Because I felt like it, that’s why

BOSTON (AP) — They weren’t castaways, but like the tourists on Gilligan’s Island, a group of wWhale watchers expecting only a three-hour tour got much more after their boat was snagged by a mooring cable off Massachusetts and they were forced to spendt a long night at sea after their boat was snagged by a mooring cable.

The Boston Harbor Cruises whale watch vessel Cetacea was freed Tuesday and docked at Boston’s Long Wharf shortly after 8 a.m., some 17 hours after the voyage began. No injuries were reported for any of the 157 passengers or six crew members, but a number of people suffered seasickness during the long wait, according to passengers.

The whale watch, one of the most popular summer tourist attractions in the Boston area, came to an abrupt stop Monday afternoon after one of the propellers one the 83-foot passenger boat Cetacea apparently became entangled with a cable that moors large vessels, such as liquefied natural gas tankers, Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Simpson said. Earlier reports said the boat got hung up on a lobster trap rope.

Ken Maguire, who was with his wife and daughters ages 6 and 9, spent a sleepless night on the vessel in choppy seas.

“It was kind of like being on the tarmac on a plane, and it’s not taking off and you are waiting and waiting, except the plane is rocking back and forth,” said Maguire, who lives in Falls Church, Virginia.

He estimated about 20 passengers got seasick. At one point, the Coast Guard brought two paramedics aboard the vessel but there was little they could do to aid people who felt sick.

Divers were brought to the scene about 13 miles offshore Monday night but were unable to detach the cable, and an attempt to transfer the passengers to another vessel was aborted because of the rough seas, he said.

Another team of divers arrived with stronger equipment to detach the cable early Tuesday. The Coast Guard was investigating, Simpson said.

The ordeal was an exciting adventure for Colter Bawden, 8, of Newmarket, Ontario, who was on the whale watch with his parents and sister.

“Well, I really liked it,” he said, “but everybody else got sick because it was too rocky by the waves.”

His favorite part was getting to sleep on the boat at sea, something he had never experienced before.

He also got to see two humpback whales come up and “use their blowholes to shoot out some water.”

Passengers will receive a refund on their $50 ticket, a $100 gift card for a future Boston Hharbor Ccruise and $500 cash for their troubles, said Sheila Green, a spokeswoman for Boston Harbor Cruises.

Maguire said while he appreciated the gesture from the company, the former Boston resident said it was likely his family’s “first and last whale watch.”

Associated Press writer Rodrique Ngowi contributed to this report.


This and that

The boss at the Toledo Blade is sorry, but not really, about that invitation to noted humanitarian Ted Nugent, but the Blade boss wants you to know that Nugent probably isn’t a racist, since Nugent never called Abe Lincoln names. Or something.


Sorry for the Ted Nugent invitation

After hearing from the Toledo branch of the NAACP and the Toledo Community Coalition, and reading letters to the editor in opposition to the Blade-sponsored appearance in Toledo of music star Ted Nugent, I decided to go online to find out more about this performer.

I did this because in fact I knew nothing about Mr. Nugent’s music, his political views, his history, or otherwise. What I learned did not, in my opinion, confirm him to be a racist — he seems to have animus for many different groups equally.

I am sorry The Blade invited him, but Mr. Nugent has appeared twice in Toledo in recent years without causing controversy. Although I will not support inviting him again, in my judgment the very high standard for uninviting him was not met in this case.

I also want to say that calling President Obama a “subhuman mongrel” does not make Ted Nugent a racist, as this kind of personal name-calling against a president of the United States is part of a long tradition of political slander that goes back to the founding of the Republic. Abraham Lincoln was called a baboon.





Corrections & Amplifications

An earlier version of this article incorrectly said Caracas’s Financial Center Confinanzas was referred to as the world’s largest slum. It’s often called the world’s tallest slum.

(Wall Street Journal)


Alpha ’n’ omega o’ the day






Freedom of the press is guaranteed, etc.

The takeaway: 1. If you write something stupid, you can be fired. 2. If you fire someone for writing something stupid, don’t give an explanation that’s even more stupid.


An Iowa newspaper editor fired after publishing his views on homosexuals is claiming he was the victim of religious discrimination by his former employer.

Bob Eschliman, former editor of the Newton Daily News, filed a complaint this week with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission office in Milwaukee arguing that he was terminated May 5 because of his religious beliefs. If the dispute isn’t resolved to Eschliman’s satisfaction, he could sue in federal court to seek financial damages.

In late April, Eschliman, 41, a member of Christian Reformed Church of Newton, wrote a personal blog post criticizing the “Queen James Bible,” a website that rewrites the Christian Bible to be friendlier to gays. Eschliman accused “the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo” of trying “to make their sinful nature right with God.”

Jim Romenesko, who hosts a widely read online blog about the news media, reported on Eschliman’s post and questioned whether Eschliman, in light of his publicly stated views, would be able to fairly cover issues involving gays.

Shaw Media, a Dixon, Ill., company, suspended Eschliman with pay and eventually fired him. Eschliman’s attorneys claim that violated his constitutional rights of religious expression. Newton Daily News Publisher Dan Goetz declined to comment Wednesday.

After Eschliman’s dismissal, the Newton newspaper published an editorial by Shaw Media President John Rung.

“Last week, he expressed an opinion in his personal blog that in no way reflects the opinion of the Newton Daily News or Shaw Media,” Rung wrote. “While he is entitled to his opinion, his public airing of it compromised the reputation of this newspaper and his ability to lead it.”

(Des Moines Register)


Thank goodness

One thing that has not changed much in recent years is gravity.

(New York Times)


Today’s non sequitur

As well you should.

As the biggest-selling newspaper in our new company, Local World, I have felt the weight of history upon my shoulders.

