Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Two Tiny Fruit Flies Get Me on TV

Thanks for two male Oriental Fruit Fly specimens founds in Glendale, I'm being quoted in newspapers, heard on news radio, and and seen on television news.

Yesterday, KFWB AM 980 and KNX AM 1070 both recorded phone interviews with me, and I heard some of my quotes on KFWB today.

Today, I did on-camera interviews with KTTV Channel 11, KNBC-TV Channel 4, and KABC-TV Channel 7. KABC has the video on their website. I haven't seen myself on KNBC, and KTTV's news airs in about half an hour.

I was also quoted on the KCAL-TV 9/KCBS-TV 2 news website:
"People can go about their daily lives without concern," said Ken Pellman, public information officer for the Department of Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures.

I was also quoted in the Glendale News-Press:
Two Oriental fruit flies — which as larvae are among the most destructive insects to fruits and vegetables — turned up Aug. 21 and Friday in insect traps, which are used to monitor pest activity, said Ken Pellman, spokesman for the L.A. County agricultural commissioner.

In response, the department will conduct a large-scale eradication effort, applying pesticide-laced bait 6 to 8 feet up tree trunks and utility poles, covering about 600 spots per square mile, Pellman said.

The agent is designed to kill male fruit flies and is not harmful to humans, he added.

“It’s a really effective method we find,” he said. “Oriental fruit flies have been found before, but these eradication efforts have been very successful in the past, so that they don’t become established and get a foothold in the area.”

A wild fruit fly population could threaten agricultural crops, as well as vegetable and fruit trees in private yards, Pellman said.

“Hopefully, these were the only two, and that’s entirely possible because we do set up traps — there are traps everywhere — and we keep checking them for these pests, and quite often they don’t show up again,” he said.

Though Glendale has little agriculture, the pests can pose problems for plant nurseries, which could have controls put on their shipments if the area were to be quarantined over a fruit fly scare, Pellman said.


The Oriental fruit fly reportedly has the potential to wreak more havoc than the infamous Oriental fruit flies, which are native to Southeast Asia and are found in Hawaii and other Pacific islands, can be brought in by travelers transporting fruits and vegetables into the continental United States, as well as in goods shipped into the country, Pellman said.

“There’s no way to know for sure, but with transportation being what it is, people travel, and they’ll bring back fruits and vegetables,” he said.

“Or relatives or friends from their country of origin will send them as gifts, or they could just stow away in cargo holds of airplanes.”

Inspections at shipping ports and airports are designed to keep harmful insects from migrating into the United States via produce, he added.

“We do have efforts to check at ports and airports and shipping to check for pests on shipment that’s entering, whether it’s fruits, vegetables or ornamental plants,” he said.

“It’s possible they can get through that way too, but we do have pretty good inspectors in that regard.”

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

KNBC-TV Channel 4 11pm News Rebroadcast

Quite often, I'm up at strange hours. We have Time Warner Cable, and often during the 4am half-hour, I'll catch part of the rebroadcast of the previous night's KNBC-TV Channel 4 News at 11pm. Hey - there aren't a lot of options at that hour, even with cable.

Anyway, the news program is unusually quiet for some reason. The other channels aren't that quiet. The commercial breaks aren't that quiet. So I don't think it is a Time Warner Cable problem. I think someone at KNBC wants people to fall asleep watching Coleen Williams (which is a nice way to go) and then be jolted awake by the commercials.

Speaking of commercials, the bright spot in this half hour are commercials for Tito's Tacos. From the commercial, it looks like there is just one - in Culver City. Now, I've never eaten there, but I like Mexican food - real Mexican food or "trying to be" Mexican food. Okay, who am I fooling... I like food. But I really like Mexican food. And I like this commercial. It uses a catchy song (click on the like to hear it) and still images with graphics. It is an example of a good local commercial, unlike those cheesy ones you tend to see with the poor audio/video and atrocious acting.

I'm hungry now.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Siamese Faith Healer's Network

Cable has come a long way since "Weirdl Al" Yankovic gave an accurate portrayal of 1980s cable. But I still have a gripe.

I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice that cable channel branding has lost its meaning. ABC Family running “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery”? And wasn’t AMC supposed to be for American Movie Classics? A lot of those films ain’t classic. TLC? A&E?, E!? The programming seems to be so similar for so many of the channels, with the only thing distinguishing them to the audience is the little logo in the corner of the screen. How many more shows featuring the following subjects do we really need?

-Plastic surgery
-Weight loss
-Cooking (maybe we wouldn’t need so many weight loss shows if we weren’t watching food preparation on TV all of the time)
-House remodeling/flipping
-Follow a celebrity around as he/she does nothing in particular
-Follow a (former) celebrity around who is trying to revive his/her career and/or is looking for “love”
-Watch a bunch of young attention addicts party and hook up and sometimes live together.

Lets just get it over with. Let’s simply have one show that repeats episodes over and over again: A team of celebrities vs. a team of nobodies compete for weight loss and career success while undergoing plastic surgery, dealing with addiction, preparing food, living together in a house they are renovating, and partying. It will be great to see the tension between the chefs and the dieters, the partiers and the people trying to keep the house in good condition.

I was prompted to write this because I’m exposed to a lot more basic cable programming right now, with the baby keeping us home and keeping us awake.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

My Latest Column Now Online

The moment you've been waiting for is finally here!

The latest edition of my Kenversations(TM) column was posted today at

In this column, I lament the closure of the Disney Gallery by sharing my Disney Gallery memories from the past 20 years.

Check out the column and tell me what you think by using the feedback form at the end of the column. You can also talk about the column with others by following the link at the end of the column to the discussion boards.

Remember - I also contribute to The Disney Blog at