Media only making things muddier

Media only making things muddier By Ruben Navarrette Jr. February 14, 2018 Photo: Michael A. Schwarz /Bloomberg A pedestrian sits at CNN headquarters in Atlanta. Flip between CNN and Fox News and you’ll see broadcasts that have become more partisan. A pedestrian sits at CNN headquarters in Atlanta. Flip between CNN... It’s hard to remember a time when a simple four-page memo caused so much trouble. Depending on how you feel about President Donald Trump, the memo in question — which was compiled by staffers in the office of Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee — is either a smoking gun showing misbehavior by agencies during the Obama administration, or a giant “nothing burger.” The truth is probably somewhere in between. Most Popular 1 Florida shooter used an AR-15 military style rifle 2 Bush to resign from Alamo Trust 3 Royal Blue Grocery plans store on Houston Street downtown 4 Shop like a chef at S.A.’s restaurant supply stores 5 Spurs’ plans still revolve around belief in present For me, the memo — and the frenzied reaction to it by all sides — provides a chance to reflect on how broken our public discourse has become and how the media helped break it. As an opinion journalist, it’s not my job to persuade people to my line of thinking or act as a mouthpiece for either political party. Frankly, both political parties are driven by self-interest and appear to be filled with people willing to lie to cover up wrongdoing. Opinion Ethanol lobby should respect refinery workers’ jobs Trump hates deficits — unless they help rich people The end of the two-party system The Alamo needs saving — again My role is to simplify the complicated, put the news in context, and help explain a crazy world. Yet I can’t even begin that task until I help clear the Continue Reading

Should the Broncos’ home field be called Mile High Stadium? Wellington Webb has an idea for making it happen

Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb has long said he wants Mile High Stadium to be the sole name of the Broncos’ home field. And now that the naming rights are up for grabs, he has an idea to make that happen: Let the fans buy the stadium’s naming rights. The stadium is still officially Sports Authority Field at Mile High — even though the signs came down Jan. 11. Sports Authority disappeared as a business two years ago in bankruptcy. The retailer’s sponsorship agreement with the team was severed in court, The Broncos later assumed the separate naming-rights contract with the Metropolitan Football Stadium District and hired a marketing agency to find a new partner. But Webb says there’s another way to do it. Fans, ranging from average Joes to investment bankers, should be allowed to buy up the naming rights. Additional funds can come through other methods, such as putting names on seats. “I have thought for some time — as I believe many other fans have as well — that the name for the stadium should be Mile High Stadium,” Webb said. “It identifies both the city and the state, as well as the region.” Metropolitan Football Stadium District spokesman Matt Sugar, said the district supports the Broncos in finding a long-term corporate sponsor for the stadium, which was financed by a sales tax. Broncos spokesman Patrick Smyth said the team remains committed to finding a corporate naming-rights partner for the stadium. “We continue to have encouraging conversations with prospective partners.” The NFL standard is for a company to shell out large sums for naming rights. Sports Authority’s sponsorship contract, which expired in 2035, was valued at more than $55.3 million. But Webb is undeterred, pointing to the Green Bay Packers, a team that is owned by thousands of shareholders. Webb didn’t take the idea directly to the Broncos, saying the team won’t buy in. But Continue Reading

Sainted: Yes, bad things happen. But …

Sainted On the afternoon of Christmas Day, we were on our way to a family reunion at the Como Conservatory. Coming from I-94, we drove on Lexington Parkway when an SUV coming from St. Paul on University Avenue ran a red light and hit us. Badly. Airbags deployed, glass shattered, wheels bent. Both cars were totaled. But from that dreadful moment on, good things happened. A driver behind us who had witnessed the accident, turned around to help and to serve as witness. The young lady was an exchange student, postponed her dinner with friends and stayed with us for well over an hour, until the tow trucks came. Bless her kind heart. We offer high praise for the St. Paul Police Department, whose officers were exemplary, as if it were a demonstration for the Police Academy: This is how a serious accident is handled properly. The officers were kind and compassionate, comforted us in that bitter cold (it was -4 degrees) and worried again and again if we were hurt. Yes, bad things happen. But there are still many good people who display kindness in those unfortunate circumstances. Claus Pierach, Minneapolis Sainted On Oct. 1, my wife and I celebrated the 40th anniversary of our first date. I wanted to surprise my wife on the date and take her out to a nice restaurant. I’m sure you don’t remember what the weather was like that evening, but there was a terrible storm. Didn’t matter to me; I wanted to go out for dinner. We drove to the restaurant of choice and when we pulled into the parking lot there were no cars and they were closed. Very disappointing and a possible Tainted, but I’m not going to mention who it was. I said let’s head down 94 to Bayport and go to Mallards (formerly Clyde’s). My wife pulled up their menu on her phone and said, “Good, they have salmon,” so we went there. When we pulled into the parking lot, there were only a couple of cars. We went in and at the bar sat the bartender, along with the waitress Continue Reading

