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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Leonard Skinner is dead

Leonard Skinner, the hippie hating, Floridian gym teacher who inspired the band-naming of the iconic southern rockers, passed away today at age 77 at a nursing home in Riverside, FL. Having gone down in the annals of rock history for sending his long-haired students, which included Lynyrd Skynyrd founder Ronnie Van Zant and his high school bandmates, to the principal’s office one too many times to go unscathed, Skinner eventually softened his opinion, having said during an interview with the Florida Times-Union last year, “They were good, talented, hard-working boys. They worked hard, lived hard, and boozed hard.”
Ain’t that the truth. Our condolences to Skinner’s family and friends. You can read more about the man behind the band name at the New York Times blog.

 NPR's David Greene talks to Skinner's son, Leonard S. Skinner. Click here to listen to the story.
Photo is of Ronnie Van Zandt of the band "Leonard Skinner.

Communication Prof's News and Views: Art Lynch's Blog: On Patient Networks, Cable Characters And The Less...

Communication Prof's News and Views: Art Lynch's Blog: On Patient Networks, Cable Characters And The Less...: "Donal Logue (right) and Michael Raymond-James star in Shawn Ryan's private-eye seriesTerriers, which recently debuted on the FX cable netwo..."

On Patient Networks, Cable Characters And The Lessons Of 'Cheers'

Donal Logue (right) and Michael Raymond-James star in Shawn Ryan's private-eye seriesTerriers, which recently debuted on the FX cable network.

Today on All Things Considered, the program looked at the differences between cable and broadcast network dramas, with lots of help from producer Shawn Ryan, whose creations includeThe Shield and Terriers on cable, and The Unit and Lie To Me on broadcast networks. Ryan is also the creator of Ride-Along, a show that will be arriving on Fox in mid season which critics say is very,very good.
He spoke of the importance of characters, episodic or continuing story line, comedy versus harsh realism, the selection of a network (broadcast or cable) based on audience and whether viewers are regulars, financial structure and ensemble.
As an example "NCIS", now in its tenth season, first cracked the top ten programs in its eighth season and is number one in most markets around the world. While the story has some story threads that evolve over time, the characters, stories that begin and end in one episode and the consistency in what to expect keep audiences growing and viewing the CBS program/

National Race invades Nevada Poltics

The dead heat between U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid -- Democrat from the tiny town of Searchlight Nevada -- and his Republican challenger, Sharron Angle is the focus on much of the national coverage on this years fall elections. Angle uses national reporters and national reach to take on Reid, while ignoring local reporters more familure with her actual stomp speeches and her record in the Assembly.

It is a national races with the term "local" used only on rare occasions and "local" issues the fodder of a battle or mostly out of state finaced television advertising.

Angle is a former Nevada assemblywoman and a Christian conservative who has been backed by the Tea Party.

Reid is a longtime incumbent who became the Democratic leader in the Senate after Tom Daschle lost his re-election bid in South Dakota in 2004.

Angle is about tearing down the system. Reid, who is far more conservative than national media paints him, is about standing up for the president's record and on his record for the state, which includes all but shutting down the nuclear dump at Yucca Mountain.

In a feature aired this afternoon on All Things considered NPR's David Greene talks to Anjeanette Damon, who covers politics for the Las Vegas Sun. Click here for the written and audio versions of the story.

Hollywood cheers Counterfeit bill



Holllywood Reporter (use link below)

Cheered on by the MPAA and RIAA, legislation aimed at shutting down foreign and domestic websites that provide access to pirated films, TV shows, music content and counterfeit goods was introduced in the Senate on Monday by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. The measure could be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee as early as this week.
Dubbed the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, the bill would enable the Justice Department to track and shut down websites that provide access to unauthorized downloads, streaming or sale of copyrighted content and counterfeit goods. Its introduction follows the panel's June oversight hearing with the Obama administration's "copyright czar," Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel.

Read more:
Visit to become a Variety subscriber. 

Congressional District 3 Forum Questions Sought

College of Southern Nevada Have questions for gubernatorial candidates Rory Reid and Brian Sandoval and congressional district 3 candidates Dina Titus and Joe Heck? Send to ASCSN by Friday at 5 pm!

What's in a headline?

Not much.

Another example this morning on page 1 of the Las Vegas Review Journal. In a "below the fold" page 1 headline "Obama: recession over". How dare he think that? But if you actually read the Associated Press story that follows, the copy reads "President Obama said Monday that he doesn't care that the Great Recession has been declared over by economist. For the millions of people out of work or otherwise struggling he said "its still very real to them."

The story goes on to talk about how Obama believes that skepticism is "healthy..that's in our DNA" but that those who are working to undermine government, including the special interests group labeled "Tea Party" do need to identify specifically "what would you do?" to help turn around the economy and produce jobs.

