Nov 24, 2008

Green thinking is good--but not with blinders on

Sustainability and the Big Pic

Last week; I attended two green events:

1) A Green Strategy CEO Conference; convened in Albany's Pine Bush Discovery Center.

- I learned about the windmill project at Jiminy Peak; met with the Governor's Energy Sec'y; heard about CISCO's internal green processes and their green product line (building management networks). Good stuff

2) An Open House tour of a new corporate HQ in metro Boston

- I saw their smart windows, smart rooms, smart toilets (the smartest building in town!), the geothermal cooling, the light bulbs each having their own IP address; etc; etc, etc.

RE: #2 -- A major disconnect hit me as I got talking to the principals of this firm. Here they were bragging about the sustainability / energy efficiency / low carbon footprint of their new digs -- all while placing the new building (formerly in an old mill town) into the middle of the distant exurbs @ 30 miles from the nearest train stop! Their workforce was semi-skilled blue collar folks, many of whom took the bus or walked to their jobs at the previous location. Their new reality is that they've either added many hours to their weekly commute (multiple bus tranfers) or they are now driving cars. Many did not even own a car before and are now forced to go buy one. Others (about 15%, I was told) did not stay with the company after the move; and we can guess why. So what's the NET GREEN to this glorious project?

Lesson learned: Too often, we don't look at the big picture when it comes to these type of things. Instead, we compartmentalize our decision-making into narrow silos and don't pay attention to the big picture / holistic POV.

Public Policy Parallels

Public policy often takes this 'silo approach' as well. Policy related to: service delivery, economic development; community development; zoning; design review; transportation; taxation; etc; etc--are usually done in a vaccum without regard to the aforementioned holistic approach. And very often -- like my metro Boston micro-example-- the net result is something counter-productive.

A Saratoga Springs Example

It was interesting to me that the very day a 'Sustainability Group' was convening in town, the general citizenry was reflecting on the three submitted proposals for the new Public Safety complex.

Ignoring -- for the sake of this particular discussion -- the issue of 'whether a facility of this size should even be under consideration' (still a proper issue worth discussing), I think the current process will act as a good example of what I am referring to here. If form stays true, I predict that the future discussion of this project will fall into that compartmentalized scenario.

Yes; there will be (are) fingers pointing to the green features of some of the designs. But I would offer that any legitimate discussion of their so-called Sustainability Indexes are ALREADY being ignored -- and will continue to be so. For example:

1) PAID PARKING: Two of the proposals include paid parking as part of the business model. Enlightened policymakers would consider this to be unacceptable and short sighted. It puts any movement to strengthen the Localization / Local Economy aspect of downtown (a very worthwhile initiative) at a serious competitive disadvatage. Example:

A Union Avenue resident needs a toothbrush, a pair of shoe laces and a sandwich. He/she should (more on that later) have two choices: downtown or Wilton/Exit 15. Assuming that person will not take the preferred walk/bike transportation option to fill this shopping need: Where exactly are we incentivizing that person to shop IF we impose a $2 parking fee? After all, we have just added 20% to the cash outlay here. So much for the localization effort--and there goes the sales tax revenue and the income to city-based business entities. Not to mention the gas/carbon ramifications of that ride out to the mall, with its free parking once there.

* If sustainability is a priority, then parking needs to be FREE for city residents -- as in 100% free; all of the time. The suggested $15 discount for monthly parking does not hack it. Again, we need to ENCOURAGE local citizens to shop AND work downtown. Paid parking discourages it.

* Note: Free for residents only; NOT free for out-of-town downtown office workers (more on that later)

* It WOULD be proper (and preferred) to institute paid parking for out-of towners/tourists (including those daytime office workers).

The hoped-for result of this type of public policy will find: a) local residents trading downtown; b) downtown businesses catering to local needs; c) downtown businesses increasinlgy owned/staffed by local residents.

2) Gound Floor Businesses: It is correct to have this as part of the mix; but only if these businesses are:

a) Catering to local residents' needs; and

b) Locally owned/staffed

What the city does NOT need is formula/chain businesses (for economic development/asset reasons) in these locations.

Futhermore, if sustainability is a priority, it should discourage the continuing proliferation of shops that cater primarily to tourists. This is not espousing an anti-tourism approach to commerce -- it is saying that the pendulum has swung too far in that directon and is in need of balance with a local economy.