How to make it happen

Share Tweet Share Email Comments Print This is the final installment in a three-part series. Universal preschool can make it possible for poor children to catch up, to excel in school, to go to college, and to compete in life. So how do we make it happen? It is largely a matter of political will, and dollars. WATCH: Behind the Editorial on universal pre-K We must build political consensus and, eventually fund a program  that is truly universal — covering every Toledo child and training the hundreds of pre-K teachers we need to train. We will also need classroom space not currently existent. REST OF THE SERIES: The case for universal pre-K | How pre-K changed Tulsa Funding. TPS receives a little more than $13 million a year through Head Start and other early childhood education aid for 1,500 children. According to the experts, based on per student cost of roughly $7,000 per student, it will take $43 million to provide quality preschooling for the remaining 6,000 children in Toledo who are 3 and 4-years-old. One possibility is to start with a pilot program backed with private funds. If the results are as definitive as they should be, city leaders could go to other private sources and the state of Ohio and ask for full funding for the truly universal program.  The ProMedica Ebeid Initiative to address the social determinants of health might be one source for backing a pilot. There is, at the moment, a $50 million fund for that initiative. If $5 million of that were targeted to a pre-K pilot, it could change Toledo. But, there also needs to be a continuous long-term revenue stream, possibly through a tax on sugar and transfats. We have way too many obese people — and children — in Toledo. If we taxed their poor eating habits, we’d help them and provide funding for a preschool program. Admittedly that would be a tough sell politically, and take some major league political courage, similar to when Continue Reading

Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha County has been ‘making Christmas happen’ for 68 years

Sometimes it's the small things that can make a big difference. The Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha County has been helping low-income families make Christmas happen since 1949. The Christmas Clearing Council pairs families in need with organizations, individuals and families who buy Christmas presents for children. "We work with social service agencies who refer the families to us," said Ruth Page Jones, executive director of the organization. "(The agencies include) schools, county health and human services, Lutheran Family Services and Catholic Family Services and Head Start. They know their clients. They help the families fill out the application. Agencies qualify the families for us."The organization had 4,184 children in its program last year, nearly 3,000 received sponsors, another 500-plus received toys from the annual Toy Shop and 644 teens got gift cards. The Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha County started 68 years ago by WAUX radio station and social workers who saw a need in the area. The Waukesha Service Club handled the "Christmas project" for many years until it became so big that it needed its own organization. Jones is in her 12th year as executive director of the organization that runs seasonally. There are several ways local residents can give back. They can sign up to sponsor a family. The deadline for signing up is Dec. 8. Sponsors get in touch with the family to get a "wish list" and have until Dec. 13 to purchase the gifts. The Christmas Clearing Council asks that people commit to spending $75. The Christmas Clearing Council also places red barrels throughout the county where people can donate toys for a one-day Toy Shop on Dec. 16. Families can walk through the Toy Shop and pick out gifts for their children. Instead of gifts, the Christmas Clearing Council gives teenagers gift cards, so monetary donations are welcome as well. "It's hard to collect toys for that age group," Continue Reading

Russell Wilson and Ciara announce they’re engaged: ‘Making this thing happen’

After vowing celibacy until marriage, Russell Wilson and Ciara just inched one step closer to the endzone. The Seattle Seahawks quarterback and seductive “Goodies” singer announced their engagement in a dimly lit, albeit adorable Instagram video Friday afternoon. “She said yes,” Wilson said into the camera. “Making this thing happen.” CIARA REVEALS STRUGGLE TO STAY ABSTINENT WITH RUSSELL WILSON “Yay! I’m so excited,” squealed 30-year-old Ciara, flashing a mammoth diamond. “God is so good.” The 27-year-old football star added in a caption that there was “no greater feeling,” adding, “Since Day 1 I knew you were the one.” Wilson surprised his sweetie with a game of "travel roulette" after Paris Fashion Week, Ciara's rep told People, which led them to celebrity haven North Island in the island nation of Seychelles. He reportedly proposed on the isle's "Honeymoon Beach." Minutes after Wilson's post, his wife-to-be shared a photo of the oceanside proposal, captioning it, "I Feel Complete." Wilson and Ciara began dating last April and quickly filled their Instagram feeds with fawning posts starring each other. The two have also discussed holding off on sex until they tied the knot, a decision Wilson revealed last summer. “What would you do if we took all of that extra stuff off of the table and just did it Jesus’ way?” Wilson said he asked the singer. “If you can love someone without that, then you can really love someone,” he added. Despite their firmness of resolve, Ciara later admitted the waiting was taking a toll. “I’m not gonna lie. I’m human, so it is not easy, especially when I look at him and I think he is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen — that I’ve ever laid eyes on, to be honest,” she told Cosmopolitan Continue Reading

