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Posts Tagged ‘Sandy Banks’

Contemplating the Death of Rigoberto Ruelas

LA Times columnist Sandy Banks was at the funeral of teacher Rigoberto Ruelas and penned a column over the weekend. It’s an interesting piece that navigates a pretty fine line–acknowledging that Ruelas was beloved as a teacher by students, parents and the community at large, while largely dismissing the notion that publishing “value-added” test scores on the Times’ website, depicting Ruelas as a “less effective” teacher, could have contributed to his suicidal depression.

On my drive to work that morning, I listened to callers on KPCC’s AirTalk, many of them parents like David, who applauded The Times for naming names, raising a ruckus, sparking a national debate that might hurry the pace of local reform.

“We need that. … Teachers can’t hide,” David said, his voice breaking as he talked about moving his daughter from school to school in Los Angeles. “She lost two years,” he said, because she got stuck with teachers who were inadequate.

But I got a different message in the church that night, from the burly man who broke down at the mike and the mothers wearing sunglasses to hide their swollen eyes. They told stories in Spanish that I didn’t quite understand, about bicycles and shared sandwiches and music lessons, but there was no mistaking the love in the air.

To them, some things might matter more than a 10-point jump on a math exam. Ruelas earned their gratitude and their confidence; he reminded them of all their children could accomplish.

Previously on FBLA: LA Times Responds To Teacher Suicide

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LAT In 90 Seconds

40058221-16150820.jpgMo’bit: A quick blog post yesterday told LAT readers about Stan Winston‘s demise, giving the paper more time to complete a longer, more thoughtful obituary for the legendary special effects wizard filled with deeper insights and information — like quotes from the Orange County Register.

40060171-16161318.jpgCalifornia Adventure? According to Dawn Chmielewski, “Walt Disney Imagineering melded the interactive elements of a video game with the kind of immersive 3-D experience of an amusement park to create Toy Story Midway Mania, a ride opening today at Disney’s California Adventure park in Anaheim.” We can see it now, frazzled parents screaming at their kids to put down their damn Game Boys so they can, um, play a video game.

40050784-16114244-200118.jpgGay-A-Palooza: The first gay marriages in the state inspire SWAT-team like coverage, with Tony Perry And Tami Abdollah covering a Marine’s wedding in San Diego, Carla Hall reporting from Beverly Hills, John Glionna filing from San Francisco, Bruce Wallace reporting from Tokyo, Duke Helfand, Jessica Garrison, Jean-Paul Renaud, Rich Connell, Sandy Banks, Dana Parsons reporting from L..A and Orange County. (Former LAT reporter Jean Pasco even got into the act, being quoted as the current Orange County recorder spokeswoman.)

Margaret Jones/Peggy Seltzer Toteboard

Margaret B. Jones/Peggy Seltzer Scoreboard:

Chicago Tribune
Why they lie

Financial Times
Tall tales of the would-be victim

New York Times
Strong reporting nearly makes up for the initial flabbiness. No dog-pile of op-eds, but did they really need the lame spoof? Good letters to the editor.

Foundation Is Questioned After Memoir Is Exposed
Tracking the Fallout of (Another) Literary Fraud
Gang Memoir, Turning Page, Is Pure Fiction
A Refugee From Gangland
However Mean the Streets, Have an Exit Strategy

Los Angeles Times
Lots of columns and opinions, but with the exception of a couple of quotes from Seltzer’s mom and Sandy Banks walking around the ‘hood, not much news. Where’s the former classmate, the former teacher? Never underestimate the power of googlebait for the MSM.

Caught lying? Shame on you
Authors Rita Williams, Samantha Dunn and Denise Hamilton on literary liars.
Why we fall for the fakes
Why would author label fiction as fact?
Margaret Seltzer’s fake memoir
Fact and fiction on L.A.’s mean streets
Margaret B. Jones’ foundation appears to be fake
Author admits gang-life ‘memoir’ was all fiction

Why Didn’t Sandy Banks Ask Genie Harrison Any Hard Questions?

Genie Harrison.jpg

Did the LAT figure that Sandy Banks was going to editorialize no matter what, so giving her a column was the lesser of two evils? Today’s offering glamorizes Genie Harrison, the Dog Food Lawyer.

Banks is all fan-girl about Harrison’s reputed bravery in taking the Tennie Pierce case. But while she asks Harrison background questions, she never asks how the lawyer felt about her client’s own participation in firehouse hazing incidents. Or why he changed his story so many times? Maybe Banks didn’t know–her own reporting sure didn’t mention these parts of the story.

But Harrison’s not exactly Atticus Finch in pumps. Who can forget her firm’s brave stand in McClure vs. the City of Long Beach–their clients, a pair of would-be nursing home operators got $22.5 million, after 12 years of litigation.

LA Times.com Adds More Blog-Bling

The LA Times is just growing by leaps and bounds. Coming soon, as announced by Meredith Artley:

* Small changes to the homepage including a dedicated area for sports, more visible blog and quote treatment.
* “Emerald City,” a blog on green living in LA.
* “Up to Speed,” a new auto blog.
* A Mideast blog from our foreign staff.
* New designs for The Envelope, Autos and Opinion.
* Readers’ Rep, a blog from Jamie Gold and her team.
* A columnist blog for Sandy Banks.
* Even more original videos and design changes to our video player.
* A new, singular email newsletter system, which will allow us to grow our email offering in areas like politics, breaking news and more.

Read more

Sandy Banks Returns as LA Times Columnist

The LA Times announces that Sandy Banks will return as a columnist. Twice a week.

Are the Times editors incapable of looking outside the building? Are there really no fresh, interesting, writers in all of Los Angeles, other than those folks already on the payroll?

Here’s some hints:

Susannah Breslin

Amy Alkon

Mayrav Saar (wanna make something of it?)

Sharon Mizota

Jasmyne Cannick

The press release says

Sandy has an innate ability to relate to many of the stories she writes about given her own background as a single mother raising three daughters.

Never mind how she actually writes.