Saturday, October 5, 2013

Another South Hadley Public Library Construction Update

Bricks for Books

Other South Hadley Public Library posts:
Construction update.  (8/13/2013)
Excavation underway.  (5/17/2013)
All About the South Hadley (Mass.) Public Library: current and future.  (11/22/2011)

Library Shortchanged $138,000 During Past 7 Years

Photo source:  Yelp

Library Board Approves Budget Amid Taxing Concerns. (WGIL, 10/3/2013)

ExcerptThe Galesburg Public Library Board of Trustees is exploring options when seeking tax money reportedly owed to them by the City of Galesburg.

During the Library's Finance Committee meeting last week, it was discussed that an apparent shortfall was noticed in revenue generated through the Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax.

The Library Board says it is entitled to 12 percent of the City's total receipts of revenue brought in from the tax.

City of Galesburg 2013 budget

Related post:
Galesburg Public Library looks at a bare-bones budget.  (8/21/2010)

Billings Public Library Bookmobile Service

The bookmobile on Facebook.

According to the Institute of Museum and Library Services'  Public Library Services in the United States Survey, there were 606 bookmobiles in operation in 2010.  (Latest year for which figures are available nationally.)  Two operated in Montana.
That number has now increased to 3:  Ribbon-cutting celebrates Lewis & Clark Library bookmobile. (Helena, Montana: 11/13/2012)

The Great Falls Public Library bookmobile operates 2 days a week.

Kurt Schiller Sees the LIght

He campaigned for State Treasurer saying that he would eliminate this constitutional office.   Now he believes it can continue to play an important role in state government.

Unfortunately, he did not deliver this statement in person at an October 3rd public hearing called by the Assembly Committee on State Affairs.

Related posts:
State Senator Jon Erpenbach: state trust fund loan program benefits us all.  (9/24/2013)
Encourage your state legislators not to co-sponsor this proposed constitutional amendment. (7/18/2013)
On the one hand, the Journal Sentinel editorial board supports elimination of the Secretary of State and State Treasurer; on the other hand, the BCPL Trust Fund is crucial.  (7/9/2013)
Current proposal to eliminate Wisconsin's Secretary of State and State Treasurer leaves Board of Commissioners of Public Lands with one current officer.  (7/9/2013)
$24 Per Child: "Enough to Put a Book in the Hand of Every Youth in Every District".  (4/9/2013)
Too Late (in this Session) for Assembly Joint Resolution 26?  (2/27/2013)
Board of Commissioners of Public Lands biennial report/summary of Common School Fund assets ("Annotated").  (12/2/2011)
Board of Commissioners of Public Lands news release: $3.8 million for projects across Wisconsin.  (8/3/2011)

Reading Your Way to Better Social Skills

For Better Social Skills, Scientists Recommend a Little Chekhov. (The New York Times, 10/2/2013)

Excerpt:   It found that after reading literary fiction, as opposed to popular fiction or serious nonfiction, people performed better on tests measuring empathy, social perception and emotional intelligence — skills that come in especially handy when you are trying to read someone’s body language or gauge what they might be thinking.

Good Reads:  Literary Fiction.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Legislators Hear a Wide Range Opinions at Common Core Public Hearing

Not all of them well-informed.  Wonder which side is bending the ears of Farrow and Thiesfeldt?

My guess is this uniformly positive testimony is not music to their ears.  (Wheeler Report links from 10/3/2013)

Supporters defend Wis. Common Core standards.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 10/3/2013)

Listening to their masters' voices, demanding another political football to kick around:  Tea party members sent Wisconsin lawmakers a letter calling for an investigation into the standards. Republicans who control the Legislature responded by creating Senate and Assembly study committees. Republican Gov. Scott Walker has weighed in as well, saying he wants to see tougher standards than Common Core.

It's called "pandering to the base".

In summary.

The Decatur Public Library Tightens Its Belt

As of Sunday, October 13, the library will closed at 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday.  Sunday hours are eliminated.

