist, that's just how it is.

Nathan and I had a really fun experience a few night's ago, we were accosted by two motorcycle policemen, after parking our jeep. They claimed I was driving drunk, speeding, and causing other problems, and ask if we would please come to the police station with them to pay the fines. Not feeling like playing Rambo that night, I pulled out an American $20.00, and everyone was happy. Yes, I had to pay a bribe that night. Nathan was angry, but that's how it is I told him.

On a happier note, we spend another great day at Mr. Sancho's, and I can recommend this place for everyone with children. The food was excellent, and the activities plentiful. I was happy with all the cold beer, not all the hundred's of dollars I spent at the place.

We are on the twelve thirty flight tomorrow from Cozumel, and will arrive at LAX at seven Saturday night.

I will share pictures and stories of our trip a few days after our return.

Missing my bed,

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Posted from Cancun, Mexico

Hey All,

We have arrived in Cancun this afternoon. I woke the children at 7am, but it was a real challenge getting everyone motivated. We caught the 10am ferry to Playa Del Carmen, then jumped onto a bus for Cancun. It´s only forty two miles from Playa Del Carmen to Cancun.

Will spend most of the day here shopping and site seeing.

We have tried many different restaurants, and so far Mr. Sancho´s is our favorite.

Don´t want to keep the children waiting too long, so I´m out of here.


I'm baaaaack

It worked!... after 10 years I'm back in the L.A. Times Pressroom.... if only in spirit.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Million Trees

by Jean Linville
long, thin squeak
cold dry branch
cold dry branch
early morning air

As a child, I would feed mulberry leaves to silkworms kept in a shoebox. Outside, there were lemons to pick and ginkgo leaves to look at --their unusual shape was different from all the others. Along riverbanks were tall cottonwoods and in the foothills stood stately valley oaks. Knowing the names of trees was a natural thing,like knowing a horse from cow, a dog from a cat. But today, most Californians know a Lexus from a Mercedes, but couldn't tell you the names of the trees that they pass each day. Call it a horticultural disconnect. That our wetlands, canyons, foothills, wildlife and riparian systems have been quickly being covered up for a plague of beige houses shouldn't be a surprise.

Tucked amid a proposal for more police, the takeover of schools, and higher garbage fees was the only thing that everyone could agree on. Mayor Villagairosa wants to plant "a million trees." He foresees an urban forest, a place where one may admire the shape of the tree, stand beneath its' canopy on the hottest of days, and on windy days -- listen as the sound of the clatter of branches fills the air and watch as the leaves change color and fall, reminding us of the passage of time, and our mortality.

Give us oaks, sycamores, birches, alders, liquid amber, cottonwoods and ashes. Toss in a few streets lined in Jacaranda so that in the spring, the yards will be festooned with a royal carpet of purple blooms. And plant some myrtles, so that we may enjoy the pink flowers, and the smooth shiny bark. But no more palms. They do nothing for me. Palms grow so high and inevitably, some poor guy has to climb up to clean them out. No bottlebrush trees that look like they should have stayed in the Australian outback, nor ficus that are rarely allowed to get as big as they should. But trees have needs. They have to bepruned, shaped so that they stay looking like one. Leave the hacking to those in places like Irvine, who treat them as a Stepford Wifes, hacking at odd angles, lopping canopies to make them smaller; less messy. Let us have the sumptuous pleasure of raking, piling and jumping into a pile of leaves. Soon, everyone will know a sycamore from an elm, an oak from an ash.

Yes, give us trees: big and broad, grand and stately. Crowns that reach to the sky, where we can stand, and children can climb and dream.

by J. Daniel Beaudry
Tree, gather up my thoughts
like the clouds in your branches.
Draw up my soul
like the waters in your root.

In the arteries of your trunk
bring me together.
Through your leaves
breathe out the sky.

It's Back To Work I Go

Well, the vacation is over, and like all vacations it wasn't long enough. It never is. Time flies when you're having fun, or away from work. I'll pop in whenever I have time and moderate comments, so if you post something and it doesn't show up right away please be patient, I'll get to it as soon as possible.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Posted from Cozumel, Mexico

Greetings friends,

We have some cooler weather today with a small breeze, and it's very welcome.

The children are beat and I as well need to take it easy today, maybe I'll watch all the beautiful woman from the boardwalk and read a book.

Rented a jeep yesterday and drove around the island, the sea side of the island has waves, but the water is very dangerous from the currents and coral and swimming is not recommended. We stopped at several little watering holes, and my son and grandson really enjoyed the view, the women were topless. I naturally only took in the natual beauty of the ocean. NOT!

Now that I have found an Internet Cafe near my hotel I may log on a bit more, just to relax.

