Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Journalism Article: Residents fight to keep 70th safe

By :Joey Stych
Slug: Arnesonpkwy

Recent highway construction in Edina has funneled cars off of highway 100 and onto 70th street, dividing the community between those who want convenience and those who value safety.

A group of 70th Street residents have come together in an attempt to save the dignity of the neighborhood, and to help keep their children safe. These citizens hope to recreate 70th Street as Arneson Parkway, increasing the appeal and safety of the neighborhood.

Though 70th Street has always been filled with commuters, it recently became more dangerous because of increasing speeds of passing cars and the rise in the number of cars using the street due to construction on Highways 100 and 62. Most traffic is headed to the heart of Edina, near Southdale shopping mall and the Galleria.

“I would love to be able to get out of my driveway faster,” said Virginia Ma, a senior at Edina High School and resident of 70th Street who feels blocked in by traffic. “So many people speed by Cornelia every day.”

Parents are becoming uneasy about letting their children cross the street alone and also worry about their childrens’ trip home from Cornelia Elementary School, which is on 70th.

“When school gets out, speed violations always seem to be at their worst,” said Cornelia parent Josh Sprauge, “but we have ideas that will help to improve neighborhood conditions.”

Sprauge is not only a concerned parent but also the head of The Greater West 70th Street Homeowners Association. The board of 70th residents seeks not only the improvement of street conditions, but also better enforcement of speed limits and increased signage on highways to inform drivers of alternate routes to the Southdale area.

“The city needs to eliminate state aid for 70th so that we are able to decrease the speed limit in the area. But this is only one of many options we have in slowing cars down,” Sprauge said.

State aid on 70th is financial help Edina receives as a way of repairing city roads. Because the road is funded by the state, 70th is also under the state laws for speed limits.

Sprauge also said the board is looking into adding more crosswalks and stoplights to Arneson as possible solutions to the speeding problem.

Making these changes would not only affect the residents of 70th Street, but also the people who use it.

“I use 70th Street three or four times a week to get to work, and construction would make it very difficult to get there on time,” said senior Kate Kincaid, who works at Creative Kidstuff and rushes from school to reach the Galleria on time.

The current speed limit on 70th is 30 mph, but according to Ma this is “loosely followed.” She also predicted that with a decrease to 25 mph and the increased monitoring of the law, traffic would come to a standstill.

“Even though construction would be hurtful to the community at that time, families could really benefit from Arneson Parkway in the future,” said Ma.

The Greater West 70th Street Homeowners Association already mapped out this change, but Sprauge said: “This will not be possible overnight, or without the support of the city.”

Sprauge and his cohorts began their movement at Edina City Hall and have provided city leaders with a letter stating the purpose of Arneson Parkway and the changes that need to happen for it to be possible.

“I think that building Arneson Parkway would slow things down for everyone,” said Kincaid: “But it’s worth it. 70th is ridiculous.”

The next meeting of the Greater West 70th Street Homeowners Association is at 6:00 PM on November 13. For More information, including the meeting location, visit the association’s website at www.save70th.org.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My Zephyrant

The front page of Zephyrus is not at all appealing or very journalistic. First of all, the I-35W bridge story is not timely in the least, and no one at Edina really cares anymore seeing as it doesn't affect their daily lives at all. Also, the second story about Thanksgiving charities was NOT front page news, seeing as there was no controversy, excitement, or new information. This article seemed very biased, and the big thing that made me mad was that the author couldn't even get their acronyms right. The article says "Volunteers Enlisted to Help People (VEAP)" and last time I checked, VEHP is not the same as VEAP. The charity is actually called Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People, and it amazes me that the editors and the author were unable to catch this mistake.

Next is the first of two articles written about the same subject: the new cigarettes that are targeted at women. Even though these articles are written differently, they could have been grouped in to one objective article. Also, I feel like these articles were written to "make up" for the sexist article in the last issue, which I will discuss later.

The illegal music article was very relevant to the students of Edina, but it was written horribly and without quotes. This would have been a great place to get student input on the subject but the paper just didn't find it necessary to the article.

The article about the girls only gym class and the boys only english class started with a generalization that was very concerning to read and turned me off from the article in the first sentence. Also, the Zephyrus date piece was worthless and a waste of space.

