Reuters blog archive

from Robert MacMillan:

Martha’s Vineyard + Black Friday = no pepper spray

When people think about Black Friday, the big shopping day after Thanksgiving Thursday, the relevant images are usually retail carnage of some kind -- barbarians at the gates of big-box retailers, fights over discounted merchandise, scuffles in the parking lots, trampled store employees, and (a new one this year) pepper spray being used to keep other people away from stuff that you want to buy. (What to do with all that leftover pepper spray when there aren't any protesters around to disperse?)

That's the mainland. In Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard, an island off the southern coast of Massachusetts, retail works at a more genteel pace. There is no Walmart; there is no Target.

With a winter population of 15,007, compared with summer's population of 105,624, according to the Martha's Vineyard Gazette, you would imagine correctly that most of the shops shut down by this time of year. Not anymore. Now they stay open later, and even here among the white-walled Cape Cods, quaint old fishing captain houses and the massive mansions of the moneyed (Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, "You're So Vain" singer Carly Simon and many more), Black Friday is here. But it's smaller, and violence in the service of consumer satisfaction is something that people leave behind with their darker impulses "off island."

This year, the temperature reached nearly 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and there was brilliant sun, so when I walked down there on Friday, I saw about 100 people over an hour or so taking their early afternoon constitutionals along Main Street where many of Edgartown's shops were open for business and doing big discounts.

from Photographers' Blog:

Vacation on the Vineyard, without Obama

By Kevin Lamarque

My assignment was to fly on Air Force One to Martha’s Vineyard and cover President Obama’s vacation. Covering is perhaps a misleading term. The term “protective coverage” would be more accurate.

When the President is on vacation, the photo opportunities are few and far between. Days as the “travel pool” Reuters photographer are long, tedious and not necessarily fruitful. The travel pool consisting of photographers, TV crew and reporters is at the ready in case breaking news happens as the President vacations. The pool will also be on hand if the White House actually decides to allow coverage of the President during a rare public appearance. We had a few photo opportunities… a bookstore, a restaurant, a golf course, a bike ride and two statements to reporters (Libya and Hurricane Irene). Total Presidential face time for those photo opportunities…….about 9-minutes out of a 9-day vacation.

from MediaFile:

Martha’s Vineyard Gazette sold to KKR co-founder Kohlberg

RTRQKOPI've always been thankful that my grandparents were good at playing the real estate game. Among their unlikely coups was buying a house in the 1960's in Edgartown, the tony enclave on the island of Martha's Vineyard, whose exclusive address had no correspondence to their income level. If they hadn't bought it, there's no way that my journalist's salary would have been able to scoop up property like that. In the more than three decades that I've been going there, I've become a regular reader of the Martha's Vineyard Gazette, the enormous broadsheet newspaper that has resisted the cost-cutting size reductions that many other newspapers in the United States have sustained.

That allegiance to the paper (and its weekly competitor, the Martha's Vineyard Times), as well as my continuing nostalgia for my former media beat -- the future of newspapers, publishing and journalism -- made it all the more interesting when I read on Friday that the Reston family is selling the 164-year-old paper to Jerome Kohlberg. It's the story that has it all for a business reader, really: Daily paper, read by rich and powerful residents who are captains of the financial world (and hopefully Reuters clients), sold to a true bigwig of the private equity world, and a strange connection to The New York Times to boot.

from Tales from the Trail:

Obamas seek shrimp as rain lets up on Martha’s Vineyard

The First Family took advantage of a break in the rainy weather on Martha's Vineyard Wednesday to escape their holiday farm and make their first public foray together.

They wound up at Nancy's seafood restaurant on the waterfront in the town of Oak Bluffs.
First Lady Michelle Obama commiserated with the crowd after three solid days of driving rain that had kept holiday-makers, including the Obamas, holed up playing board games and reading books to make the most of their summer vacation.

from Tales from the Trail:

On rainy Martha’s Vineyard, Obama hunkers down — and reads

USA/So much for perfecting that golf game.