Layoffs, reduced hours help library cover budget shortfall.  (Decatur Herald Review, 10/3/2013)

A total of 6 employees have been laid off since August:  3 professional librarians and union employees.

Related articles:
Decatur Illinois & the double whammy of falling home values and reduced tax revenue.  (6/4/2013)
The Atlanta housing meltdown continues. (2/2/2012)
Housing Prices Continue to Fall in Major U.S. Cities. (1/25/2011)
On the basis of this trend, urban libraries will certainly be tightening their belts again next year.  (12/28/2010)
The property tax domino effect (Atlanta metro area). (12/27/2010)
National League of Cities research brief on America's cities.  (10/7/2010)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I Heard Tell on NPR Today That Cathy McMorris Rodgers Sez Republicans are United

Thank you, R. D. Taylor.

Photo credit:  Wikipedia

Fallout for G.O.P. Candidate Where Shutdown Pain Is Acute.  (The New York Times, 10/2/2013)

So, blah blah blah, Cathy, how do you explain this?   Presumably mindful of the political reality in their battleground state, four Republican House members from Virginia — J. Randy Forbes, Scott Rigell, Frank R. Wolf and Rob Wittman — have broken ranks and called for a vote to finance the government with no policy strings attached, which would end the shutdown.

As Republican Conference Chairman, we completely understand your need to be a parrot.

Meet Scott (E.) Suder, Mr. Job-Hopper

Former lawmaker at center of sportsmen's grant controversy steps away from PSC job.  (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 10/3/2013)

He started out the year in the State Assembly.

Then in late August, he announced that he had accepted a position with the Public Service Commission.

And now.....and now....there's this news release from the Wisconsin Paper Council.  They have a new lobbyist!

Based on the 4th paragraph of the news release, I gotta think that the Wisconsin Paper Council folks haven't been keeping up with the news.

Another Special Election: Who's Going to Be Running in the 82nd Assembly District?

Public Service Commission news release. Chairperson announces State Representative Jeff Stone as incoming Division Administrator for the Division of Water, Compliance, and Consumer Affairs.  (10/3/2013)

Jeffrey Stone, in his own words.

Wearing out a path.  (Follow-up.  Actually, as I later learned, Stone is taking the job that Scott Suder forsook.

Public libraries in 82nd Assembly District
Franklin Public Library
Greendale Public Library

Stone won the seat handily in 2012.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wisconsin Public Libraries Provide Online Access to Affordable Care Act Information

Wisconsin public library links
Appleton Public Library
Baraboo Public Library
Brown County Public Library
Germantown Public Library
Jefferson Public Library
Kimberly-Little Chute Public Library
Madison Public Library
Marathon County Public Library
Monona Public Library
River Falls Public Library
Wyocena Public Library

No claim to comprehensiveness.

The Gomerosos (a.k.a. "The Band of Republicans Standing Their Ground")

With the lead vocalists Phil Gingrey and Steve King.

The group includes 18 white and 1 Hispanic men; 1 white woman.  Not exactly a rainbow coalition.

Most of them can afford to be intransigent.

Staunch Group of Conservatives Outflanks the House Leadership.  (The New York Times, 10/1/2013)

Print headline:  "A Committed Group of Conservatives Outflanks the House Leadership".

Committed?  Well, we can only hope.  (Sense 1b)

For this, too.

Required by the State Legislature to Cut Its Ties with WiscNet, UW System to Develop Its Own Network

UW System announces its own network will replace WiscNet. (Wisconsin State Journal, 10/1/2013)

UW is setting up its own network, to be designed, operated, and managed by UW-Madison's Division of Information Technology.   The transition is expected to take 14-18 months at a cost $33,000,000, which is $13,000,000 more than if it had been allowed to remain a member of WiscNet.

Possible sticking point.  The System plans to ask legislators for an extension from its deadline to end their relationship with WiscNet to ensure an easy transition from one network to another.

