Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thought For Today 6-29-2010

"As you go through life, pass out verbal flowers with abandon."
Encouraging words create a wonderful aroma for the soul.

Bette Dowdell

Monday, June 28, 2010

Warning to LA Times Employees on Facebook

From: Beck, Martin
Sent: Monday, June 28, 2010 12:08 PM
To: yyeditall
Subject: Times 'Employees' on Facebook

Hi all,

In the last week or so many Times Facebook users have reported receiving friend requests from young women claiming to work for the Times. It’s fairly clear that they do not. The profiles in question were all created very recently and all include very little information other than a fetching photo.

If you have accepted such a friend request, we recommend “unfriending” them. You can also report suspicious accounts to Facebook directly by clicking the “Report/Block this person” link on the lower left-hand side of the profile page.

Here’s a list of some of the suspects (some of which have apparently already been pulled down):

Gaynelle Josphine
Jacelyn Gregory
Brenda Michelle
Dacia Josphine
Brittanie Agripina
Ashton Aracely
Sueann Maye
Gloria Evelyn
Nannette Elaina

Questions? Let me know.


Martin Beck
Reader engagement editor

SOURCE: Kevin Roderick

Thought For Today 6-28-2010

Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right.

- Isaac Asimov

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Thank you for your support

Thursday I returned to the Los Angeles Times Olympic Facility after my indefinite suspension was lifted from my shoulders. And it was hard to hold back tears as my colleagues either hugged me tightly or shook my hand with a shoulder bump to show me how elated they felt upon seeing me back at work.

As I was driving into work Thursday my good buddy Carl Zaby called, not to welcome me back, but to ask if I was bringing tamales into work, he expressed his love through food.

Rick Ostojic shared that my colleagues were preparing to take up a collection for my family and myself, which really choked me up and almost induced tears.

I work with some of the best men and women on this planet, which have my back and I, theirs. I would like to thank them profusely for the caring they showed for my children and myself through this ordeal.

I would like to thank the following outstanding individuals now:

Ronnie Pineda, Keith Denson, Linard Williams, Chuck Raney, Gary Bunch, Richard Olmeda, Charles Laird, Richard Ontiveros, Mike Brieley, Berry Tillage, Cesar Calderon, Danny Koval, Raul Compos, David Joe, Carl Zaby, Richard Ostojic, James Hathaway, Fred Kirby, Edward Brunner, Richard Hernandez, Martin Alvarez, Victor Banuelos, David Allmon, Rudy Hernandez, Bill Sperry, and Al Albanes.

Kevin Roderick, Brady Westwater, Amy Alkon, Kate Coe, Pandora Young, Nubia, Kanani Fong, Jeff Jarvis, Joseph Mailander, Gayle Mitchell, Will Campbell, David Markland, Gary Scott, Jim Romenesko, The Wrap, Editor and Publisher, Frazgo, Darleene Powells, Howard Owens, Atwater Village Newbie, Erica Smith, Mike Schieder, Grandspud, Broadcast Union News, and Jeff Prescott.

If I have omitted anyone it was not intentional, have a great weekend and thank you.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Afternoon in the Blogosphere

Union rally at Times Mirror Square

Kevin Roderick from LAObserved pointed this out:

"I happened to be reading back through the extensive Sam Zell archives here this morning and was reminded that Zell, after he took over Tribune, told all employees that there would be no more censoring of websites and that one of the guiding principles was question authority. Just saying"

Thought For Today 6-25-2010

You must train your intuition -- you must trust the small voice inside you which tells you exactly what to say, what to decide.

- Ingrid Bergman

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pressman Blogger re-instated at the Los Angeles Times

I return to the Los Angeles Times at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon and will meet with management tomorrow to discuss or clarify what content can be published online.

I would like to thank everyone for his or her support during these trying last few days.

On The Milblogs

"From the outset, the journalist instantly fell into a category of people who constitute one of my biggest pet peeves here: foreigners in Kabul wearing traditional Afghan clothes.
Some people, albeit very few, can pull it off without being annoying." -Captain Cats Diaries

Thought For Today 6-24-2010

From error to error one discovers the entire truth.

- Sigmund Freud

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Los Angeles Times Suspends Pressman Blogger

The Pressman Blogger was suspended this afternoon from the Los Angeles Times, with possible termination following an investigation by a biased jury, for blogging the events of last Thursday and Friday at the Los Angeles Times Olympic Production Facility.

