Two solid dailies

In IDS on February 14, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Daily writing is tough.

These two folks really nailed it this week. Kudos.


Every winter, murders descend upon Bloomington.

No, not a spike in crime — a “murder” is one name for a flock of crows.

“It’s a rather draconian term,” said John Castrale, a non-game bird biologist with the Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Castrale explained why the birds flock to Bloomington by the thousands each year.
“Crows are social animals,” he said. “During the winter they form night roosts in protected areas.

That lasts through the winter until mating season in the spring.”

Though the cacophony of crow caws can be an annoyance, Castrale said they do not pose a large health threat.

“There are some potential health concerns with accumulations of droppings below the trees they roost in,” he said. “The richness in the droppings can stimulate some naturally occurring fungus in the soil that could cause health problems.”

My two favorite things about this story. The tricky lede that makes you double-take (play on “murder”) and some sublime mid-story phrasing: “the cacophony of crow caws.”


The show must go on. Sometimes.

Before The Lowdown stand-up club took the stage Tuesday at the Collins Living-Learning Center, comedians expressed heavy doubts about performing for their scant

“If we get to 10 people, we do the show,” comic Tom Brady said.

“How about five?” regional touring act Ben Moore asked.

“Not four,” Brady replied.

Stand-up comedy, which regularly draws large audiences around Bloomington at venues like the Comedy Attic or the Indiana Memorial Union, sometimes experiences down nights.

Tuesday was one of those nights.

Jeff must’ve read “Frank Sinatra Has A Cold” before going to cover this show. Excellent reporting chops to make a story out of a dead performance. Quick pacing. Nice dialogue. Great scene-setting.

Kudos to Ms. Jula and Mr. LaFave.



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