I really enjoyed the way that the classroom pets article was written, and also the teacher coaches article because they were well written and I felt like I actually learned something about the people who have an impact in my life. Overall they were great articles to read, however the rant about Jerry Seinfeld wasn't a good read, and the entire opinion piece clashes with another story about the Bee Movie opening. Also, why should I care about her opinion of Jerry Seinfeld, and why should he care about her? The other article on the page was the dominating perspective article, which to me was hard to read and lazy, seeing as more than half the story was quotes.

I thought that the central article of this issue was terrible. I found it extremely difficult to read partly because of the colors, and also because of the fact that the articles were not tilted clearly. However, I thoroughly enjoyed most of the articles on this page except for the one about the 90s fads. I didn't like this article mostly because the author used "I" throughout the whole thing, which most people learned not to do in 6th grade, and also because his opening was cliche.

The freedom of speech article was just uninteresting, period. Everyone knows that we have freedom of speech and no one cares or thinks about it, and this article doesn't make me care about it. The response to the letter written to the editor was just a bad move in general. I'll admit that it was good that the editors took some responsibility, but at the same time the article sounded like they just didn't care about what the reader thought and insisted that it was a tasteful article. I don't understand how something like this could get past a board of female editors and cause this much commotion.

Finally, the back page of this paper is just horrible, because they tried to be funny and failed miserably. With the silhouettes the writers said that the answers were "on the back" but the answers were never provided. Is this their Idea of a joke? The first part of the Soulja Boy article was very vivid, interesting, and fun to read, but once it got to the steps I gave up reading because the wording was so difficult to understand.

overall, I think that Zephyrus really needs to work harder on their stories, and learn how to edit their paper. I just read over this whole paper, and it took less than a hour, how hard could it be for them when they have a class period every day to do it?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

News Story Ideas

Idea #1: Arneson Parkway

1) Slug:Arnbill

2) Section of newspaper story would appear (no Op-Ed):


3) What are the most dominant news elements in the story? Explain in-depth:

-Proximity, because it is a problem that affects Edina and everyone traveling on the road

-Conflict, because the people who live on 70th are angry at the fact that the street that they live on is becoming a "highway" and they want the government to do something about it, like building Arneson Parkway.

-Human interest, because I could interview someone who lives on 70th and write about how the traffic affects them in their daily activities

4) In a few sentences, describe what the story will be about: This story will be about how the new Arneson Parkway bill that has been proposed, and how it could hurt and help the Southdale area. Also, I would include reasons that the 70th situation needs to be improved, and also the viewpoints of both the people who live on the street and those who use it every day.

5) Specifically, who will you interview or contact? Why those people?

-Virginia Ma, who lives on 70th St. and is greatly affected by the increase in traffic because she finds it difficult to leave her driveway
-Lee Zhu, who uses 70th street more than 4 times a week in order to get to work at Southdale.
-James Hovland, who is the Mayor of Edina and has a big part in wether or not the bill passes.

6) What information do you need to gather before you begin interviews?
-Pros of the bill
-cons of the bill
-When city council will be voting on the bill
-Who will be affected by this bill
-How long will the road take to be built if the bill is passed
-Why is traffic so detrimental to the Southdale area
-Why has traffic thickened in the area recently

7) What questions do you definitely need answered in your interviews? Why?
-How will the bill help/hurt you?
-How often do you use 70th?
-Is this in the budget for the city?
-How will this be paid for?
-Would you promote a tax increase in order to build this road?

8) What photo opportunities are available to go alongside this story (give names, places, times, etc.)?
-Cars traveling down the road during rush hour
-City council meeting during which they are discussing the bill
-Someone who lives on 70th standing with their back to the road during rush hour

9) Who should a photographer contact to set up photographs?
-The person who will be photographed with the road to find out when the busiest time is traffic-wise and also to set up a time to take the pictures.

