Monday, January 24, 2011

Comments and crap

The one thing I am really starting to hate the most about this job is the website.  Or to be more specific is watching over the comments section of the website.  It has evolved from a minor annoyance to a full time pain in the ass checking the endless lines of crap spewed from a host of anonymous readers lurking in cyberspace.  I am sick of it.

Hiding behind their fake names and alter egos these lurkers preach a litany of racism, hate, intolerance, stupidity and general ignorance for anyone wishing to see.  Unfortunately Tracy Press staff members have to wade through the volumes of ilk to find the really blatant profanities personal attacks and out right mean spirited comments and keep them off line.  Sometimes we have to waste time on our days off sifting through this mire.  It is sickening.

I wish the paper would stop allowing comments on stories but it drives up web hits which is good for the internet advertising revenue.  I hope sometime in the future we can put civility ahead of money and do away with the comments.

It bothers me that theses nameless wanna-be experts on everything are allowed to preach their hate and discord on the website.  They bring nothing to the table to help build bridges in the community among the different cultures.  They stir the pot of racism at every chance. 

They were all talk online about showing up en masse to a council meeting to demand action on the gang violence.  I was assigned to cover the council “protest” and not one of these commentors stood up to make their voice and concerns heard, not one.  It’s so much easier to attack someone from behind a computer screen.

Now some fake name guy is pissed off I yanked his comment Friday from a story.  Yeah dude I pulled it off the website.  You want to know why?  Because it was a personal attack, and it wasn’t true.  I am sick of this kind of crap.  Earlier in the day we had to pull eight comments off the website because some was using somebody else’s name to attack someone in a story.  I’ve had it.  I am going to be quick to pull the trigger when I think a comment has crossed the line.  If you anonymous lurkers don’t like it, tough.

If you want “your message” to get through try writing a letter to the editor.  Only problem is you would have to write your name-your REAL name on the letter to get it published.  No more hiding in the dark.  I frankly don’t care what a commentor has to say.  If you don't have the courage to stick your name and your reputation behind the statement then it is pretty much worthless.

Now I know there will be commentors all it an uproar about my soapbox sermon here, but this is the difference-My name is on this.  My REAL name.  You want to call me out about this grow a pair, right a signed letter to the editor and say what you want.  Otherwise just go about lurking the internet with all the other freaks.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

First hike

I had not been on the trail in a couple of weeks so I jumped at the chance for a short hike at Brushy Peak in Livermore.  best part I would actually get paid for it.

We are working on a story about a local pair of hiker who wrote book about local trails so we headed to meet them on the trail on one of the hike detailed in their book.

Brushy Peak is part of the East Bay Regional Parks system and was just about 20 minutes away from the office. We met up with the two authors and headed out for a chilly walk on the trail.  

January hikes are notorious for frigid temperatures that numb your fingers making simple things like changing a camera lens a major challenge.  Dressed in layers and with a pair of fingerless gloves I followed our group as we made our way along the muddy trail.

Brushy Peak is a mostly open hike on a narrow trail you share with the occasional grazing cow.  Avoiding the cow pies mixed in with the mud we meandered our way through some small climbs along the hills.  our views of the surrounding communities was obscured by fog and clouds stretching into the distance.
The hike was a short one, just about four miles but it felt good to hit the trail again.  Depending on the weather I will try to get out on the trails in the next few weekends for a couple of solo hikes around the area.  I have couped up too long this winter, I have to get out and go exploring.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


This was the scene off Von Sosten Road earlier this evening when a car veered off the road and struck a tree trapping the driver.
The original call had the driver trapped and the car on fire but people probably saw smoke or steam coming from the damaged engine compartment.  The driver was trapped and it took fire crew several minutes to free him from the twisted wreckage.
The driver survived, he does have a major leg injury but should be able to pull through and is thankful considering the amount of damage the car sustained to the front end.
This could have ended tragically but thankfully for all involved the car turned out to be the only loss on the night.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cloud deck

I saw this freaky looking cloud formation on the way to the Tracy Animal Shelter.  Don't know why it looks torn or why there black clouds dripping down for the tear but it looked to weird to pass by without taking a picture.

Jenny Craig calling...

I don't think this cat needs another hot dog, looks like she has had her fill and then some...

She hate me

Meet Tawny, a 1-year-old spayed female German Shepherd mix.  Tawny hates cameras, photographers and having her picture taken.  Hobbies include barking at photographers, trying to bite photographers and barking at photographers.  Did I mention she likes to bark at photographers?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Minor issue

Someone commented on this photo on the Tracy press website wondering how we could put a photo up of a juvenile being detained by police.  Simple fact of the matter is there is no right to privacy at a news scene for minors.

The courts have rules about juvenile cases and defendants.  No media  is allowed into juvenile courts and the police are not allowed to give out names of juveniles in cases.  We aren't the courts.  There are no laws prohibiting photography in public places of news events.
It is also nice to see that people don't read picture captions or the story where it says everyone that was detained for questioning was released.  We never said anyone was guilty.  These are the same people who probably commented how they wanted to take back the city and were going to show up in force at the council meeting and then flaked.

Hot topics

I'm sure these two titles will be in demand at the Tracy high book sale.

With a rebel yell

Most of the wrestling photos I take usually feature somebody's crotch getting grabbed so it was nice to capture this moment.  West High wrestler Matt Mahe celebrates his hard fought win by pin over the Toaky opponent with a victory yell Thursday night.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A tale of two kitties

So I had this really cute shot of Rascal, a 1-year-old neutered male domestic shorthair that is available for adoption at the Tracy Animal Shelter.
Then I had this slightly psychotic look from the same cat a few minutes later.
Maybe he is mad about being neutered.  Go figure.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hot wheels

This was one of my last assignments for 2010 that never seemed to find it's way into the paper or the website.  this was a car that caught fire off 9th Street near Central Avenue.  No one was hurt but it quite the little blaze.