Heard our new boss will be announced today, all I can say, he was our boss in the past.

Take care,

Monday, April 17, 2006

Alive And Kicking (And Having Fun)

I just got off the phone, had a long conversation with my pal Ed. He called to tell me he's having a great time in Cozumel; in fact, he's having so much fun, he may never come back! Seriously though, he'll be back, but he is having the time of his life. The weather is warm and the beer is cold, what more could a man want? He highly recommends Cozumel as a vacation destination, and has invited me and my family to accompany him next year when he returns there. I may take him up on that offer, it would be a blast!

This Is Just A Test....

...Of my ability to add a hyperlink to a blog post, this is a website I built six or seven years ago. It's badly in need of updating, and I know this, so don't judge it too harshly; like I said, it's just a hyperlink test.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Posted from Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Happy Easter Friends,

We are spending the day on the mainland today, and the thunder storm I told Jesse about never arrived, YEAH! The water here is just beatiful, it´s so nice I can not find the words to describe.

When we arrived our rooms were not ready so we spent a few hours at Senor Frogs, where the music is at levels comparible to a rock concert. The waiters are dancing while pouring some limon tasting concoction down your throat.

The kids enjoyed the thought of being in a real disco for a few hours. And even danced to a few songs.

We took in a half day of snorkling yesterday, and let me tell you, it´s hard work swimming with the fish. I brought along bread and tortillas for the fish, and the kids loved having so many colorful fish swimming around them. Needless to say, we sleep very well last night.

There will be a free concert below our rooms tonight, so we can either enjoy from our balcony or step downstairs for a closer view.

We plan to rent a jeep tomorrow for a drive around the island, I don´t think we will have to worry about getting lost, only one road around the island of Cozumel.

All the Internet cafes are gone from Cozumel from last summer, the Hurricane ready did a lot of damage, but I´m sure I´ll find a few somewhere on the island.

I´m headed back to the beach, for some beer and swimming.


I'll Keep This Short...........

Happy Easter Everybody!!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

More Rain?

I was hoping for sunny weather this weekend, I've had enough rain to last me for a while, though certainly not as much as our Northern California neighbors.

I guess the rain can be a good thing at times, I've been on vacation for the past week and my wife had a "honey-do" list a mile long for me, it's been a little too damp to do much work outside so I've been working on my bartending skills instead; every cloud does indeed have a silver lining.

A sunny day would be great, I'm just about to head over to my buddy's house, he's having a barbecue/party today to welcome family members visiting from the Philippines. I'm sure everyone will have a great time, even if it does rain!

I'm also planning on cooking a turkey in my charcoal smoker for Easter dinner, it's going to take about 12 hours to smoke so I'll be firing up Ol' Smokey at about 1:00 AM Sunday morning, then I'll have to feed it charcoal and wood chips every hour or so until the turkey is ready for carving; this process will be so much easier if it's not raining! For those of you who have never eaten smoked turkey, you don't know what you're missing! It comes out much better than an oven cooked bird, I recommend you try it should the opportunity ever arise.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Eagle Has Landed

I've just heard from Eddie, he arrived safely in Cozumel after a mostly uneventful trip. He said the weather is just perfect, though they're expecting rain tomorrow; and is currently making productive use of his time, sampling the local cerveza y tequila, while waiting to check into his hotel room.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Last Message before we Depart

The children are all packed and ready to go to LAX for our long night ahead of us. I guess we will have to wait in line for several hours before reaching our gate, Mexicana does not have electronic check-in.

I have our boarding passes for Mexico City to Cozumel, so that will be the easy part of the trip.

While in Mexico City we will exchange our dollars for Peso's, and maybe buy a few things while waiting for our second flight.

We will arrive in Cozumel at noon tomorrow CST.

Next message from Mexico.


Are We All On Vacation?

Appears Al will be on his own while Kanani, Jesse, and myself are on vacation this week and next week. I'm sure Al will do a great job watching the blog for us, while we are all away.

I will keep everyone updated while on Cozumel, Internet Cafe's are abundant on the island and the mainland, and at ninety pesos per hour (less than a dollar per hour), it will not cause a financial hardship. My cell phone is international, so I will let you know when Wayne announces the new pressroom manager as soon as I get my phone call from trusted co-workers.

I still feel McDonald's will be taking over the Olympic Cafe upon my return.

And thanks for the advice regarding the water, will stick with beer while away.


Tribune Co. Profit Slips

Weakness in circulation, retail and auto advertising

By David B. Wilkerson, MarketWatch

Last Update: 9:05 AM ET Apr 13, 2006

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- Tribune Co. on Thursday posted a 28% drop in its first-quarter profit on charges related to severance costs, non-operating loss on a decline in the value of certain investments, stock compensation expense and weakness in advertising at its broadcasting division.

