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New Mailing System Coming

FYI - I will be adding all alum to our new mail listserv: "washstaralum googlegroup", before the new year. When you receive the notification, you do NOT need to reply. This was explained in the last newsletter. You may want to add the email to your addressbooks so that it does not go to Trash or Spam folders.

As I add members to the new Google mass-mailing system over the next few days, you will receive the following email. You do NOT need to reply or click the "Visit This Group" blue box at the bottom. It is merely informing you that you have been added.

Winston Groom, author of 'Forrest Gump,' wows crowd at Veterans Day event

ST. LEO — Like his lovable, dim-witted character, Forrest Gump, Winston Groom Jr. keeps his composure no matter how awkward the circumstances.

Even when he's getting soaked in iced tea.

"It's all right," the famed novelist drawled sweetly to a flustered server who committed the faux pas with the pitcher. He took the napkins offered to him and calmly wiped up the spill, not missing a beat.

He was visiting Saint Leo University for its Veterans Day program Monday. After the luncheon, he chatted with fans and signed copies of his books, which in addition to the bestselling novel-turned-blockbuster-film Forrest Gump, include his latest, The Aviators, a biography of three heroes who returned to aid in World War II even though they were firmly established in middle age.

"These guys could have sat it out on the sidelines," Groom said over chef salad. "But they didn't."

In addition to Groom, 70, the program included remarks from those currently serving in the armed forces, recognition of fallen heroes and patriotic songs from student performers. The school was also commemorating its 40th anniversary of offering educational opportunities to veterans at military bases and online.

Full Story: Winston Groom

Attribution: Lisa Buie, Tampa Bay Times
Former Washington Star writer (for 10 years) Winston Groom will be in DC promoting his upcoming book, THE AVIATORS: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and the Epic Age of Flight November 8th. His event is with Hooks Books Events and CQ Roll Call. He will also be back in February for an event at the Smithsonian.

The Aviators tells the saga of three extraordinary aviators--Charles Lindbergh, Eddie Rickenbacker, and Jimmy Doolittle--and how they redefine heroism through their genius, daring, and uncommon courage.

Winston Groom | Page & Palette

The Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild is launching a project called Guild Media Network for writers, freelancers, bloggers, graphic artists, and other media specialists. The new Guild unit will provide professional and financial support for these independent wordsmiths and artists. The network is expected to include a group email, seminars, training, and social events. Benefits will include the whole range of Union Plus consumer discounts and other benefits that the membership identifies, such as dental and vision care, health insurance, and press credentials. Those joining the network include former Washington Post and Baltimore Sun employees. If interested in learning more about this initiative, please contact Calvin G. Zon at 202-785-3650, ext 16, or Please include your email address so I can send you a survey asking you about your present situation and your preferences for what you would like the new network to become.

Myra MacPherson - New Book in March, "The Scarlet Sisters: Sex, Scandal and Suffrage in the Gilded Age"

I have just been made a senior fellow at a small liberal arts college, Juniata. in Pa. at their Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Issues. My work with Vietnam has led me in an amazing direction, including meeting six outstanding American Vietnam Veterans who now work in Vietnam--living in Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, Ah Trang, Quang Tri province and Ho Chi Minh City. They are doing great work assisting victims of Agent Orange dioxin poisoning==more lethal than Sarin gas by the way--now found in FOURTH generation children, and land mine victims. Only $200 buys an artificial leg and you can relieve a family caregiver from 24/7 exhaustive duties for just pennies through their program, PROJECT RENEW. PLEASE GO TO THIS WEBSITE TO LEARN ABOUT AND CONTRIBUTE WHATEVER YOU CAN. AND HOPEFULLY WRITE ABOUT IT! I have personal emails for them if any of you writers are interested.

My book, published by 12, the boutique imprint of Hachette Books that does only one book a month, is coming out in March, [hey, what can I say, you wait your turn when it is one book a month] called The Scarlet Sisters: Sex, Scandal and Suffrage in the Gilded Age." It's about Victoria Wodhull and Tennessee Claflin, rambunctious and beautiful, whe became first stockbrokers in the world in 1870, bankrolled by Cornelius Vanderbilt, the richest man in the world who was Tennie's lover. Woodhull ran for president with Frederick Douglass as running mate and Tennie became honorary colonel of a black regiment. They published a radical paper, exposed the alleged adultery of the most famous preacher Henry Ward Beecher, pissed off his sister author of Uncle Tom's Cabin who wrote a scathing roman a clef about them...well it goes on and on...Just returned from Vietnam with a group called Veterans for Peace; including five American veterans who now live in Vietnam, doing God's work about agent orange and mine bomb victims and orphans...An amazing experience. Take care one and all. Myra.

