Chum For A Thursday Lunch

After a brief hiatus, here’s some lunchtime news chum, gleaned from the droppings of the papers scanned during lunch:

  • From the “Are You Going or Coming?” Department: U-Haul has released its list of Top 50 Destinations, i.e., where people are moving to. It is an interesting list. With the housing price drops, Los Angeles has become more affordable and is number 3 on the list, topped only by Atlanta GA and Houston TX. Las Vegas is #4. Austin, #9. Sacramento, #15, with San Francisco at #18.
  • From the “Peripheral Damage from Teabagging” Department: All these “tea parties” behind promulgated by the conservative right are having an unintended side-effect, and I’m not talking about teaching everyone about what teabagging really means. No, it is slurring the good name of the beverage known as tea. Specifically, there is the fear among tea drinkers that tea is being associated with a set of really negative emotions — anger, bitterness, divisiveness — and people are getting the idea that tea is something you can just throw around and waste. We need to show people that tea parties are a good thing, and good for their health, not a political statement.
  • From the “I Can’t Hear You La La La La” Department: Despite the fact that it is losing money in the US, Tesco is continuing the expansion of Fresh and Easy. They just opened their 64th store in Corona (and we’re eagerly awaiting the opening of their new Northridge store). Still they have delayed a planned expansion into Northern California despite having announced leases for 38 sites and, in many cases, having built out the stores complete with empty shelves and working cash registers. It will be interesting to see if this is an experiment that works, or crashes and burns. We hope it works, as they have a large selection of Gluten-Free products.
  • From the “So Will He De-Friend Me Now?” Department: According to the WSJ, via LA Buisness Observed (la_biz_observed), Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson (the founders of MySpace) have stepped down. Does this mean that I no longer have to have Tom as a friend?
  • From the “When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Go Shopping” Department: Tuesday night we had a program on Resiliancy of the Soul at our congregation, and we looked at how people deal with stress. Some go shopping. Well, it appears that teens who go shopping are increasingly price, not brand conscious. This is creating a significant slump at retailers that depend on teens to buy their overpriced merchandise, such as Abercrombie & Fitch (who in the old days, had wonderful professional clothing, but I digress). Nowadays, teens seem to favor stores like American Eagle and Old Navy, which fit their budgets better.
  • From the “How To Get Out of Traffic Tickets” Department: Ever wonder why elected officials don’t seem to get traffic tickets? It turns out they have special license plates, which make their records confidential. The program started with the shielding of information related to plates belonging to police officiers, back when anyone could walk into a DMV office with a license plate number and walk out with the car owner’s home address. In the first seven years of the program, lawmakers added judges, district attorneys – and themselves. Since then, the list of people afforded confidentiality has swelled to include jail guards, district attorney investigators and National Park Service rangers, as well as city council members and city attorneys, among others. Further, officials can keep the secret plates when they retire. If they change to a civilian job, they can stay shielded for another three years. To make things worse, they are talking about expanding the program to about 100 Board of Equalization investigators, as well as code enforcement officers, zoo veterinarians, humane society shelter workers and the five elected members of the Board of Equalization.