UW Network Proposed Design and Estimated Cost

Related posts:
WiscNet: Where cooperation, collaboration, connection, and community are the primary benefits.  (7/9/2013) 
Bill Esbeck's day of wrath.  (12/19/2012)
Rep. Robin Vos pushes back hard on WiscNet deadline extension and WSTA eats it up.  (2/1/2012)
Telco point/WiscNet counterpoint.  (12/21/2011)
BCCB lawsuit update from UW-Extension.  (9/17/2011)
More of the same from telcos in broadband dispute.  (8/21/2011)
Access Wisconsin Lawsuit:  Today's discovery @ Wisconsin Circuit Court Access.  (8/10/2011)
Lester Public Library Director sheds some light on WiscNet.  (8/10/2011)
About the Access Wisconsin lawsuit.  (8/5/2011)
Case summary with names of defendants' attorneys.  (8/4/2011)
An example of how advocacy works.  (7/31/2011)
From Peter C. Anderson's Court Official Calendar for Dane County.  (7/24/2011)
Lawsuit update and summary.  (7/22/2011)
Judge Anderson denies UW broadband restraining order.  (7/21/2011)
Plaintiffs v. Defendants.  (7/20/2011)
Telcos whine while Wisconsin falls behind.  (7/20/2011)
Access Wisconsin news release.  (7/19/2011)
LRB clarifies WiscNet veto. (6/30/2011)
WiscNet:  Moving Forward.  (6/30/2011)
Walker's WiscNet veto:  What does it mean?  (6/27/2011)
Rest assured they'll be more fights in this battle.  (6/24/2011)
Wisconsin Senate passes budget.  (6/17/2011)
Amendment update.    (6/16/2011)
Assembly passes budget at 3:05 a.m.  (6/16/2011)
Wispolitics budget blog.  (6/15/2011)
Wisconsin ranks 43rd for broadband Internet coverage.  (6/15/2011)
Ron Kind news release.  (6/15/2011)
Assembly 8.  (6/15/2011)
Highest level alert.  (6/15/2011)
This is what democracy looks like.  (6/15/2011)
WSTA's day of disappointment.  (6/14/2011)
They can hear us now.  (6/14/2011)
Appleton Post-Crescent editorial.  (6/14/2011)
YouTube video.  (6/14/2011)
Hedberg Public Library promotes WiscNet.  (6/14/2011)
League of Wisconsin Municipalities press release.  (6/14/2011)
UW General Counsel opinion.  (6/13/2011)
Ars Technica WiscNet coverage.  (6/13/2011)
Wausau Daily Herald editorial.  (6/13/2011)
If your representative is Robin Vos...   (9/13/2011)
Baraboo School Board unhappy with JFC WiscNet action.  (6/13/2011)
WiscNet debate from the NE WI prospective.  (6/12/2011)
David Weinhold letter to editor.  (6122010
Rep. Moelpske's statement. (6/11/2011)
COLAND letter to Sen. Fitzgerald.  (6/10/2011)
Rhonda Puntney's op-ed piece.  (6/10/2011)
Nass letter to Fitzgerald and Vos.  (6/9/2011)
CINC response.  (6/9/2011)
UW response.  (6/9/2011)
Manna from heaven.  (6/8/2011)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Then and Now: 600 Parker Street, East Longmeadow, Massachusetts

The black-and-white photo was taken during the summer of 1953.  The house in the background, a 3-bedroom ranch with attached breezeway, a popular New England feature, and single-car garage, is where my maternal grandparents, Adolph and Christina Luthgren, lived in their retirement.  I remember their having a huge garden in the back yard.

The little guy is the foreground is me.  "Ya gotta a wedgie there, Dad?" my older son wondered when he saw this photo.
The color photo was taken on September 10, 2013.  I drove past the house twice before realizing that I had found what I'd been looking for.  I assume the breezeway and garage have been remodeled as an all-seasons family room.   As a young boy, I thought the front yard was so big, but then the parsonage in Great Falls, Montana, had no yard to speak of -- front and back.  Nevertheless, it seems as though Parker Street was both widened and slightly relocated at some point in time.

