Brief asides


POSTED: Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Big-league boost for prep sports

Shane Victorino has given a lot more than money to Save Our Sports. The Maui-born baseball star's $10,000 pledge puts the fundraising campaign over the top in terms of national media exposure, with The New York Times devoting considerable space to the Phillies All-Star center fielder's donation, and the overall effort to fund Hawaii's high school sports amid the state's budget crisis. It would be great if other equally needy programs - educational and otherwise - could attract the same level of community and celebrity support in these tight economic times.

Free online content takes its toll

All that hand-wringing and soul-searching over the dismal future of newspapers, sadly, seems applicable in the magazine industry as well.

Magazine newsstand sales dropped 12 percent in the first half of this year compared with the same period last year. Top-seller Cosmopolitan dropped 7.8 percent, People plunged 12.8 percent. One of the very few bright spots was for AARP magazine's total circulation: Up 2.8 percent.

Honolulu commuters are stuck, stuck, stuck in traffic

It's the kind of report that only confirms what rush-hour drivers here know to be true: Honolulu is near the top in terms of worst metro peak-hour commuting, second only to Los Angeles. A new INRIX National Traffic Scorecard report says that in both cities, drivers spend an extra nine minutes on the roads for what would be a 30-minute commute without traffic.

Tens of billions of data points from INRIX's network of a million GPS-enabled cars and trucks traveling across nearly one million miles of roads went into the report's compilation.

The report also views traffic as a societal barometer: Congestion across the country is rising due to signs of economic recovery, initial rollouts of highway construction projects funded by federal stimulus packages, and lower fuel prices, says a PR Newswire item.