Howard Kurtz

Born: August 1, 1953

UPDATE: Kurtz’s Fox News show ‘Media Buzz’ to challenge CNN head-on For those who formerly tuned in on Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. to watch Howard Kurtz discuss the media on CNN, there’s good news: He’ll be doing essentially the same thing at the same hour in his new post at Fox News. A release on the new Fox News show, titled “Media Buzz,” includes this description, which sounds exactly like his former show, CNN’s “Reliable Sources”:
“The one-hour show will focus on the state of the news media in addition to the media’s shaping of current events and their role in politics while also featuring interviews with leading journalists and commentators.”

Full article:

Washington Star Building - Ceiling Collapses During Opening Gala for “Go-Go Swing” Exhibit

Part of a ceiling in an art gallery run by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities collapsed tonight during a gala opening for "Go-Go Swing," an exhibit focused on the legacy of D.C.'s signature post-funk sound. Seven or eight people—depending on whether you believe WUSA or NBC4—were injured and transported to a hospital.
The incident occurred about an hour and half into the event, according to attendee Chelsey Rodgers, during a set by the band Black Alley. The ceiling collapse, Rodgers tells Arts Desk, took place about 10 feet from the stage, but the audience couldn't hear it because of the volume of the music. "You just saw it," she says. The event took place inside the arts commission's 200 I Gallery space, inside the agency's 200 I Street SE headquarters.
 Rodgers, a former Miss District of Columbia, says the crowd quickly moved away from the area, with three or four people looking like they'd been stunned and blocking their faces from the debris. Within five or 10 minutes, Rodgers says, the room was evacuated. Once the police arrived around 9 p.m., several  people were loaded in stretchers into ambulances, Rodgers says. Attendees were allowed to go back inside to collect their things, but the event did not continue, Rodgers says. NBC4 reports that none of the injuries was serious.
Messages to the Metropolitan Police Department and the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities were not immediately returned. The arts commission has occupied the space, located in the former Washington Star printing plant, for less than a year.
Full story:

Attribution:, Jonathan L. Fischer

Lary Lewman, voice of The Star, voice-over artist for Democrats, dies at 76

Lary Lewman, who entertained Baltimore children as Pete the Pirate on an afternoon television program and who later became the preferred voice-over artist for thousands of Democratic political commercials, died July 11 at his home in the Howard County community of Clarksville. He was 76.

Read full obit here:

Lessons From Linda Hasert

by Eliajuh, posted February 12, 2013

One of my editors, Linda Hasert, took a buyout a few weeks ago, after 31 years at the Inquirer. I sat down with her last week to grab some last-minute wisdom, asking her to boil down four decades of journalism experience to a handful of tips and tricks.


Her first piece of advice was immediate:

“Respect all departments,” she said. “Respect all qualifications of other people to make suggestions.”

Linda herself had worked in multiple capacities, including spending several years in Features and heading a “Quality of Life” group. As she explained, people jump around in this industry, and someone may very well have more experience than you in doing your job, even if they no longer do it. Plus, she said, people in other positions have important perspectives.

It’s important to be aware of soft deadlines and be in communication with editors. A story may not have to be turned in until 9 p.m., but length, photographs, graphics, &c. are determined long before that final deadline.

“Let editors know that you need new space,” she warned, “especially as you get closer to deadline. … by the end of the night, the whole thing’s like a big jigsaw puzzle and your story is just the final piece.”

(A specific tip for the Inquirer’s CMS, Hermes: try to embed in your mind how wide a column is, because the line counts become inaccurate once the layout’s been set. The only surefire way to check is to copy the story into a junk slug.)

Two Potomac Residents Reflect on Decades

Lewis, a journalist, worked 16 years for the Washington Star as a radio columnist, then the Washington Times as a television critic, and finished his career with the Bureau of National Affairs.
Full article: Two Potomac Residents Reflect on Decades

Cookbook writer Anne Willan on her library of old friends

Grande Dame: teacher, author and award-winning chef Anne Willan (right, with Xanthe Clay) 'deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Elizabeth David’ Photo: Lucas Schifres/Pictobank
The idea for the school that made Willan’s name came when the book collection was already well established. After 10 years living in Europe and America, while Willan worked as food editor for the Washington Star and then as a freelance editor, Cherniavsky grew restless in his work as an economist, calling it “a golden cage”.

Denis Horgan

New book, "The Bangkok World" - It was a long season of war, of exotic adventures, of Asian aura, beauty and mystery – and of newspapering such as cannot ever happen again. Denis Horgan, as a very young man, found himself suddenly in the middle of it all – as an Army officer, searching for a missing millionaire in the jungles, as editor-in-chief of the Bangkok World only a few years from when his grandest achievement with newspapers was delivering them from his bicycle. ‘The Bangkok World’ captures those elusive days with the spark and energy that created them.

WJLA and NewsChannel 8 up for sale

Washington TV station WJLA, the crown jewel in the late Joe L. Allbritton’s television empire, is for sale, Allbritton’s son and heir announced Wednesday.

The station, as well as the NewsChannel 8 cable operation in the Washington area, would be sold along with seven other stations across the country that are the heart of privately held Allbritton Communications of Arlington, the company’s chief executive, Robert Allbritton, said in a memo to his staff.