10) What concerns or problems do you foresee in getting this story together?
-The city council meeting involving the bill could be too distant
-Setting up a time that is good for the person living on the street but also is busy traffic-wise
Idea #2
Nintendo Wii Shortages?
1) Slug:Wiishort

2) Section of newspaper story would appear (no Op-Ed):

3) What are the most dominant news elements in the story? Explain in-depth:

-Timeliness, because parents are starting to think about Christmas shopping, and Nintendo Wiis have been extremely scarce since last Christmas
-Conflict, because people are getting angry that they still can't get a Wii after a year
-Human interest, because I could interview a parent who searched for the Wii last Christmas and was unable to find it

4) In a few sentences, describe what the story will be about: The story will mainly be about how Nintendo is predicting that they will not be able to produce enough Wiis to supplement the demand of the public this Christmas season. Also, the story will look at how this will affect the people wanting to buy Wiis and the Nintendo company, being the least expensive fourth generation system as it is.

5) Specifically, who will you interview or contact? Why those people?

-Lorri Harrison, who has not been able to find a Wii for her children for Christmas
-Henry Chapman, who has a Wii and could tell me about how he found his and about the benefits of having one.
-Satoru Iwata, the CEO of Nintendo who could tell me about his concerns for producing enough Wiis for the Christmas season and about the Wiis success thus far

6) What information do you need to gather before you begin interviews?
-How many Wiis were purchased last Christmas season?
-What is the price of the Wii?
-How does the Wii compare to the XBOX 360 and Playstation 3?
-Who is the main party that the Wii appeals to?

7) What questions do you definitely need answered in your interviews? Why?
-How many Wiis are planned to ship for the Christmas season?
-Why would Nintendo produce such a small quantity of a product that is in high demand and that is cheap?
-Why is the Wii in such high demand?
-How does Nintendo plan to combat this problem?
-How does Nintendo expect to fair against Microsoft and Sony?

8) What photo opportunities are available to go alongside this story (give names, places, times, etc.)?
-A picture of the "Sorry, no Wiis in stock" sign at Target in Edina
-A picture of Target or Best Buy in Edina during the Christmas rush, or a line of people waiting to get a wii
9) Who should a photographer contact to set up photographs?
-The manager of Target/Best Buy
-Satoru Iwata, the CEO of Nintendo

10) What concerns or problems do you foresee in getting this story together?
-The higher-ups at Nintendo may not be available to make a comment or to give an interview
-Nintendo may not want to give away their strategies for this situation

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Honesty in Journalism

I feel that a good reporter has to seek the truth and be honest in his report of it. The main reason that this is important to journalism is that people turn to journalists, wether they are published in the newspaper or on television, for the honest story. Without honesty in journalism the world would be full of untrue rumors spawned by a nasty game of telephone. An example of why journalism is important is when Dan Rather reported on false papers about George Bush's involvement, or lack of, in the Vietnam war. Because the documents were later found to be false and from an unreliable source, Rather lost his job and the station lost it's credibility.

This aspect of journalism also brings us into the importance of being unbiased when reporting on an issue. As Mr. Hatten says, journalists shouldn't tell us what to think, but they should tell us what to think about. I believe that this should remain true in any type of journalism, because showing both sides of a story is a major part of seeking the truth. A reporter shouldn't see only what they want to see, but what is really there. An example of this in journalism is that many people have accused the Star Tribune of being biased, and for this reason have stopped buying it.

However, I believe that the biggest incentive to being honest is that you will build a better relationship with the people that you interview, and therefore will have a better chance of getting the big scoop. For example, if you had a private interview with Barry Bonds, and then went on to write an article using out of context quotes in order to make him look like a cheater, he would probably not want to work with you again. On the other hand, being prompt in returning phone calls and writing the truth from both sides of an argument is the best way to get a good reputation and to stay honest in journalism.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


I don't understand what the architects were thinking when they decided that copper would be a good siding for the school. I hate walking into a brand new school building that, on the outside, already looks like it is years old because of the now greenish copper. A bigger example of this is the Statue of Liberty in New York, which is a gift from France made of pure copper (except for the flame). Copper does, however, have traits that make it very water-resistant, but that doesn't seem to be an issue seeing as the sides of a school shouldn't be leaking anyways. I'll admit that the siding did look nice in the beginning, but I have mixed feelings about being associated with a school that looks like a rotting penny.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Hello and welcome to my blog.