Five cool things happening in ‘Valerian’ star Cara Delevingne’s universe

Even when saving the universe, Cara Delevingne remains a fashion maven.In Luc Besson’s sci-fi film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (in theaters Friday), based on the French comic book, the British model/actress’ galactic operative Laureline wears a variety of different outfits — cosmic desert couture, spaceship lounge chic, alien formalwear — though her favorite is some decidedly functional space armor.“Just because of the fact I could ever say ‘I’m in a spacesuit’ and have it be the coolest thing,” Delevingne says. “It made me feel like I was in another world."We checked in with the 24-year-old star to find out five cool things happening with her.She’s part of a squad of summer heroines.Delevingne loves the fact that Laureline, a leading lady “constantly trying to do the right thing but not caring to speak up for what she believes,” is part of a great group of strong female characters this summer, alongside Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman and Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde.“It’s so much better to have an abundance of them than one,” Delevingne says. “I’m proud to be a woman right now.”Rihanna is one of her favorite co-stars ever.Delevingne became fast friends with the pop star when they met five years ago, telling Rihanna that she'd be a great actress. So Delevingne was glad to share scenes in Valerian with the Grammy-winning singer, who plays shapeshifting alien Bubble. "She is hands-down the most incredible performer I've ever seen," Delevingne says. "I don’t see anyone else being able to play that role. It has this beautiful, wonderful, vulnerable quality to it that she maybe doesn’t get to show as much."It’s great to share soundtrack space with a couple of icons.With the inclusion of her song I Feel Everything on the Valerian soundtrack, you can find Delevingne’s name after David Continue Reading

Redd ‘driven to make things better,’ but did she?

CAMDEN - Dana Redd's supporters, critics and even the woman herself all agree on one thing: She is not a typical politician."Most politicians are interested in having what they're doing known; they promote themselves," said George Norcross, the powerful Camden County Democrat whom Redd credits (along with former state Assemblyman Joe Roberts) with launching her political career."Dana is one of the few people who hasn't done a lot to promote herself and all the good that's occurred under her leadership.""She's very humble," said Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli. "There have been cases where there's a press conference announcing something great for the city, and I almost have to drag her along – promoting herself is not something she's ever done.""I believe in a team, in lifting others before myself," said Redd, who announced on March 29 she would not seek a third term as Camden's mayor. "It's just who I am."Redd's two terms have been marked by tremendous change in Camden: the dissolution of the city police department in 2012, with a county-run police force taking over; billions of dollars in corporate investment, helped along by generous state tax breaks; a construction boom brought on by companies including Holtec International and Subaru moving from the suburbs and massive projects by developers Liberty Property Trust and Brandywine Realty Trust; expansions by longtime institutions Cooper University Health Care and Rutgers University; and a 2013 state takeover of the city's schools, along with an influx of charter and Renaissance schools."There are a lot of good things happening in Camden," said Howard Gillette, a professor emeritus of history at Rutgers University-Camden and author of the 2005 book "Camden After the Fall: Decline and Renewal in a Post-Industrial City.""But there is such a gap between the resources thrown at businesses, with long-term financial consequences, compared with the droplets being offered to the people Continue Reading

Katy Perry goes topless in Rolling Stone but says mixing sex and religion makes ‘bad things happen’

Katy Perry may be cool with stripping down to her skivvies for Rolling Stone, but the pop star says she takes her religion very seriously. Rolling Stone about her fiancé Russell Brand's often dirty mouth and Lady Gaga's "Alejandro" video. "I think when you put sex and spirituality in the same bottle and shake it up, bad things happen.". "It's a secret, direct prayer language to God. My dad speaks in tongues and my mom interprets it. That's their gift." Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

FEMA pulls ‘A Scary Thing Happened’ kids coloring book which depicts Sept. 11 scene of WTC burning

Heckuva job, FEMA.Hurricane Katrina response has yanked a kiddie coloring book from its site called "A Scary Thing Happened" that depicts the burning twin towers on the cover - with a plane heading straight for one of them.White House genius gave New York a 9/11 flashback by buzzing the city with one of the presidential planes and an F-16 jet.Clark Stevens.Meanwhile, New Yorkers who were shown the book saw just one color - red.Jason Owens, 20, of Manhattan, who was with his 3-year-old son. "I feel like I should punch the person who did this in the face."Brooklyn, said she was shocked FEMA would find it inoffensive.Vanessa Bell, 38, of Bronx, said there's no way she'd let her 5-year-old daughter color in that book. "It just makes kids feel depressed," she said.Freeborn County, Minn. - after it was ravaged by a tornado, said Rose Olmsted, a county official.Michael Brown, who became infamous when former President Bush praised him for doing a "heckuva job" even as New Orleans was drowning.U.S. and as far away as Australia - to help them cope.Marlys Jentoft, a 68-year-old grandmother of 10 and a Red Cross volunteer, drew the pictures inside the book.The Smoking Gun, which posted the book on its site, that she did not give much thought to including the 9/11 images. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading