Sunday, December 4, 2016

Bill Dauber Tells Journalism Students “Bring It to the Table”

By Kimberly Mack

Bill Dauber, professor of journalism at Los Angeles Valley College, and advisor of the Valley Star, tackles the question: “What is the future of journalism?" as guest speaker of LAVC’s Journalism 108 class Tuesday night.

Journalism is changing the way we get our news,” confirms Dauber. “New media is moving in new areas, becoming more democratized. Digital media has been eating away at advertising profits and cutting into the number of print jobs. Those jobs are disappearing.” Ten years ago, the Los Angeles Times had a news staff of 1,300. Today, that number is closer to 720, making it one of the hardest hit newspapers of our time.1 In 2010, the LA Times daily circulation of 600,449 was down from the previous year’s figure of 657,467.2 Revenue and circulation continue to make a downward descent, as papers struggle to give birth to new sales strategies, such as inserting links into their on-line editions to increase readership.

Dauber shares an interesting fact. Although, advertising revenue and circulation for newspapers across the country have been negatively impacted with the evolution of digital media, such is not the case for college newspapers. The opposite is true. “Because,” says Dauber “advertisers are trying to specifically reach the students.”

Dauber further shares that one of the things he does like about digital media is that it offers much more access to newspapers. He is an avid and consistent reader of The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Atlantic Monthly.

Having been a reporter for the LA Times, and The Orange County Register, Dauber’s advice to journalism students is “Be familiar with social media. You need to know it, and read about it. Write a blog. Find out what you are interested in. Develop an expertise, and ask what can you offer that is different.” Dauber elaborates, citing Andrew Sullivan’s blog, The Daily Dish, as an example. Sullivan, a political commentator for The Atlantic Monthly, provides people with an analysis, posting what he thinks about each news item. Sullivan found a way he could contribute. “You need to bring something to the table with whatever you are doing,” Dauber tells the class.

His final piece of advice was take advantage of the many journalism and mass media courses at LAVC and other colleges.

Yes, the future of journalism is changing. But, wherever digital media takes us going forward, Dauber’s message is clear. “Bring it to the table.”

Professor Dauber has been teaching at Los Angeles Valley College for nine years. He graduated from the University of California at Irvine with a degree in history. He’s been a reporter for the LA Times, the Orange County Register and is author of “The Real Las Vegas: Life Beyond the Strip.”


1. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/business/media/03paper.html


2. Retrieved from http://www.medialifemagazine.com/artman2/publish/Newspapers_24/Newspaper-circ-declines-lessen-again.asp  

Sunday, November 27, 2016

City Hall Los Angeles

Did you know the City Hall building was built in 1930? It's an iconic sight especially now during holidays at night! Give someone a gift who loves LA and take advantage of this Black Friday sale going on until midnight tonight. Just use code BLACKFRIDAY and get 40% off $125 and up when you order. Made with 100% Modal - this scarf feels super luxurious and I love them in this cold weather. They keep your neck warm! Have a look see and order now for holidays! Blessings to all! https://shopvida.com/collections/kimberly-mack
This scarf made with soft, luxurious fabric will add a bold, modern statement to any wardrobe.
SHOPVIDA.COM

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Malibu Collection

MalibuYearning for Southern California beaches? Here's a shot of the coast on 100% Modal from my Malibu Collection! This vibrant scarf makes the perfect gift and can be worn with anything...casual or that suit you have been wanting to wear that's stuck way back in your closet. It will keep your neck warm as you zip in and out of stores doing your shopping! Order now in time for the holidays! www.shopvida.com/collection/kimberly-mack

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Ocean Artwork Now Available at Fine Art America

Feel the need to get away and feel the sun and wind on your face before the chaos of the holidays begin?  Take a respite and let your soul be soothed with this shot of Leo Carrillo State Beach on Fine Art America available now!  This is one of my most popular photos and you can just feel the wind and smell the ocean in this dramatic shot.  Who knows - maybe you'll even catch a fish or two.  This shot is available as a print, or on canvas or metal.  Also available on note cards!  Happy fishing!

