Monday, October 29, 2007

It's Aggravating, Funny, and a Train Wreck, all at the Same Time

Ponte Vista at San Pedro has been advertised in the Random Lengths News many times, and usually with full-page advertisements.

It is my opinion that Mr. James Preston Allen, the publisher of Random Lengths News cares more about the revenue generated by the Ponte Vista advertisements than he does actually learning about, considering all the aspects of, and informing readers about the Ponte Vista at San Pedro development.

I am certainly not alone with this opinion. I have written letters to the editor and personal Emails to Mr. Allen challenging him to provide correct information, facts, and thought-based articles about such a large development Ponte Vista is slated to be.

I have been met with opinions from Mr. Allen that suggest to me that he really doesn't care what the overall interest is concerning Ponte Vista, and I feel he believes that Ponte Vista, as far as OUR community is concerned, is not really such a big deal.

Mr. Allen, even though he is not listed as the "editor" also takes time and paper space to delve into letters to the editor on a wide range of subjects. Many individuals have said to me that letters to the editor of real newspapers to not have challenges, opinions, and decries from the editor or publisher. Some have corrected facts that were in error, but Mr. Allen apparently feels he should "inform" folks who write letters to the editor of his publication, what his "truths" are and how letter writers are usually wrong to have their own opinions.

Well, the latest stunt by Random Lengths News should be met with at least a tiny bit of anger, but actually affords all of us with a very funny insight into what is most important in Mr. Allen's agenda book.

Today I received an Email from folks at Random Lengths News announcing the upcoming publication of a commemorative Centennial Edition of the throw-away publication, celebrating the 100Th anniversary of the Port of Los Angeles.

The Email was sent "To" what appears to be at least 100 individuals and groups, all having their names and Email addresses listed for everyone to see.

For Mr. Allen, who regularly chides agencies and governments about privacy issues, the influx of government information gathering on citizens, and illegal wiretaps, warrant less searches, and invasion of privacy issues we all now have to deal with, it seems funny, and angering that Mr. Allen apparently believes it is quite alright to publish, for anyone to see, the Email addresses of so many individuals and the names of those individuals.

When I have written letters to the editor of his periodical, I have included my Email address. But with other publications, including real newspapers, it is understood that Email addresses would not be published unless permission is granted. Mr. Allen and his employees neither asked for, or even let folks know that his publication would use Email addresses for unsolicited Emails and that they would be published for everyone receiving the Emails to see.

This smacks of hypocrisy running amok in San Pedro and can be thought of as being in league with a certain developer of a true weapon of mass development and the future destruction of the high quality of life in northwest San Pedro and eastern Rancho Palos Verdes.

We all should understand that when James and his gang send out bulk Emails using the "To" and "Carbon Copy" lines, they usually don't get blocked like what normally happens on many users "Blind Carbon Copy" lines. When something is sent to me as a "Blind Carbon Copy", (Bcc) it goes straight into the junk Emails bucket, which I never read and clean out daily.

Of course you all know that when Bcc is used, others receiving the same Email cannot read your address or anyone else's, which are in the Bcc bucket.

So, let's look at what James and his gang offered to all of us, with that Email.

First, please take a good look at what James is purporting to be the cover of the Centennial Commemorative Edition. If anyone can find, by just looking at the picture, what port is the picture taken in? Could someone please tell me where to look, within the cover picture where I can find any reference to a centennial of anything?

And what about that picture, really? When I first opened the file and found the photo, I thought "armpit". Then, looking and thinking a bit longer, I thought of a more out of the way place on the human body. Remembering that just under the water of the photo, is a screw. Should we expect the screw to be really under the water, or inside the pages of the edition? See, humor can be found almost anywhere one looks.

The red portion of the ship on the left side of the photo is above the rudder of the ship. Since the photo is not showing the actual steering devise, can we imagine that Mr. Allen is commenting on the Rudderless Steering Committee of R Neighborhoods Are 1? Are you guys chuckling yet?

By looking at the photo we all can imagine so many things on our very own. What I see may not be anything relating to what others see, and that is great! We all probably should agree that the photo does not represent any Centennial, anywhere, and it certainly does not reference the Centennial of the Port of Los Angeles.

Something now suggests to me that by the time the special edition finally comes out, the photo shown on this post will not be the actual photo used on the special edition.

After all, there are many of us listed in the "To" section of the solicitation Email who can think of hundreds of photos we have in our minds that would better illustrate OUR port's heritage and true view.

Golly, this photo says so much about how little some folks know about San Pedro and OUR port, and so little those same folks really feel about the individuals who made OUR port the strongest, largest, and best port. It may be that the "random lengths" some are referring to are all less than one-inch long and completely without insight.

In the second photo, taken from my computer, is the real meat of the Email, with its unsolicited advertisement for ad space and pricing for the special edition.

