Friday, March 30, 2007

Good readin's

Since today was a travel day, I got to go through several newspapers. Many national journalists claim they read four or five a day, but I don't read that fast. It used to make me feel guilty that I barely ever got through the local newspaper, let alone fill up on USAT, NYT, WSJ, WP, LAT and whatever else the fancy people pretend they read cover to cover. Then I lived in China and had no access to Western newspapers or an unfiltered Internet and realized I could function just fine as a journalist without all that -- and without the guilt.

But I do enjoy reading as much as possible, and today I got to read a lot. A few things worth recommending presented themselves:

* The Las Vegas Sun had a terrific piece by the very talented Kristen Peterson about a crappy downtown motel that got a big facelift and is now going after a boutique-hotel market niche. It's just crazy enough to work; I'm smelling a story in that one for me, actually. Peterson is consistently the best writer on fine arts and architecture in town and deserves more than the back-of-the-insert real estate she is often relegated to.

* The Wall Street Journal, aside from continuing to bring out more damaging information about possibly wrongdoings by Nev. Gov. Jim Gibbons and his wife (dissected on Hugh Jackson's Las Vegas Gleaner site today), had a fascinating center-column piece on miracle fruit -- no, really, that's its name -- from Africa that makes sour things taste sweet. The piece is here but since you can't get it online unless you're a registered subscriber, just go here and read about it on the Eatfoo.Com blog which is written by one of the key sources in the story.

* The Las Vegas Review-Journal's Benjamin Spillman had a good story about a tourism conference focusing on rural Nevada (but held, evidently, in Primm, just outside Vegas.) What amused/fascinated/saddened me about this was the poor soul from the Elko tourism board sort of admitting that the only way to attract, say, Chinese tourists, is to help them pretend like they have business in Elko's gold mines in order to get visas to come to the US&A. The logic was bizarre, but the thrust was clear: There is no legit reason why almost anyone would want to go to Elko for a vacation, least of all overseas travelers. Just give up already and give Vegas your water.

* Jennifer O'Connor of PETA offered a really harsh rebuke of the Iditarod that had me starting out saying "Oh, come on" and ending planning some hard-hitting questions for Vern Halter of Dream A Dream Dog Farm, who showed us dogsledding in Alaska last week, when we get him on The Petcast. Most interesting was her point that the Iditarod would be illegal on animal-cruelty grounds in most other states. (Note: The editorial ran in the R-J but I found it online from a different newspaper. Kudos to the R-J, which is a fairly conservative newspaper, for publishing it even though I doubt the editors agree with it.)


Anonymous said...

right, clearly selling water is the only alternative elko and other counties have to overseas tourism. pardon our lack of political slick... we're just a bunch of honest yokels trying to call the west home.

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