Tuesday, April 03, 2007

New Discoveries

Being a full-time caregiver affords me the opportunity to watch a lot of TV. I've been trying to put on some of my wife's favorite movies at night so we can watch them together. In the interim I've found some interesting examples of some great things going on, the most significant being the extraordinary 11-part series Planet Earth on the Discovery Channel.

This series combines exquisite photography, informative writing, and great narration (by Sigourney Weaver) into something that captivates for the full hour. I will buy this on DVD; this is something that would look better on PBS because the commercials are truly an annoyance. That's how good this is. Here's the trailer, which doesn't do it justice but is still a good snapshot of what they've been able to accomplish in the 5 years it took to film and produce it:

Something else that caught my attention was a story late last week that involved the parent of the Discovery Channel buying out one of its' part owners, Cox Communications. This includes Cox taking possession of The Travel Channel, which is fine with me so long as Samantha Brown stays, but Discovery is also downsizing in the process, laying off 300 workers to start and perhaps as much as 10 % of its' work force.

There are some local tie-ins to this story. Cox is a subsidiary of privately-held Cox Enterprises, Inc., which also owns Cox Newspapers, publishers of The Daily Sentinel.

Discovery Communications, Inc. is headed by Founder and Chairman John Hendricks, who owns a 20,000-plus square foot mansion and compound in the Gateway area of Mesa County, and is also the owner and driving force behind the development of the Gateway Canyons resort complex. This development is opposed by several local residents, who fear increased demand on public safety services that are scarce and largely volunteer-based.

I haven't seen any coverage of the Discovery/Cox sale in either of the Grand Junction newspapers, and this is a little surprising, but not too much. I would think that a significant business action that involves two corporate entities with a significant presence in Mesa County would warrant a blurb somewhere. Maybe I just missed it.

As far as development in Gateway, a metro Denver Fire Chief said something both simple and profound several years ago. "If it can't be protected, it shouldn't be built". Enough said from this corner.

On another matter, the Sentinel obtained and released the recordings of 9-1-1 calls received during the reckless journey of Patrick Strawmatt that led to the tragic deaths of Jennifer Kois and Jake Brock last month. I'm proud to be counted among the employees of the 9-1-1 center, who have to deal with this kind of stuff every day and do an admirable job of it.

I'm not too thrilled with the local judiciary in Park County that allowed Mr. Strawmatt to post a meager bond after a similar incident in February where he assaulted the Sheriff there. I hope that the media, MADD , or someone keeps Magistrate Larry Allen under the microscope. If he won't comment or explain himself further publicly, his next retention election, should he pursue it, should have a strong challenge against it.

Time to see how my wife is doing and get her turned and medicated. Best wishes for a blessed, safe, and peaceful Easter week. That goes double if you plan on being anywhere near Moab, Utah. St. Mary's CareFlight should just move there this week.

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