National budget 8.9.10

Staff reports

GateHouse News Service National Budget

For 8/9/10 editions

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

Michael Toeset, (630) 835-8870,


WAKE UP CALL!: More tax-free weekends possible?

LEDE PROGRAM UPDATE: Newsroom training begins


FARM LIVING: The Gulf oil spill's effect on U.S. agriculture, the future of wind farming and three farm-industry players you should know

FALL BOOMERS MAGAZINE: Volunteering in retirement, travel ideas for Oktoberfest and ways to stay beautifully gray

BACK TO SCHOOL TAB: Tips on cyberbullying, when homework help is too much and how to tell whether your child has a learning disability

- More back to school content

- Back to school photos reader callout

- High school football reader photos callout


HEALTH WATCH: How to choose massage that's right for you -- Weekly health rail, with tips on finding a massage therapist, new research about the positive influence of siblings, advice for caregivers, and more.

EMERGENCIES: Prepare now for your next medical emergency -- No one wants to deal with a medical crisis, especially if you're unprepared. But if you follow tips -- such as making a medication list and arranging for child and pet care -- it should be easier to handle. By Jason Nevel of the State Journal-Register.

JUST ADD A LIQUID: The cake mix secret is out -- There’s a secret about boxed cake mix: You don’t need to add eggs and oil. All you really need is a liquid. Sure, eggs and fat make everything taste richer, but dry cake mixes already include powdered versions of them. By Lainie Steelman of the McDonough County Voice.

GREENSPACE: All trees with fall; it's a matter of when -- Trees seem to fall in storms randomly, an “act of God.” Not true. If you know the causes, you might prevent thousands of dollars in damage. By Jim Hillibish of The Repository.

SHAYNE LOOPER: Churches, pastors and clergy burnout -- Isn’t going to a stressed-out pastor for guidance a little like going to a mechanic whose family car doesn’t run? Pastoral effectiveness grows out of solitude and silence. Without time alone to listen to God, additional time to listen to church members will be counterproductive — both to the pastor and the church member.

JIM HILLIBISH: If you smell like a wet mongrel, check your jacket -- We once wore suits and sports jackets. I know, some of you trace the downfall of humanity to the informal bent of today. Frankly, I would never want to go back. So there it sits in my closet, a Harris Tweed Oatmeal Weave all-wool sport jacket imported from Scotland. It’s at least 30 years old. These things never wear out.

KEVIN FRISCH: Coming attraction -- I’ve been tapped to take part in a “celebrity goat milking contest” at this year’s county fair. I have never touched a goat.

JEFF VRABEL: Harry Potter and the Order of the Vrabels - So we found ourselves with three days off and full-time weekend babysitting, so we did what I think most 35-year-old professional married couples would do when gifted with such a rare opportunity: Went promptly to Harry Potter land in Orlando. My idea was Chuck E. Cheese, but whatever, this was fine.

SHOESTRING LIVING: Don’t break the bank with back-to-school shopping -As summer activities wind down, our thoughts turn to the school days that lie ahead and the onslaught of necessities about to empty our pocketbooks. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking for ways to lessen the blow to my bank account. By Molly Logan Anderson.

BETH DICOCCO: Follow the rules of the drive-through -- Yes, there are rules. And in case you don’t know them, I’m happy to tell you what they are.

LORETTA LAROCHE: Enter today's high-tech public bathrooms at your own risk -- I travel a lot, and because of that, I often have to use public restrooms. It used to be easy, but not anymore, thanks to technology, which marches on -- even into bathrooms.


POP CULTURE: Every starting point must come to an end - Happy Thankspatrick’s Day! I?know, I’m a couple of weeks late. The holiday, which marks the unofficial midpoint between St. Patrick’s Day and Thanksgiving, was originally celebrated in late July. But most us do it in August, an otherwise holiday-thin month. By Dennis Volkert.

GET REEL: Should 3-D die a dreadful death -- Forget “3-D” referring to three dimensions. In movie theaters these days, the term has morphed into 3 “Ds” -- “Dismal, Dreary and Disastrous.” By Bob Tremblay of The MetroWest Daily News.

WARTIME: Director Todd Solondz speaks his peace in 'Wartime' -- Film director Todd Solondz's critics accuse him of everything from being sympathetic toward pedophiles to being a misanthropic provocateur out to get a rise by exposing his audiences to the most unpleasant aspects of human behavior in movies like “Happiness,” “Palindromes” and Storytelling.” But what really interests Solondz is happiness, forgiveness and human behavior. By Al Alexander of The Patriot Ledger.


BRITT CARTOON: President Obama can't get economy to pick up steam

O'MAHONEY CARTOON: Shaquille O'Neal joins the Boston Celtics


GRANLUND CARTOON: Blagojevich's defense strategy

LICCAR CARTOON: Unemployment's sad facts

LICCAR CARTOON: Obama's reaction to Missouri passing Proposition C

EDITORIAL: More evidence of global warming - What's most discouraging about the politicized debate over climate change is seeing the distrust of science sharply rise. The climate change denial caucus is so vocal that even as new evidence reinforces the conclusion that human activity is warming the planet, people refuse to see it. By The MetroWest (Mass.) Daily News.

EDITORIAL: Right to happiness may conquer marriage inequality - The struggle over same-sex marriage has mostly played out in state capitals, and the ruling last week by Judge Vaughn Walker directly applies only to California. But the frontal assault on marriage inequality waged by two of the nation's top lawyers occurred in federal court, and if the case makes it to the U.S. Supreme Court, the result could apply from sea to shining sea. By The MetroWest (Mass.) Daily News.

RICK HOLMES: Can the Boy Scouts find their way? - A long time ago, I learned to tie a square knot, organize a fundraising drive, splint a broken arm, fold the American flag and chair a meeting. I hiked 25 miles in a single day through the mountains of New Mexico and I turned a stretch of shoreline on a pond near my house into a beach and picnic area. I did these things because I was in the Boy Scouts. So I'm happy to toast the BSA's 100th birthday, and a little sad at its current plight.

CURT SMITH: Kate Smith and assimilation - Each of us weighs loyalties, personal and professional. Often we must choose, as between U.S. unity or ethnic solidarity.


AUTO BITS: Weekly auto column, with tips for planning a last-minute family vacation, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.

ERIC P. BLOOM: Developing trust with your employees - To be an effective manager, your team doesn’t have to like you, they don’t even really have to like working for you, but they do have to trust you. Otherwise, they will spend more time trying to protect themselves from you, rather than using their creative energies to follow your instructions. In short, you must be able to trust your group and they must be able to trust you.

CHECKOUT LANE: Sleeping-bag style depends on climate -- If you’re in the market for a sleeping bag, the climate and temperature of your intended destination will dictate what kind you will need. By Ashlee Fairey of The Patriot Ledger.

ON COMPUTERS: Longevity of flash drives a concerning unknown -- Flash drives seem a worthy solution to the storage mess. They are handier and more accessible than DVDs. As their prices fall, users are grabbing them. The big roadblock to flash backups is nobody knows how long the drives will last.


JON SCHULTZ: X Games stars set example pro athletes should follow -- Watching the X Games last weekend, I saw freestyle motocross extraordinare Travis Pastrana do something that seems to rarely happen in traditional professional sports these days. He actually did something for the fans.