Tribune (TRB) said net income slipped to 102.8 million, or 33 cents a share, from $142.8 million, or 44 cents a share.

Operating revenue fell about 1% to $1.3 billion.

Analysts expected Tribune to post a first-quarter profit of 36 cents a share on revenue of $1.3 billion.

Newspaper advertising revenue was flat for the quarter, as strength in classified advertising was offset by a decline in national and retail advertising.

Publishing's first quarter operating revenues were $997 million, down 1%, as cash operating expenses rose 2%, and included a $19 million associated with the new union contracts at Newsday.
"Tight cost controls remain in effect, and our actions in 2005 resulted in a 5% year-over-year staff reduction, or approximately 1,200 positions across the company, and lower compensation expense," Dennis FitzSimons, Tribune chairman, president and chief executive officer said in a statement.
"Looking ahead, our new labor agreements at Newsday will result in significant expense savings, while in TV we expect our affiliation with the CW Network to have a positive impact on revenues later this year," he said.

Broadcasting and entertainment revenue fell 2% to $303 million. First-quarter television revenue fell 2%.

In the 2006 first quarter, Tribune recorded a pretax non-operating loss of $14 million.

In the 2005 first quarter, Tribune recorded a pretax non-operating loss of $4 million.

In addition, the company recorded favorable income tax settlement adjustments of $12 million as a reduction in income tax expense.

In the aggregate, non-operating items in the first quarter of 2005 resulted in an after-tax gain of $9 million, or 3 cents a share.

Tribune Quarterly Profit Falls 28.5%

(5:12 AM ET) LONDON (MarketWatch)

-- Media group Tribune Co. (TRB) said Thursday its first-quarter profit attributable to common shareholders fell 28.5% to $100.7 million, or 33 cents a share, as operating revenue slipped 1.3% to $1.3 billion.

The company said its earnings figures included a net 9 cents a share in charges, including from stock option expenses and severance payments. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 36 cents a share and revenue of $1.3 billion. Tribune said newspaper advertising revenue was flat for the quarter, with strength in classified ads offset by a downturn in national and retail advertising.

The company said tight cost controls remain in effect, adding it had reduced staffing levels by 5%, or 1,200 positions, in 2005

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Excitement Has Set In

The thrill of leaving for Mexico is finally setting in and I wish we were leaving tonight, instead of Thursday night. Just ran a weather check and it's 86 degrees, but feels like 93 degrees.

We may have a few beers or margarita's to cool off, but we will be in the water most of the time.

I have packed my swim trunks three times, and placed all medical supplies in ziploc bags. I'm wondering if I should bring some games for the children, they may become tired and just want to relax?
We will have many options while there, Playa Del Carmen one day, Cancun another, and the Mayan Ruins.
I'm off to work,

Newspapers & Technology Magazine

Pictured on the right side of this photgraph is none other than Russ Christensen, in the April edition of Newspapers & Technology. Click on the title of this message for the full story.

If you would like your free subscription to this magazine just click here..FREE

Tribune Stock Moving Up....

A number of media companies are scheduled to report this week and were hoping the Tribune will have positive news.

Wednesday will see reports from Gannett (GCI) and Media General (MEG) and Thursday to see reports from the New York Times Co. (NYT), Tribune Co. (TRB) and McClatchy Co. (MNI).

McClatchy last month agreed to buy its larger newspaper publishing rival Knight-Ridder Inc. for $6.5 billion in cash, stock and assumed debt.

Knight-Ridder (KRI) will post its results on Friday.

Last Friday we watched the Tribune stock move up 43 cents, and Monday the stock jumped another 44 cents in an upward trend. Does this mean there is good news just around the corner?


Monday, April 10, 2006

Do You Know an Illegal?

Here in Los Angeles we come across immigrants from many different countries, some here legally and some illegally here. Nevertheless, we are in almost constant contact with immigrants on a daily basis.

My gardeners speak very little English, but always throw a wave and a smile my way, could it be from the water and beer I give them on the days when the temperature reaches into the nineties? Or are they just a friendly type of people?

Let me get to my point before I wander into a tirade of other things.

I have known my friend ChooCho for many years, and really didn't know if he was here legally or not? ChooCho works three jobs, one as a custodian, one as a cashier at a gas station, and another as a busboy at a restaurant.

When I ran into ChooCho today, he had a large bump on his cheek with an ice pack pressed against his injury, so I asked him what had happened, had he been in a fight? He said he was in an auto accident on Saturday night, and said he needed $1,500.00 to get his car back.

Not understanding the full picture or why he needed so much money for his car's return, I had him explain the best he could in his broken English what had occurred. Seems he hit a car, but has no drivers license or auto insurance, so the police department had his car impounded. I think he's lucky he wasn't also arrested.