Yes; there are sufficient case studies and precedents to suggest the proper (and legal) ways to make all this happen.

3) Upper Floors Use: should emphasize RESIDENTIAL as opposed to office usage

Point: the single biggest planning mistake the city made in recent decades was to improperly encourage/zone the upper downtown floors and the entrance roads (Church Street, Lake Ave, etc) of the city into mixed usage. The result has been the transition of former 'affordable housing' space into commercial office space. This trend should be halted.

This new building presents the opprotunity for just that. The vast majority (if not all) of the upper floors (2nd floor+) should be residential. Furthermore, they should be 'rental/apartments' as opposed to 'ownership/condos.' Aka 'affordable.''

Point: the aforementioned poor planning history is one of the major reasons for the city's parking problem. The transition of upper-downtown from residential to commercial has resulted in a slew of 'pink collar' jobs coming downtown (mortgage boiler rooms; nonprofits, etc), staffed primarily by out-of-town workers. These workers need parking during the daytime at 8AM, which makes shopping downtown at 11AM a problem for those few local people trying to do so.

If those same spaces were occupied as residences; then parking probelems would be partially alleviated: these people either give up their spaces when they drive out of town or (better yet) they might not even need a car/spot if they can both live & work downtown.

4) Tie it all Together:
this plan encourages the following scenario:

- More people live downtown

- Those people are eager & willing to shop downtown

- Businesses catering to their needs emerge (both from market forces and from the encouragement brought about by the policy incentives herein)

- Those same businesses will hire those local people that are living downtown (it's cheaper to hire them because they don't need a monthly parking pass)

- Fewer out-of town daytime office workers require fewer daytime parking. Those spots are freed up for local commerce. (Note: it might also mean that fewer spaces are required)

- More commerce downtown = greater sales tax revenue and healthier merchant P&L's.

- The economic multipliers then kick in: more bank deposits=more loans activity; more local jobs upstream & downstream

- Fewer Saratogians are driving to Exit 15 or beyond to shop = less gas consumption = green

- More Saratogians are working in Saratoga = less gas consumption = green

- Less gas comsumption = more money in Saratogian's pockets = more local spending power = more benefits

(One BIG Feedback Loop)

5) Who Will Oppose Such an Approach?

- Developers: because it takes away their preferred options. Example: it is easier for them to manage a space if it is commercial vs residential (less wear and tear; fewer tenant issues; the lack of payback if they're forced to build 100% affordable housing (there are ways to solve that equation). Furthermore, taking national chain stores out of the rental mix will bring down lease rates: good for local merchants, but not so good for the landlords.

- Unenlightened city officials: some will look strictly at the upfront revenue-loss (parking fees, etc) as opposed to looking at the long-term benefits that a Sustainable / Localization approach to this project (and others) bring to the table.

Yes: both will growl. Too bad: rage against the machine.

But: simply tossing 'green features' into the mix of a specific project or into larger public policymaking generally does nothing more than add to budget costs and capital outlays for all involved (developers and governments). But when being green is defined in a wider framework and with a wider constituency in mind, the community as a whole wins -- financially AND environmentally.


Nov 13, 2008

How come no one told us the war is over?


Our favorite 'guerilla media pranksters' -- the Yes Men -- are at it again. This time, the lads (one of whom has a local / RPI connection) are part of a confederation of like-minded troublemakers credited with having published ths week's bogus edition of the New York Times.

Some have referred to it as a utopian look into the future. I'm not sure these guys take themselves that seriously...

((PS: there is no truth to the suggestion that we were somehow involved)))


Nov 9, 2008

The Return of the Sheriff?

Time for Eliot Spitzer to Ride Again?

An appropriate and timely job posting might look like this:

Help Wanted: Special Prosecutor
Responsibilities: Look into the dealings of hedge fund managers, short sellers and other financial industry operatives for possble Securities Law violations that resulted in the current market crisis.
Apply To: NYS Attorney General Andrew Cuomo

I hereby submit the name of the perfect candidate for ths opening:

Mr Eliot Spitzer.

I know what you're saying; but work with me here on this one. Here are the reasons for my somewat contrarian suggestion:

1) He's qualified

2) He's experienced: after all, he was formery known as the 'Sheriff of Wall Street,' wasn't he?