The Last Time I Drove Across Nebraska on I-80, There Was No Such Thing as the Great Platte River Road Archway

1995:  The last time we drove across Nebraska
(Not sure who took this picture:  Jo or Andy?

A Monument to the West That Many Pass By.  (The New York Times, 9/30/2013)

Another one of those booster projects gone awry.    Attendance peaked the first year at nearly 250,000 and has been falling ever since. Last year, fewer than 50,000 visitors strolled through the turnstiles. And although a bankruptcy judge recently approved a plan to relieve the Archway of its final $20 million in debt, its future remains uncertain. Archway officials say the museum could survive through the end of the year, but would need hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars for long-term security.

What most people do. 

Sorry, Sweetie, your lemonade stand is a local issue

Tell Mommy and Daddy to call their alder to see if your town has any bullshit regulations.

The Inexplicable War on Lemonade Stands. (Forbes, 8/3/2011)

Coralville, Iowa. Coralville City Administrator Kelly Hayworth said the city was only trying regulate hundreds of vendors in order to stay up to code with the county health department.

Midway, Georgia.    Police in Georgia have shut down a lemonade stand run by three girls trying to save up for a trip to a water park, saying they didn't have a business license or the required permits.

Appleton, Wisconsin. Because of a new city ordinance, Margi Mann's daughter Lydia could no longer sell her lemonade. And their neighbor couldn't sell her cookies.

Shut Down: All National Parks

Shutdown forces tourists, rangers to leave Wyoming national parks en masse. (Casper Star-Tribune, 10/1/2013)

Excerpt:   Visitors were given 48 hours to exit the parks, and park administrators worked to get backcountry adventurists out as soon as possible. 

More than 520 people spent Monday evening in Grand Teton National Park. More than 515 were booked for Tuesday. Yellowstone had strong numbers in attendance, according to park spokesman Al Nash. 

Yellowstone averages 54,000 visitors in the first week of October, Nash said.

Economic impact.  Cody, Wyoming, stands to lose $4,000,000 each day that the federal government is shut down.

From a time when most of the current Congressional clown caucus wasn't born.

Related post:
The Library of Congress.  (10/1/2013)

Shut Down: The Library of Congress

Sights of the Shutdown.  (Washington Post, 10/1/2013)

Some of what we're unable to use.

$500,000 Endowment Gone, Wyocena Public Library Now Dependent on the Kindness of the Village Board

Wyocena library to stay open, but with shorter hours. (Portage Daily Register, 9/30/2013)

It's been a bumpy ride.   The library first opened its doors in 2005. It owes its existence to the late Olieve Huggett Hiller (1914-1997), who bequeathed to the village $500,000, to be used to start a library. 

The library initially subsisted on interest from the endowment, but in recent years the endowment’s principal has been used for operations. Now that money is gone, Knitt said. 

Village voters in November 2012 defeated a referendum, 262-93, to raise village property taxes to generate $75,000 per year for library operations.

Like the Cheese, Barron County Stands Alone

Map credit:  Wikipedia

Barron County Turns Down Staffing Help For ACA, Pays Overtime For Implementation.  (Wisconsin Public Radio News, 9/30/2013)
Excerpt:   Barron County was the only county in Wisconsin to turn down federal and state funding for extra staff to register people for the Affordable Care Act.

Citizens Against Rising Taxes in Barron County Wisconsin.

May I see your fishing license, please?

Fishing trip underscores close ties between Suder, United Sportsmen. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/30/2013)

A short-lived celebration.   [Scott] Suder, an Abbotsford Republican [wondering if he's taking any calls right now?], went on the Lake Michigan outing with the head of the United Sportsmen of Wisconsin in August, about 2 1/2 months after he engineered money for the grant into the state budget.

