I looked at the cover of The Citizens' Voice and saw a story of immediate interest to me - Marcellus Shale drilling will soon be coming to the vicinity of the reservoirs that supply water to tens of thousands of people in Northeastern Pennsylvania, including the City of Nanticoke.
Drilling companies eye sites near water sources - News - Citizens Voice
This is a big story. An important story. News that people need to know. The story has useful information like this tucked away in it:
To inspect the sites, DEP is increasing its oversight staff from 88 people to 193, and is opening new offices in Williamsport and Scranton, Hanger said. The department wanted to move staff closer to parts of the state where natural gas drilling is new and occurring for the first time, he said.So, hooray for The Citizens' Voice, and hooray for Elizabeth Skrapits, who wrote the article. I thumbed through the rest of the paper, noted an article on solar power that I would get back to later, stopped briefly at the editorial page to read a letter-to-the-editor that made me realize how important the upcoming elections are, and hit the funny pages. Then I turned to the other newspaper, The Times Leader, to see what stories they were leading with. Hmmm, a few national feeds on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Times Square semibombing incident, a new Federal study into the incidents of cancers as they relate to proximity to nuclear power plants, and..oh, here in the center, there's a local story...
"If people see anything that concerns them, we have a Web presence as well as a hot line established with staff to take calls, even on the weekends. We are eager to hear form the public if they see anything that concerns them, and we will check on those concerns," Hanger said.
Drilling permits for the Lake Township site are expected to be discussed at the Luzerne County Zoning Hearing Board meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the commissioners' room in the county courthouse.
The state Department of Environmental Protection has an oil and gas resource page at http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/, including contact information and reports on permits issued and wells drilled.
A virtual harvest: ‘Farmville’ aficionado is outstanding in her online field - The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, PA
I did a double-take. I had to check to make sure I wasn't reading a print edition of The Onion, with an article like "Local Woman Enjoys Playing Farmville."*
I couldn't believe it. I had to read the article. Partly for information - I'm on Facebook but I have avoided learning anything about Farmville, so my primary exposure to it is from the South Park episode "You Have 0 Friends." But also to see...OK, harmless, harmless, harmless. A nice little slice of life story about some lady who has found a way to pass the time. Yay for her.
But...Good Lord, to make this front-page news? That's just...just...
I skipped forward temporally. I would soon be flipping the paper over, opening up the sections to get to the important part, the funnies. Usually the back page of the third section. In color, the whole page. Just like that ad last week, the ad that I momentarily mistook for the funnies, placed on the back page of the first or second section.** A full-page, full-color ad. Expensive.
An expensive, full-page, full-color ad from energytomorrow.org.
You know who energytomorrow.org is. They're the folks who are buying lots of TV ad time - locally, maybe nationally, I don't know - to tell us how wonderful it is to see more domestic oil and natural gas drilling. Telling us to disregard those unpatriotic doom-and-gloom naysayers who warn about potential hazards. Telling us that natural gas is a clean energy source, never mind the processes involved in getting it out of the ground, or the consequences of those processes.
Energytomorrow.org, the propaganda arm of the American Petroleum Institute.
Who recently did a major ad buy in the Times Leader.
Which ran a front-page story on a local woman who enjoys playing Farmville.
While their competitor, the Citizens' Voice, ran a front-page story on potential risks to local reservoirs from the expansion of Marcellus Shale drilling.
IRONIC UPDATE, 5/4/2010: This morning's Citizens' Voice included this cover blurb:
$1.3 billion budget gap?
Whopping $1 billion-plus deficit puts state in bind - News - Citizens Voice
"Senate Appropriations Chairman Jake Corman, R-Bellefonte, predicted the revenue shortfall will reach $1.3 billion by the end of the fiscal year on June 30."But...wherever will we find a sudden influx of cash in such a specific amount?
*I just checked. The Onion doesn't have any articles like that. Apparently that's too banal for them to even see the humor in it.
**Turns out it was actually section C.