I had a car impounded for three hours once back in 1980 because the registration wasn't visible (no plates yet),and it cost me $54.00 to have my car released, can you guess what the fees might be today? Probably somewhere near $100 per day in impound fees.

I feel for ChooCho, yet I wonder why he did not get a drivers license or insurance for his car? Today he's driving his brother's car to work, what would happen if he were pulled over by the police on his way home?

Just some thoughts to ponder...


Sunday, April 09, 2006

Spring Break: Filling in for Ed

I guess Ed's gone to Cozumel or is frantically packing.
Okay, start the pool now. How many of you think he'll get bumped on the way back? What are the odds of Ed losing his ziploc bag as he goes through customs, and who here bets that he forgot Immodium, and how thin will being with two teens get?

I'm off to the Matilija Canyon Ranch this week. It's ten miles outside of Ojai. There are three trout streams, stars out at night, and nothing to do. We'll all have a nice time. And yes, I bring Immodium.

Tell us where you're going if you've got a spring break coming up. Or what your plans are for summer.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Papers' profits in media spotlight

By David B. Wilkerson, MarketWatch
Last Update: 12:05 AM ET Apr 8, 2006

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- Newspaper companies will be in focus as earnings season begins next week -- including McClatchy Co., which last month reached an agreement to acquire Knight Ridder Inc. for $6.5 billion -- as analysts will again look for indications that the industry's long slump is abating.

Newspapers face a number of serious challenges.

One is an uneven advertising environment, which, of course, plagues the wider media sector. For newspapers, there has been ongoing weakness in classified automotive ads and in many national categories, including technology, movies, wireless and transportation.

A shift toward online news consumption has hurt circulation at many newspapers, particularly in larger U.S. cities. And the National Do Not Call Registry, implemented two years ago, has made it more difficult for newspapers to solicit new subscribers.

Increased use of the Web has benefited newspapers in one way: Their online ad revenue has been climbing steadily as online help-wanted and real-estate ads have grown more popular.

McClatchy (MNI) is slated to post first-quarter results before the market opens Thursday. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call are expecting a profit of 67 cents a share on revenue of $285.7 million.

In the year-earlier quarter, the publisher of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported net income of 69 cents a share on revenue of $280.9 million.

Analysts are likely to ask McClatchy executives for an update on the dozen Knight Ridder newspapers that McClatchy plans to divest, including the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Ohio's Akron Beacon Journal.

Dean Singleton's MediaNews Group is believed to be the top contender to pick up some of the most desirable of those 12 properties. At an investor conference last month, USA Today publisher Gannett Co. (GCI) said it would consider some of the newspapers McClatchy has for sale.

Without necessarily commenting on who the suitors are, McClatchy may be asked whether the sale prices will be in line with prior expectations.

McClatchy may also provide an update on whether it will be able to hold on to Knight Ridder's stake in CareerBuilder, a three-way venture with Tribune Co. (TRB) and Gannett. Under the current agreement among the companies, Gannett and Tribune hold the right to buy out the one-third owned by Knight-Ridder if it is to be acquired.

When it announced the Knight Ridder deal, McClatchy said it would be talking to Tribune and Gannett about maintaining a partnership in CareerBuilder.

Tribune and Gannett will also be asked about the situation during their quarterly earnings calls next week.

Knight Ridder (KRI) also is on the docket to report first-quarter results next week. Analysts foresee the company posting a profit of 59 cents a share on revenue of $732.8 million. A year ago, it reported net income of 79 cents a share on revenue of $724.7 million.


Gannett is set to report first-quarter results Wednesday morning. It's expected to earn 99 cents a share on revenue of $1.87 billion. A year earlier, it rang up a profit of $1.05 a share on revenue of $1.79 billion.

Wall Street lowered its expectations for Gannett after the company said March 23 that it saw first-quarter earnings at the low end of a range between 98 cents a share and $1.02 a share.

Revenue at the company's 21 television stations should be up 40% from last year's first quarter, Gannett said, bolstered by ad sales related to Winter Olympic coverage on its NBC stations and the Super Bowl on its ABC affiliates.

At the newspaper division, Gannett said ad revenue was up in the first two months of 2006.

On the heels of Gannett's report, Tribune Co. and New York Times Co. are on deck to post first-quarter results Thursday morning before the market opens.


Tribune will undoubtedly be asked whether it has plans to sell any of its divisions, including its television stations or the Chicago Cubs baseball team. A Wall Street Journal story last month quoted Chairman Dennis FitzSimons as saying Tribune does not want to sell any of its units.

