Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dear L.A. Times, thanks for the info...sort of...

But even more importantly, thanks that I'm not dependent on you for helpful information for my morning commute: Man stuck under subway train in Hollywood.
A man trapped underneath a Red Line train in Hollywood was rescued Tuesday and taken to a nearby hospital with serious injuries, authorities said.
How the man, said to be in his 50s, ended up on the tracks is still being investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
The man was lucky to have landed in the large gap between the tracks, otherwise his injuries would have been more serious than the bruises and contusions he suffered, said Luis Inzunza, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
A moving train "would have cut him in half," Inzunza said.
The track the train was on was shut down during the rescue operation. All trains north of the station were stopped, but those traveling south were still operating.
(Bold mine).

Dear L.A. Times: There are two subway stations in Hollywood.  Knowing which one the trains were stopped at (Hollywood & Highland or Vine) might be helpful information for commuters.  I'm not a "professional journalist" but even then, the first thing that jumped into my mind as I was reading this was, 1) I hope he's okay, and 2) WHICH STATION???

This info is kind of important.  And obvious.  Unless you just don't care or just can't be bothered to make the effort anymore.

I know this might sound bitchy and pointless, but as a lifelong Southern Californian I remember decades of the Times as being not only one of the greatest and most influential papers in the world, but also something that was part of my daily routine for as long as I can remember, up until a few years ago when it declined to the point where I canceled my subscription.

Last weekend I needed to pick up the Sunday Times for the first time in a couple years (it was for someone who lives outside the area) and going through it was just pitiful.  The legendary Sunday Calendar section is long gone.  The TV listings included were so anemic as to be pointless.  The Los Angeles Times Magazine is now either only available online or was missing from the paper I bought. 

It's no secret around town that the Times has been going downhill for years.  It's sad because for most of my life my day had to start with the L.A. Times, at least with certain sections of it (Calendar, Sports and Local).  I literally couldn't start functioning until I'd gone through the paper.  Now I look at the Times and think, "How the mighty have fallen".  The brilliant days of Paul Conrad and Jim Murray are long gone.

And if you still think I'm being overly critical, look at it this way - KNX 1070 got it.  Not only did they mention the station, they've got a picture of it as well.

When you've gone from being the paper of record to being out-reported by an AM radio station...well, you do the math. 
  VinestrescueSee?  Vine Street Station!  (Photo credit: CBS/KNX 1070)

Updated: In checking the link, I found that between the time I started writing this post and actually posted it, the Times article has been updated to indicate that this happened at "the Red Line station near Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street".  Better late than never, I guess.

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