I was told I had been warned in the past regarding my blogging, but I was only warned about broadcasting circulation numbers and nothing else.

So much for first amendment rights.

Stay tuned, as this situation is unfolded.

The Restrepo PR machine comes alive in L.A.

"Restrepo is a finely crafted documentary, with moments of loudness and chaos followed by reflection. Last night, in a theater of around 300 in Los Angeles, an audience of film buffs, military supporters, veterans, and even some from the anti-war crowd gathered to watch Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger's documentary about the 2/503 Battle Company, 173rd ABN.

Working on the PR team, we were anxious to see how it would be received. The past month had passed quickly as we prepared for not only this evening, but for all others to follow, including the opening dates. The reason to get the word out is for the soldiers --not just these ones, but for all the men and women who serve around the world."

The Kitchen Dispatch: Day 1: Restrepo PR machine comes alive in L.A.

Thought For Today 6-22-2010

The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy.

- Sam Levenson

Monday, June 21, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tempertures Rising at the Los Angeles Times

Nine days ago we experienced a fire in the control panel for the chillers at the LA Times Olympic Facility, which raised the temperatures in the pressroom to unbearable levels. To make matters worse, many of the fans that are meant to distribute the air in the pressroom are non-functional.

Brother Edward Brunner wondered just how hot the pressroom was and brought in a thermometer yesterday to measure the temperature in the pressroom. We all knew it was uncomfortably hot, but had no idea it was eighty degrees in the pressroom.

The printing process uses a dampener solution that throws a mist of water into the air of the pressroom, which makes it extremely humid. Many workers are complaining of rashes under their arms and other places on their bodies due to the temperature and humidity, which working without breaks or lunch periods never allows one to cool down properly.

Olympic Pressroom Manager Johnny Walker has assured me the replacement fans and control panel for the chillers are on order, and may be installed as soon as this Monday.

Let’s hope Walker is correct as the heat wears you out.

Yesterday I brought in an ice chest filled with a case of water and a case of soda, something management should be doing for the workforce at the Los Angeles Times. I could not believe how quickly the COLD DRINKS disappeared.

For you naysayers of the union, who loves you baby, certainly not management.

The Time for change is NOW at the LAT

I’m not certain how many subscribers have fled the Los Angeles Times over the fiasco yesterday, but the numbers will be revealed to the pressmen shortly as the amount of newspapers produced daily will most definitely decline deeply. And don’t forget, the people in charge of Operations were handsomely rewarded with fat bonuses, which they should return to the laid off workers immediately.

Orange County Press Operator Rick Hernandez responded quickly when he was requested to cancel his vacation, which he was half way through, returning to the Orange County Facility to produce newspapers Friday morning.

Rick writes:

"Tell management that we pressman are not the enemy, we are dedicated and that’s why we earn our pay. How about giving us dignity and respect like Steve Kawatski does at our plant? Let’s show management the pressmen are a team".

I couldn’t agree with Rick more, right on my brother!

The public relations damage at the Los Angeles Times was great, with thousands of dollars in rebates to the advertisers for newspapers not delivered to our readers. We have a few anchors here at the LA Times that need to be jettisoned overboard, and quickly.

Save Our Trade: Teamster Press Release

Save Our Trade: Teamster Press Release

LA Times Orange County Plant back online

It came as no surprise to hear a crew was created early Friday morning to fire up the presses at the shuttered Orange County Los Angeles Times, which was met with cheers from my colleagues that would love to return to their old working place.

A crew was also assembled to run the newspaper from 4:00 p.m. to midnight, and two crews to run the presses beginning at midnight.

No word how long the facility will be in operation at this time, but the Olympic Facility cannot handle the additional workload at this moment.

Will keep you updated as information flows in.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hartenstein apologizes for L.A. Times delivery snafu

"Papers are now being delivered and will continue to be throughout the early afternoon. The Times is making every effort to ensure the problem is rectified, and it is not necessary for home-delivery customers to call in to report problems in order to get a paper...

The production problems were unrelated to the Lakers' NBA championship win and the subsequent violence by some fans," Hartenstein said in the statement. "We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and frustration experienced."

SOURCE: Kevin Roderick

Pressmen Beware

With all the ado in the pressroom last night I was requested to inform my brothers and sisters to put their cell phones away, or be written up. I thought to myself, you’ve got to be f*@king kidding me?

