National budget 6.7.10

Staff reports

GateHouse News Service National Budget

For 6/7/10 editions

Contacts: Lisa Glowinski, (217) 816-3343,

- Michael Toeset, 630-348-3356 (office), 630-835-8870 (mobile),


WAKE UP CALL! Health concerns in the Gulf

FIRST IN PRINT: How newspapers are incorporating the new strategy


NASCAR PAGE: Michigan race a barometer of success

JULY HOW-TO PAGE: Learn about new credit card rules and how they affect you

NIE PAGE: Give kids a summer reading challenge

-- NOTE: This is the last NIE page for the summer. It will return weekly when school starts.

READER CALLOUT: Get readers' memories on the first day of summer


GULF OIL: Volunteers clean Louisiana beaches in advance of shorebound oil -- On Saturday, BP and the Gulf Response Involvement Team organized a pre-landfall cleanup along a Louisiana beach to remove existing trash. Debris and trash that collects on the shorelines can potentially get covered in oil and make the cleanup of these natural areas even more complicated. From the Southwest Daily News.

-- More on the oil spill from GateHouse News Service

BLAGOJEVICH CONTENT: Looking for photos, 'toons and more on former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich? Check out these links.


HEALTH WATCH: Teaching teens the importance of CPR -- Weekly health rail, with a new website to teach teens CPR, how to add cross-training to your workout, trampoline safety tips, and more.

GREENSPACE: Container gardening can be complicated -- Container gardening is a bit more complicated than the old dig hole and plant. Your plants will need special care, especially on the watering end. By Jim Hillibish of The Repository.

KENNETH KNEPPER: The common denominators of vacationing -- Now that the first leg of my family’s annual summer travel is complete, I can reflect on a few things we might consider changing before the next trip out of town.

JULIE FAY: Chocolate milk and bumpy slides don't go together --  All the kids in my son Timmy’s preschool class have been great pals for months. With the school year winding down, a few moms organized an all-class picnic and play date at the park this past week.

JEFF VRABEL: South Carolina gets offensive again - As a rule, I try to avoid revisiting topics, unless of course the topic is me, but we return this week to South Carolina, where, against the well-chiseled laws of human decency and basically physics at this point, politics IS EVEN MORE AWESOME THAN BEFORE, and by "awesome" I mean "there's more fat sweaty racists than there used to be."

SHOESTRING LIVING: Summer travel on the cheap - This time of year, we all hope to steal away. Warm weather inspires our sense of adventure as much as it enables our ability to relax. Like most things in life, the problem lies within the budget, as travel is costly no matter what season we’re in. While I might not be able to get you to Aruba on a dime, here are some things to consider when planning for some R and R this summer. By Molly Logan Anderson.

SUMMER SKIN: Here's how to save your skin this summer - Warm weather is finally here - the perfect season hikes, picnics and the pool. However, poisonous plants, insects and harmful ultraviolet sun rays potentially could postpone your summer fun. Here are a few tips for keeping those summer "bugs" at bay. By Sara Browning.

POP CULTURE: Unloading a few everyday annoyances - Writing a humor column can be fun, but there’s a downside. To make room in my brain for the happy stuff, negative thoughts and pet peeves pile up over time. By Dennis Volkert.


BOOK NOTES: 'Insignificant Others,' by Stephen McCauley – Review by Rae Francoeur.

MICHAEL DOUGLAS: Michael Douglas revels in the role of the rascal - Michael Douglas is no stranger to iconic characters. He’s reprising financial shark Gordon Gekko from “Wall Street” in the upcoming sequel. Douglas is also rumored to be playing Liberace in a biopic about the flamboyant performer. It is, however, his role as a flawed and fallen car magnate in “A Solitary Man” that gets him really excited. By Ed Symkus.

SAD SONGS: Jessica Lea Mayfield on the road with sad songs -- Just 20 years old, Jessica Lea Mayfield already has done four European concert tours and two more in the United Kingdom. “As far as being well known, it depends on where I am,” she said. “My shows are super-packed, sold-out in some places. Others, hardly anyone shows up.” By Dan Kane of The Repository.

ALBUM REVIEW: The Henry Clay People, 'Somewhere on the Golden Coast' --  On their new album, “Somewhere on the Golden Coast,” The Henry Clay People have honed their ability to hold onto classic influences while plowing headlong into the future with a clean, literate, joyously noisy sound that bodes well for the direction of rock ’n’ roll — if we’re lucky. By Peter Chianca.


GRANLUND CARTOON: Library budget cuts

WENDY MURPHY: Overemotive spouses may suggest unhealthy marriage -- Sandra Bullock had a habit of always using superlatives to describe her husband. Tom Cruise is the same way about Katie Holmes, which is partly why lots of folks think the marriage is just too strange to be real.

LORETTA LAROCHE: 'Blurring' making it harder to tell stores apart -- Retail certainly is becoming convoluted. You can go to the grocery store to get a prescription filled, and you can go to a pharmacy to buy food. Retail consultants say you need to enable customers to get what they want when they want it, but I often find myself feeling overwhelmed and somewhat disoriented as I shop.

PETER COSTA: It's time for dreaded performance reviews -- Annual performance review time is here, and creative types everywhere are dreading them. Imagine giving a review to Leonardo da Vinci. “Leonardo, your portrait, which you call La Gioconda or the Mona Lisa, is beautifully rendered but we think you could have done more with the smile.”


AUTO BITS: What you should know about credit before you go car shopping - Weekly auto rail, with tips on car-buying and credit, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.

ON COMPUTERS: Be sensible about pervasive sensors --  Sensors are a way of life as tech inventors focus on ways to monitor things. It’s a growth industry. We now have sensors almost everywhere we have electronics gear. The most obvious is in our vehicles, with their dreaded “check engine” lights. Windows 7 has more sensors than anything before it. By Jim Hillibish of The Repository.

CHECKOUT LANE: Tips for buying lobster -- Lobster season is officially under way, and the crustaceans tend to be inexpensive at this time of year. By Lana Lagomarsini of The Patriot Ledger.

PAUL A. EISENSTEIN: Saab reborn in style -- The 2010 Saab 9-5 is the car that almost wasn’t. And what a shame that would have been.