3) He's got a lot of extra time on his hands

4) He'd likely do it for either free or one dollar

5) He's known as being a vengeful bastard, and we could really use of of those right about now

6) He surely didn't appreciate the reports of those Wall Street lions popping bottles of champagne to celebrate his resignation (see point #5)

7) His wife would certainly appreciate getting him out of the house

8) He's in the clear of any charges related to his little problem a few months back

What makes me think there won't be a lot of support for this suggestion???


Nov 7, 2008

Rider's Up! (you GOTTA see this one)

Drunken Yuppies Channel Angel Cordero

Before Fidel and Che slipped down from the mountains shouting "Last Call", Havana was one hell of a party town. With the Mafia greasing the wheels of Dictator Battista, the island's capital city was called the "whorehouse of the Carribean," offering all manners of earthly delights -- sex, booze, dope and gambling. It became a leading weekend destination for the 50's lounge lizard set.

It is a similar role that Saratoga Springs now plays for the greater Capital Region. While it might qualify as its whorehouse, there is no doubt that it acts as the area's Bar District.

While we tend to think of 'Toga as the 'summer place to be' (ah; the power of taglines); some funsters are intent on extending the highlife into the dark months. Witness these characters, viewed thru a security camera on Broadway:

An APB has been published for what the media has deemed these "well dressed horse vandals." I can picture them keeping low profiles at work.

No word from the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce as to whether they will incorporate ths clip into next year's ad campaign.

This same horse has been attacked on at least two prior occasions. Maybe it's time to replace the security camera with a remotely-controlled taser gun?


Nov 6, 2008



With this week's euphoria already fading fast (just take a look at the lastest employment fig's), it's time for the rubber to meet the road. Let's start by taking a look at how the new president's economic policies might play out.

Obama's election -- combined with our having been recently dragged to the precipice of the Valley of Death and not liking what we saw - signals a shift (albeit a relatively slight one) in the way the nation's economy will be tweaked by the executive and legislative branches.

For twenty-five plus years, the modus operendi in that matter has been guided by three dominant themes: laissez-faire, monetarism and supply-side. In its simplist form, this translated into a working model / philopsophy of:

"Get out of business' way, feed their appetite with loose money and reward the Investor Class for its successful risks so they'll keep doing it over and over again. And always keep a vigilant eye on Enemy Number One: inflation."

Simple; yes--but I'm not lecturing a grad-level class at MIT here, am I?

The current popular perception and consensus is that such a mix eventually proved to be toxic; creating a stacked deck tilted in favor of that Den of Thieves called Wall Street. Capital effiency was lost as these suspects devoted their intellectual firepower to trading paper with little (or no) basis in the real world. Exhibit A: $50 trillion in mortgage credit swaps written on top of just $5 trillion in actual mortgages! You don't think that extra $45 trillion actually went into anything productive now, do you?

So not only was this deck stacked, but it was also being used to setup the proverbial House of Cards your neighborhood Amway recruiter never mentions when she invites you over for a little chat. The poop hit the furnace, of course, when the housing industry (aka the witting accomplice) was no longer able to push any more home buyers into this Ponzi scheme. After all, it was running out of farmland to torch into suburban tracks and (even more troubling) there was this minor little issue of an economy that for some reason didn't seem well prepared to match wits and muscle with the rest of the world.

The mask was unveiled, and Joe Everyman (as opposed to Joe the Plumber) was shocked to see the pimples. After all, a 40% six-week drop in a one's 401K tends to do that. The party of free markets and deregulation was held to blame, the people spoke and Fox News's HR deparment was flooded with incoming resumes from GOP hacks suddenly looking for work.

Enter Obama, who is about to feel like a first responder at the scene of a head-on highway wreck. If you hear a gut-wrenching scream over the next few weeks, don't fret; it's just the Democrats getting their transition briefings. But that's their entry fee, now what's their plan?

The President-elect appears to be what we might call a neo-Keynesian. Before Friedman (the monetarist) and Laffer (the supply-sider) starting whispering in Dutch Reagan's ear, John Maynard K was the darling of the so-called Dark Science. The Econ 91 (as opposed to 101) summary of this model goes somehting like this:

"Spend and cut taxes during recessions as a way of priming the pump. Coversely, cut spending and raise taxes during booms as a way of both controlling inflation and to stock away a rainy day fund. The yardstick is Enemy Numer One: unemployment."

