Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Weekly Roundup

Hey Guys,

Just wanted to pass along some various news on the union front. Busy times, but good ones, so I'll get right to it.

First off, let's start with the important stuff: I just got an email from Jennifer and Will Radcliffe, who rode out the storm in Houston, enduring just some wind and rain and an unusual work schedule. Les Jacobs also passed the word that his family, who hails from there, came through just fine, as well. Luckily, the damage wasn't as bad as they were initially predicting, so let's all give thanks for that one.

And speaking of storm-related news, if you missed the messages on Coyote, the charity potluck on Friday, combined with the dessert day and poker night have raised nearly $1,000 for hurricane-afflicted folks. This wasn't a union thing or a management thing, it was just the right thing to do. I can't say enough good things about Naush, Josh, Lisa and everyone else who contributed money, food, or ideas-- you guys have done a great thing and deserve tremendous credit.

Switching gears, the latest report I've got from the local on paying the dues electronically is that we'll likely find a way, but it'll take a few more weeks, at least. We're investigating the Electronic Funds Transfer Program, which allows banks to send money directly to groups like unions, the same way you pay your power bill or renew your magazine subscriptions automatically.

Since that'll take awhile, I'll come around and hand collect the dues for September this week from those of you who haven't already paid. If you could have checks by Thursday, that would be fantastic. Please make them out to CWA 9400 and don't forget they're now back to the standard rate of 2.25 times your hourly wage. Due to the paycheck screwup on the last batch, just divide your gross wages by 40, then multiply that number by 2.25 (sorry for the hassle on that-- once we get the new system in place, it'll be much more smooth).

And once again, thanks to all you guys for stepping up to pay the standard rate with no complaints. I know it's a financial bite, especially after we've all enjoyed the discount for the past two years. I certainly feel it, too, but I've been really impressed that everyone's been so understanding. There were initially some fears that we'd lose some members over this, but I'm proud to report that so far, not a single person's left the group. You guys are the best.

Switching gears once again, I wanted to direct you folks to two fantastic pieces of writing this week and one slick photo by our members. Glenn was in his usual fine form with a killer Q&A with Jodie Foster on Friday, accompanied by a cool portrait by David. They beat the pants of the Times' story, taking it far from the standard realm of actor interviews and creating a truly memorable package. Also, for on-the-spot reporting, Lisa Sodders had a very nice one today on the anti-war protest. It can be hard to capture the scope and emotion of things like that, especially with the time and space constraints of a daily story, but that story really kept my attention during breakfast today.

And hey, if anyone else spots good work (especially headlines and designs, which I'm less likely to be able to trace back to the creator, but are equally important) out there and wants to see it recognized here, let me know. I'm by no means an expert, I just like to spread the word when stuff by our members catches my eye.

Ok, this has run long again, so I'll end with one final note of good news-- our friend and former officemate Andrea Cavanaugh got herself hitched yesterday in Oceanside. She and her new husband Dominic have been dating for four years and she tells me that he's one fantastic chef. Congratulations are in order for the both of them.

See ya 'round-- thanks for your time and support, as always.



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