Don't worry, KRQE—even the Times is dead wrong, sometimes. A few weeks ago, “Thin Line” chalked up News 13's premature report of Joe Skeen's death to the station's need to be the first to report the story, and we still think the gaffe made the station look pretty stupid. But they might feel better to know that lots of news outlets have a hard time discerning if their subjects are dead or not. Last week, we received a copy of an internal memo sent to employees at the New York Times, chiding writers to verify cause of death in an obituary to avoid running an obit on someone who isn't dead.
I am always amazed at how high emotions can soar in this town over public art controversies. These are after all, essentially matters of individual taste and carry at most symbolic importance.
Christmas is the season for giving. At the first Yuletide, gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh were presented to a child in a manger. Two thousand years later, the tradition has evolved—there weren't too many folks receiving frankincense or myrrh last week—but gold is still a favorite followed closely, apparently, by bronze statues.
Dateline: Finland—Hard economic times have reached as far as the North Pole, where even Santa has been forced to lay off his elves. SantaPark, a tourist attraction near the Arctic Circle 520 miles North of Helsinki, has accumulated $550,000 worth of debt in its five years of operation and has been forced to lay off many of the elves staffing its carousel, souvenir stands and restaurant. While business is booming in the surrounding wilderness known as Lapland—home of the nomadic, reindeer-herding Lapps—SantaPark has seen visits decline. Tourism officials in Finland expect a new December record of more than 100,000 foreign visitors. Such numbers have not helped SantaPark, however, which has been accused of overstaffing and mismanagement.