Friday, September 17, 2010

Can't let this one go by

The University of Hannibal.

Oh yeah.

Personally, I think "The University of Jesus Christ at Hannibal" would have been better. Then there would have been opportunity for unlimited branch campuses.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Going on the Shelf

I am putting this blog on hiatus for a while. I have taken a new job that is going to occupy my attention completely for the next six to twelve months at least, and I simply won't have the time to think about "All the News." I'm not saying I will never pick up the thread again, but I really don't know when it will a few words of at least temporary valediction.

I started this blog four years ago with the idea of doing a little media criticism and having a little fun. I have done both, and although my postings have never been regular, I hope they have been regularly enjoyable or thought-provoking or both.

For the past year, I have been living in Bowling Green, Kentucky, a city of 55,000 in a county of 108,000, and thus a good city to compare to Quincy -- a bit larger and with a bit more economic vibrancy, but similar in many ways. And let me just say, reading the Bowling Green Daily News for a year has made me appreciate the Quincy Herald-Whig a lot more. The Whig is better designed; it has better photography; and it covers local politics, schools, and law enforcement with more regularity and thoroughness. Those of you who thought that the wheezings of Oliver North and Walter Williams were the nadir of editorial commentary should take a look at the Daily News's lineup -- North and Williams would be right-of-center moderates in that crowd.

Oh, the Whig has its shortcomings, and I have gleefully pointed them out over the last few years. Its copy editing has been spotty -- I think personnel turnover had a lot to do with that -- and its "build more roads" editorial drumbeat gets tiresome (in a time when state and national governments are running gigantic deficits, is it really wise to push ahead with four-laning Highway 36?). I too get tired of the GREDF-worship, although not to the mouth-foaming degree that other bloggers do. While in Bowling Green, I have appreciated the Daily News's locally written, genuinely credible book, restaurant, and movie reviews. That's an area where the Whig falls short. The Daily News also regularly publishes the Health Department's restaurant inspection reports, with scores, and includes the sale price on its real estate transfers, so that consumers can tell for themselves how the market is doing instead of having to rely on the vested-interest comments of the real estate association. But overall, the Herald-Whig is a local paper that Quincyans should appreciate. It does a pretty good job with a staff that is smaller than it should be.

I used a pseudonym when I started the blog because I have friends and professional acquaintances among the local media, and I didn't want them to feel uncomfortable around me, knowing that I was making critical and occasionally snide comments about their work. Stepping out from behind the curtain (thin as it was), let me just commend those people who are on the front lines of news production -- whether they work for the Whig,, WGEM, KHQA, the Courier-Post, WTAD, or the other various outlets. Keeping people informed is a thankless, unending job, and in today's media world it has become less economically secure. Yet they persist, not because it pays well, Lord knows, but because they love what they do and they recognize its importance. They compete (usually fairly); they squabble (sometimes justifiably); but collectively they engage in an enterprise that is critical to our successful functioning as a society. My hat would be off to you if I were wearing one.

Quincy was my home for seventeen years, and I cherish the idea that it might someday be my home again. I love the town and many people in it. It too has its faults (smug provincialism, resistance to outsiders, and racial tone-deafness are three that I would mention), but all localities have their faults. Quincy has been the scene of the happiest moments of my life so far, and I thank it for that. Best wishes to you all.

Steve Wiegenstein

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

I am pausing today to think about the uncle I never met, Mike Wiegenstein, lost in the vicinity of the Indonesian island of Morotai aboard USS Seawolf (SS-197) with 61 of his shipmates and 17 Army passengers, October 4, 1944. Seawolf received 13 battle stars during its years of service, and my uncle served aboard it from its first embarkation in the autumn of 1940.

Pausing and reflecting and praying that humanity may someday find the means to avoid such sacrifices again.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

My Morning What-the

"The Quincy Public Library’s monthly Foreign Flicks series will continue this month with a Russian film" . . . "The film title can be found on the library website,, or by calling 223-1309, ext. 207."

Oh, come on, you sly librarians. Just a hint? One little hint?


It's "The Italian."

And here I thought that it was going to be a dirty word or double entendre that kept them from putting in the paper. Or maybe it "the Italian" a euphemism for something? "Come on, baby, let's do the Italian!" "Hey, get your Italian out of my face!" "My first wife was mean, but boy, what an Italian she had."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Things to Love

1. A weird photo of a college freshman in a green bodysuit interrupting an evangelist named Bro at the University of Missouri, posted without explanation on page 3.

2. Efforts to have Quincy named a "Fiber City." I see definite cross-promotion possibilities with All-Bran here.

3. An enormous photo of the pollen-gorged stamens of a flowering crab. Hey, those are sexual organs, people! I thought this was a family paper.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Yeah, That Ought to Work

"Missouri would assert its sovereignty and reject various federal policies under a proposed constitutional amendment given preliminary approval Wednesday by the state House."

On second thought, maybe they should ask Jefferson Davis how that idea went over last time it was tried.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

That open forum wasn't so scary, now was it?


"Jeff Kerkhoff talked about Grover Cleveland's impact on the country as president and Vince Shaw complained about the length of time it is taking the R.L. Brink Company to finish work being done on Oak Street."

Hot topics both.