The lead headline with an almost one third page photo of Paris Hilton was her admission that "I was in possession", reflecting the editors feeling that readers want celebrity over substance, and celebrities sell papers. (note actual photo use on page 1 is no available on the internet this morning. It was taken by the RJ's Gary Thompson. Pick up  a copy of the paper.)

The real story, with the largest headline, was "Jobless rate remains at record pace." Nevada has a 14.4% official unemployment, the highest in the nation, with Las Vegas just shy of 15% at 14.7%.

It's the real issue, one Obama is addressing with stimulus money, tax cuts and the use of what he has any control over, government programs. He cannot make businesses expand or hire, as each much make decisions based on their "shareholders" or their own bottom line and industry.

In the chart on page 1 of the Wall Street Journal, the independent non-governmental Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows  how far we have dropped dangerously in terms of budget deficits as a percentage of economic outlook. We have a shortfall of more than 10% of annual economic output into the next year.

The size of our economy makes it far more difficult to turn around than smaller nations, plus over the past decade, including 8 years under a Republican President, higher paying industrial jobs have moved overseas as US corporations continued a trend of investing in those countries over their own country.

New construction grew by the largest number in August in over two years, however the growth was in the smallest of segments and geographically concentrated. Apartment and high density housing grew in urban centers as people lose or sell their homes in the suburbs and country.

And according to a story in the Wall Street Journal, the financial budget straits of local, municipal, country and state budgets fueled by the recession, related decline in property values and an anti-tax mentality left over from decades of prosperity, has yet to hit the federal bottom line.

If conservative "no new taxes", "no bailouts" and "no stimulus" voters do manage to take over congress, what will happen at the local levels? Who will pay the bills? How will schools, pollice, fire, road maintainence and other services survive and function?

And how will we manage to grow jobs fast enough to keep people from sinking ever further?

To follow the news you must read past the headlines, ask who wrote the story, who edited it, who owns the publication, who pays the bills for the publication, and who reads it. It is best to seek out multiple sources of divergent viewpoints, political views and not be driven by photos, illustrations or a shortage of time.

You are the democracy in the United States.

What's in a headlilne?

Not much. Because headlines appeal to emotion (Pathos) and reinforcement of specific political or economic beliefs more than the actual content or complexity of the story that follows or the issue it tries to capture.

Read on...

And was it the photos of Paris Hiton that first brought your attention to this blog entry?

Who has inspired you to reach a little higher? … Who has motivated you to take the next step? … What words have changed your life and fueled your dreams? 

Text Anxiety Help at CSN

College of Southern Nevada Test anxiety? CSN can help. Free workshops this week at the Henderson and Cheyenne campuses.

Teamsters Unionize Pot Growers

About 40 employees of an Oakland, Calif., marijuana-growing company joined the Teamsters union earlier this month, becoming what are believed to be the first pot growers to unionize in the country.
Employees of the grower, Marjyn Investments LLC, which grows pot for medicinal purposes, approached the union earlier this year, said Marty Frates, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 70. The pot-grower's employees ratified a two-year contract in early September, he said.
Use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is allowed under California law, although it is still a violation of federal law. Medical-pot dispensaries are common in big California cities.
Marijuana-legalization supporters tout the unionization as a sign of the drug's growing legitimacy. The move also boosts Teamsters at a time of dwindling membership. "We've had our problems," Mr. Frates said, "so we've had to diversify."
Under the contract, Marjyn employees will make $18 an hour and about $26 an hour within 15 months, Mr. Frates said. They will also get health-care and pension benefits.
Clinton Killian, a lawyer who represents Marjyn, said the company thinks the unionization is a "great idea" that "benefits the company by giving us a stable, committed workforce in a protected environment."
Marijuana opponents derided the move. "I think it's pathetic," said Roger Morgan, executive director of the Coalition for a Drug-Free California. "I think Oakland is an embarrassment to California to begin with," for its lax attitude toward pot, "but for the Teamsters to throw in with them is just over the top and they should know full well that marijuana is illegal by federal law."
Oakland has one of the country's most accommodating attitudes toward marijuana. Residents of this Northern California city of 400,000 last year approved the nation's first pot-specific tax. Oakland's city council in July voted to allow industrial-scale medical-marijuana growing in the city.
The city is also home to Oaksterdam University, which teaches students how to become pot entrepreneurs. Oaksterdam employees are represented by United Food and Commercial Workers 5, though the workers have not yet ratified a contract, said leaders at both the school and union.
Californians in November will vote on Proposition 19, which would let adults possess marijuana and allow local governments to legalize and tax marijuana sales. A Sept. 2 SurveyUSA poll showed 47% of likely voters supporting the measure, versus 43% against.