Saturday, July 26, 2003

This Idaho Supreme Court case is a bit scary. Under the state's at-will employment doctrine, an employee of a lumber products company was fired for opposing company policies. According to testimony, he didn't speak out, didn't protest and didn't try to persuade other employees that the company was wrong. Indeed, his performance was rated "very good" and the governor had presented him a citizens award.
This is exactly the sort of case that breeds indifference to the First Amendment. If you can't speak out where it really matters -- on the job -- what difference does it make that you can gripe about the president?

Sharon Peterson is retiring after 24 years as an aide to U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. If you have ever wondered why Max has managed to keep his job all these years, she's a big reason. She's on top of the issues, works tirelessly and keeps lines of communication open. He's lucky he's got five years to fill the gaping hole she will leave behind before he has to run again.

Mayor Chuck Tooley says in an e-mail that he began undergoing chemotherapy this week for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. As the mayor points out, the bad news is that it's a serious disease, like all cancer. The good news is that it is one of the most treatable types (my father-in-law had it). The mayor say, "I do not expect to have to curtail many of my activities as mayor, but will have to fit treatments and a new realm of special care activities into my daily and weekly schedules. The two days after chemo may be a little shaky for me, but those will likely be Fridays and Saturdays." I wish him well.

Financial analyst Steven N. Barlow has lowered his opinion of Lee Enterprises stock. Lee reported last week that third-quarter earnings were down nearly 32 percent and that total advertising revenues dropped 0.5 percent. Could the independent press be making a dent?

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