The company is also likely to be questioned about its hopes for the CW Network, the TV outlet that will debut this fall when CBS Corp. (CBS) and Time Warner (TWX) shut down the UPN and WB networks. Some 16 Tribune stations have signed 10-year affiliation agreements with the CW.

Among WB and UPN shows expected to be part of CW's slate are the WB's "Smallville," "Gilmore Girls," "Supernatural" and "Reba," along with UPN's "Everybody Hates Chris," "Veronica Mars" and "Girlfriends."

At Tribune's newspaper division, one focus of the quarterly earnings call will be the Los Angeles Times, which accounts for about a quarter of the company's total publishing revenue.

Full-run advertising volume at the Times fell by 5.6% in 2004 and then by 9.5% last year. Analysts will take note of any sign of a turnaround.

At the publishing unit as a whole, circulation declined 3.9% in February 2006, compared with the same month a year ago, with advertising down 2.2%. Ongoing weakness in national and retail advertising was partially offset by a 7.2% gain in classifieds, as real-estate and help-wanted sales continued to grow.

Tribune is expected to post a first-quarter profit of 36 cents a share on revenue of $1.3 billion. A year ago, it earned 44 cents a share, including a one-time gain of 3 cents, on revenue of $1.32 billion.

New York Times

New York Times' first-quarter net income is expected to come in at 27 cents a share on revenue of $832.1 million. A year ago, nonrecurring gains totaling $63.3 million on two significant property sales lifted its profit to 76 cents a share, on revenue of $805.6 million.

The company will offer an update on its premium product TimesSelect. Last September, the New York Times began charging consumers who don't receive home delivery a $49.95 fee for access to items written by its stable of op-ed columnists, including Tom Friedman, Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich.

In the fourth quarter of 2005, the company said TimesSelect was a key factor in a better-than-expected advertising-revenue performance at the New York Times Media Group. Ad sales rose 8% over the year-earlier period.

In February, ad revenue at the New York Times Media Group was up 3.3% on growth in the hotel, international fashion, domestic fashion and corporate categories.

Overall, ad revenue rose 3.7% for the month, to $178.8 million, but was only up 0.6% excluding, the online information provider New York Times Co. acquired last year.

Classified revenue was up 4.8%. The company saw real-estate ads jump 29.3%, with help-wanted ads down 5.1%. Classified automotive ads continued their decline, falling 15.3%.

The company was again plagued by weakness at the New England Media Group, which includes the Boston Globe, where ad revenue dropped 12%. Analysts will be curious about what steps are being taken to stop the bleeding at the unit.

The Jeff Johnson Story

From LAObserved by Kevin Roderick

The credit tag at the end of the LAT story on the Mammoth Mountain tragedy includes one Jeffrey M. Johnson. Who's that? Well he's the publisher of the paper. He happened to be in Mammoth Lakes (skiing?) and called in some feeds from the scene. The credit line (and lack of dateline) suggests that he's the only Times staffer in Mammoth, which would be strange since even the TV stations managed to get in last night.

While I'm visiting Cozumel next week I'll keep my eyes open and camera handy for any breaking news.


Signs of the Times

Same old story lately with the Tribune, stock sets a new fifty-two week low again yesterday, and is looking like today will be no different, with another low.

How much lower does the stock price have to go before something changes? To just sit and try to operate out of this slump is not the answer.

Next Thursday the Tribune will announce profits for the last quarter, and may ask the CEO to retire, but then again they may not?

I have not listened to the old advive of not leaving all your eggs in one basket, so I will have to ride this out and hope for the best outcome over the long run.

One thing I would be very interested in seeing, is the profit loss margins for each property the Tribune owns and operates.

Yesterday at the Olympic Cafeteria the Otis Chandler tribute was played many times, but Thursday's are one of our busiest days at the newspaper, so we were only able to watch thirty minutes of the taped replay. Many employees would like to have a DVD copy for viewing at their leisure.

My ordeal with the Bicycle Casino and Cash System Inc. is still on going, can not believe this is going on for almost two months now. Will be happy when this mess is over, if it ever ends?

Kanani has given me many good ideas on what to take along for our vacation in Cozumel, Mexico next week. It's still very hot and humid there, so I will take her advice and bring along a ziploc bag for my few pair of shorts and tank tops, that I will bring with me.

This year will be the turning point for the Tribune, good news is over do for the company and all the employees across the country.

Stay Positive,

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Somehow Things Get Turned Around

With all the bad news Tribune has taken the past few years I was happy to finally hear something positive, and naturally shared this with a few co-workers.

The ban on media companies owning television stations and newspapers in the same city has not been lifted, but the chairman of the FCC would like to see it lifted.

Yet, yesterday I was told that I had said the ban was indeed lifted already. Funny how things get turned around so quickly.

