Comments by Visduh

U-T circulation continues decline

It now appears that the daily newspaper, as it existed through most of the 20 the century, was a carefully crafted balance. For starters it had that "Chinese Wall" between editorial and advertising that (supposedly) prevented advertisers from influencing the reported news. I doubt that the Wall was ever perfect, but in some papers it seemed to be at work. The advertising mainstay of a paper was the presence of many retailers who needed to get the word out about their wares, and their special promotions. The best-kept secret was probably the classified (want) ads that brought in both advertiser revenue and made the paper a must-have for many readers. Oh, and then we had the readers who came to depend upon the paper for news and for ads that helped them decide where/how to spend their hard-earned money. But, lo and behold, this machine actually got the readers to pay for their product! Wow. The advertisers paid to show their wares to the subscribers who in turn paid to get the paper so that they could read the ads. News? Well, that was the mortar that held the economic bricks in place and provided the legitimacy for the operation to exist. Without news, what did you have? In the 50's and 60's the shopper appeared that dispensed with the news part of the system. But those didn't put the daily paper in peril, at least not at first. And so we had this elegant combination of news gathering, advertising, and reader/consumers who needed the darned paper and paid for it. It worked so well for so long that it is hard to get used to the idea that the old model is now obsolete and destined for extinction. Sad.
— October 28, 2014 9:23 p.m.

Double-tracked = doubly jacked in North County

Any talk of more double tracking in SD County will bring out the NIMBY's in force. The whole line needs to be double tracked. Wait, you mean that some of the nation's second busiest rail line is only single tracked? Yes, that's true, and not just a small portion of it. A lot of it isn't much different than it was in the 1880's when it was built. But anyone who reads this needs to take notice that this isn't just some little spur track line. It is the second busiest rail line in all the US. Only the Boston-Washington line is busier, and that runs through NYC. The $ billion quoted will not permit double tracking through Del Mar or up the grade to the Miramar summit. To really redo that stretch will require tunneling through Torrey Pines, and that project would require far more than a "mere" billion bucks. As to that unnecessary horn blowing at crossings, it is absolutely true that federal regulations demand it. The only way it can be avoided is to have some double-safe crossings installed, and those are very costly. Are they better than the noise? Well, the listener must be the judge. Passenger rail traffic on the line will just increase as the population grows, and as traffic congestion worsens, and as car operational costs grow. The residents along the line have no prospect of real relief. Their best bet is to campaign for removal of grade-level crossings, quiet crossings, and better equipment. But then, those who live close to the rails are best able to take advantage of rail travel.
— October 27, 2014 8:59 p.m.

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