Thursday, May 8, 2008

Short Takes ...

TU shortchanges ... I will always have a soft spot for my former employer, The Times Union. It's rightly been the number one newspaper in the Capital District for some time and it's delivered -- literally and figuratively. But I am troubled by the recent very obvious cutbacks. Television listings and news have been greatly diminished. So has the stock market coverage. Columns such as Bill Dowd's take on beers and spirits -- the type of thing that has traditionally put the TU ahead of its competitors and among the best mid-sized papers in the nation -- has been discontinued. I know newspapers, including the local papers, are losing readers and losing money but with the TU changes, it's starting to hit home. And it's sad. ... With that said ... Today's Times Union editorial about the legitimacy of the Democrats' superdelegate system was right on. I am sick to death of the commentators who criticize the Clinton campaign for embracing that as an end game. Superdelegates have been part of the Democratic nominating process for 20 years. Suddenly, because they're all enthralled with her opponent, they are suggesting the Clintons are breaking the rules. Superdelegates voting the way THEY want to vote is part of the rules. In the long run, it may not matter but, as the TU editorial page pointed out, right now, it's perfectly legitimate. Take that, Tim Russert! ... Reluctant kudos ... I agree with the Daily Gazette's Carl Strock on almost nothing. In fact, as a city councilman, he was the only journalist whose calls I would not return. But his column of last weekend discussing Rev. Art Hudak's efforts to get his life back in order. Art hit bottom last year but, with the help of the Schenectady City Mission, it sounds like he's turning a corner and helping others while he helps himself. I've known Art for a few years -- like me, he's past president of the Paige Elementary PTO and he headed up the Woodlawn Neighborhood Association. And, of course, he led the Woodlawn Reformed Church for many years before alcohol changed his life. But, according to Strock, he's working hard to redeem himself and I wish him all the best. And I thank Strock for sharing that good news with us.

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