The common denominator in both approaches is the value of tax cuts. But the difference is that whereas the supply-side school thinks they should be a) permanent and b)geared to the investor class; the demand-siders believe in timing and that there is more bang for the buck when it is directed to the lower end of the food chain, where it is more likely to be pushed immediately into the economy.

It is that latter argument that appears to be Obama's leaning. We heard of those "tax cuts for those making under $250,000" while at the same time he was whispering of hikes at the upper end (income, capital gains, dividends, etc). He is also on-record as supporting a new stimulus plan; this one directed to the 'economy' as opposed to the financial markets -- possibly in the form of an FDR-style infrastrucure builing / job creation program. Interestingly, McCain, his fellow Republicans and Wall Street all seem to agree with that idea -- there are no atheists in foxholes, afer all.

But there are some HUGE complications facing the new president and this approach. As mentioned, that prior HUGE stimulus round was directed not at the economy (so to speak) as a whole but at the banking & finance industry. That bullet is going towards cleaning up past sins and doesn't address the fundamental megatrend types of structural issues facing our commerce engine. And there are only so many bullets one can fire before the six-shooter is emptied.

Secondly, there's the question of 'paying the piper.' The new stimulus / new tax cuts concept is expensive enough, but we also have this little money drain (to the tune of $12 Billion per month) of two wars going on concurrently.

Any economist worth his tenured salary will warn against the perils of waging a war without paying for it. Just look at Viet Nam for proof: both LBJ and Nixon knew that their Silent Majority subscribers would join ranks with the student left if they were presnted with the tab for that war (i.e a tax hike). This was a risk neither wanted to take; so neither did.

Ford and Carter were both Oval Office victims of that approach. So, too, was the national ecomomy. It took until the early 80's and the dawning of the microcomputer boom before that demon was exorcised. Obama and his advisors are now faced with a "damned if we do, damned if we don't" scenario.

They didn't think this would be a walk in the park now, did they?



A new question for the driver's exam

Althought this lass won't have any problem guiding a Harley or Orange County Chopper up and down the main drag of Ho Chi Minh City, others might not be so lucky.

The word has come that Vietnamese officials are considering the ban of small-chested motor bike drivers from its roads - with the recommended milestone being 28 inches. This in a nation where the average height of males is 5'4" and of women 5'0". Something about it being a qualifier for safety purposes.

I wonder if this will require the deployment of tape measures to the traffic cops?


Nov 5, 2008

Post-Election thoughts, free-form style

The People vs The GOP

The Republicans' worst enemy finally came out of hiding and made a rare appearance, and its name is Voter Turnout.

Long the minority party in this nation, the GOP has benefited from: a) election participation fig's being in the 50%-range, and b) its superior GOTV (Get Out The Vote) ability amongst its own ranks.

A charged-up black, Hispanic and college population reversed that trend and helped seal the deal.

Policy? What's Policy?

As evidenced by the McCain effort, the party of Lincoln and Teddy R. now has as its intellectual barometers the following individuals:

- Joe the Plumber
- Sean Hannity
- Sarah Palin
- Joe the Plumber (again)
- Bill O'Reilly
- Paris Hilton
- Curt Schilling
- Hank Williams Jr
- Joe the Plumber (one more time)

William F Buckley must be rolling in his grave. Hank Williams, Sr as well.

Fair & Balanced Stupidity

Fox News became nothing more than a 24-hour McCain infomercial in the final days of the campaign. Don' think so? Then go watch the YouTube reruns of Mr Sean Hannity's 'Obama's Radical Friends.' I was wondering whatever happened to Lyndon Larouche -- he apparently handed the reins over to an understudy.

One can argue over media bias -- I argue that the corporate mainstream media is, in general, biased towards the Republicans. But Fox is so far over the edge in its role as being the GOP Broadcast Network that the question of allowing equal access / rebuttal time to the opposition party needs to be asked.

Who'd A Thunk?

Hop in the time machine and travel back a few years to the Post 9/11 days leading up to the Iraq War. You're in the backyard eating some dogs and yakking it up with a group of friends and neighbors. Politics is the talk and someone says the following:

"I predict that the next president will not only be a Democrat, but will be of mixed-race, produced by a white mother and an absent Kenyan nationalist troublemaker of a father. He will have been raised by his white grandmother in that kooky state where Pearl Harbor is located, will have almost-nil political experience and will have gained his power in an urban Rust Belt city. And, oh yeah: he will have a middle name of Hussein."

