Catching up on some year-end events that Grumpy Editor feels some folks (and editors) may have missed ---
+ The Census Bureau’s projected U.S. population going into 2012: 312,780,968. The agency also calculated one birth is expected every eight seconds and one death every 12 seconds in the U.S.
One would think that with more people contributing to the federal pot, taxes would be lowered much like a going-away office party in which the more participants involved mean less contributions per person toward an outlay for a gift.
+ A dopey year-end Verizon Wireless move to yank $2 a month for online or telephone payments from each customer lasted a day before the pickpocket idea was shelved. The “convenience fee” plan immediately triggered a lot of grumbling and complaints from users of Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodaphone Group Plc.
It followed the bad PR Bank of America received two months earlier when it attempted to impose a $5 monthly fee for debit card use.
+ Associated Press got excited when a lone gray wolf crossed into California from Oregon. That warranted an eleven-paragraph report, noting the animal --- wearing a global positioning system collar since February --- had wandered more than 300 miles from its original location. Last gray wolf spotted in California was killed in 1924.
+ Radio listeners during the holidays heard much of “best of” (the upscale name for repeats) talk shows. What talk show hosts and their syndicators seem to forget is that radio is hailed for immediacy. Year-end airing of such things as preparing for Thanksgiving dinners and other “upcoming” events that have long passed is just plain stupid.
Guest hosts should be used to keep the focus on current events in a fast-moving world. It’s an opportunity, too, to develop fresh fill-in talent at microphones.
+ The stock of once-booming Eastman Kodak Co. closed 2011 at 65 cents a share, compared to the year’s high of $5.85. The struggling image and printing company’s stock sold for about $30 a share on the New York Stock Exchange as recently as mid-2007. Its last dividend was in December, 2008.
Three Kodak directors resigned in December as the company works on shoring up an eroding cash position.
Year-end observations conclude tomorrow.