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Sunday, March 26, 2023
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: When in doubt, it'll be north to Alaska

Editor’s Notebook: When in doubt, it’ll be north to Alaska

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Some years back, my father hipped me to the ArcticCam, a livestream of the weather conditions in Fairbanks, Alaska, as captured from the offices of that city’s daily newspaper, the News-Miner.

Always fun to see Alaska at the time of year when there’s daylight at midnight or (perhaps less fun) when it’s dark outside at 3 p.m. And it’s perpetually interesting to see that, no matter how much snow is piling up, there usually is a crowd at the bar that sits across the street from a the newspaper.

(A bar directly across from a news organization? Par for the course …)

Anyway, and before you get the idea that I’m thinking about leaving my well-worn Sun Gazette perch, I’m not (voluntarily, at least), I happened to come across a job listing for a page-layout editor at the News-Miner. The job appears not have been outsourced to Rangoon or Bratislava or Manila, as many similar ones have. (Not here; Dave and I have page-layout duties on top of everything else.)


There was no salary listed, but the requirements include knowledge of InDesign and Photoshop. Do I know InDesign and Photoshop? Is the pope Catholic? (Well, with this one you never can be too sure, but I digress ….)

Boy howdy, relocating from Northern Virginia to the wilds of Alaska would be a culture shock. But you never know where the world will take you.

PUTTING POLICE-BEAT ITEMS TO SONG: Anyone remember “Third Rock from the Sun”? Not the TV show, although that was great, but the country song by Joe Diffie (RIP, big guy).

It told the tale of a group of teens on a joyride who started a chain of improbable coincidences that had the townfolk ultimately believing an alien invasion was under way. Fun times.

I thought about that song in reading an item from this week’s Vienna police beat, which seemed like it could have been lifted from one of the stanzas.
I’ll copy the item (as written up by our own Brian Trompeter) below, and below that will link to the song.

A dump truck with the roll-over bar extended backed out of a construction site in the 200 block of Elm Street, S.W., on May 2 at 3:32 p.m., and as it began to drive away, the bar snagged electrical lines, Vienna police said.
The lines severed the utility pole and the electrical wire fell to the ground, causing a fire on a lawn. The Vienna Volunteer Fire Department and Dominion Energy immediately responded, police said.

Police issued the dump truck’s driver a summons charging improper backing.

– Scott McCaffrey

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