The sale won’t affect Politico, the Web site and newspaper founded by the younger Allbritton in 2007, though the cash generated by it could help expand the 250-employee operation and lead to new ventures that build on Politico’s success.

Like other TV station owners, the Allbritton group is operating in a difficult environment. Local stations have lost viewers for years as the number of alternatives, from cable to satellite to the Internet, have grown. At the same time, the recession has taken a deep bite out of advertising revenue. The most alarming movement of viewers has been away from local TV newscasts, which can generate more than a third of a station’s revenues.

Joe Kelly - Looking Down From A Better Place

For more than half a century it was a spot where he looked down from onto some of the biggest moments in Maryland racing history.

And now the press box high atop the grandstand at Pimlico bears his name.

Recently the press box at Old Hilltop was renamed to include Joe Kelly, who passed away in November at the age of 94.

The Red Smith-Joe Kelly Press Box.

Two of the most respected men to have ever covered Thoroughbred racing in the United States with their names side-by-side in the facility where they both chronicled so many memorable moments.

This blogger is hard pressed to remember a time before Mr. Kelly’s passing this past year when I was in the fabled press box and the man who covered horse racing for nearly 70 years wasn’t there.

“Nobody spent more time in the Pimlico press box,” said Mike Gathagan, Pimlico’s vice president of communications. “We felt it was important to honor Mr. Kelly, so the next generations of turf writers know what he meant to this place. He was a tremendous resource and positive influence. We just finished our third week of the spring meet and it is weird not to see him in his office or in the chair where he sat while wagering each afternoon.”

Well said Mike!

Former Star National Security and Foreign Affaris, David Wood Awarded Pulitzer Prize

David Wood, 66, began his journalism career in 1970 as an editor for the Pioneer Press chain in Illinois. In 1977, he started covering guerrilla wars in Africa as Time magazine's Nairobi bureau chief, later reporting on the military, national security and foreign affairs for the now-shuttered Washington Star, Los Angeles Times, Newhouse News Service, Baltimore Sun and AOL's PoliticsDaily site. Wood, who was previously a Pulitzer finalist, has covered conflicts in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Central America. Most recently, he has made several trips to the front in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Full story: Huffington Post Awarded Pulitzer Prize

Henry Bradsher Book - "The Dalai Lama's Secret and Other Reporting Adventures"

Bradsher in the Himalayas in 1961
finding a covert CIA-sponsored
Tibetan guerrilla army
The Louisiana State University Press has published (April 8) in its media series a book by Henry S. Bradsher on various episodes in his journalism career, from reporting Martin Luther King Jr.'s bus boycott to various adventures in India (reporting the India-China border war, tiger hunting with Queen Elizabeth, etc.), and in Moscow (forcing a Khrushchev retraction, blocking blackmail, getting his car bombed by an angry KGB, etc.) -- all for The AP -- and later for the Star in China (being labeled by Beijing the "most despicable" writer on Chinese affairs before being honored for having been right, etc.), in Vietnam (with Kissinger attempting to keep the Star from publishing some inconvenient reports) and Cambodia and the Bangladesh war, in the Middle East, and elsewhere. The book is titled The Dalai Lama's Secret and Other Reporting Adventures, a title derived from coverage of the Dalai Lama when he fled into India in 1959.

Note: Henry occasionally tours with Silversea Cruise Line as a guest lecturer.

"The Tinderbox" by David Holmberg

David Holmberg has a new eBook on Smashwords.  He states "The background to "The Tinderbox" is that I sold it to E.P. Dutton back in '89 but lost the contract when Dutton merged with New American Library. So the same agent who sold it years ago said recently, let's get it out there, finally, as an e-book."

Link:  Smashwords: The Tinderbox
The Tinderbox
Short Description This novel links two shattering events in Miami's volatile history -- a hotel fire in 1977 and race riots in 1989. The riots are triggered by the shooting of a black teen-ager by a Hispanic police officer. Miami Times reporter Mike Baedeker survives the riots after covering the dramatic trial of the officer. But a suspect in the fire has a tragic encounter on the streets of Miami...

Louise Lague has a new book: Ask Glammy

Louise Lague has a new book: Ask Glammy February 12, 2013

An advice column? What kind of advice? Grown men with teddy bears, jobless children, husbands with roving eyes, a freeloading sister, One-Click shopaholics -- Glammy spares no subject in this compilation of topics from her viral online advice column.
 Who is this cheeky broad and why should I pay attention to her? Glammy has been a buttinsky all her life. Unable to contain her curiosity about human behavior (and misbehavior), she has worked as a professional gossip and a credentialed therapist. Now, as a wag of a certain age, she wants to give back by telling everyone what to do once and for all.
 It's more than words. With nearly fifty illustrations by Danny Popovici (World on a String), Ask Glammy is not only food for thought, but a feast for the eyes as well.

Order on Amazon: Ask Glammy