Tuesday, December 06, 2005

(Mostly) Local News Roundup

As I've been reading through various news stories today, I've had a few thoughts that might make good posts. However, rather than choosing one or two ideas and attempting to stretch them into full-length posts, I'm going to do something a little different. Or, if you recall the Local News Roundup I did way back when, it's something a little the same.
Titanic sank in just five minutes, study of hull pieces finds (Seattle P-I):
So, some dudes found a couple pieces of the Titanic, and now a bunch of people have come up with a bunch of new theories about how the boat sunk. Woop-dee-doo. Get this though:
The newly found hull sections, located about a third of a mile from the stern of the wreck, were examined during an expedition in August sponsored by The History Channel. On Monday, Titanic experts met at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to discuss their analysis for a documentary to be aired on the cable channel on Feb. 26.
Okay, I never knew there was such a job title as "Titanic Expert" or "Titanic Historian" (later in the article). What does the daily job of a "Titanic Expert" look like? Sure seems like it would be boring.
Complaint fells school's 'giving tree' (King County Journal):
It's Return of the Christmas Grinch: 2005 in Medina!
Medina Elementary School officials took down a Christmas-themed "giving tree" Monday after a parent complained about its religious connotations.

Chris Metzger, office manager at Medina, said the spiral, lighted Christmas tree with a star on top was up for about a week before it was removed.

The tree had mittens on it with a different gift idea attached to each. The idea was for students to take a mitten, get the gift listed, wrap it up and return it to school along with the mitten.
Could someone here please enlighten me, because I'm a bit confused about something. What exactly are the "religious connotations" of a "Christmas" tree? Was Jesus born in an evergreen forest? Did Mary and Joseph go cut down a small noble fir to commemorate the child's birth? Or perhaps his manger was made of pine? As far as I know, "Christmas" trees in fact have absolutely nothing to do with Jesus' birth, and therefore have about as much "religious connotation" as Dunder and Blixem.
Smaller County Council won't mean smaller staff (Seattle Times):
This bit of news is sure to come a surprise:
Downsizing the Metropolitan King County Council, promoted as a way of cutting costs, won't save taxpayers much money after all.
...
Each of the nine remaining County Council members will receive money to hire a fourth personal legislative assistant under the 2006 county budget adopted by the council last month. The 13 current members have three aides apiece.

The budget also adds three new positions to the council's central policy-research staff. The net effect: 12 staff jobs eliminated, 12 jobs created.
I for one am shocked, shocked I tell you, to find that government would find a way to maintain the status quo like that. Shocked.
State trooper or panhandler? Drivers fooled (Seattle Times):
You probably heard of this one if you listen to the radio or watch TV news. I have to say, I was quite amused and impressed at this clever tactic being used to lay the smack down on these nefarious law-breakers. But I really busted a gut when I read this bit about the initial run in Vancouver (WA) last month:
One passenger rolled down his window, hollered obscenities at Linn and hurled a half-full can of soda before he realized Linn was a trooper. The man was given a $1,050 littering ticket. A 15-year-old who was driving the car was cited for not having a valid license and for allegedly stealing his father's rental car, Kesler said.
Whoops, busted. Not many things are more amusing to me than the thought of idiot punks getting the smack laid down on them.
Film fans can expect more advertising on big screen (USA Today):
So, according to USA Today, pre-movie advertising is here to stay—and set to increase. Splendid.
Moviegoers should get used to those ads shown as they settle into their seats.

Ad forecasters at ZenithOptimedia said on Monday that spending on in-theater ads, usually shown before the trailers, rose by 18% this year to $400 million — and likely will go up by about 15% each year through 2008.
And the movie industry wonders why fewer and fewer people are going to the movies. Yeah, that's quite a puzzlement. Rising ticket prices, declining movie quality (and originality), increasing advertisements... Who would have thought that all that would lead to decreasing attendance?

Categories: Features, News, Local

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