Minor Lohud.com comments

Re why SUNY enrollment is declining.

Minor edit: see text below regarding ‘multi-faceted’ problem for SUNY.

The problem for SUNY is multi-faceted. Fewer students are going to community colleges because of a robust economy that makes it easier to enter the workforce than to take classes.

Enrollment at New York’s 30 community colleges fell a whopping 19% between 2009 and this fall, SUNY records show, a drop of more than 45,000 students.

Population decline in upstate New York, meanwhile, has resulted in fewer high school students for campuses to recruit. Also, fewer college students are going into teaching careers, which was once a top draw to SUNY.

The para “Enrollment at . . . 45,000 students” is out of place and should be moved.  Then text would read … multifaceted. 1) fewer students at community colleges. 2) Population decline.  3) fewer students entering teaching.  Easier to read and understand.


Another fix: missing word inserted: “State officials countered aid to SUNY and CUNY is up 30% to $7.2 billion [since] Cuomo took office in 2011, and 55% of full-time students now attend SUNY and CUNY tuition free.”

Lohud editor alert

Let’s review ”  News of no state aid fuels blame and financial stress in debt-ridden North Rockland” (Published 6:00 a.m. ET Oct. 8, 2019 | Updated 7:47 a.m. ET Oct. 8, 2019)

My comments in bold

“A state Supreme Court judge ruled that two power plants owned by Mirant Corp., one in Haverstraw, one in Stony Point, had been drastically over-assessed. The community was enraged  at Mirant’s cut-throat tactics, spurred by deregulation in the energy industry. [were the tactics spurred by deregulation in energy industry, or was the enragement spurred by deregulation?] But the school district and local municipalities eventually agreed to a $275 million settlement to refund taxes.”

“The school district borrowed to pay its majority share and wound up owing $365 million in principle [principal] and interest. ”

“But in 2018, many [journalism shorthand for ‘this writer and his friends’] believed the time had come for a major state bailout. ”

“They say taxpayers are already overburdened, as the residential share of the tax levy rose from 40% in 2007 to 68% in 2017 [what is ‘residential share of the tax levy’?  How can reader decide or determine if this is too much or not enough?] “.

Questions for Des Moines Register’s Carol Hunter and Aaron Calvin

This story is the beginning.  As I understand this, DMR reporter Aaron Calvin reports on improbably successful, spontaneous fundraiser by Carson King.  Mr. Calvin digs into Mr. King’s tweets, find reprehensible teenage tweets.  This is a huge humiliation for Mr. King, to be sure.

  1. Why was it necessary, or newsworthy, to dig up previous tweets?
  2. Is this standard practice to research tweets of people covered in the DM Register?  If so, why?  If not, what are the standards for determining whose background will be investigated and whose will not?
  3. Are the standards written down?  If not, who determines what the standards are on case-by-case basis?  If standards are written down, then when were they last revised?
  4. Could Ms Hunter, executive editor, comment on the appropriateness of Mr. Calvin’s expose, given uncovering of Mr. Calvin’s own reprehensible tweets?  If appropriate to expose Mr. King’s tweets, then is it appropriate to write a story about Mr. Calvin’s tweets?  Why or why not?
  5. If Mr. King’s tweets somehow cast a shadow on his charitable fundraising, does Mr. Calvin’s tweets cast a shadow on his reporting?

You can probably tell that I consider the DMR’s behavior as vile.

Update 27-Sept, from DM Register, which acknowledges some of the failings: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/from-the-editor/2019/09/26/carson-king-tweet-editor-response-investigation-iowa-childrens-hospital-donations/3780741002/



Sept 27: update from

Gross NASA error

Per NASA,  ““This year’s Perseid meteor shower peaks on August 12th and 13th,” says Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. “The Moon will be nearly new, setting the stage for a great display.”  Absolutely not.  The next full moon is Aug 15; no way Moon is ‘nearly new’.  How does this get approved?  Also blame Fox News for uncritical acceptance.

Lohud.com seeking to hire editor, or at least they should be

From this story.  (accessed July 17, 2019 at 1:40 pm)

“New York’s law lets municipalities to set up charitable reserve funds that would give tax credits equal to 95% of a contribution.” [edits in bold]

“Since the funds were set up, New York collected $93 million to for the Charitable Gifts Trust Fund to fund education and health care.” [edit in bold]

“Scarsdale’s charitable fund received more than $500,000 in contributions in 2018, but then dried up after the regulations were issued.” [what dried up, the fund or the contributions?]