FLASHES, 5-11

No Wonder He's So Chipper
Last Sunday, the Arizona Republic published "The Republic 100," part of an annual special section identifying Arizona's largest firms and blathering about the state's fabulous business climate.

Phoenix Newspapers, Inc., rated No. 40 on the list, boasting 2,486 employees. What the section didn't tell you was that Central Newspapers, Inc.--PNI's parent company--cleared a record $41.3 million, after taxes, in 1994.

Central's annual report has been forwarded to The Flash by several concerned parties, most of whom said things like, "Gawd, take a look at what Chip's making." They are envious because Republic and Gazette Publisher Louis "Chip" Weil has socked away nearly $2.15 million in salary, bonuses and stock options since arriving in 1992. The report puts the Chipster's base 1994 salary at $371,667, with bonuses and "other compensation" adding on $244,167. He held stock options worth $478,688 at the close of 1994.

Gawd.

Do the Bland Thing
What's the one image that's ingrained in your mind from the recent events in Oklahoma City? It's no doubt the tragic, poignant image of a firefighter cradling a bloodied, dying baby in his arms.

The image, captured on film by bank clerk Charles Porter, just won't go away. It might be the photo of the '90s. Hell, it might be the photo of the century. It's got Pulitzer written all over it. Each of five dailies contacted by The Flash--the San Jose Mercury News, Portland Oregonian, Newsday, Detroit Free Press and Chicago Tribune--ran the photo prominently on Page One.

But for its first edition after the blast, the Arizona Republic's editorial honchos decided to "spare" readers the graphic yet remarkable photo--a move that infuriated those Republic news types who still believe in news. Instead of the now-famous photo, the Republic ran a smaller pic--also taken by Porter--of an emergency worker passing the child to a firefighter.

Two days after the blast, the Republic finally published the original photo--on page A14. Those who couldn't believe the bizarre decision to initially ignore the photo chuckled sadly when they saw the headline on a story about the photo itself: "Baby Made Famous in Rescue Photo Dies."

Them Uppity Mayors
It seems there's a local affliction as unique as Valley fever. It's called Mayor-on-Roof Syndrome (MORS).

Peoria Mayor Ken Forgia fell off his roof while working on a cooler on April 29, suffering a broken pelvis. Last May, Scottsdale Mayor Herb Drinkwater fell off his roof and broke his back in three places. Scottsdale's leader advises his counterparts to lay low. Less, it seems, is not MORS.

"We mayors are so preoccupied with the affairs of citizens that we're not paying close attention. We're not trained for ladders, and we're not smart enough to use them. Otherwise, we wouldn't be mayors."

An aide to Skip Rimsza reported that the Phoenix mayor is taking precautions. "He's been advised to stay off the roof," the aide says. "We don't give him sharp objects, either.

 
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