Tuesday, 15 April 2014

I read it in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. (Dog bites man) Bleah

I do not subscribe to our local newspaper, partly because I prefer not to waste money on the Sunday paper with its ton of advertising supplements, none of which interest me.  I have often said that "if you do not wish to purchase furniture, and/or you are not interested in sports, then don't get the Sunday paper".

But I do  buy the paper six days a week, putting my 75c (a more than fair price) into a nearby vending machine which I pass as I take Penne for her early morning walk.

There were three headlines (each above the fold) on the front page of today's paper. 

One was about the pursuit by police of a suspected  bank robber - a pursuit which ended in the death of the alleged robber.

Another was a piece about the issues regarding "development" in the nearby City of Venice, with the likelihood of new suburbs, and the concern of local residents.

The third headliner was a stunningly creative and original 2 1/4" headline about some shocking and late breaking news.
It read  "TAX DAY",  the sub headline "Local post offices will not be open for last-minute filers, but you still have options"

Under this was a 4 1/4  x 6 1/2" photo'  of a building which I have longed to see for many a year. Taken last Sunday at daybreak the photo' depicted the Internal Revenue Service Building in Washington D.C.  Oh my - wondrous and creative photography indeed!

I write of course partly in jest, and with my tongue in both cheeks. And I'll warrant that 75% of local papers in the U.S.A. had  similar "fillers (not new items) on their front page.

I cannot jest about the opening lines of the "story" by local writer/reporter John Hielscher. He writes: "Tax Day, one of the most dreaded days on the calendar, has arrived"

"One of the most dreaded days?" This is either a figment of John Hielscher's imagination, or a piece of lazy journalism, or a ghastly inheritance from President Ronald Reagan who conned the nation in to believing that taxes are bad.

There are many citizens such as I who pay our taxes with civic pride, knowing that in a democracy we all have the privilege of providing the monies to run the government.  Some of us may wish that less of these monies were spent on national defence and "security", and more on health care, education, unemployment benefits and the like.  But we are still pleased to be tax paying contributors for the common good, unlike many of our major corporations and the oligarchs with their wholesale "tax loopholes"

A story in the Business section of the paper also caught my attention. Justine Griffin reports that retail giants Wal-Mart and Costco Wholesale plan to expand organic offerings in an effort to attract a younger demographic to their stores.  She goes on to write that "Millennials live in a world where smaller but more-expensive brands such as Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's rule.

Partial Fail!  Trader Joe's is by no means more expensive. Many of us whether we be millenials or old farts shop there mostly because their prices are so reasonable. I reckon this story to be another bit of lazy or "not-thought-out" journalism.

Of course I will still buy my H-T each morning. Penne wouldn't have it any other way.
P.S.  and for the  record
In 2011 the H-T's Paige St. John won a Pulitzer prize for her investigative series on Florida's Insurance Industry
In March 2014 it was reported that the H-T's  J. David  McSwane had won the 2013 John Jay College/H.F. Guggenheim award for reporting on Criminal Justice matters.

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