June 4th, 2008
05:04 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: “Other” Stories

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

Today, I bring you a few things you may have missed in this primary frenzy… in no particular order:

“Hello, Big Brother? Go away!”
Northeastern University researchers tracked more than 100,000 people through their cell phones without these people knowing. Sure, the study wasn’t done here, and that kind of tracking would reportedly be illegal in the US, but those facts don’t make me feel all that great. My phone wasn’t tracked but I still feel violated.


Sharon Stone can forget the Shanghai International Film Festival – they don’t want her.


A consumer advocacy group says eight artificial colorings in foods can lead to hyperactivity and behavior problems in children; they want the FDA to ban those dyes

While we’re at it, can we ditch the orange dye for cheese? It’s creepy.


My tomatoes may be at risk. I love vegetables and fruit and I eat a lot of produce. Summer brings the best flavors of the year, including tomatoes. There is nothing like a tomato salad, but it’s not as appealing with a side of salmonella.


Don’t you hate it when you can’t find something around the house? More than once, I’ve decided the item was likely gone for good, and ended my search. Maybe I shouldn’t give up so easily. If a Massachusetts lighthouse can turn up decades later on the California coast, who’s to say my missing book/purse/necklace/$20 bill won't surface one day?


Every year around Mother’s Day, we learn what Mom is worth. OK, let’s be real – there really isn’t a number to capture any mother’s true worth, but if a stay-at-home Mom were paid for everything she does, she’d earn around $117,000 a year

Some Moms say that sounds a little low, and I have to agree. I am in awe of ALL stay-at-home parents – don’t forget the stay-at-home Dads!! They don’t have coffee breaks, lunches, or sick days. My friends who stay home never cease to amaze me. My hat is off to all of them.

Being a parent is a lot of work, and it turns out even working Moms like yours truly would take home a little extra… or a lot, it turns out: more than $68k. If I had that cash, I’d hire a housekeeper! Wouldn’t it be nice to have a few minutes on the morning to just sit? No laundry, no cleaning, no making lunches…a moment of Zen, if you will, with a cup of coffee and the Living section of the paper.

Filed under: Erica Hill
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Jennifer


    I have been reading your commentaries lately and you make many excellent and interesting points throughout. Perhaps my favorite, though, took place in the above article.......How do you lose a light house? And if a whole light house is lose-able, and then find-able.......then I suppose anything is!

    I enjoyed this.

    Thank you!

    June 5, 2008 at 9:29 am |
  2. Jolene

    As a lover of lighthouses, it's absolutely incredible that a lighthouse not only could be moved from one coast to another but also found decades later. One of those things that make you go "hmmm".

    There was a story recently in my home town about our lighthouse possibly going up for auction if no one steps up to pay for keeping it restored. Can you imagine possibly owning your own lighthouse? Just a sign of the times when the US Coast Guard can't afford to maintain the lighthouses anymore.

    Erica, what a cool mom you have! Mine would never blog!

    Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    June 5, 2008 at 1:31 am |
  3. Lilibeth

    Hey Erica, so how did Anderson like the Wii gift? That was hilarious! He didn't know what to do with it! And when he stepped on it, he said "This is exercise?" Too funny! I also thought his mom would make an appearance. I still remember her talking to his cardboard cut-out last year! She was a kick!

    Thanks for the laugh. 🙂

    Edmonds, Washington

    June 5, 2008 at 12:59 am |
  4. Alexander

    Erica, once again you have delighted me with a very interesting and enlightening, even humorous, news note. I agree with what you stated regarding the dye’s. Also, I think that’s cute that you ‘lose’ things on occasion. I guess that goes along with your ‘klutz’ state.: P : ))) And, I think what you said about Mom’s is so sweet. No doubt, your mom, who I see posted today again (and hello to you, Erica’s Mom : ) , is very proud of you and what you’ve accomplished and what you’ve yet to accomplish. Cheryl, I think you may be giving Anderson too much credit there. I happen to think it’s all Erica. : ) Hehe. Take care Cheryl and Erica.: )

    June 4, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  5. Annie Kate

    That's wild about the lighthouse. You would think there would have been some documentation at the town nearest its original location to document the move. Maybe that ended up in California too. Gives me new hope for finding all those socks my family has lost one of.

