Week in Review: Reporters’ Notebook

Many elected officials have started carrying firearms in the aftermath of the shooting in Tucson, Ariz. U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., will not be among them.

“I don’t have any training,” she said when asked about taking extra security measures. “I’d probably shoot off my foot before I’d ward off an attacker.”

ALAN CHOATE

Two days after the attack in Tucson, the Tea Party Express sent out a news release detailing the message it sent to its members.

The message came in response to criticism of Sarah Palin and other Tea Party-backed candidates, including Sharron Angle, for the use of gun-themed rhetoric in speeches and campaign materials.

“It is quite clear that liberals are trying to exploit this shooting for their own political benefit, and they used deception and dishonesty to try and smear all of us and our beliefs,” the message states.

And how does this outraged response to the exploitation of a tragedy end? With instructions on how to contribute money to the Tea Party Express, of course.

HENRY BREAN

Much has been made of states’ budgetary woes, but some appear to be worse off than others.

On a recent tour-with-visitors weekend, a reporter drove family members through Death Valley in California to Scotty’s Castle and then east toward Scotty’s Junction. As it wound through Grapevine Canyon, the road followed its usual series of hairpin turns, but one thing had changed: The asphalt had crumbled along the edges so that the two-lane road looked like a single lane, with no centerline or edge markings.

It was dusk on an already dark, rainy day, so the poor road conditions made the drive extra tense. Until, that is, they made the last turn out of the canyon and spotted a vision up ahead: a sharp line separating the deteriorating road from a broad expanse of new, freshly striped asphalt. And to one side, an equally fresh sign that declared, “Welcome to Nevada.”

HEIDI KNAPP RINELLA

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