Now what kind of betting odds would you have laid down against whoever made that statement?

Fighting Fire With Fire

Since the Reagan days and through the groundbreaking efforts of Richard Viguerie and others to follow, the Republican party has simply been the superior political campaigners. Unleashing the power of both IT and broadcasting to reach out and touch voters -- in a highly targeted and efficient means -- along with an innate ability to play the spin control / sound bite game , the GOP has long been the masters of this influence game when it comes to winning elections.

That trends looks like it has run its course. Observers from both camps are highly impressed -- even amazed -- at the organizational powerhouse called the Obama campaign, which not only matched the Republican competencies but added a new element to the mix: the network.

The people involved in this effort could make a nice career ahead of them -- not in politics -- but in the corporate re-organization and turnaround field.

The McCain Legacy

The Maverick entered the contest with a recognized dignity, class and respect from most corners. He left the campaign with a reduced amount of each.

Long a thorn to the Bush/Jesus wing of his own party, McCain presented a "I can work with this guy" alternative to the sane / country club / coastal factions as well as to suburban independents.

Granted, his abortion view created problems, but he would offset that concern with comments such as those that warned his comrades of the dangers of allowing freaks like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson being handed the keys to the family car.

Although he gained the nomination largely without the help of the right-wing, McCain felt the need to play makeup with them after. And it wasn't pretty. Along with that union must come the wedding present of the Karl Rove dirty tricks / Swift Boat playbook, for that's what became of the McCain campaign.

A New Drinking Game Is Born

From one of our younger friends comes word of a new dorm room and frat house sensation that swept throughout the UAlbany student community: the Joe the Plumber Drinking Game.

You guessed it: the students would tune in to C-Span every night to catch a stump speech by Mr McCain or Mrs Palin with bottles of tequila and six packs of lager at the ready. Each time they heard the name 'Joe the Plumber,' a 'shot and a shooter' were required by the participants.

Well, at least it's good to hear that our future leaders are involved in the process...

The McCain Error (the biggest one, at least)

McCain smelled an opening after Obama put away Mrs Clinton. The thinking: after the primaries' bitterness, the female vote could be had. What was needed: a female candidate.

But at the same time, the right wing needed stroking; and we all know what the predominant issue among this group is, don't we? So that made the perfect VP candidate as being: a pro-life woman. A very, very short list it was.

That's why the search ended up landing in -- of all places -- Alaska. There, the cartoon character names Sarah Palin was found and thereby thrust into the national spotlight.

Actually, two bad assumptions were made by this move:

1) Clinton supporters (male or female) were not going to jump ship to McCain. I take that back: they would have IF he nominated Mrs Clinton herself. I wonder how that would have gone over at the convention?

2) At the same time, he needn't have worried about keeping the Right wing in fold. Did he really think they were going to go vote for Obama in a hissy fit?

How Could McCain Have Made It A Tighter Race?

Michael Bloomberg as his VP pick.

Just think about how the campaign could have paraded Mr Mayor in front of the cameras during the market meltdown. He's a guy who knows finance and Wall Street, but isn't taited as being one of its bandits. It sure would have worked better than the image we have of McCain suspending the campaign, running back to DC to save the day and then just looking overwhelmed by the scale of the issue.


Nov 3, 2008

Obama and Generational Change -- Didn't We Skip A Generation Here ?


The expected election of Obama is heralded as being both a transformational and a generational change, which is likely true.

It is transformational in that it (hopefully) adds a sturdy nail to the coffin of this nation's ugly racial history as well as project to the world an image of a people ready and willing to recognize its place as a member of the global comunity, freshly aware of those shades-of-gray nuances of the new world order that were not well-served by our departing Idiot Prince and his vicious gang of Vandals disguised as neocons. Hopefully, the Global Village's dwellers buy into the thinking that even good people can make a mistake now and then -- and Bush was our 'gimme.'

It is, in fact, generational in that Obama will be the first president of the post-baby boom demographic, which (again: hopefully) makes him immune to the Viet Nam psyche and the subsequent Culture War that little quagmire later spawned. He thankfully shows signs of that being the case.

The common analysis is to point at Obama's two immediate predecessors -- Bubba and Dubya -- as being the Oval Office representatives of that Baby Boom populace, given their entry-dates into this world. But by painting with such a wide brush, such an analysis is flawed.