This brings to mind the Los Angeles City Counsel, worried about Arizona immigration law, instead of the impending bankruptcy of the city of Los Angeles.

Let’s worry about the problems facing the Olympic Facility instead of your personal vendetta against the men and women producing the newspaper at the Los Angeles Times, and you know whom I’m speaking to.

Production Problems at the Los Angeles Times

In my thirty-eight years working at the Los Angeles Times, last night was the very first time I wondered if we would deliver today’s edition to our readers. Yes it was that bad last night at the Olympic Production Facility.

The trouble began with one of the new platesetters failing, giving the pressroom a plate starter (when the last plate arrives to the printing press) sometime around 7:15 p.m., or one hour and fifteen minutes late. The new platesetters are computer to plate, which eliminates the need for negatives that had to be hand placed onto the 38 50 plate burners, which is suppose to save time in the newspaper production process.

Once the plates are mounted onto the plate cylinders the presses begin running, but last night every press experienced web breaks upon starting. I would estimate we lost a minimum of fifty webs last night, which is extremely high.

It was so serious last night that pressroom manager Johnny Walker had to turn off the Laker game and return to work at 8:30 p.m., with Mr. Walker still working when I departed the pressroom this morning at 4:30 a.m. It’s not often I have anything positive to say regarding our management team at the Los Angeles Times, but I have to say Johnny Walker did a hell of a great job last night and into the wee hours of the morning today.

Mr. Walker was next to the men on the catwalk as everyone was attempting to get the presses to produce today’s newspaper. He also ran up and down the catwalks and stairwells trying to identify what was causing all the web breaks, and remember five of the six presses were experiencing problems last night. Many do not care for Mr. Walkers style of leading, best compared to a Marine drill sergeant, but he has his hands full with all the issues in the production of the newspaper. Let’s hope he was able to get home this morning and grab a few hours of sleep.

Our plant manager, which we call Happy Boots, was no where to be seen so I’m assuming he was sleeping while the plant he’s charged with running was burning down. I’ve suggested to our plant manager that he needs to don a pressman’s uniform to see for himself the pressmen are not the cause of the problems, as he suggests often.

The text messages began arriving on my Droid just after 3:00 a.m. from several of the delivery agents I happen to know. They asked why their newspapers had not arrived yet, with one agent mentioning his drivers had other jobs to attend to after delivering their draw of newspapers. I did my best to reassure the agents the newspaper would be there, four to five hours late.

Before the newspaper shuttered the Orange County Production Facility, our supervisors would call for help from our brothers in Costa Mesa, which meant sending trucks and production down south. Today we have placed all our eggs in one basket, and have no one to call for help, with one production facility printing all of the newspaper.

Let’s hope the morning shift at Olympic can catch up, so this afternoon’s shift is not backed up to the wall when we arrive at the newspaper for our 4:00 p.m. shift.

BTW, I’m up to 22.5 hours of overtime in six days, which is in addition to my regular hours.

The Los Angeles Times Blog LA Now, has the story on the late run at the newspaper.

I'm just your average pressman and say we need to reopen the Los Angeles Times Orange County Plant, for the remainder of this year, if anyone's listening?

Thought For Today 6-18-2010

Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, June 17, 2010

LAKER NATION!!!!!!!!!!!!

TO LAKER FANS...CELEBRATE the victory...with CLASS!

Challenges of Producing your Favorite Newspaper

With the shuttering of the Los Angeles Times Orange County Production Facility last Saturday the word heard throughout the downtown Los Angeles Production Facility from my colleagues has been “What idiots decided to shutter the Orange County Plant?”

The challenges of completing the daily newspaper at the Los Angeles Times are many, and with the fire in the control panel for the chillers last Thursday, the pressroom is like a sauna as the temperatures are high and the humidity unbearable.

The Pressman Blogger has been absent the last few days due too seventeen hours of overtime worked the last five days. Have to admit I’m thinking the Orange County Facility may need to be re-opened, as they are sorely needed to produce the newspaper.

On a closing note; if the Los Angeles Lakers pull off a win tonight we will be producing an additional 50,000 copies of tomorrow’s newspaper.

The Onion Satire on Newspaper Circulation

Boston Globe Tailors Print Edition For Three Remaining Subscribers

Boston Globe Tailors Print Edition For Three Remaining Subscribers

Thursday Afternoon in the Blogosphere

How the Los Angeles Times Pressmen appeared in 1930

Thought For Today 6-17-2010

The philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next.

