Writing

Wisconsin State Journal

Job transfers strain family ties for former Janesville GM workers

It’s a long road home for General Motors employees who saved their jobs by transferring to plants outside of Wisconsin but left their families behind in Janesville.

Wisconsin transportation official’s company rings up hundreds of thousands of dollars in state business

A company co-owned by a DOT official has made a significant profit doing business with the state – some of it with the official’s own agency – raising questions about whether he used his government job for private gain.


Microbes and motorcycles gain Legislature’s attention

A pair of contenders hoping to join the state symbol club would honor two famous Wisconsin traditions: cheese and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

ABC News

Medical Marijuana’s Eco Boomtown

California doesn’t keep exact numbers tax dollars brought in by medical marijuana, but it’s clearly a booming business in the Golden State despite the long-time War on Drugs. A look at how Humboldt County’s economy has profited from the medical marijuana industry.

AssetRecoveryWatch.com

Nuhu Ribadu says fighting corruption in Nigeria cost him his job

U.S. seeks $3 million in money linked to Siemens bribery case in Bangladesh

Texas town targeted black drivers for asset seizures, lawsuit says

St. Petersburg Times

A sad story or a moral failure?

All the cool kids are eating healthy

Over my dead body

Sgt. Curtis Greene loved the military, but eight months in Iraq changed him. An investigation into soldier suicides, Post-Traumatic Stress, or PTSD, and the psychological toll of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

St. Petersburg Times photo: Kathleen Flynn

Merman mystique

A Citrus teen named Eric Ducharme, enchanted by the mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs, was inspired to pursue a career as an underwater performer — and start his own business making custom tails. He’s known as “The Mertailor.”

Weeki Wachee Mermaids - story by Mary Spicuzza

St. Petersburg Times photo: Keri Wiginton

Weeki Wachee mermaids in terrorists’ cross hairs?

Weeki Wachee Springs will seek federal funds after being named a top terrorism target in Hernando County, Florida, a theme park official said.

Dedication, to the very end

Making sure their brothers in arms get a proper final sendoff is of primary importance to the VFW Honor Guard. But as time marches on, their numbers, too, are dwindling.

Complete list of Mary Spicuzza’s articles for the St. Petersburg Times


The New York Times

A Tree Dies in Brooklyn (Alas, It’s a Fig)

Something started killing many of the fig trees in Brooklyn and throughout the city this spring. Theories abound. But many of the neighborhood’s old Italian families suspect gentrification is to blame.

A Warning on Cut-Rate Surgeries Abroad

Women started going to their doctors complaining of boils, swelling, fevers and horrible pain. The infections were traced back to “lipotourism,” or plastic surgeries performed in the Dominican Republic.

Don’t Look for a Sign

To find these New York City restaurants, you might need a map.

The Waitress Isn’t Kidding When She Tells You to Leave a Tip

When stopping in for a meal at Soprano’s Italian and American Grill in Lake George, N.Y., leave a good tip. Or else.

Complete list of Mary Spicuzza’s articles for the New York Times

The Seattle Times

Buddhist monk battle

Some neighbors critical of the Atammayatarama Buddhist Monastery near Woodinville, Washington, insisted that the monks’ plans to build an expanded meditation center would ruin their neighborhood by tangling traffic, destroying the surrounding wetlands and sending their property values plummeting.

Hydros will roar without O’Day

Seafair’s hydroplane races sounded quite different in 2003. That was when Pat O’Day, the voice of the hydroplanes for the last 36 years, learned he no longer be behind the radio microphone when the lightning-fast boats took over Lake Washington.

Scanners’ drone is music to the ears of these ‘freeks’

Fans tell legend of the ‘Dragon’

Complete list of articles from the Seattle Times

SF Weekly

Fighting Words: Oxbow’s Eugene Robinson

A Twisted Tale

A well-known San Francisco erotic performer named Jade-Blue Eclipse became a fugitive after getting caught up in a federal identity theft crackdown. But is the legendary contortionist really a threat to national security?

Who Killed Hugues de la Plaza?

The death of Hugues de la Plaza has not yet been ruled a homicide, and San Francisco Police Department calls it a “suspicious death.” His parents became so frustrated they petitioned for help from the French government.

Enter the Dragon Head

Raymond Chow says he’s left his gangster days behind to help bring peace to Chinatown’s streets. Is “Shrimp Boy” really a new man?

An Army of Uno

Not a citizen? Not a problem. Uncle Sam wants you, too. A look at how promises of U.S. citizenship play a role in recruiting immigrants into the U.S. armed services.

Sex and Sensuality

Touchy-feely “researchers” at One Taste Urban Retreat Center want to build community through the practice of orgasmic meditation — one stroke at a time.

Wikipedia Idiots: The Edit Wars of San Francisco

When anonymous Wikipedia editors battle over the details, arguments over the accuracy of entries sometimes become personal as accusations of bias fly. Is anonymity the best policy for the online encyclopedia?

East Bay Express

The Right to Confront Your Accuser

Where Have All the Officers Gone?

Metro Newspapers

In Deep with the Dolphin Group

A look at a leading critic of the UFW, the Los Angeles-based Strawberry Workers and Farmers Alliance. The organization was being run out of the offices of The Dolphin Group, a 20-year-old public relations firm with ties to the California Table Grape Commission, tobacco companies like Philip Morris USA, and Republican election campaigns.

Strawberry Split

Monsanto Company: Silicon to Soybeans

Beach Flats: Village Voices

La Bahia: Landmark Case

The Scalpel and the Damage Done

Stanford Doctor Camran Nezhat and his brothers have worked hard to build their reputations as pioneers, and as some of the world’s best gynecological surgeons. But some former patients and doctors say it’s based on fraud, corporate sponsorship and experimentation on women.

Bad Heroines

Action heroines can be strong and sexy while beating the living daylights out of bad guys. Why are so many people convinced butt-kicking babes are a bad thing?

Nightly Grind

As ravers and anti-drug activists debated whether Ecstasy causes brain damage, both sides were ignoring a serious problem few could deny: cracked teeth worn down to nubs and loads of cavities from over-zealous lollipop or pacifier sucking.

Lady and the Vamps

Buffy the Vampire Slayer wordsmith and University of California at Santa Cruz alum Marti Noxon knows that high school can feel like hell, or more specifically, the hell mouth. But Buffy mastermind Joss Whedon says she’s saved his life “over and over again.”

Alternet

Cigarette Smuggling Rakes in Profits

Los Angeles Times

Apocalypse Then