ComJour333: Quick Speech Exercise

Gov. Christine Gregoire announced her support for the introduction of a bill that will allow same-sex couples to wed, before an audience of 100 supporters of gay marriage in Olympia on Thursday.

Gregoire said the ultimate decision to support same-sex marriage was a difficult one, citing her religious beliefs as an obstacle she had to overcome.

“The responsibility of a state is to license only, ” said Gregoire.

“Religions can decide what they want to do but its not in the state’s business to discriminate.”


ComJour333 Local Government Meeting Story Exercise

Whitman County Agenda

a. Michael Largent

b. Gonorrhea

c. Phil Hagihara

d. Scott Paradis

e. Today’s contribution: $100,000. They cut 80% of funding.

f. Financial Update (9:00 a.m.-Petrovich)


Pullman City Council


1. The difference between minutes and an agenda is that an agenda is a more complex and dynamic look at what is being covered at the meetings while minutes is more of a brief breakdown featuring one line explanations of events and discussions.


1. Schweitzer would open his building on May 1, 2013

2. SEL has 250 job openings currently

3. $100,000


Jan. 22 Agenda:

a. Derrick Skaug, Bill Paul

b. A consent agenda holds items “routin in nature enacted by a single motion of the Council without further discussion.

c. Mike Heston

d. $600,000

e. Salex Tax

Total: $1,144,117

YTD Total: $3,966,577

ComJour333 Story #1: Event

Play for a Cure: WSU students organize playathon benefitting cancer research

By: Zack Menchel


Pullman, Wash. Visitors to the Terrell Library atrium were greeted by the brilliant melodies of classical music on Jan. 25 as part of a piano playathon that raised nearly $1 thousand dollars benefitting the American Cancer Society.

The event showcased a handful of talented young pianists from WSU’s School of Music performing both classical and jazz repertoire to show support for a beloved professor who is battling cancer.

Dr. Karen Savage was recently diagnosed with breast cancer but has since resumed her teaching duties at the university while undergoing treatment.

Juliana Witt, a student of Savage’s who helped to orchestrate the event said she and seven other students wanted to give back to Savage through the gift of music while simultaneously raising money and awareness for a good cause.

“I think we just wanted to show our collective love and support for a professor we all know and care for that is fighting cancer,” she said.

“We felt that in playing music, we’re doing what we do best in order to benefit the lives of others.”

The playathon was intended as an addition to “Atrium Music”, an on-going series of impromptu concerts and recitals featuring aspiring musicians and was facilitated by WSU’s collegiate chapter of the Music Teachers National Association.

Sandra Albers, a performing arts facilities coordinator in her 17th year at the School of Music sees the playathon and other related atrium performances as not only a great dress-rehearsal for the musicians to perfect their craft but also a relaxing experience for any foot traffic meandering through the library.

“The Atrium Series helps people to be exposed to music while going about their business in the library,” she said.

“It also simply allows people to stop and take a break on Friday afternoon, sit down and just listen to something beautiful and inspiring.”

Leaning back comfortably in her chair, Stephanie Long gently closed her eyes and bobbed her head back and forth in unison with the plethora of calming sounds permeating the room around her.

Long, a junior secondary education major said she initially entered the library completely oblivious to the playathon but instantly felt compelled to take a seat near the atrium’s grand piano to soak up the atmosphere.

“I was raised around music and have loved it my entire life as it’s always been something that’s been there for me,” she said.

“I still play music to this day and see it as part of my genetics, my DNA, a portion of me I couldn’t live without it.”

Long said she appreciated the fact that the playathon raised funds for a beneficial organization and hopes that the atrium continues to house events such as these, encouraging students to attend.

“Music should be a part of every student’s life because it helps create balance,” said Long.”

“As stressful as school is, music helps build a place where people can escape to reflect, relax, or just deal with whatever it is an individual is facing regardless if one is playing, producing, or listening.”

The appeal of soothing music in the atrium is undeniable but the question remains as to whether events such as the playathon can become a regular occurrence in the future and thrive without the added bonus of promoting a good cause.

“The beauty of it all is that people can come and go as they please or sit down to eat their lunch in a relaxing setting,” said Witt.

“It creates a greater sense of community and is so much more than just a performance.”



1.  Julianna Witt

Title: Student/Teaching Assistant



2. Sandra Albers

Title: WSU School of Music Performing Arts Facilities Coordinator



3. Stephanie Long

Title: Student



On Friday, Jan. 25 eight WSU students performed both classic and original compositions on a piano in the Terrell Library Atrium. The series of performances was organized by the students in order to support a professor who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, Dr. Karen Savage. The event raised $900 in funds.


I). Lead

  • Time and Place
  • Amount Raised

II). What/Why?