I remember a game we played in grammer school, our teacher would gather the class into a circle, and wisper something into the ear of a student. In turn the student would wisper into the ear of the child next to them, and so on, till the message made a complete circle within the class.

The last student would tell the class what they heard, and it was never what the teacher had started with. This is what happened at work yesterday, and it brought this game to mind.

If and when the cross ownership ban is lifted the Tribune stock price may start an upward trend.

And lastly, A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Can it Rain any Harder?

About 3:45am the thunder woke me from a wonderful dream, I tried my hardest to get back into my dream without success, maybe she'll return during another dream.

We must have taken something near an inch of rain as the downpour this morning lasted about thirty minutes. And I'm happy to say we had no flooding in our home with this storm.

The news that the FCC chairman wants to end the ban on cross ownership of media (newspapers and television owership in the same city) is welcome news, as soon as this matter is resolved the sooner the Tribune stock will start an upward climb.

The rain has lightened up a bit, so my grandson David will not have to use his sister's Barbie umbrella when he walks from my car to his classroom.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

FCC Chairman Wants Cross-Ownership Ban Lifted

04-04-06 02:28 PM EST

CHICAGO (AP)--The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission urged newspaper publishers Tuesday to help his agency revive a push to lift a ban on the ownership of both newspapers and broadcasting outlets in the same city.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, addressing a gathering of publishers at an annual industry convention, said that newspaper owners should do more to educate the public about the vast changes that have occurred in the nation's media marketplace since 1975, when the ban was put in place.

"A lot has changed since the days of disco and leisure suits," he said, noting an explosion in the number of broadcasting outlets since then, as well as the rise of cable television and the Internet, all of which have made media much more competitive.

"We can't take on this process alone," Martin said. "Your job is to educate the public about the changes in the media landscape."

Previous FCC chairmen have also tried to get the cross-ownership ban lifted, and the agency finally made a rule doing so in 2003. But the following year a federal court sent the decision back to the FCC for further consideration, while acknowledging that the agency was right to remove the blanket prohibition on newspapers owning broadcast outlets in the cities they serve.

Media companies that own both newspapers and broadcasting outlets have long pressed for a removal of the ban, which they also say is outdated due to far greater competition among media outlets today than there was 30 years ago.

Shaun Sheehan, vice president of government affairs at Tribune Co., said in an interview after Martin's speech that the continuing ban on cross-ownership " doesn't make any sense at all.

"Somewhere down the line, the rule has to fall," Sheehan said. Tribune (TRB), like Gannett Co. (GCI) and Media General Inc. (MEG) and other companies, own both newspapers and television stations.

Consumer groups have opposed the drive to lift the ban on newspaper publishers owning broadcasting outlets, saying it would lead to the further consolidation of media ownership and could reduce the diversity of voices in local media.

Dow Jones Newswires

Tuesday Night Wrap

I was very happy to make it home tonight before the heavy rains started, and we are experiencing waves of downpours in San Dimas at this moment. Last year our frontroom was flooded when mud filled our drains, not wanting a repeat of last year, I have double checked all the outside drains near my house, and all the drains are clear of mud and leaves.

The Otis Chandler Tribute will be playing at the Olympic Cafeteria on Thursday April 6, about every two hours. I left the flyer at work with all the playing times.

Internet access has left us again in the Olympic Learning Center, but we do have Intranet service to TribLink, CCNLink, and TimesLink. Some people ruin it for the majority of others that simply read their email, or write on their blogs from work during lunch and breaks.

We have not heard from our friend Ken Reich in over two weeks, I hope he's doing well after his surgery?

Tribune stock has risen two days in a row, 4 cents on Monday and 3 cents today. After two weeks of losses, this was a nice sign.

Appears we will not be able to visit my mother in Cozumel as planned, because she has returned to Los Angeles. The children and I are still flying to Cozumel in nine days, too bad my mother will not be there with us.

Stay Dry Tonight,

Employment Opportunities

Ed: The enclosed email was sent by an electrician who recently took a severance package from Oly. It is a possible employment opportunity for pressmen, you might want to post it on your site.

-----Original Message-----
Subject: Employment Opportunities with JDS Uniphase Corporation March 29, 2006

Dear Sir/ Madam: Greetings to all.

And with due respect - Anybody can help me out torecommend or refer to DAVID SCARDIFIED, Recruitment Consultant of JDSUniphase Corporation who is currently looking for applicants and/or laidoff employees who might be interested to join LA Label, A JDSU Company Located at 6141 Sheila Street, City of Commerce, CA 90040.

According to him, the following open position are as follows:
- Quality Technician - Press Operators
- Slitters - Finishers - And, etc.

