National budget 6.28.10

Staff reports

GateHouse News Service National Budget

For 6/28/10 editions

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

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


WAKE UP CALL!: How readers can relate to the high court's gun ruling

NICHE SURVEY: Take GateHouse News Service's niche survey by Thursday to help craft 2011's product lineup

SUMMER INTERNS: Download ideas on giving your newbies meaningful work


COUNTRY LIVING: Our new four-page campaign is aimed at rural readers

READER CALLOUT: Have readers send in summer drink recipes


FOURTH OF JULY CONTENT: Including our reader photos callout and ready-made ROP page

ELENA KAGAN: Cartoons, columns and editorials on the Supreme Court nominee


HEALTH WATCH: Broken bone? Take care of your cast -- Weekly health rail, with tips on enjoying summer for the cast-wearing crowd, how to stay injury-free while playing soccer, symptoms of whooping cough, and more.

MILK FOR SALE: Moms warned about buying breast milk online -- The online ad came from a woman in Iowa. But its intended audience might have been anywhere: “I am a healthy mother of 4 looking to sell my extra breast milk. I charge $2 oz plus shipping ... I am non-judgmental. I am just looking for a way to supplement my family’s income.” By Sue Scheible of The Patriot Ledger.

*To localize: Are there any milk banks or La Leche League branches in your area? Include a list of safe local resources for nursing mothers or moms-to-be.*

WAYNE L. WESTCOTT: Workouts ease lower back pain, studies indicate -- Statistics indicate that 80 percent of adults have suffered from at least one episode of lower back pain. But lower back pain is not inevitable, even in a sedentary society in which people are spending more time sitting at desks or slouched over computer keyboards.

FRUGAL FAMILY: Make saving money fun for the family -- If you’re trying for a more frugal lifestyle, how do you get the family on board? Author Rachel Singer Gordon says make saving a game — with prizes. Put the money saved toward something fun, like a vacation. By Saimi Bergmann of The Repository.

VACATION INSPIRATION: Bring home your vacation colors -- The joy of a journey comes from discovering new sights. The colors you see when you travel can pop in ways they never do at home. When you travel this season, take the opportunity to bring back some local color – and apply it to your walls. By Cindy Bailen.

IN THE GARDEN: Compost is worth its weight in brown gold -- Organic gardening means seeing the garden as an interdependent living system whose elements work together. The soil produces the plant that produces the fruit or the flower. The soil needs compost to produce a healthy plant. Compost is organic material that has decayed and can enrich the soil. It is a way of recycling in the garden, just like in nature. By Thomas Mickey of The Patriot Ledger.

SAFE PETS: Help Fido beat summer heat, stay safe this July Fourth --  Warm-weather safety for pets requires a little planning, as well as common sense and vigilance while companion animals are outside. And keep in mind that dogs and other pets can become stressed by commotion and loud noises around the July Fourth holiday. By Prudence Seibert of the Fort Leavenworth Lamp.

*To localize: Include contact information for animal services agencies in your area. Who can people contact if they suspect neglect?*

DATING: Experts say married couples need to fit date nights into schedules - Setting aside the movie's obvious fictions, "Date Night" does capture an obvious truth: Couples can do a lot to improve their marriages by going out alone to do something special, just the two of them, with no children tagging along. By Gary Panetta.

*Localize this story by getting quotes from local marriage counselors, mental health experts, couples, etc.*

SHOESTRING LIVING: Assistance for military families - This Sunday, the Fourth of July, we Americans will celebrate our independence with barbeques and fireworks, parades and Old Glory flying high. In honor of those that make that independence possible, let’s take a look at organizations geared toward assisting families of deployed soldiers during and after their time away. By Molly Logan Anderson.

JEFF VRABEL: Soccer is great – I think - Turns out that if you furnish a scorching last-minute winning goal and add the subtle, unrelenting pressure of most of my friends and all of Twitter, I turn into a dynamic, perspiring World Cup fan! At least for the next few days, or weeks, or years, or however long this thing goes on. I haven't the foggiest idea.


HELEN MIRREN: Helen Mirren and a nod to the Bard - Helen Mirren knew at a very young age that acting was for her. She also knew that Shakespeare was the way to go. “I saw an amateur production of ‘Hamlet’ when I was 13 or 14, and it just absolutely blew me away,” she says by phone from New York, where she’s promoting her new film “Love Ranch,” which opens Wednesday. By Ed Symkus.

LORETTA LAROCHE: Reality TV rewards the raunchy -- Little by little, we are spiraling into a place where being tacky, rude, immoral, unethical or stupid is often rewarded with a reality show, book or movie deal.

ACROSS GENRES: Ben Kweller's latest album an alt-country favorite -- Ben Kweller has been dubbed an indie rocker, and with his latest country-tinged release, “Changing Horses,” he’s been acclaimed as a force in the Americana field. By Jay N. Miller of The Patriot Ledger.


GRANLUND ILLUSTRATION: Sen. Robert Byrd, 1917-2010

GRANLUND CARTOON: Wall Street reforms

O'MAHONEY CARTOON: Texting and driving

EDITORIAL: Don't blame condoms for early sex -- The issue of condom distribution in schools still has the power to rile some people up, some 20 years after the riling began. The Provincetown, Mass., School Committee has rekindled this old debate by adopting a policy making condoms available in school nurses' offices -- even in elementary schools. From The MetroWest Daily News.

EDITORIAL: General chaos ends quickly; spotlight falls on Petraeus -- Military people have their differences with orders they have to carry out, we are sure. The smart ones never call out their boss in a national magazine. From the Rockford Register Star.

Business / auto

AUTO BITS: Do-it-yourself moving tips - Weekly auto column, with moving tips, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.

CHECKOUT LANE: Don't get clocked when buying a watch -- Watches can be useful tools or wardrobe accessories. But they don’t need to be expensive for either purpose. Jewelry store owner Dave Page says stainless steel watches are popular because they are more economical than those made with sterling silver or platinum and they are just as good looking. By Lana Lagomarsini of The Patriot Ledger.

*To localize: Speak with owners of jewelry stores in your community. What are the most popular types of watches there? Do the owners have any additional advice about buying a watch?*

PETER COSTA: On bosses who bossed -- My boss was so tough that his desk was equipped with front and side airbags. His annual performance reviews resembled notes from a psychiatrist. They bristled with observations about employee behavior – real and imagined.