Retiring Guy sez:  Once the stink became too much for even the Walker administration to tolerate, the grant was withdrawn a few weeks later.

Related posts:
Joint Finance Co-Chairs Say the Darndest Things.  (9/19/2013) 
Canceled $500,000 grant: it's big news all over except at the United Sportsmen of Wisconsin website.  (9/7/2013)
Wisconsin DNR advisory: Conduct a close expenditure review of the United Sportsmen of Wisconsin's $500,000 grant.  (9/4/2013) 
United Sportsmen of Wisconsin support legislation critical to the interests of its members.  (9/4/2013) 
Looks like United Sportsmen of Wisconsin still  needs office help.  (9/4/2013)
Rep. Al Ott needs to see an otolaryngologist.  (9/4/2013)
United Sportsmen of Wisconsin President Andy "One and Done" Pantzlaff might be looking for office help in the near future.  (8/30/2013) 
When is a DNR grant not a grant?  (8/30/2013)
Rookie donors land $500,000 sportsmen's grant from Joint Finance.  (8/26/2013)

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Doesn't Want You To Read All About This

Excerpt:   Walker in recent speeches has been touting figures from the “Philly Fed,” claiming they show Wisconsin’s economy as No. 2 in the nation. WMC has been using the same number in a series of advertising buys, thanking Walker for putting the state on the road to prosperity. 

But officials with the Philly Fed, who have been following the situation in Wisconsin, issued a statement Friday saying it’s a misreading of their "Coincident Indexes" to try and compare one state to another. 

They say the index — which is comprised of several different economic statistics including housing starts, unemployment claims and wages — isn’t designed as a ranking. The Fed does not calculate a ranking based on the index and never has.

But the WMC wants you to watch them do their thing with Walker.


Have you read the news?

Wisconsin is creating jobs.

Lots of jobs.   Hundreds of jobs.  Thousands of jobs -- so many jobs that the Federal Reserve Bank now ranks Wisconsin in the top 2 states in the country for economic growth.

Governor Walker balanced the budget, lowered our taxes, and invested in worker training.  And now, the Governor's reforms are working, and so are more people in Wisconsin.

Read all about it..

Monday, September 30, 2013

You must watch this video when using the Centreville Regional Library meeting room outside of regular business hours

Centreville Regional Library

Reserve a meeting room

Books Falling Down Everywhere at the Brandon Township Public Library

What they geek
  • running
  • archery
  • cupcakes
  • canoeing
  • wargaming
  • cartwheels
  • gardening
  • bowling
  • reading to children
  • tennis
  • martial arts
  • movies
  • customer service
  • bugs
  • s'mores
  • French horn
  • ukelele
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • yoga
  • genealogy
  • veterinary medicine
  • fishing

Thanks to Bill Mazeroski, the Bucs Went All the Way in 1960, Just as the Song Said They Would

Admittedly, this little ditty is as obnoxious as the Nitty Gritty's "Happy Birthday" song.  But to a boy in Warren PA 16365, who in 1960 embraced the Pittsburgh Pirates in his first full season of baseball consciousness, it was sweet music to my ears.

And go all the way they did!  Winning their first pennant since 1927.

National League

Going on to meet the hated Yankees, American League pennant winners (their 10th in 12 seasons) in the World Series.

Beating the heavily-favored Bronx Bombers in 7 games, thanks to.....

Note the time*.  3:36 on a Thursday afternoon.  Having returned home from school ten minutes earlier, I immediately plopped myself on the living room carpet in front of our only TV, an RCA black-and-white console, well within "you'll-ruin-your-eyes!!" close range.    (*It wasn't until 1971 when the first World Series game was played at night.)

I'm ready for the 2013 version of "Beat 'em Bucs".

A Popular Name Deserves a Popular Song

Linda.  26 years in the top 10, according to the Social Security Administration's Popular Baby Names annual lists.  7 years at #1.

The original version of "Linda".was the 4th most popular song of 1947.

Fresh guy:  "What's your name?"