- Henry Ward Beecher

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Thought For Today 6-16-2010

We spend most of our lives conjugating three verbs: to want, to have, and to do.

- Evelyn Underhill

Monday, June 14, 2010

Thought For Today 6-14-2010

Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are.

- Bernice Johnson Reagon

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Thank you Eddy Hartenstein for Lunch

The men and women of Operations at the Los Angeles Times were treated to some great tasting barbeque yesterday for their performance after the passing of John Wooden last Friday. The backup impacted the night shift and morning shift at the newspaper last weekend. But somehow our delivery agents stuffed the newspapers and delivered to our subscribers in a very timely manner, with newspaper deliveries an hour to two hours behind the regular delivery times.

I questioned our plant manager yesterday regarding whom to thank for the great feast and he stated it was paid for by our senior vice-president of production, at a cost of $2,500.

In my humble opinion the SVP most likely had a gun at his head before he spent the money on the employees he dislikes so strongly.

Our publisher, Eddy Hartenstein, made a surprise visit to the Olympic Plant last night, and I would like to thank Eddy for treating us to lunch.

Printing Production Run

Here's what a typical printing production run looks like at Vibrant Graphics, featuring our HP Indigo digital press and our variable image capabilities. Video produced by Sarah Shebek, and starring pressman Paul Dahlen.

Save Our Trade: Another Lie! Timeclock Coming Soon!

By Ronnie Pineda
I was informed by management that a Kronos Timekeeper will be installed in the pressroom sometime mid August. During negotiations, Russ said that this would not happen and that any employee cards would be used for security purposes only. Our negotiation notes will verify his statements regarding time clocks.

More lies Russ! Cash that Bonus check that you say you don't get Russ? Pay severance instead of looking for more ways like this to piss off your employees. Punch in, Punch out, tell the truth, tell a lie; time has a way of exposing the truth and time will tell.

Time to stand together Brothers and Sisters. You know what we've been through and you now see whats lies ahead; MORE LIES! Will this finally be enough to convince Union doubters that the truth is only a concept and management does not feel obligated to abide by it. We have been lied to more by the current SVP than all former SVP's put together. Don't worry he won't be offended, are you? He's proud of the fact that he lies and there are still those that trust him. You know who you are and he not only lies to you too, he also laughs at you for trusting him.

I have no doubt another grievance will be filed in August.

Don't get mad about this notice unless you intend on staying mad, and then doing something about it! Solidarity will stop this pathological liar. He lies because he feels you don't deserve the truth and he has no respect for anyone he considers beneath him, hows that for the truth?

Save Our Trade: Another Lie! Timeclock Coming Soon!

Saturday morning in the Blogosphere

Retired Los Angeles Times Pressmen Dan McQuitty and Eddie Enriquez


Kristina Ripatti is the LAPD officer that was shot and paralyzed in the line of duty on June 3, 2006. Kristina came to international attention when Extreme Makeover Home Edition and the entire LAPD built her a new home as part of an ABC Television two-hour special.

Since her paralysis from the chest down, Kristina has completed the Boston Marathon, resumed surfing, and given birth to a healthy baby boy - Lucas.

Now, Kristina and her LAPD officer husband Tim Pearce will participate in the Race Across America to help raise awareness and funds for Operation Progress, a 10-year-old, LAPD based program that has quietly succeeded in sending young people from Los Angeles' heavily gang infested neighborhoods, to college.

Kristina's challenge is to complete the 3,000 mile, 14 state trek within the official time of 216 hours on her hand cycle. The Race will depart Camp Pendleton’s Oceanside Pier in Oceanside, California on June 12, 2010 and arrive at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland on June 21, 2010.

Please join us at 2:00 pm along the parade route in support of this American Hero. Your media coverage of this cause would be greatly appreciated.

LA Daily News - http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_14667456

Follow Her Daily Progress Here - www.raceacrossamerica.org

Operation Progress - http://www.operationprogress.org/

LA Times Article/Videohttp://www.latimes.com/news/custom/topofthetimes/topstories/la-me-ripatti-html,0,6260934.htmlstory

LAT Orange County Facility R.I.P.

The Los Angeles Times Orange County Production Facility, opened in 1968 to much fanfare, died on a quiet note early this morning with the printing of the LAT Extra edition.

The remaining two crews at the facility will now move to the downtown Los Angeles production facility this weekend.

