Monday, July 31, 2006

Let's Hang Out

Hey Gang,

Gosh, it's been an awful long time since we've had a little time to kick back and enjoy one another's company. So, with that in mind, let's have a little Happy Hour on Thursday, August 4. 'Cause it's a relatively swinging place with ample parking, let's hit the El Torito on Canoga and Oxnard around 6 or so. Drinks and appetizers are on us, so come on out and enjoy a little quality time outside the newsroom walls. Come by after work or stop over for a quick bite of dinner if you're working nights. All are welcome.

Hope to see y'all there.

What: Union happy hour
Where: El Torito 6040 Canoga Ave, Woodland Hills
When: Thursday, August 4, 6 p.m. - 8ish.
Cost: Absolutely free.
Questions? E-mail


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Oh, Sad Day...

This has nothing to do with the union or the Daily News, so I won't bother to e-mail this out, but for some reason, I can't let go of this message I sent out the other day. Seeing as how I got no response, beyond a slew of hilarious responses suggesting I search out anyone who looked surprisingly youthful, perhaps the blogosphere has some insight into this insidious crime.
Dear Sir/Madam,

I'm sure whomever swiped the men's anti-aging makeup I had on my desk
for a story on, well, men's anti-aging makeup, feels terrible about
the theft. I hope it soothed your wrinkles, if not your guilty
conscience. If it was an accidental jacking, please feel free to drop
it off, no questions asked. And if not, would you mind letting me
know how it worked for the story?


Saturday, July 15, 2006

Don't Take No Junk Off No One.

Hey Folks,

You've probably seen the news of the bloodbath going on up there at the Santa Barbara News-Press, ably compiled on Romenesko and LAObserved-- I don't want to comment on their problems since I only know of them through what I read, but it seems like it's a mess that won't get fixed anytime soon.

I meant to type this up the other night, noting that we don't have to go through awful personnel madness like that because of this union and that one would come in handy for them. And, what do ya know, they went out and hooked up with the Teamsters. Things sound so chaotic right now, they rightly thought that they needed a unified voice if they want to save their jobs and their paper.

I think this is something that we forget, seeing as how we've got a pretty collegial workplace these days. But when times get rough elsewhere, sometimes the union's the only thing standing between your job and getting quoted in the rival paper saying "I don't know what happened-- it used to be such a good place to work."

It's not just at the News-Press, either. Awhile back, in part of my job as one of the stewards, I spoke with some folks at other non-union papers about what organizing has done for us and could do for them. It's amazing what other people go through-- I've heard of workers who are afraid to discuss their wages because their company threatened to fire them, places that don't allow staffers to decorate their desks, jobs that send their employees out on stress-related disability all because there was no one to speak up on their behalf.

So while we've got it pretty good at the Daily News, we can't forget that, nor can we accept it when things fall short here. There've been a lot of changes in the last year to make things more worker-friendly, but we've got to keep at it. Whether it's substandard equipment, bad schedules, bad managers, don't put up with it-- with this union, we've got a great tool to work toward improvements, so let's use it.

If you see something that feels wrong, say so-- do it in a respectful, constructive way, of course, but if that doesn't work, tell us. We're here to listen to your problems and work to find an answer. We're not always going to be able to fix things, but we're certainly going to do our best to make sure everyone gets a fair shake.

Alright, thanks for your time and support, as always. I'm going to be out of the office in lovely Iowa for the next week or so, but you can reach me through e-mail or you can also talk to my co-steward, Kerry Kandel, down at City Hall ( If it's an emergency, feel free to call me at 310-562-4315, but it costs approximately $10 zillion a minute when I'm out of the area, so e-mail would be best.

Take it easy until then and let's all get together next week sometime to relax out of this godforsaken heat.


Friday, July 07, 2006

New and Noteworthy

Hey Gang,

Just a quick Friday update for you, now that I've finished destroying my washing machine for one evening... a couple points of excitement from the membership, so please join me in congratulating these folks:

First off, how 'bout a round of applause for Brad Greenberg, who was one of 17 reporters selected by the Gralla Fellows Program to take place in a seminar on religion reporting at Brandeis University. In addition to his tales of homeless poker gurus and murdered models, Mr. Greenberg has continued the sharp religion reporting he did out in San Bernardino. This five-day program, held later this month, aims to expand journalists' understanding of Judaism and the American Jewish experience, according to its Web site. Y'all can find more at:

Secondly, it seems blog fever is busting out all over at In addition to Steve's Come On Feel the Nuys (, both Dennis ( and now Greg Hernandez ( have made the leap into the mad world of blogging. Our friends in features got things rolling with Red Carpet and Hollywood Babble On, but things have really taken off in recent weeks since Josh took over the Web site.

What I particularly enjoy about the various blogs is that they have distinct personalities that are very different from what we read in the paper-- Greg can write a box office story like no other, but when you read Out in Hollywood, you get much more of a sense of what he's like as a person. And it's cool to be around someone who's doing that, because it feels like we're doing something exciting again. We're all gonna need that sort of passion if we're gonna keep this strange business of ours afloat in the years to come.

So that's all I've got for the moment-- thanks for your time and I'll catch ya soon.