President Barack Obama has spent a lot of time indoors during his vacation. The posh island of Martha's Vineyard has had a spot of bad weather -- as in rain, rain, and more rain.

That means the sporty president, who likes to spend his free time on the greens, hasn't made it to a golf course since Sunday, when his game almost got canceled because of impending storms.

from Tales from the Trail:

Obama unwinds into summer vacation, reading list revealed

Finally,  the presidential summer reading list is revealed -- well, one book anyway.

OBAMA/President Barack Obama took his daughters book browsing on Day 2 of the First Family's summer vacation on the upscale Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard.

from Tales from the Trail:

Washington Extra – swimming with the fishes

The U.S. economy continues to swim with the fishes – weekly unemployment claims are at a nine-month high and the director of the Congressional Budget Office says the unemployment rate won’t fall to around 5 percent until 2014. Not much in the way of economic sunshine today.

USA/President Barack Obama commented on the economic cloud before heading to Martha’s Vineyard where his family is taking their end-of-summer vacation.  

from Tales from the Trail:

Obama tees up his “staycation”

President Barack Obama is following up his busy week in Martha's Vineyard with ... another holiday. But, like many Americans in this time of economic recession, he is taking a "staycation" -- time off without leaving home.

In Obama's case, home is the White House, and as president he cannot truly leave his work behind. His "break" on Martha's Vineyard was interrupted repeatedly by breakingUSA/OBAMA news, including his renomination of Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve and the death of Obama's friend and former colleague, the late Senator Edward Kennedy.

from Tales from the Trail:

What is it about presidents and golf?

OBAMA/President Barack Obama seems to have a new favorite past-time. The 48-year-old campaigned as a basketball player, but now his heart seems to belong to the links. He has squeezed at least four golf outings -- three for 18 holes and one just nine -- into his week-long vacation on the Massachusetts island Martha's Vineyard, despite two days of rain and a trip over to Boston for the funeral of his friend and former colleague, the late Senator Edward Kennedy.******Lately Obama has also been golfing on most Sundays when he is in Washington, generally on courses at military bases near the city.******His foursomes are more likely to include long-time friends and aides than well-heeled contacts -- this week he golfed with a top executive of the UBS investment bank, but he also played with a White House assistant chef and a press aide.******The habit has attracted a few jibes. Anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan used it to publicize a news conference she was planning on the island during Obama's visit. "When President Obama was playing golf yesterday, four soldiers died in Afghanistan," Sheehan said in a flyer distributed at the Martha's Vineyard White House press center this week.******But for U.S. presidents, golfing is -- er -- par for the course. Fifteen of the past 18, including Obama, have golfed, according to Golf Digest magazine. Obama explained its appeal for him this summer in an interview with CBS News. Although he was unhappy with the state of his game (he took more than five hours to play 18 holes this week, and a woman who lived near one course described his ball hitting a tree), he said it gives him a chance to relax and spend time with friends, largely unobserved (the Secret Service is around, but often off in the woods, Obama said) and away from reporters and photographers.******"It is the only time that, for six hours, first of all, that I'm outside. And second of all, where you almost feel normal, in the sense that you're not in a bubble," he told CBS News.******OBAMA/Golf Digest ranked John F. Kennedy as the top presidential golfer, noting that his average score was 80, despite chronic back pain. Back in January, it put the athletic Obama 8th.******The presidents who didn't golf? Golf Digest says they were Jimmy Carter , Harry Truman and Franklin Roosevelt. But Roosevelt would have been another golfing president if he had had his way. According to the Armchair Golf Blog, Roosevelt loved playing golf as a young man, but polio in 1923 forced him to give the game up.******Photo credits: Obama golfing on Martha's Vineyard, Reuters/JASON REED

from Oddly Enough Blog:

Obama to Batman! Come in, Caped Crusader!

Blog Guy, you seem to have the inside track on everything the president does. I heard a rumor that there was some kind of embarrassing glitch during his vacation at Martha's Vineyard. Dish us the dirt!

Oh boy, it was a doozy! Obama's handler said, "We're going to the lighthouse now, Mr. President."