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/fishermans-port-kimberly-mack.html


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Are Your Holiday Decorations Safe For Your Children and Pets?

Yes, the holidays are coming! Every year they seem to come upon us faster than an out-of-control freight train.

As the delicious aroma of cookies and pies baked with cinnamon and nutmeg fill your home, and you pull your holiday decorations out of the attic or garage, stop a moment before you decorate. If you have children or animals running around the house, especially the young ones that are rambunctious, please take care. Some ornaments may be dangerous for your pets. Let me share.

Years ago, right before the holidays, I met a lovely couple in a pet shelter here in LA. They were shopping for a new kitty, but were very sad. We struck up a conversation, and I soon learned the reason for their grief stricken faces. The couple had just put up their Christmas tree, and topped it off with a lovely layer of shiny, metallic tinsel. Well, their kitty loved playing with all the bright, sparkling ornaments. She got a hold of that eye-catching tinsel, and away she chewed, and swallowed.

Well, by the time they discovered something was terribly wrong with her and rushed her to the vets, it was too late. The x-rays revealed irreparable damage to her little intestines. The owners were devastated. It was too late to save her. In shock and with broken hearts, they had to put her down.  I had no idea tinsel was so potentially lethal!

I will never forget this couple’s story. I don’t want this to happen to anyone else’s pet. The first Christmas I had with my new kitten I was very careful to hang ornaments I called “baby proof.” Long gone were the days my tree was adorned with tinsel. If my cat batted the ornaments off the tree and chewed them, I knew he would come to no harm.

So I share this story with all animal lovers. Let’s all take extra care when we decorate this holiday season and the ones to come. Check the decorations and ornaments for safety. Keep those light bulbs and twinkling lights away from your animals, especially those playful pups and kittens. We all know how puppies love to chew, and kitties love to climb Christmas trees. If you aren’t sure if your grandmother’s beautiful antique ornaments are harmful, double check. Are they dangerous if chewed or swallowed? Are they in harms way hanging on the tree? Maybe they would be better in a bowl or basket on the mantel, out of reach. Check that shiny garland. Is it metallic? Replace it with something non-metallic. The Poinsettia plants that are so beautiful around the fireplace? They are highly toxic if chewed. Not just for your pets, but babies also. Give serious thought to moving them out of reach.

Looking to replace your ornaments?  Big Lots has "shatterproof" bulbs that are lovely, and  are very inexpensive.  Target is another go-to place at this time of year.  It cost me very little to replace all my potentially harmful decorations. With a bit of ingenuity and creativity I was able to still decorate while providing a safe and festive environment.

I love the holidays. Decorating can help lift the spirits, especially in these difficult times. Enjoy them! Give yourself and your family peace of mind knowing your animals and babies will come to no harm.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season! Let the decorating begin!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Keep it Safe for Your Pets This Holiday Season - Foods to Keep Out of Reach

Now that the holiday season is now upon us and you are a busy bee preparing a sumptuous feast for your family and friends, take extra precautions to keep your fur babies safe this holiday season.  A kitchen with unattended counters teeming with delectable dishes can be a minefield of potential trouble for you and your pets.

Before your guests arrive and to avoid unnecessary chaos during dinner, try keeping your pets in a separate area of your house and out of harm’s way.  Uncle Henry won’t be tempted to sneak a little piece of turkey or pie to the dog or cat.  And, if little Billy drops his turkey leg onto the floor you won’t have to fight the dog for it.  Whether you’re able to do this or not, you’ll still want to be aware of the potentially toxic foods to keep out of your pets reach.   You don’t want to make an emergency trip to your vet.