    A 117,000 sounds way too low for a stay at home mom. There is not only what she does but the value and potential of the children she raises to consider!

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    June 4, 2008 at 9:33 pm |
  6. Lisa

    The light house is still lost if they think that Point Montara is the southern point of San Francisco BAY. Point Montara happens to be on the Pacific Coast, just on the other side of the coastal range of the bay. I understand how it could have been lost for so long. They just weren't looking in the right location.

    June 4, 2008 at 8:15 pm |
  7. Jan from Wood Dale, IL

    I'm not sure what you mean about cell phones "being tracked", but since February 2008 there have been several big debates in Congress regarding the FISA Act and granting retroactive immunity to the telecom companies that turned wiretapped all phone and internet records for the Bush administration without having a warrant for such wiretapping. So sorry, but you might have been "tracked" depending on which telecom company you use.

    June 4, 2008 at 7:46 pm |
  8. Heather

    Yes John King and Dana finally got a break from politics and on their honeymoon plus I think the other John has done a great job. They had a Mazel Tov wedding on Cape Cod! I dont know why anyone would want artificial anything in their food. I dont buy the connection with ADHD AT ALL!

    June 4, 2008 at 7:45 pm |
  9. Tim

    Why aren't there any stories about how we live in a high tech society and put pressure on all large corporations who have employees that can tellecommute work from home at least1 day a week. I am sure that there are hundred of thousands of people that can do this. This would drive the supply for gas down in america big time. Why aren't we trying to help ourselves here. The media can help us out. Please do so.

    Thanks for listening,

    June 4, 2008 at 7:41 pm |
  10. Heather

    Hi Erica,

    You know when I saw Sharon Stone say what she said I thought about how very cold, shallow and self centered she sounded. She really didnt get it. She lives in America the land of freedom. If she wants a child with her financial resources her options are endless. In communist China they can only have one child due to the one child policy. Most of these people lost their only child. Some may be too old to be able to have more. They basically lost everything. An earthquake that destroyed innocent peoples lives is not Karma Sharon Stone! Its a terrible trajedy that these people are still having to deal with. I think if Sharon Stone had any shame or compassion she would publicy appologize and make a big cash donation to a organization directly involved with helping these families. They have very rough lives compared to her.

    June 4, 2008 at 7:35 pm |
  11. skipper


    Has someone told AC what a " boo" Is?

    I enjoy reading your columns.

    I think Hillary needs to concede. The Dems are divided over this whole battle.

    June 4, 2008 at 7:26 pm |
  12. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Sorry Erica, I don't mean to turn your blog into a gossip column but
    What a great couple! I wish them the very BEST! 🙂

    June 4, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  13. Kiran

    @ Alisa,
    John King has been gone for a while because he and Dana Bash got married. lol I was wondering the same thing, so I looked it up. I don't know when they are going to be back though. I wish we could get a picture of the wedding, but I haven't seen anything or heard anyone mention anything about the wedding on CNN.
    @ Erica,
    It's good to hear from you today. We missed you yesterday. We all were hoping you and the 360 staff would do something crazy for Anderson's Birthday! Hopefully we will get to see you guys embarrass him tonight!

    ~Kiran Ali

    June 4, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  14. Megan Dresslar

    I agree with Alisa, I hope that John King will feel better soon, Thanks to John Roberts fill-in for John King....... he is best morning anchor in the world! John Roberts is best magic wall map as John King did! Let me know how is John King doing, tell John King, Please get well soon fast! I missed for few days now....... And you are my favorite anchor AC correspondent......... I will see you tonight on AC360 program......... See you there! 🙂
    Megan D.
    Shoreline, WA

    June 4, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  15. Mary H - St. Louis, MO

    Sharon is not their boo.... Too bad for Sharon.

