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Noted and passed - Dec. 31, 2012

Posted: December 28, 2012 4:32 p.m.
Updated: December 31, 2012 5:00 a.m.

• If you plan to watch the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, you’ll probably catch a glimpse of One Times Square, an office building that is mostly vacant. But don’t shed tears for the building’s owners; according to The Wall Street Journal, the building will generate more than $23 million in revenue this year as a spot to hang billboards and other advertisements. Its clients include Anheuser-Busch, which will pony up $3.4 million to for beer signs, and Dunkin Donuts, which is paying $3.6 million to feature its goodies.

• Newsweek, an iconic weekly publication that once boasted a circulation of more than 4 million and was “must reading” for everyone who wanted to stay informed, ends publication Dec. 31, a victim of changing times, plummeting circulation and buckets of red ink. It will maintain an on-line presence but the once-familiar magazine, which first appeared in 1933, will no longer exist. Its longtime rival, Time, continues to publish -- but nobody knows for how long.

• A New York Times story says members of Congress have been chafing over the fact they’ve had to be in Washington between Christmas and New Year’s Day to struggle with the fiscal cliff crisis. We suppose they’ve never stopped to think that if they had done their jobs, they could be at home, instead. We further suppose that it hasn’t dawned on them that they have failed the American people miserably, both Democrats and Republicans.

• We also notice that Hollywood director Martin Scorcese will direct a “documentary” -- that’s what they’re calling it -- on Bill Clinton for HBO. Scorcese calls Clinton “a towering figure” and a “transcendent figure,” leading many to believe that what is termed a documentary will actually be a paean to Clinton.

• Finally, in a time of uncertainty, we want to wish each Chronicle-Independent reader a happy new year, with health and happiness in the future.

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