Taqueria de Sol’s Health Inspection Score Drops

22 05 2009

A reader writes in…

Taqueria del Sol on Ponce recently got a 77 “C” rating on their health inspection. I couldn’t bring myself to study the rating sheet long enough to see the reasons. One of the few places left in town that everyone in my family is willing to go (that and BSP), so I’m a bit taken aback by this discovery.

I’m pretty sure it was in the 90s last I saw.  Let’s hope we can get a decent explanation as to the cause of this decline.

UPDATE: FH and DecaturMom4 give us a links to the details in the comments section.

UPDATE II: Read Taqueria’s response after the jump… Read the rest of this entry »

The AJC Promises To Cite Sources

8 05 2009

In an interview with WABE this morning, AJC editor Julia Wallace hints at more changes to the redesign in future months.  Here’s what stood out to me…

Over time, Wallace says the AJC will become more transparent. Alongside articles, readers will see pros and cons to issues, what sources reporters used and how you, the reader, can access the information.

It seems that someone out there is listening.  If not to me, than to someone else who’s saying something very similar.   I’ll be very interested to see how this translates onto paper and whether it will also be done online.

Regardless, this is a big step in the right direction.  Keep it up AJC.  More people, myself included, are warming up to the redesign on a daily basis.

Keeping the AJC Honest/Factually Accurate

1 05 2009

Sorry to be the gnat in your face AJC, but…

Scott sends in a pic of one of your blurbs this morning that REALLY gets the Waffle House museum story backwards…


As we all know, the original Waffle House along E. College Ave was turned into a museum back in September, prior to its nomination for historic status, which was approved on April 28th (thanks to Jay for this tidbit).

“Not All Audiences Are Created Equal”

24 04 2009

Props to my dad for forwarding me a link to a Colin McEnroe column that led me to this Nieman Journalism Lab article inspired by John Hodgeman’s attempts to sell a book by B-movie actor Bruce Campbell (did you follow all that?)…

Newspapers are by definition devoted to the mass audience. In their current form, they can’t exploit the Bruce Campbell [passionate audience] niche – they’re ABC sitcom [mass audience] all the way. They’re okay at building a big audience, but horrible at earning devotion.

Ever read a blog that has a terrific community around it, where the comments are always smart, the readers are obviously engaged, and it looks like the best the Internet can be? Compare that [to] the mix of clowns and boors you see haunting the comments sections of most newspaper websites.

Could the online “devoted audience” someday become the Holy Grail of internet sustainability?  If advertisers ever wake up to the posssibilities, I’d say “yes!”

AJC Redesign Revealed

24 04 2009

Click the pic to link over to the video!

Fresh Loaf has discovered a video that shows off the AJC redesign that will hit newsstands May 2nd.  (I’d post it here, but WordPress.com doesn’t support Brightcove videos.)

I’m still undecided on whether I like it.  It definitely looks more fun!  But is that a good thing?

Reaping The Angst

23 04 2009

Perhaps if the AJC didn’t pretend like it was the only game in town, everyone else wouldn’t jump up quite so quickly when they actually gave a blogger credit.

Oh and P.S., how do you know when your newspaper is turning into a glorfied blog?

When they post things like “Clermont Lounge For Sale!” –  implying the strip club could close – and then they retract with an article about how it won’t close as a result of a sale.

Welcome to knee-jerk gossip land.  Make sure to try the hat-tip.

Is the AJC Making a Move to the Right or a Move to the Local?

20 04 2009

Former Creative Loafing editor – and current blogger – Ken Edelstein is quoted in this morning’s NY Times, in a piece about the future voice of the AJC’s editoral staff. Ken reacts to Cynthia Tucker’s move to DC…

“It’s definitely a move to the right, and it’s a real change for a paper that was the most important progressive voice in the South for a long time.”

In same same article, the AJC editor Julia Wallace says this…

“We have moved to a different kind of editorial that’s much more about community issues and less about, ‘let me opine on national issues,’ ” she said.