Bones
Be they turkey, chicken or ham bones, avoid giving these to your pup or kitty.  Bones can be a deadly choking hazard.  If swallowed, there is also the danger of the bones splintering and puncturing your pet’s intestinal walls, causing internal bleeding. 
Turkey Skin
Yes, it’s delicious but very fattening, so avoid feeding any to your pets as it can also be dangerous.  If fed in large quantities can cause pancreatitis.  
Onions
Love that vegetable dish with the little white pearly onions?  Don’t feed any of it to your dog or cat.  All onions, no matter what size or color, are also potentially toxic, and can cause vomiting, diarrhea and anemia. 
Macadamia Nuts
Delicious, but they are not for your pets, as they can cause vomiting, lethargy, and abdominal pain. 
Dough Yeast
Nothing smells yummier than bread or cookies baking in the oven except, well, turkey.  But, feeding uncooked dough to the fur kids is also toxic.   Dough rises in warm places and will do the same in your pet’s stomach causing vomiting, diarrhea, and discomfort.

Alcohol

It doesn’t matter if your grandparents have a cocktail for medicinal purposes now and then.  The same does not apply to pets.  Alcoholic beverages and animals don’t mix so keep those unattended drinks away from your curious pets.  They can become quite ill if you catch them sneaking a cocktail or a beer.

Chocolate
Don’t drop any of that chocolate.  It may taste heavenly to you, but  chocolate is very toxic to animals and causes vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Garbage Detail
Those unwanted bones you’ve decided to toss out will set a dog or cat’s nose quivering and the hunt in the trash will be on! The bones can be dangerous alone, but when discarded with foil, string, or plastic, you’ll want to ensure you have a good tight lid on your garbage to keep it inaccessible.   All four can do damage to intestines. 

If you do want to give your pets a little holiday dinner, raw or cooked carrots or string beans mixed in with their kibble is safe.  You’ll want to avoid anything with fat such as gravy, potatoes and yams.  A little taste of turkey won’t hurt them, as long as it’s boneless and skinless. 

To also better prepare for any possible emergency, check with your vet beforehand and find out their holiday hours.  Make a list of backup facilities and keep all the information handy on the refrigerator or cabinet door.  If your pet does happen to ingest something, and is behaving out of character, or is obviously ill, don’t hesitate to call your vet.  Give yourself peace of mind knowing your pets will come to no harm. 


Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous New Year!  May it be filled with many furry hugs and sloppy kisses.   Let the feasting begin!














Monday, October 3, 2016

The Wailing Woman


By Kimberly Mack
Residents in the small, upscale community of La Jolla said sometimes you could see her walking on the beach just before dawn, when the tide was out and fingers of fog clung to the top of the cove and nearby hills.  But, you could only see her for a few moments and then she’d disappear.  Sometimes over the sounds of the surf pounding on the rocks, you could hear her crying.  In town they called her “the wailing woman.”  I didn’t believe these stories, of course.  I'd never seen a ghost.  Nor, did I want to.

I was house-sitting for my cousin and his wife one weekend.  They had a beautiful home overlooking La Jolla Point.  I’d been up late trying to work on my book when I fell asleep.  Sometime later I woke on the sofa and was stunned to notice it was almost dawn.  I rose to put another log on the fire.  It was then I heard her.  It was soul-wrenching sobbing and seemed to echo throughout the house.   I quickly went to the balcony and scanned the beach below.  She was there; standing on one of the rocks, oblivious to the pounding surf as it washed through her.   Her transparent arms stretched upwards, towards the sky as if reaching for someone or something.  Her cries were none I’d ever heard before, almost like a wounded animal.  They were gut wrenching and disturbing.  My heart was pounding in my chest as I stood rooted to the railing.  Then she turned and looked right at me.  I felt sucked into her dark scrutiny and could not move had my life depended on it.  Her eyes were full of such despair and something else I could not identify.  Then suddenly, without warning my legs turned to jelly and gave way beneath me.  I crumbled in a heap on the deck.   When I came too, the woman was gone and the sun was rising, its giant orb casting a golden light across the water, banishing all things dark and mysterious.  I welcomed it.    I felt cold all over.  There were only the sounds of the waves crashing and an occasional gull crying.   I turned and made my way back into the house telling myself to breathe.  As I rounded the corner of the living room, I glanced down at the hard wood floor, suddenly puzzled.  There was water beneath my feet as if I had spilled something.  I know I had not.   I froze, understanding suddenly dawnng.  I was not alone.   She was here.