• Stymied by Sand: Staff writer Gordon Lubold was reminded again of difficulties of reporting a simple story when working in Iraq. Gordon was traveling with a Marine general who stopped at a US training base in Habbiniyah, Iraq. It was there that he met Marine Gunner Terry Walker. "He showed me around the base, and I realized I could tell the story about training Iraqi security forces through him," says Gordon.
Gunner Walker's position as a warrant officer – a hybrid rank between enlisted soldier and officer – is one that Gordon says offers a unique perspective. "Most of these guys have a candor not seen in other ranks," he says. Also, Walker is "short" – that is, about to finish his military service – so he wasn't worried about another promotion.
But Gordon couldn't get back to interview Walker. Unseasonably strong sandstorms grounded most operations in that part of Anbar Province. He finally got back to the base but was only able to spend a day with Walker . "I had to piece together a profile in less reporting time than I had hoped. But that's Iraq for you." (See story.)
• Better With Age? Reporter Nicole Itano, who lives just a few blocks from the new Acropolis Museum, has been taking an informal poll among residents of Athens about the new museum (see story). While everyone is happy that the museum is finally nearing completion, not everyone is happy with the design. "The response has definitely been mixed," she says. Some Greeks say the design is too modern or too dominant for the neighborhood. "But they usually add that Greeks don't like new things. They just need time to get used to it." Nicole was impressed by the spaciousness of the museum when she was allowed in for the first time on Sunday. "Of course, it was a little weird to be inside a museum that doesn't have anything on display yet."
– David Clark Scott