"Cutie":  "None of your business!"

Fresh guy:  "Pretty name.  I"ll just call you 'Linda'."

"Cutie".  "Well, how did you guess?"

Baby Boomers are more likely to recall the 1963 version by Jan and Dean.  The duo dispensed with the opening dialogue.   The song peaked at #28 in early May.  Not to worry.  They struck gold, and eternal heavy rotation on oldies radio stations, with their next release:  "Surf City"

Related post:
Linda: The Most Popular Girl's Name in the Warren Area High School Class of 1968.  (8/9/2011)

New Casino Marketing Plan: Cannibalize Existing Businesses

"Hi!  And welcome to our instructional video on how to win on slot machines.  My name is Steve Bourie, and I'm the author of the American Casino Guide, which is the #1 best-selling book in the U.S. on the subject of casino gambling and travel."

Retiring Guy notes that 3 copies of the 2013 edition are available in LINKcat:  1 is checked out.  There are no holds.

Midwest casino market draws from more limited pool of gamblers. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/28/2013)

Excerpt:  "Many markets are seeing a point of saturation," [Michael] Paladino [a gaming analyst at Fitch Ratings] said. "New casinos ... are just cannibalizing the existing market."

The United States of Gambling.  (Pew Research, 6/14/2013)

A table ("Gambling Fever") shows the forms of gambling offered in each of the 50 states:  casinos (39), lottery (44), online gambling (3), and "pari-mutuel" wagering (42).

For states, gambling on casinos may be a bad bet. (Pew Research, 7/2/2013)

Excerpt:    Economists Douglas M. Walker and Peter T. Calcagno found that corruption convictions increased after casinos were legalized. But that’s not the whole story. According to their analysis, the corrupting influence of casino interests was at work a year or two before casinos were legalized, too.

The demographics of gambling.

Federal Reserver Bank of St. Louis.  Casino Gambling in America and Its Economic Impacts.  (August 2003)

Excerpt:  An estimated 53 million people in the United States participate in casino gambling. This is equal to 27 percent of the population aged 21 or older. The median age of casino gamblers is 46, compared with a median age of 45 for the U.S. population. However, gambling is most popular among adults aged 51 to 60,  (A group that is now in its 60s.)

Ten years later, not much has changed.  A post titled "The Modern Casino Gambler" at Online Casino Elite (9/13/2013) notes:  We may think of a young party crowd when we think of a casino gambling crowd. But the truth is the average gambler is more mature. 

Retiring Guy has participated in casino gambling just twice -- once in Las Vegas, once in South Lake Tahoe.  And this occurred 23 years ago.

One of my most vivid memories from this trip.  Our son Andy, nearly 3 at the time, offering this observation while we walked along The Strip.  "That McDonald's has sprinkles on it."

The Challenge for the Chicago-Milwaukee Metropolitan Area: Moving from Fragmentation to Cooperation

Gov. Scott Walker endorses Milwaukee-Chicago metroplex initiative. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/27/2013)

Excerpt:   The idea of a Milwaukee-Chicago metroplex might be in its infancy but has influential supporters. It began with a 2012 study from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a global economic think tank based in Paris, which studied the "extreme fragmentation" in the Chicago-Milwaukee region. 

The OECD found a welter of inefficiencies, duplication and jurisdictional rivalries — with Wisconsinites proudly poaching Illinois companies and balking at joint transportation policies — all of which undermine competitiveness in the broader metroplex.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Preview of San Diego's Stunning New Central Library

Central Library: A smile-filled sneak peek. (San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/28/2013)

Excerpt:   But it was a look-only, no-netsurfing preview day, as thousands of visitors waited up to an hour in a two-block-long line for a walk through of the ground floor. The nine-story building at 330 Park Blvd. opens for business at 9:30 a.m. Monday. Library spokeswoman Marion Ross Hubbard said 5,968 people had toured the building up the 6 p.m. closing time, not counting hundreds more who wandered into the auditorium and courtyard, attended the dedication ceremony and enjoyed the two-block street fair.