Elsewhere on the interweb, GriftDrift is still struggling with another recent quote by Wallace and has submitted this question to the AJC…

Given the reaction of the online community as well as the rise of such local websites as inDecatur and DecaturMetro while the AJC continued to close local bureaus, do you regret stating the following in 2007?

“Online, we will show that we know Atlanta best, providing superlative news and information and becoming the preferred medium for connecting local communities”

A couple quick thoughts:

1. Communities might be willing to settle on having large, all-knowing (better-than-you) corporations become their “preferred” connection to their neighbors IF there’s no other option. But guess what? Its always going to be better when communities do it themselves.

2. I don’t read much editorial in the AJC these days – can’t say I ever did – so I can’t judge any nefarious move to the right. But I do know the paper has a long way to go if they want to be a “community” paper/site. They gotta go well beyond the well-researched article.

As a case in point: the comments section. I’m sorry but nothing says “community” less than a bunch of semi-racist, off-topic snipes attached to each article. Community online is built through respectful discussion. But BREAKING NEWS, it works the other way too. Real world communities can be destroyed by disrespectful online discussion. So step one: stop treating your comments as a throw away and take responsibility for your site.

Kessler Returned to the Table

17 04 2009

In a stunning reversal from earlier this week, the AJC announced yesterday that former food writer John Kessler has been allowed to return to the dinner table.

The startling about-face by the Atlanta daily from its earlier hardline that Kessler would no longer be allowed to consume any food henceforth, apparently had something to do with top brass at the paper not knowing the full details of Kessler’s new “assignment.”

The break down in communication came to a head on Thursday morning, when an unnamed AJC exec came upon Kessler in a hallway at the paper’s Marietta St. headquarters, already ghostly thin and scribbling on a napkin about the “subtle undertones” of a half eaten Lenders bagel that he had apparently pilfered from someone’s desk.

“I hadn’t heard of John’s newest assignment”, said the exec who’s name I’ve conveniently forgotten, “and when I saw him writing that stale bagel review from a fetal position my heart just melted.  I marched straight to the newsroom and demanded some answers.  When all I encountered was finger-pointing and something about a new “reality” column under that adorable weather report, I put the kibosh on it.”

With the surprising change of fortune, Kessler is back on the food-beat.  There are already reports this morning that he’s shaved the body-length beard he had grown and was again fitting snugly into his favorite polo shirts.

Asked if his experiences over the past week would influence his future writing, John replied, “I realized that I never really appreciated the fine art of cold, stale foods.  I think its uncharted territory.  Its a medium I hope to fully explore in the weeks ahead.  I already have a brain-full of ideas for articles on things like Chef Boyardee straight from the can, the complex aging process of a Hot Pocket, and the chocolicious flavors imparted to a piece of Hostess Cupcake chipboard.”


The real story of the AJC’s reversal can be found here.

Thanks to Andisheh and Carl for pointing out John’s Facebook update.

AJC Will Shutter DeKalb Bureau

13 04 2009

With all the breaking local news today, there’s no comfort this other, not-so-little announcement:

The AJC will close its DeKalb Bureau in downtown Decatur – along with Cobb and N. Fulton – come July and move all remaining DeKalb staffers back to Marietta Street.


AJC Posts Buyout List; Moves Tucker to D.C.

13 04 2009

A list of 74 AJC employees who accepted the paper’s buyout offer was published this morning.

Not being an insider of any kind, many of these names are unfamiliar to me.  Luckily, Creative Loafing’s Scott Henry went through the list and gave us a rundown of what’s being lost.  In addition to nearly all the arts critics, DeKalb bureau chief Larry Conley and DeKalb reporter David Simpson are among those who accepted the buyout.

Henry also reports in his post of layoffs last week that have upset remaining staffers.

And in other “News About the News” news, the paper is moving Cynthia Tucker to D.C. to cover national politics.  Which makes me wonder, what happened to the focus on local?