Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Suzanne Vega says she still reads paper newspapers

When Toms Diner came on the radio this morning, we wondered on Twitter if Suzanne Vega's lyrics about "I open up the paper..." would be different if she wrote the song today. Apparently not!

She tweeted this answer:
"yes I still read paper newspapers"

When asked later by media blogger Jim Romenesko which ones, she replied "Nytimes mostly." 

"Tom's Diner," first written in 1981, was a Billboard hot single, with DNA, in 1991.

BTW, Vega has a new album out: "Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles"
Details here: http://www.suzannevega.com/

Tom's Diner lyrics excerpt:
... I open
Up the paper
There's a story
Of an actor

Who had died
While he was drinking
It was no one
I had heard of

And I'm turning
To the horoscope
And looking
For the funnies ...

Friday, March 7, 2014

Bill O'Reilly in past on new home of Google barge: 'Why would you have a boat in Stockton?'

Fox News' Bill O'Reilly once wondered aloud who would have a boat in Stockton. Now Google does.

Google floated its 200-foot mystery barge from San Francisco Bay to the Port of Stockton on March 6.

So will O'Reilly -- who spouted the line "why would you have a boat in Stockton when you can't go nowhere?" -- have any new thoughts about the worthiness of the city's waterways?

We've reached out to the "No Spin Zone" master.

Google recently received regional and national media attention for a barge it was building at Treasure Island. The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission ordered Google to move the barge because it didn’t have the proper permits.

Google officials chose the Port of Stockton as the barge's temporary home. Stockton officials reportedly saw the barge's arrival as a well-needed image boost for a city that declared bankruptcy in 2012, two years after Forbes magazine proclaimed it one of America's most miserable cities.

The Forbes declaration prompted O'Reilly's remarks during a March 24, 2010, on-air discussion with newsman John Stossel. In the discussion preserved by FoxNews.com, the two agreed Stockton officials were "stupid and arrogant," in part over a project restoring the city's marina, less than a mile from the Port of Stockton.
Their Stockton discussion:

O'REILLY: All right, Stockton. Stockton is sister city to San Francisco, the capital of California. [JJ note: Sacramento is the capital of California.] And it's kind of a casual city. I've been there a couple of times. It's not formal.
STOSSEL: It has good weather.
O'REILLY: What's the problem here?
STOSSEL: The problem again is the ignorant and arrogant city fathers, who say, "We know best. We can plan it for you." The — Forbes interviewed the mayor who said, "Oh, we're turning things around. We built a downtown arena, a ballpark, an arena, a marina, a downtown events center."
O'REILLY: How can they have a marina when they're inland and there's no ocean?
STOSSEL: They're not entirely inland.
O'REILLY: Yes, they are. Look at — look at the map. Stockton, what, is it on a river or something? Maybe that's what it is. But it is inland, Stossel.
STOSSEL: They do have a marina.
O'REILLY: They've got a marina. But it's inland. Look. There it is right there. It's on some kind of canal.
STOSSEL: It lost $700,000.
O'REILLY: The marina lost…
O'REILLY: Because why would you have a boat in Stockton when you can't go nowhere?
STOSSEL: Well, almost any city.
O'REILLY: There's no ocean there.
STOSSEL: Even if they were on the ocean. If the government runs it, it loses money.
O'REILLY: Do they have corruption in Stockton or pollution?
STOSSEL: Mainly the big government was the complaint. High unemployment.
O'REILLY: The people running the show are stupid.
STOSSEL: And high unemployment. Arrogant and stupid.
O'REILLY: Arrogant and stupid. That's not a good combo, is it?

According to Google, Stockton's just fine for the barge:

"It's been a busy six months for our barge and it's grown tired of all the attention, so we are moving it to Stockton where it can have a break, enjoy the city's delicious asparagus and warmer climate, and get a bit of rest before its next chapter."

The Port of Stockton is located on the Stockton Deepwater Ship Channel 75 nautical miles east of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Stockton grew from a small settlement to a thriving commercial center during the California Gold Rush when, like other communities, pioneer residents discovered that serving the needs of prospectors was often more profitable than seeking gold.

Let's see what O'Reilly says.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Time to chew on proposed food nutrition label changes: How to comment

If people are hungry to be heard about food labels, now's the time.
By Tuesday afternoon, 42 people bit at the opportunity to post official online comments about the Food and Drug Administration's proposed update for Nutrition Facts labels for packaged foods, the first major change in 20 years; 11 commented about proposed changes to serving sizes.

Proposed nutrition label
One commenter called for labeling genetically modified foods; another demanded plainer language.

The official comment period opened Monday and continues until June 2.

Much was written in the past week about the proposed changes, which, the FDA says, "reflect the latest scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. The proposed label also would replace out-of-date serving sizes to better align with how much people really eat, and it would feature a fresh design to highlight key parts of the label such as calories and serving sizes."

The LA Times, in an editorial that drew only four online comments, called the proposal a "mixed bag," and warned, "Once labels say that 20 ounces of soda is a single serving, consumers might start thinking of that as a standard, reasonable size. They shouldn't."

First lady Michelle Obama, announcing the proposed changes, said, "Our guiding principle here is very simple: that you as a parent and a consumer should be able to walk into your local grocery store, pick up an item off the shelf, and be able to tell whether it’s good for your family. So this is a big deal, and it’s going to make a big difference for families all across this country.”
Many stories didn't have instructions for readers on how to comment because the official comment period wasn't open when the stories were published. It is now.

If you want to be heard, the FDA says:

For comments to be considered, they must be submitted to regulations.gov or sent by mail to the address below.

The docket for the proposed rule will open Monday, and you can enter comments by going to www.regulations.gov and entering in the “key word” box the docket numbers below:

To comment on the Nutrition Facts label: FDA-2012-N-1210

To comment on the changes to the serving sizes: FDA-2004-N-0258

To comment by mail, send written comments to Division of Dockets Management, Food and Drug Administration, Room 1061, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852. Make sure that the docket number is written at the top of each page of your comment.