The boomers are better defined not as a single socio-demographic / psychographic entity; but as two. Such a breakdown might go like this:

The Early Boomers

These folks had their formative (high school) years best represented (in a pop-culture kind of way) by George Lucas' movie American Graffiti. The guys were car-crazed, beer swilling, clean-cut, non-flauntingly patriotic and optimistic, all looking ahead to a pre-destined adult future. Those from blue collar families were locked-in to blue collar jobs (with a possible stop in the military) and those from white collar families to a college - driven path into traditional professions such as local banking and dentistry.

The girls, meanwhile, bode their time as football cheerleaders while eyeing their future mates across the cafeteria table, all while maintaining a remote, safe and respectable distance.

Their soundtrack was Elvis and the Beatles---at least up until when the Fab Four "got a little weird" come Sgt Pepper (an actual observation by none other than Bush the Younger).

The Later Boomers

Those in this wave were best highlighted (or lowlighted?) in the movie Dazed and Confused. Without a war draft to contend with, the guys took the opportunity to face the world as just one never-ending party. Smoking pot at the same rate as their parents smoked cigarettes, it was all about finding the next kegger or concert and getting laid. Despite their nihilistic view of the world, they subtly (and unconsciously) held professional-class ambitions; even those with blue collar pedigrees. But the reality was that they didn't have a clue as to what form that would take. Dazed and cofused, indeed.

The girls were treated in a more egalitarian fashion and were more embedded into the guys' circles than were their older, Early Boomer sisters. This no doubt served as Reason #1 for the mass development of casual sex amongst this crowd. And all of this was happening at the height of the Rock Era, which provided the background noise.

These are two different tribes, my friends. Siblings from opposing ends of the spectrum eyed one another suspiciously and lead very different lives --even while living under the same roof. I personally must have been right on the dividing line; I recall a certain amount of tension and hostility between my high school class and the one that was a year ahead of us. Whereas we would refer to them as the "Opie Cunningham Class," they would frequently accuse us of being too tolerant of the hippie types floating around campus or not being serious enough about our athletic pursuits. Fortunately, all was forgiven in the years after, when we were all forced to deal with the real world.

So, does this difference in lifestlyes mark its respective recipients with different views of the world? To quote Mrs Palin: You Betcha!

You don't think that somone whose rite of passage was tooling the rod down the main drag, one step away from marrying his/her high school prom date and reporting to a union job down the street from where born ends up with a different life experience and world view than someone whose coming of age milestone was an acid trip at a Led Zeppelin show prior to embarking on a lifetime road trip that included many hundreds of friends, lovers, neighbors and associates before settling into a groove on the opposite coast? If not; we disagree.

Whereas the Early Boomers got their not-so-different after all members Clinton and Bush to the White House, the Later Boomers like myself never got ours. While we produced the movers and shakers of the first phase of the technology revolution (think Jobs, Wozniak, Gates), we never collectively mastered the political game. Probably because it never hit our radar screens.

Maybe that fact ended up serving everyone well.


The Capital Region adds another casino -- kinda

In the meantime, anyone care to play some cards?

How about some poker, Saratoga style?

It's Casino Saratoga -- online poker with a local twist for all of you Capital Region card-muckers. The good thing here is that you can't lose your shirt playing on it.

Who says you need to own a race track around here to toss a poker game? Let's see how this one goes over. Are the lawyers ready?


Like, where ya been?

"So what's the deal with Tech Valley Times?"

So goes the line of questioning when I step out into the Capital Region's business and social circles. Inquiring minds want to know, given the lengthy gap of postings on both the main news portal and here on my loosely-tied squawk box.

At the very least; it's nice to know the media property gained a loyal fan club since its early-'03 birth.

The bottom line: business divorces -- just like the other kind-- take time to resolve, and the business is in the process of just such a clean break before it begins anew with its Tech Valley Times 2.0 (or is it 3.0 by now?) life cycle. A rather unique issue is delaying that process. For a three-letter clue: think M, I and A.

We haven't been sitting idly-by during this interim; instead we've been laying the framework for a unique approach to the news-delivery business here in the brave new world of the always-on networked economy.

Stay tuned--when we get there, you will see exactly what being a 'multimedia information provider' really means or how one goes about 'rejuvenating and repositioning an established brand.'

If anyone is interested in joining the fun and playing in this sandbox; give me shout.