If a reporter accused military personnel at the decommissioned El Toro Marine Corps Air Station near Irvine, CA, of recklessly (or was it wrecklessly?) contaminating the soil, Mark Ludwig, my copy editing colleague at the Los Angeles Times, knew how to handle the situation. If a photographer spelled a local spelling bee champ’s last name “Abecedarian,” although the reporter spelled it “Abcedarian,” Mark made calls, sent e-mails, and checked the phone book. He would excise the offending opinion word or correct the aberrant spelling. And those were some of the least significant things he did before shepherding the story from the rim to the slot. Then, he would grin at the rest of us rim rats and nod.