It had been suggested to throw a memorial party on the heliport tonight at the facility, but with so many memories, no one felt like marking this sad day with a few ice-cold beers.

If this trend continues, and it appears it will, we may see the Olympic Facility shuttered in December 2014 as the newspaper seeks other methods of delivering the news.

Comments from the displaced pressmen and women from the Orange County Facility are welcome.

Bill Yarbrough has left the Los Angeles Times

Thursday night marked the last night at the Los Angeles Times Orange County Production Facility for long time pressroom supervisor Bill Yarbrough. After spending over thirty years in the pressroom Bill felt the time was right to throw the towel in and retire instead of making the long commute to the Los Angeles Times Olympic Facility located in Los Angeles.

His former colleagues had nothing but praise for Bill, and mentioned many of the qualities he employed while running the pressroom as a shift supervisor.

Bill pictured on the left with the Orange County Pressroom Manager Steve Kawatski had some plans for after work with an eighteen pack of beer between them.

Bill's last command was printing over sixty thousand newspapers for the Olympic Facility on Thursday night when the facility fell behind in meeting production goals.

Cheers to you Bill Yarbrough for a job well done.

Photo credit: Rick Hernandez

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Thought For Today 6-9-2010

Sanity may be madness but the maddest of all is to see life as it is and not as it should be.

- Don Quixote

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Thought For Today 6-8-2010

The inability to open up to hope is what blocks trust, and blocked trust is the reason for blighted dreams.

- Elizabeth Gilbert

Monday, June 07, 2010

Cambodian shrimpers do BP's dirty work

Shrimper Phan Plork from Buras, Louisiana is one of a fleet of fishermen hired by BP to clean up the oil spill. Faced with rough seas, inexperience and the arrival of hurrican season Plork and his wife Tal worry for their future

Monday Afternoon in the Blogosphere

Pressman Paul Anders working one of the last shifts at the
Los Angeles Times Orange County Facility

Thought For Today 5-7-2010

The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.

- John Wooden

Saturday, June 05, 2010

John Wooden Rest in Peace

In my thirty-eight years working at the Los Angeles Times it’s been extremely rare to hear the cry “Stop the presses”, especially on our busiest night of the week. But that’s what occurred Friday night when UCLA Basketball Coach John Wooden passed away, the presses went silent for more than three hours as the printing presses were realigned to make room for four additional pages in honor of Mr. Wooden.

Our colleagues down south will have a very long night, as they must finish printing their newspapers without the luxury of another crew coming in to send them home. Poked a little fun at Gary Bunch as I rubbed it in I was at home sipping on a cold beer while he still has many hours before he leaves the Times Orange County Facility.

If you favorite newspaper, The Los Angeles Times, is a bit late this morning, don’t worry it will arrive shortly.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Illegal Immigration: Arizona's Agenda

There is a lot of discussion about the Arizona Illegal Immigration law and Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, and David Lauter, managing editor of the Los Angeles Times, discuss the College/LA Times poll results in this video.

Four More added to the layoff list at the LA Times

The rapidly shrinking staff at the Los Angeles Times has finally begun to slow it’s descent, yet unfortunately we lost an additional four long term employees in the Operations Department over the last two weeks.

Ensworth Powell (at bottom) over thirty years as an electro-tech.
John Pairman (at left) over thirty years as an electro-tech.
Tom Miller (right) thirty-eight years as an machinist.
Roy Farmer (not pictured) thirty-seven years working as a machinist.
The layoffs have eased but will never stop as the newspaper struggles to remain in the black while advertisers continue seeking other platforms to hock their wares.

Friday Morning in the Blogosphere

Orange County Pressmen Carl Zaby, Kent Osborne, and John Wenzel

Thought For Today 6-4-2010

Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.

- Gloria Steinem

Thursday, June 03, 2010


Lakers WIN...102-89!!!!!!!!!! Good One! Let's repeat the deed on Sunday! GO LAKERS!

Tribune Execs Threw Poker Party While Newspapers Crumbled

Anti-Theft Lunch Bags for Los Angeles Times Workers

With the Los Angeles Times Olympic cafeteria shuttered last Friday Pandora Young has an excellent idea to stop workers in their tracks before they eat your lunch, anti-theft lunch bags. Thank you Pandora for the great idea!

Thought For Today 6-3-2010

By believing passionately in something that does not yet exist, we create it.

- Nikos Kazantzakis

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Thought For Today 6-1-2010

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: IT GOES ON.

- Robert Frost