Related posts:
The new San Diego Central Library: 2 years in 31 seconds. (5/30/2013)
San Diego's old Central Library to close June 9th in preparation for opening of new Central Library.  (5/7/2013)
I'll be able to check out the construction progress next week. (1/9/2013)
San Diego civic leaders remain bullish despite funding shortfall for new Central Library.  (10/17/2011)
An Interview with the Architect of the $185 Million San Diego Public Library. (8/10/2011)
As San Diego builds a new Central Library, mayor proposes to cut hours at all branches in half.  (5/29/2011)
Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 45, San Diego Public Library). (5/29/2011)
Time to Replace San Diego's 1954 Downtown Library? (6/18/2010)

3 by Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman

Rossellini and Bergman’s Break From Tradition. (The New York Times, 9/29/2013)

Excerpt 1: The scandal has long been forgotten, but “Stromboli” — which is being reissued this week in a superb Criterion Collection edition, along with two other Bergman-Rossellini films, “Europe ’51” (1952) and “Journey to Italy” (1954) — now stands as one of the pioneering works of modern European filmmaking. The “strange listlessness and incoherence” that Crowther went on to object to represents a studied reaction to the “well made” movie of the day: the rhythms of “Stromboli” are no longer those of tension and release, of peaks and valleys; its characters no longer the psychologically coherent and clearly motivated figures of popular fiction; its narrative no longer the closed, symmetrical structure of the three-act play.

Excerpt 2: New York exhibitors, though, tried to exploit the film’s notoriety by opening “Stromboli” on 120 screens, plainly hoping to cash in before the word got out that the film was, in fact, a work of great ethical seriousness and profound religious feeling — or, as Bosley Crowther, the Times’s chief film critic described it, “incredibly feeble, inarticulate, uninspiring and painfully banal.” “Europe ’51,” she is the wealthy wife of an American businessman living in Rome; “Voyage to Italy,” she is an Englishwoman visiting Naples with her husband to settle the estate of a relative.

Hong Kong: In Addition to Having the World's Most Expensive Retail Space, Many of Its Residents Live in "Cupboardlike" Cubicles

Have-Nots Squeezed and Stacked in Hong Kong. (The New York Times, 9/28/2013)

Excerpt: Twenty-two men live in this particular 450-square-foot apartment in the neighborhood of Mong Kok, in cubicles each hardly larger than a single bed, stacked above one another along two narrow passageways that end in a dank toilet and shower room. 

Each cupboardlike cubicle has a sliding door, a small television, some shelves and a thin mattress. Most of the men have lived here for months, some for years.

Estimated number of people who live like this:  More than 170,000.

Related post: 
In New York, rents are higher on the sunny side of the street. (9/25/2013)

The Red and the Blue of Government Employment

In Republican States, More Government Jobs. (The New York Times, 9/28/2013)

Excerpt:   Whatever the explanation, the states whose economies are most dependent on government employment and economic activity are also the states that are most likely to vote for Republicans, who generally campaign on promises to reduce the size of government. Consider one measure, the proportion of civilian employees in each state with government jobs, whether federal, state or local. Nationally, the proportion last month was 16 percent, the lowest figure since 2001.

All Aboard the "Breaking Bad" Tour: First Stop Los Pollos Hermanos (a.k.a. Twisters)

Breaking Up With ‘Breaking Bad’ Is Hard for Albuquerque. (The New York Times, 9/28/2013)

Excerpt: Such fan fervor — in this case, impersonating the show’s main character, a chemistry-teacher-turned-meth-cook named Walter White — had become routine. In fact, during one week this month, 117 fans from places as disparate as northern France, the Cayman Islands, Baton Rouge, La., and Kalispell, Mont., signed the hefty “Breaking Bad” guest book perched on the Twisters counter near the soda machine.

Sidebar: Although not a native, Vivian Vance was a founding member of the Albuquerque Little Theater.