Accordingly, he wants to know if LA Times use an outplacement firm for people affected in the recent layoff (wherein I am one of them!) so thathe could post the Press Operator position with them. Mr. Scardified direct Tel Number is: 707/525-7162. You may also send your inquiry or e-mail him at:

Let's help our fellow laid off workers who are interested for new opportunities. Your input in these matter is highly appreciated. And, looking forward to hearing from your end soon.

Thank you so much for everything and best regards to all.

Sincerely, Signed:BALUMUL A. GUIAMELON
Ex-LA TIMES Electro-Tech

Thank You Ron Bagwell

Possible Speed Trap

When traveling through San Dimas on Bonita
Ave. watch your speed as you drive through
downtown San Dimas. The speed drops from
40 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour.

Many unfamiliar with San Dimas are caught
in the senior citizen zone, and given tickets
to remind them of their visit.

While driving on Bonita Ave. East bound, the speed drops from 40 miles per hour to 25 as you enter downtown San Dimas. But for the drivers coming down Bonita Ave. West bound, the speed drops off quickly to 25 miles per hour.

Everyday I see cars pulled over just beyond this
special zone, so I'm sure this is a real money
maker for my city.

I write about this because I have never seen
a senior citizen zone anywhere else in Los
Angeles. And I seldom see any senior citizen's
walking in this area.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Could Not Ask for Better Weather

We all lost an hour's sleep this morning, unless you forgot to set your clocks ahead by one hour. The grandchildren and I are headed to Santa Anita Race Track for West Covina Day at the races. My high school friend, Lydia, is taking us with her family.

How many of you can say your still in contact with someone you went to high school with? Lydia and I graduated from Rosemead High School in 1971, wow, we are getting old. At times it feels like we just graduated from high school, some memories are vivid, while other memories are somewhat foggy.

The weather here in Southern California is just great, with a few scattered clouds, and just a touch of cool air, will make for a great day at the track.

Have been trying to upload my pictures from my new digital camera without any luck so far, I wanted to share a sign with everyone, that can only be found in San Dimas. As soon as I can get my computer to locate my camera, I will share this picture with you.

I'm not one to read the manual's that come with the hardware, but in this case I may be forced to read it before my pictures can be uploaded?

Enjoy the day,

Todd, we hardly knew ya

The struggling Los Angeles Times has gone through another advertising chief. Publisher Jeff Johnson waited until after the stock market closed on Friday afternoon to disclose a new management reorganization that includes the departure of Todd Brownrout, senior vice president of advertising since 2004. The new structure puts Dave Murphy, the paper's executive vice president and general manager, in direct charge of the advertising staff. Just last year, Tribune publishing honcho Scott Smith told Wall Street analysts that Murphy and Brownrout were "the right people in place to improve top-line growth."

Unconfirmed but likely true: I'm told that Ken Silverstein, a reporter on the investigative team in the Times' Washington bureau, quit today to become Washington editor of Harper's magazine.

Johnson's brief memo on the shakeup follows:

March 31, 2006

Dear Colleagues –

To help us improve our speed to market and improve our customer and revenue development, I am making several senior level organizational changes at The Times that will take effect immediately.

Dave Murphy, our Executive Vice President and General Manager, will assume direct leadership responsibility for the advertising department. This move will take advantage of Dave's extensive experience in sales and marketing as well as allow him to get more directly involved in key sales strategies. Related to this move, Mark Kurtich, SVP of Operations, and Bob Palermini, SVP Technology and CTO, will now report directly to me.

As part of this streamlining of our organization, Todd Brownrout, SVP of Advertising, will be leaving The Times. Todd has agreed to assist with the transition, as needed, over the next several weeks. I want to thank Todd for his contributions since joining The Times in 2004 and wish him the very best in the future.

Looking ahead, we will continue to aggressively pursue new and innovative ways to grow our business. These management changes will help position us to better support emerging new products, grow revenue streams, and other customer-focused efforts that will make The Times an indispensable part of our customers' lives, in print and online.


Submitted by Pops

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Lots of ifs behind bill to replace illegal labor

By David Streitfeld
Los Angeles Times

To understand landscape contractor Barbara Alvarez's position on immigration reform, it helps to know she has an employee with his own chauffeur.

A key longtime worker confessed a few months ago that his driver's license renewal had been rejected. In other words, he was in this country illegally.

Alvarez's solution: Hire an $11-an-hour driver to take the worker to his lawns throughout the day. What else could she do? ``My clients love him,'' the San Dimas entrepreneur said.

Like much of the business community, Alvarez is solidly behind the immigration proposal that emerged from the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. It offers the 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States a path toward citizenship while bringing in 400,000 guest workers.