This is what James, his advertising staff, which must outnumber his current issues, article staff, and any thought of journalism folks by probably, a 5 to 1 ratio.

I have used my fine, old, and very easy Photo Shop Deluxe Home Edition 4.1 to remove the phone number, address, and Email address from this photo. I don't need to give Random Lengths News any help or other free advertising other than to say it can be quite funny at times.

I hope you all can appreciate Mr. James Preston Allen's training and experience as a journalist. He walks around town, wearing his hat, with an air of journalistic authority and integrity. Where he found his integrity he feels he has is someplace I want to go and buy some for myself.

Remember, James is the trained professional who professes great knowledge as a publisher. He even wrote a book about publishing which you can find at Williams book store. I saw it in the window, but did not open it, fearing I would find the same type of pages I saw in the book about the wit and wisdom of Spiro T. Agnew.

So it seems I am mellowing out much more about Random Lengths News. I know I am somewhat ticked off that he published my name and Email address and all the other ones that bad folks can use their fake names and Email addresses to harass, and be mean.

But Random Lengths News continues what I am beginning to believe is its quest to become the funniest, least informational, and highest profit, throw-away, fish-wrapping publication.

If you are looking for real news about issues that affect the daily lives of all of us, please do not believe you can find much of it in the Random Lengths News.

If you want to read full-page ads sponsored by Ponte Vista and/or other large residential developments in the area, you have found the correct spot by picking up a Random Lengths News.

Mr. Allen is claiming that the upcoming special edition commemorating the Port's Centennial will become a keepsake edition and will be glossy and produced better and be more fancy. This is another way to suggest that ad prices will be well over what is charged in regular editions.

If folks wish to advertise in an edition they believe will be worthy of saving, then, what the heck, go for it.

I would suggest to these fine folks however, that they may want to save some dollars and advertise in real newspapers which may produce commemorative editions.

I wonder if "San Pedro Magazine" will be doing a special edition. I think Jack and Josh have produced a publication that comes out once a month and really does have more meaningful articles that deal with San Pedro and OUR community. If I actually needed to buy ad space in a publication I thought would be more save-worthy, San Pedro Magazine has always been my go to, as far as publications I have saved.

I would also like all of us to try and persuade Mr. Doug Epperhart to write a piece in his bi-weekly column in The Daily Breeze concerning publishing Email addresses on unsolicited Emails and not using Blind carbon copy. I think it is shameful what "Mitch" and others did at Random Lengths News and it deserves to be called out and investigated.

But in the meantime, lets wait patiently for every other Thursday evening, for our chance at a real "funny paper" and more chances to hoot, holler, chuckle, laugh, and then throw the thing out with the other garbage, all before reading any advertisements in the Random Lengths News.


Anonymous said...

the publication is a piece of trash, literally and figuratively.what a waste of trees. helps keep me warm on cold nights lighting my fire. bob's project is going to turn into a "project" when he ends up doing the same thing as the monster did. high-density ghetto housing, which will drain more services than it ever gives. sure as hell looks like a ghetto since he bought the property, which, despite complaints, has not been addressed.yeah, the city really cares abouth this area.

Anonymous said...

today i drove by the site and noticed that he has people painting white blotches on what is left of the dark wood fencing. is he not really commiting a crime by pulling this behavior? why won't the city make him stop?

M Richards said...

Howdy anonymous 11:05 PM,

What ever Bob is doing or is having done is being done in San Pedro.

I need residents of San Pedro to contact their elected officials, the L.A.F.D. Fire Inspection services, and also the City of Los Angeles Health Department.

Although folks living west, up on The Hill have to look at the blight, and visitors to Green Hills also see the blight when they visit the graves of their loved ones, all that is being done in Rancho Palos Verdes or further up in Rolling Hills and even in a piece of Rolling Hills Estates.

I feel very strongly that folks in San Pedro, groups of homeowners in San Pedro, and the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council should do the fighting, questioning and accomplishing calls for clean up.

We in Rancho Palos Verdes get little more than lip service from government and bureaucrats who are more beholding to residents of San Pedro.

I could write pages and pages of information and site all the ordinances I can find, but if there aren't folks actually living in San Pedro who are willing to take up swords and help us in the fight, we are simply bystanders watching the Army of Bisno charge through lines of opposition and continue their goals of achieving victory over OUR community and the quality of life we still enjoy.

I really need much more help from residents of San Pedro in the blight issue and I would appreciate all correct-thinking San Pedrans to assist all of us in trying to get the blight cleaned up.

Yes, I'll admit it, I feel a bit impotent in the matter of trying to get Bob to clean up Ponte Vista, but I know there are San Pedrans out there who could get invigorated in assisting all of us to stand hard against Bob's blight.