The Week in Review

Highlights from the week that was on

april 25, 2007  03:14 pm
Death in Virginia: The big story this week was the Virginia Tech shootings, and alt-weeklies were no exception. Washington City Paper sent a reporter down to Blacksburg, Va., while papers across the country commented on everything from the media mob to the sheer unpredictability of these tragedies.

Green, indeed: Earth Day was this weekend, and many alt-weeklies celebrated by publishing special Green Issues, while others tackled Green topics ranging from sustainable sex toys to alternative transportation to urban farming -- and everything in between.

Killed on tape: On the heels of several recent recorded incidents of police brutality in Chicago, the Chicago Reader reported on another act of police misconduct recorded by security camera -- the killing of Michael Pleasance. The footage, never before publicly released, was made public by the Reader, with narration by writer John Conroy.

Fest-ivus: The annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival begins this Friday, and, as usual, Gambit Weekly's got it covered. This Friday also marks the start of a very different festival -- LA Weekly's Kate Sullivan pulled together four potential menus for Coachella to suit the tastes of some imaginary friends.

Homeland security run amok: The Texas Observer revealed a database that may already contain information on 1 million Texans. Created to coordinate information between various law enforcement agencies, the database is being run by the governor's office, not by any actual law enforcement agency. It left me wondering: Could this be happening in other states too?

'Law & Order' candidates: Will Fred Thompson run for president or won't he? The real answer is: Who cares? Westword handicapped the rest of the stars of the always-on-TV franchise, if any of them are thinking about throwing a hat in the presidential ring.

When did hip-hop get so coked out? That's the question East Bay Express writer Erik Arnold sorted through in his piece that touched on the "Yay Area," Clipse, the loss of afrocentricity and Young Jeezy. So who's to blame for the explosion of the cocaine flow? Reagan? 50 Cent? Blender magazine?

From the archives: As Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was grilled last week on Capitol Hill and somehow managed to hang on to his job, we give you the 2004 Boston Phoenix story, "Alberto Gonzales, The Devil You Don't Know," which warned those who cheered John Ashcroft's departure to think twice, as Gozales was a "considerably more dangerous replacement."

Steal this story idea: Earlier this month, Philadephia City Paper executed a simple idea in a way that had to entertain its readers who know Philly well (or think they do). The writer took a look at some popular travel guides for the city, highlighted some of the more ridiculous and incorrect passages, and gave his rebuttal to each. All it takes is a couple of hours in the bookstore and an alt-weekly's command of local knowledge to do this one.