On Kennedy

David Von Drehle: A story told around Arlington National Cemetery holds that John F. Kennedy paid a visit around Veteran’s Day in 1963. As he stood near the mansion that once was home to Robert E. Lee, taking in the sweeping view of the Potomac River down below and the National Mall rolling out toward the distant Capitol, he remarked, “I could stay here forever.”

Within three years, that serene and stirring spot had been visited by some 16 million people, for it had become, by a terrible stroke of violence, the eternal resting place of the slain Kennedy. As more time passed, and more visitors climbed the tree-shaded hill to the site, more graves were added in what is known as Section 45 of the rolling Arlington acreage — including graves for Robert Kennedy, and later Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Edward Kennedy was buried Saturday on that spot and in that company. It was a hot, thick evening at the end of four long days of remembrance, summation and the grieving of friends, family and admirers.

And Dan Barry: ARLINGTON, Va. — The nation said final farewell on Saturday to Edward M. Kennedy, who used his privileged life to give consistent, passionate voice to the underprivileged for nearly a half-century as a United States senator from Massachusetts. He was the only one of four fabled Kennedy brothers to reach late adulthood, and he was remembered for making the most of it.

Along the rain-dappled roadways of Boston in the late morning, and then in the sweltering humidity of Washington in early evening, people waited for the fleeting moment of a passing hearse so that they could pay respects to the man known simply as Ted. At the United States Capitol, where Mr. Kennedy had served for so long, his wife, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, stepped out of a limousine to receive hugs, bow her head during prayers, and to hear the singing of “America the Beautiful.”

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New and Improved

Kruse said the blog is looking a little outdated, a little behind the times. So I’ve tinkered with it a bit and I sort of like the changes. Take a look.

If I Ran The Paper …

I’m awake. What the hell.

1. Today’s Drink on the 1A rail.
2. Every non-major league local sports story must contain at least 30 names of athletes.
3. We bring back delivery boys on bicycles.
4. And kids who sell papers on the corners.
5. And kids who sell subscriptions door to door.
6. We rip off Extra! afternoon editions for any crime, accident or natural disaster within 100 miles of the headquarters in which six or more people die.
7. No more teases in the print edition to yournewspaper.com.
8. I come into the newsroom all sweaty and jump on a desk and say something cool at least once a month.
9. We tear down the cubicles and shove all the desks back together.
10. It’s okay to drink once you’ve filed or if you’re very close to filing, so long as your drink of choice has been pre-approved by the publisher.
11. The web people are in the newsroom and are prohibited from using numbers or words that begin with Z.
12. Every reporter must drive a different route to work at least twice a week.
13. We will be at meetings, but we will not write about meetings unless a punch is thrown.
14. We have a program for visiting out-of-work journalists wherein we provide food and shelter in exchange for stories. Details to be decided later.
15. Cutlines are teases to the story.
16. Headlines and subheds are teases to the story, not summaries.
17. The following phrase is used more often: “Is that the best you can do?”
18. If you’ve just come back from covering breaking news, you must take the stairs.
19. The Metro section is now called Metropolitan.
20. We use Old English more.
21. Banned: He’s/She’s/They’re not alone.

Your turn.

In All Its Glory

Chris Erskine: Santa Monica Pier juts out into the Pacific like Jay Leno’s jaw, a defiant, whimsical and improbable landing pad. Just 100 feet below, sharks are at play, scarfing the occasional hot dog and Coke cup that plop into their Sunday soup. Up on deck, L.A. is at play too. Here, on SoCal’s splendid splinter.

Passing woman: “I just need to decompress.”

Male companion: “How’d you get so compressed?”

Deadly Choices

Sheri Fink: The smell of death was overpowering the moment a relief worker cracked open one of the hospital chapel’s wooden doors. Inside, more than a dozen bodies lay motionless on low cots and on the ground, shrouded in white sheets. Here, a wisp of gray hair peeked out. There, a knee was flung akimbo. A pallid hand reached across a blue gown.

Within days, the grisly tableau became the focus of an investigation into what happened when the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina marooned Memorial Medical Center in Uptown New Orleans. The hurricane knocked out power and running water and sent the temperatures inside above 100 degrees. Still, investigators were surprised at the number of bodies in the makeshift morgue and were stunned when health care workers charged that a well-regarded doctor and two respected nurses had hastened the deaths of some patients by injecting them with lethal doses of drugs. Mortuary workers eventually carried 45 corpses from Memorial, more than from any comparable-size hospital in the drowned city.

Too Much Convenience

I needed this. Hank Stuever: Wawa in the morning, Sheetz at night.

Sheetz in the morning, Wawa at night.

They’re just convenience stores, you shouldn’t think too hard about them. (Fair warning: This story thinks too hard about them.)

By late July, this much came clear: Some of us were going no place exotic in this, the bummer summer. There wasn’t the time or there wasn’t the money. Things keep not happening, or the wrong things happened. We never got farther than the Sheetz convenience store off the interstate. Stood there paralyzed by the choices in a Wawa — what kind of chips, what kind of sandwich, what kind of soda, what kind of frozen chocolate thing? What kind of life? Which? What?

How about just resigning ourselves to summer’s fate? What about a local sort of road trip, a mini-mart epic, bouncing between all the Sheetzes and all the Wawas you can find? Sheetz just opened its 360th location. Wawa will open its 571st this week. We live right where their territories overlap, a lovely Venn diagram of two same-but-different worlds.

Where are you going?

I got the jits tonight. I’m going for a drive.

She Sighs, He Cries

Richard Lake: It’s hard to pinpoint when the trouble began, but that doesn’t matter now. On Monday, my hands were shaking, and they wouldn’t stop. This made note-taking difficult.

Maybe it all began to sink in at a school event Friday, when my daughter’s new principal made one of those jokes you’re supposed to laugh at when you’re in public. And we did, all 200 or so adults in the sweltering heat.

“Daddy,” Carleigh whispered in my ear, “I don’t understand why everyone is laughing.”

You will, I thought, but thank God you’re still my baby girl and so you don’t need to worry about it right now. Soon, but not yet.

Whom To Believe?

Josh Tyrangiel, managing editor of TIME.com, says that long form journalism is not working on the web.

But NYT Magazine editor Gerald Marzorati, says “contrary to conventional wisdom, it’s our longest pieces that attract the most online traffic.”

Maybe it’s the writing that matters.

(via Romenesko)

Generation Gap

Andy Netzel: The lunchroom is half-full, but the din sounds like it’s packed past capacity.

Two Lincoln-West High School staffers hang at the edges to keep an eye on things, calling out to those passing in the halls to get back to class and tuck in their shirts.

A student catches assistant principal Kate Sergent’s eye. Ruben Rosado is hard to miss. He has long, bushy hair pulled back in a ponytail, but the black frizz doesn’t cover up the collar, which is a different color than the rest of the polo. It’s a violation of the strict dress code that has been implemented at all Cleveland public schools. To make matters worse, the shirt is hanging out of his pants.

“Ruben, you know that shirt doesn’t meet dress code. Now come on. I’ve got to write you up.”

“But Mrs. Sergent, all my shirts that meet code are dirty.”

Mrs. Sergent rolls her eyes. She starts writing. Ruben looks incredulous. He looks hurt.

“How many shirts have we given you?” she says, shaking her head, still writing.

A smile creeps across his face. “Like, 82.”

“And they’re all dirty?”