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Times Editor Chris Lopez's weblog





Thursday, July 28, 2005

Chris Lopez's blog has moved

Hi. You can find it in our new blog format here:

http://blogs.contracostatimes.com/times_editor_chris_lopez/
Monday, July 25, 2005

This week

The week ahead will be a different schedule for me. I'm in the office all day Monday, then gone Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to San Jose for a Knight Ridder Executive Editor's annual conference. This will be the first time I meet most of the 30-plus Knight Ridder executive editors. Knight Ridder brings its executive editors together once a year to discuss initiatives the corporate office has going and to hear from corporate executives, in particular KR CEO Tony Ridder, on the strategy of the company. This is my first KR executive editor's conference since becoming the Executive Editor and Vice President of News at Contra Costa. Each KR paper faces unique challenges, depending on the size of publication and the location in which the newspaper is based.
Friday, July 22, 2005

Coming Sunday

Some of what of we have coming in Sunday's newspaper includes a profile look at new Oakland Raiders wide receiver Randy Moss. Sports writer Neil Hayes traveled to Moss' hometown in West Virginia and delivers a compelling story on Moss, one of the NFL's most talented players but also an enigmatic character. Let us know what you think.

Sunday commentary

On Sunday, Ari Soglin, the Times' editor for online news and citizen media, will write a commentary in our Perspective section on the mission he's on for this newspaper in changing how we evolve in our relationship with our readers. To get your participation, we've set up this discussion board. Our interest is a back and forth conversation between our journalists and our readers. Join in and let us know your ideas and thoughts.
Thursday, July 21, 2005

Random searches

One of the stories we're developing for tomorrow's newspaper is whether BART should conduct random searches as a precautionary move to prevent events like what we're seeing in London. The city of New York announced today that police will begin conducting random searches of packages and backpacks carried by people entering New York City subways. The BART board is not, right now, considering a similar move. Other major cities, like Boston, are contemplating this type of move. We'll be asking readers to sound off on the issue through a discussion board at contracostatimes.com. Feel free to weigh in by posting on this blog or on our discussion board.

RSS Feeds

We've expanded our menu of RSS feeds to now include headlines from 15 different editions we publish, from our daily paper to our weekly community editions. To learn more, go here.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Local political commentary

Told Lisa Vorderbrueggen, our political columnist, how much insight I gained from her column this morning. It's the type of inside, behind-the-scenes political context that she's great at delivering. If you got a thought on her material or any of our columnists, from Gary Bogue to Joan Morris to Gary Peterson, let us know.

Knight Ridder move

I've mentioned Knight Ridder Baghdad bureau chief Hannah Allam in various posts. She will be leaving Iraq for another assignment in Cairo. A story on her new assignment appears here. Hannah has worked with various Contra Costa Times staff who have been sent to Iraq for reporting duty. We wish her well in her new assignment.

Annoyance

I find it extremely annoying to pull up a blog on our web site or an article and see an advertisement pop up and take up the screen on the item I pulled up. Aaargghhhh! How about you?
Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Feinstein statement

Here is Sen. Dianne Feinstein's statement on U.S. Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. Feinstein comes into play as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Of the Roberts nomination, she said, “The President has named John G. Roberts to become Sandra Day O’Connor’s replacement on the Supreme Court. Now the Judiciary Committee, of which I am a member, will go to work.
Our staff will analyze his record and biography. The FBI investigation will be conducted. Writings and cases will be reviewed. Speeches will be read. All this information will be put together to give members of the Committee a clear background on the nominee.
Then most likely, in September, hearings will begin, and we will have an opportunity to ask questions verbally. That opportunity will be followed up by questions in writing. This process is how Congress exercises its due diligence in carrying out its independent role of advise and consent. This is the process for nominations to the federal district courts as well as for the U.S. Supreme Court.
The U.S. Supreme Court is particularly critical and important. It is the court of last resort and, as such, is the court that interprets and protects our constitutional rights and freedoms. In the case of the Rehnquist court,
we have seen a line of decisions that has limited Congress’ ability to solve many of the social issues of our day by narrowly reading Congress’s authority under the Commerce Clause, the Spending Clause, and the Equal
Protection Clause.
The new justice will be critical in the balance with respect to rulings on Congressional authority, as well as a woman’s right to privacy, environmental protections, and many other aspects of Constitutional law in the
United States.
I generally have a policy of reserving judgment on a particular nominee prior to the Judiciary Committee conducting its review. I will keep my ‘powder dry’ until the due diligence is completed. The extraordinary importance of this position cannot be understated. Now the work begins.”

Roberts bio

The press releases are flying on the Roberts nomination, even before to the President makes the official announcement. Here is bio information on Roberts that is coming from the Committee for Justice out of Washington.
Judge John G. Roberts, Jr., was born in Buffalo, New York, on January 27, 1955. Raised in Indiana. He is one of four children (the only boy, and second oldest). Judge Roberts lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife Jane Sullivan Roberts and their two children.
Prior to his service on the D.C Circuit (often referred to as “the second highest court in the land” and the bench from which
three current Supreme Court Justices came to the Court), Judge Roberts argued 39 cases before the Supreme Court.Judge Roberts was graduated Summa Cum Laude from Harvard University in three years. After graduating from Harvard Law School with high honors and serving as an editor of the Harvard Law Review, Judge Roberts clerked for Judge Henry Friendly on the Second Circuit and later for Justice William Rehnquist at the Supreme Court.
After his clerkships, Judge Roberts served in the Department of Justice and later as Associate Counsel to President Ronald Reagan before going into private practice.
After three years in private practice, Judge Roberts returned to the Department of Justice as Principal Deputy Solicitor General, a position in which he briefed and argued a variety of cases before the Supreme Court.

Bush nominee

We published this story in our Sunday newspaper that gave a closer look at John Roberts, who apparently will be the President's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court. News is breaking prior the President's press conference that Roberts is the pick.

Bush tonight

The latest on the President announcing his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court is here in an Associate Press story.

Today's calendar

My day consists of a morning meeting with our editor for online news and citizen media on developing a timeline for improvements and additions to contracostatimes.com, then a meeting with the Pleasant Hill mayor and his staff on helping promote upcoming Pleasant Hill events. I have other community meetings during the week, including a conversation with Bill Lindsay, the city manager of Richmond. I continue to try to get as much time to get into the various communities we serve to hear about issues, stories and events we can cover. A meeting I'm particularly looking forward to next week is one with executives from John Muir Hospital to hear about their future plans. If you would like to have a conversation on what we're doing, the directions you think we should head in and how we can get involved, let me know.

U.S. Supreme Court

Knight Ridder/Washington is sending out an advisory that a rumor is sweeping Washington that President Bush will announce his nominee to the Supreme Court today. Given that it's already 2 p.m. on the East Coast, it's not a given at all that this will materialize today, but we'll see. In any event, here's a link to a USA Today column on the role bloggers will play once a nominee is named.
Monday, July 18, 2005

Pit bull discussion

Our Page 2 pet columnist Gary Bogue has been writing recently on pit bulls. A discussion on pit bulls is here if you'd like to participate.

Kids who drive

One of the stories we're looking at for tomorrow's front page is about California High School in San Ramon and a new requirement that students who drive to school will have a new requirement when classes begin in the fall — carpooling. We're looking at whether other schools require this, or if this is a novel concept by California High. Another question: How will it be enforced? Interesting concept and worth a look.

Mt. Diablo school district

Reporter Jackie Burrell produced a story Sunday that looked at Mt. Diablo School District and the red flags around its financial accountability. Our readers forum on this topic has been well-received.