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Since We Last Spoke

Updates to past Pacific Standard print stories.


Remember Stephen Joseph, the contrarian attorney fighting to save plastic bags whom Nick Welsh told us about ("The Bag Man," September/October 2012)? New research undertaken by two law professors looking at San Francisco's ban-the-bag ordinance reported a spike in food-borne, bacteria-related emergency-room visits after the 2007 law went into effect. The study has its critics, though. For example, the ER visits weren't definitively linked to people using cloth bags.

"We've cannibalized a little bit of our local audience in the opera house."

After we asked whether simulcasts at your local theater would save the high arts or sink them ("Live From New York, It's Donizetti," January/February 2013), we didn't expert a direct answer. But Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb, in announcing that the Met was cutting ticket prices by 10 percent, laid a dollop of blame on the simulcasts. "Although we have expanded the paying audience for the Met through the HD transmissions," he told theAssociated Press, "we've also cannibalized a little bit of our local audience in the opera house." The Met also reduced its simulcasts from 2012-13's dozen to 10 this coming season.

When octogenarian Raul Castro announced in February that he'll step down as Cuba's president at the end of his term in 2018, his 52-year-old adviser, Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, was named first vice president of the Council of State and Raul's likely successor. "He is a bright, hardworking technocrat—a trudger and plodder," explains Ann Louise Bardach, whose predictive examination of the future of Castroism ("We'll Always Have Fidel," November/December 2012) offered a scorecard of the island nation's young Turks, including Bermudez. "I'm sure that Raul identified with his willingness and ability to stay in the trenches and out of the limelight!"