  • Showcase of young pianists
  • To benefit cancer research, honor Dr. Savage

III). Interviews

  • Purpose
  • Pros of event/music in general

IV. Wrap-Up

ComJour333 Outline

I. What happened?

Budget Cuts

a. 30 cityworkers to lose their jobs, library to be closed for a week in the Summer

b. Mayor Greg Nickels will cut $13.3 million out of the 2009 general-fund budget and will spend $5 million of the city’s rainy-day fund


II. Why?

Bad Economy

a.  To close a budget gap caused by lower-than-expected tax revenue, $29.5 million shortfall

b. Worst economic crisis in Seattle in decades

III. Effects

a. Most city departments will take between a 1 and 3 percent cut

b. Mayor Nickels plans to cut $400,000 he set aside for public toilets after they were deemed a failure


IIII. How are people reacting?

a. A group of city employees is planning an “informational picket” outside City Hall on Monday morning from 7 to 8:30 a.m. to protest the mayor’s cuts.

b. Nickels will brief the City Council on Monday about the cuts, and some members of his staff will attend a public hearing Wednesday at City Hall

ComJour333 From the Lead to the Structure

4. Four boys age 7 to 11 drowned when a group of seven boys plunged through thin ice.

1. As seven boys finished their snack run from the Lawrence Boys & Girls Club to Hanson’s Market yesterday afternoon, a sudden urge to slide around prompted 11-year-old William Rodriguez to dash for the serene expanse of river ice.

15. “Willie said he wanted to go down to the river, to slide on the Ice,” Ivan said. “We tried to stop him.”

9. It was a playful impulse that ended with his plunge through the ice, setting off an ill-fated rescue attempt that deteriorated into a mass of desperate children clinging to each other in 35-degree water.

10. The catastrophe left four boys dead, their families crushed and rescue workers shaken following an afternoon of fighting a river of broken ice, the steep mud-covered bank and driving rain.

11. Dead are William Rodriguez, 11, of 292 Howard St.; Christopher Casado, 7, of 18 Jasper Court; Mackendy Constant, 8, of 7 Clinton St.; and Victor Baez, 9, 46 Bernard Ave.

3. Police said the four dead boys were trapped under the ice at least 10 minutes.

8. It was the worst local Merrimack River tragedy in nearly a century.

14. “I threw the rope out once and it landed too far away, so I threw it out again, and again it was too far for them to reach,” said Jacques Fournier, a retired maintenance worker who tried to rescue the boys.

5. Lawrence and Andover firefighters equipped with ice rescue suits arrived and after a search of the area where the boys went in, found the four remaining boys under the ice, 25 feet from shore in 15-20 feet of water.

6. Because of the steep embankment, rescuers were forced to use ladders to bring the children up off the river to the waiting ambulances.

12. Surviving the incident were Francis Spraus, 9, 14 School St.; Christopher’s brother Ivan Casado, 9, 18 Jasper Court; Jaycob Morales, 10, 4 Winslow Place.

13. Ivan and Francis were released from the hospital last night, and recalled the story from its quiet start.

7. Members of the state police, Lawrence Police and Merrimack Valley dive teams entered the 38-degree water and conducted an area search to be sure no one was left behind.

2. The ice was one to two inches thick where they ventured off the river bank. Four inches is considered the minimum to support more than one person, and river ice may not be safe even at that thickness because of currents and other factors.

18. “My legs started to get stiff, and I had a freezing headache,” Francis said. “I was hanging on to Christopher, but he started to slip under. I tried holding on to his hand, but it was like he let go.”

ComJour333 Leads Assignment

Looking over the “Five Leads” post on the class blog, I have chosen the fifth lead as my favorite and the one that made me want to continue reading.

The lead, from a New York Times piece on unusual weapons such as icepicks still being used to commit crimes in New York City is as follows: “The young man staggered down a city street as blood flowed from a puncture wound. The weapon used in the steely attack — an ice pick — was sticking out of his lower back. The scene was reminiscent of an era in the 1930s and ’40s when members of a notorious Brooklyn murder syndicate left a trail of bodies riddled with ice-pick holes. This attack, however, was set in modern-day New York City, specifically, on Aug. 21, at 4:20 p.m. in the Norwood section of the Bronx.”

This lead is the most interesting because of the vivid imagery that however cliche, really paints a picture in your head of the grisly events that had taken place. The writer really sets the tone for the piece and generates reader interest and intrigue in what was simply a police blotter report. This lead is creative in the sense that it compares current crimes to historical ones and then brings it back to modern day again. The writer really did a great job in drawing me in and practically forcing me to keep reading.

Here are the two leads I selected that I thought were well done and/or drew my interest:

New York Times: Obama Offers Liberal Vision; ‘We Must Act’

Lead: “Barack Hussein Obama ceremonially opened his second term on Monday with an assertive Inaugural Address that offered a robust articulation of modern liberalism in America, arguing that “preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Shelters Work Overtime as Temps Plunge Across Southwestern Pennsylvania

Lead: “Pittsburgh’s homeless population filled local shelters by the dozens Monday night to escape temperatures that were forecast to plunge to 5 degrees and piercing wind gusts that were expected to create a wind chill as low as 20 degrees below zero.”