(The Sentinel, UK)


That about wraps it up

So what does the Apple-IBM partnership mean for Microsoft, which has a strong presence in the enterprise but is still battling to get its smartphones and tablets into the hands of more business users?

Not all that much, according to some analysts.

(Seattle Times)

OK, then. Let’s move on.


Crash blossoms 2.0


Register (UK)


Someone’s been naughty

(Daily Progress, Charlottesville, Va.) (Page has been removed.)

Boring day



Language lesson

From our neighbors to the north: The difference between a blog. which is apparently dashed off between episodes of real work, and a column, which requires the eloquence and intellect of a Conrad Black.

It has happened a few times: people have referred to my blog as a column. Even a manager here used the “column” word once.

We copy editors being sticklers about word meanings, I feel it is important to point out the difference.

First, this blog was more a diary than anything else in the first few years, which I mentioned in a recent post. It evolved into a blog when it became less about me and more about issues faced by LGBTQ people and others.

But it has never been a column.


Time, really. And the fact that this blog is not my job, but is done in my spare time — of which I don’t have all that much.

Columnists working here — or anywhere else — most often have full shifts to write their pieces. Lots of time to do research, finesse their language. And we have some mighty fine columnists at The Gazette, like Susan Schwartz and Don Macpherson, to name two.

I wish I had that sort of time to write blog items. But most of my blog items are dashed off while I’m doing other things, like right now, between story editing assignments at work. I’ll put this blog entry down while I edit an article for tomorrow’s paper, then go back to it while I wait for the next assignment to land.


So, I have learned to write quickly. Which is why I can’t give you the eloquence and intellect of somebody like Conrad Black, whose style I respect and admire very much. I have to keep it folksy and be content to give you the basics, the framework, of a story, and hope that someone else with more time on their hands can pick up the proverbial ball and run with it — as may very well have happened with the Avery Edison story (which I broke first, she reminds everyone, smiling). The important thing is raising awareness  . . . anyway we can.

(“Jillian,”  The Gazette, Montreal)


13th Amendment latest






Hey, kids! Tell him you checked some facts and discovered that Time Inc., which owns Sports Illustrated, is a for-profit corporation. Then ask if he works for SI for free, too.

(Football Outsiders) Hat tip: Jim Romenesko.



This and that

All good advice (especially not putting “we’ve got the bastard” into an email), but 1. It won’t stop unhappy folks from suing for libel, though it may have some effect on the outcome, and 2. What have you been doing differently up till now? Also, are there “Defamation 2014″ T-shirts?



(Press Gazette, UK)


Today’s stop-press

The New York Times is adding deputy-level editors assigned to increase the volume and quality of its digital product. They’ll sit in each of the paper’s major editorial departments, executive editor Dean Baquet announced in a staff memo obtained by Capital.

They’ll also be involved in training desk staffs in social media and in audience development initiatives on the desks.

The goal is to better leverage Times content across multiple platforms and to “help take the digital report to the next level,” Baquet said.

The announcement comes in the wake of the Times Innovation Report, published in full by Buzzfeed in mid-May, which takes the paper to task for lacking a strong digital ground game and not promoting its content across all platforms.

(Capital New York)


Cut from the top

And now a moment of silence for a fallen cupcakery — a prayer for the Red Velvet Cheesecakes that will never be made, a paean to the empty calories that will never be consumed.

Crumbs Bake Shop, a national chain based in New York with  outlets in 10 cities including the Washington area, closed the doors of all of its stores Monday,  after a cursory announcement, the Wall Street Journal reported.

(Washington Post)


This and that

The prison inmates who put out the San Quentin News may not have their freedom, but they still have their freedom of press. The San Quentin News is the only inmate-produced newspaper in California and has been printed off and on since the 1920s under different names including the Wall City News. It was revived in its current form in June 2008.

(Editor and Publisher)


“Freedom” of the press that’s guaranteed only to those who own one:


SACRAMENTO — The San Quentin News, the inmate-run newspaper at one of California’s most notorious lockups, is being honored by a journalism association at the same time its operations have been suspended by prison officials.

(Los Angeles Times)


Not to quibble, but …

Early in his career, Jose Antonio Vargas wrote two stories on immigration, including one on undocumented immigrants and driver’s licenses while he was also trying to get one. “And that’s when it got really surreal,” he told Poynter in a phone interview.


It was also when Vargas ran into a giant conflict of interest, which went unreported.



Must be a math major

Daniel Waqar, 19 years old, a junior at UNLV and a spokesman for the student government, said students would be sending a letter to Mrs. Clinton asking her to “donate the money back to students.”

“Donating the money back would be an example of her standing for higher education and standing for students,” Mr. Waqar said. The $225,000 fee is enough to award 225 students scholarships of $1,000 apiece, he noted.

Wall Street Journal


“89 years old and he went just like that, from nothing.”


Womack’s death comes as something of a surprise. Though he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease two years ago and overcame addiction and multiple health issues, including prostate and colon cancer, recently, he seemed in good health and spirits when he performed earlier this month at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival.
So, aside from the effects of a lifelong addiction to drugs, multiple health issues, Alzheimer’s, prostate cancer and colon cancer, he mysteriously dropped dead, just like that.

Oh, shut up

“Tibetan Peach Pie” is not an autobiography, Robbins is quick to proclaim, but it’s filled with “absolutely true stories I’ve been telling the women in my life … over many years.” It’s episodic, sort of in chronological order, and starts with his boyhood in Appalachia during the Great Depression. The tales bounce around to his years in the Air Force, college in Virginia and his ascent to the bohemian side of life, from beatniks to hippies to what-have-you. He even spent some time as a newspaper copy editor, which didn’t hurt him much.

(Houston Chronicle)