These changes -- also endorsed by organized labor, Democrats and some Republicans -- are described by supporters as benefiting just about everyone. The undocumented will no longer have to live in fear. Companies will get a more predictable workforce. Society as a whole will be helped when the underground economy moves above ground. Tax revenue will rise.

Yet this prediction of an economic golden age rests on the most slender of assumptions.
It presumes that the flow of illegal immigrants will decrease from a torrent to a trickle. It takes for granted that the government will have the technology to find the illegal workers who continue to get through, as well as the money and political will to enforce the laws that forbid their hiring.

Unless these things come to pass, economists say, the proposed legislation will swell the pool of legal workers while hardly denting the underground economy. Some employers will still have an incentive to hire illegal workers at wages lower than those for new legal workers.

The result: an entrenched two-tier labor system where workers on the bottom rungs compete to drive wages down.

Changing that dynamic won't be easy.

``The risk of hiring undocumented workers has to exceed the benefit,'' said Ross DeVol, director of regional economics at the Milken Institute in Santa Monica. ``Otherwise, there's a substantial possibility we could end up in a worse situation,'' as legal workers compete with a replenished pool of illegal immigrants.

Laws against knowingly hiring illegal workers have been on the books since the 1986 immigration reform. But as Homeland Security and Justice Director Richard Stana testified last year to a House subcommittee, ``work-site enforcement has been a low priority.''

Fraudulent worker documents were so plentiful and so good, Stana said, that companies could convincingly claim that they had no idea their workers were illegal. The number of firms warned they would be fined for hiring illegal workers declined from 417 in 1999 to three in 2004.

As they enter the larger economy, many newly legalized workers will have greater protections and bargaining power. One result: They will earn more. Meanwhile, if enforcement indeed increases, businesses will have more regulatory hurdles.

Companies, in short, will pay up front for reform. Many of these increased costs will be passed on to the consumer as higher prices for restaurant meals, grocery items, child care, car repairs and house remodeling.

That, in turn, could reignite demands for an off-the-books economy.

``People have dual interests,'' said Jared Bernstein, a liberal economist who supports the reforms. ``Ask them, `Do you want your lawn to be mowed as cheaply as possible?' They'll say yes. Ask if they want to control the border. They'll say yes. Ask them if controlling the borders means they're willing to pay more for lawn care, they'll say, `How much?' And that's what we're going to find out.''

Lower-middle-class American workers are not going to benefit from a guest-worker program, said Gordon Hanson, a professor of economics at University of California-San Diego. ``You raise the supply of something, you drive down the price,'' he said.

Legalizing the immigrants already here will move some of that competition up the labor ladder. Hanson gave the example of hotel workers. Many are illegal, which means they're stuck in the worst jobs. As their status changes, so will their positions. The result: More people will compete for the post of, say, assistant manager.

Instead of reform raising wages, as its backers maintain, it could put more pressure on them. Over the past few years, wages have been struggling to keep up with inflation while productivity -- and corporate profits -- soared.

Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group opposed to the Judiciary measure, forecasts a bleak future ``where everyone is forced to work for the lowest possible pay. The minimum wage will be a ceiling as well as a floor.''

At Golden State Landscaping, Alvarez's enthusiasm for reform doesn't blind her to the toll it could exact. She started the company a quarter-century ago. It has 13 employees, all Latino. Alvarez herself is not.

Last year, she had to drop three workers after Golden State was notified by Social Security that their numbers were invalid. That sort of disruption is hard on a small business. Then she had to hire the chauffeur.

``If legalization pushes wages up, that would be fine,'' Alvarez said. ``Those companies that can't make it work will go out of business.''

Burnt a Sick Day

Yesterday I burnt my first sick day of the year, thought about calling in sick all morning, then about noon I knew it was too late to call in. But remember, I'm an old guy, and forgot I start work at 2:30pm on Friday so as long as I call in two hours prior to the start of my shift I'm in the clear. Well, once I came to my senses, I called in sick about twelve fifteen.

My grandchildren took care of me while I was in bed sick (I'm required to pretend I was sick for my employer) and made a make shift bed on the floor next to my bed, so grandpa wouldn't be alone all night. David had us watch some oddball show on MTV called Jackass, and it's amazing what kids will do to be on television. After two episodes of Jackass, we watched Wild Boys, and I have to admit, watching these dummies play with animals kept my attention to the television.

I generally write nothing on the weekends, but I stayed home today and took it easy. Paintd the children's bathroom, and getting ready to paint the trim, this is what I call taking it easy. Painting is not a pssion of mine, but viewing my work when everything is completed is a big payoff. I won't be finished with the bathroom for several days, but I'm slowly headed to completion with every stroke of my paintbrush.

Enjoy your weekend,

PS. Don't forget to turn your clock's ahead by one hour before turning in tonight!