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— Give the Union-Tribune credit for ingenuity in the face of disaster. During this week's county fire calamity, the paper's main website was sometimes slow, apparently unable to handle the high volume of users desperate for fire information. But the U-T's "fire blog," which provided useful updates regarding evacuations, traffic conditions, and other emergency information, was rolling along just fine. The secret: it was running on Blogger.com, the set-it-up-yourself blog-hosting operation owned by Google. ... Carl DeMaio got some great ink in this Tuesday's New York Times for his volunteer work at Qualcomm Stadium during the disaster. Without mentioning that DeMaio is a GOP candidate for city council, the Times reported that he was forced to evacuate his home and then "drove straight to Qualcomm Arena and started organizing volunteers who arrived even before city officials did." The story continued: "Mr. DeMaio, who is the president of a nonpartisan government watchdog organization, organized at least 400 volunteers and tons of donated food, mattresses, blankets and other gifts." About his house in the burn zone, DeMaio was quoted as saying, "From everything I've heard, it's probably gone. But you know what, I really can't think of that right now."

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