    This whole boo thing is cracking me up... I watched the video again. Tons of boo comments on beat 360 pictures. I never get around to posting a Beat 360 comment early enough in the day before someone beats me (so to speak) to the punch.

    I'm sure Anderson knows by now what a boo is. To be honest, I had to look it up in the slang dictionary. Here is the definition, pass it one.

    Sweet heart, usually a boyfriend.
    You're my boo. OR You are not my boo.... Ha Ha Ha...

    Let's see what slang words AC360 can use tonight...

    June 4, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  16. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Hi Erica~
    Tracking cell phones is scary but have you ever looked into that satellite camera on the internet and found your house?
    I suppose the government can watch us in our own back yards!
    Isn't that scary? Or just plain silly, or in my case, boring! 😉
    How about those tomatoes? I love them so, I may have to just grow my own! Mark in Sacremento knows how too!
    Do you ever get to sit down with a little Zen with small children? Zen and small children~No, I don't think so~
    I never had it. No privacy even in the bathroom! Ahh, just you wait until they are teens. UGH! as they say, you then understand why animals eat their young. Just kidding, of course. Then they grow up and you wish you had them back 🙁
    A devoted Mother~PRICELESS!
    Thanks Erica!

    June 4, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  17. Cheryl Jean

    I wasn't going to mention politics, as that is not what your blog is about, but I have to respond to "kaizm abidi".
    It's not illegal what you say they are doing to Hillary, as the Dems decided the "election criteria" and the Dems need to stick to what they agreed upon. What is appalling, in my opinion, is the pressure Obama is under to choose Hillary as his "running mate". Personally, I will be more likely to vote for him if she's not his running mate. Fortunatley, I can state my opinion in this incredibel country we live in without fear of reprisal.

    As for making Anderson laugh, I believe the two of you compliment each other, as you each have a great sense of humor.


    June 4, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  18. neil smokey

    I have been praying for obama to win this race but unfortunately today when i heard him trying to appease the 6 mil jews in america i withdrew my support for this guy.
    What change is he talking about? if he to is trying to appease this fellows? why don't he be himself and try to appease all the 300 mil americans in this great land?why should every presidential candidate
    has to get a blessing from this forks? i wonder we she choose a king from them and let them have the"intittlement" for life.
    for one thing as of today obama lost my vote...

    June 4, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  19. Lilibeth

    Yeah, I’ve lost a few things here and there and some of them turn up. One time, I lost my camera in a bookstore while on vacation and was crestfallen because I had just received it as a gift. I gave the bookstore my phone number and asked them to call me if they find it. The prospect of coming home with no camera and no pictures to show for was depressing. I thought that even if someone in the bookstore, a customer or employee, found it, and they happen to be dishonest, that they might keep it for themselves. Well, imagine my surprise when the bookstore called me the next day to tell me that they found my camera! Somebody found it and turned it in. I was so happy because that experience told me that there are still good and honest people out there.

    A mom is worth $1 million, no, make that $10 million or $100 million, actually, more than that…certainly there is no price tag for moms…they’re priceless! I am who I am today because of my Mom.

    Take care,
    Edmonds, Washington

    June 4, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  20. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Hi Erica,
    "Can you hear me now." I guess cell phone trackers hear alot of things now.
    Tomatoes having salmonella makes me mad. We can't trust our food supply and that is unacceptable. I'm growing my own tomatoes and so far so good. Some other food might do me in, but at least my tomatoes are safe to gobble up.
    As far as losing items around the house? My mother always keeps a list of where she put's things...She loses that "list" daily! Oh well, such is life. Mom's 117,000 must be "LOST" in the mail.

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    June 4, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  21. Stacy

    @Alisa Marie–John King had a good excuse for his absence at the Magic Wall–he was too busy getting hitched to CNN's own Dana Bash.

    June 4, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  22. kaizm abidi

    you know for peace hilary is best and that what they've done is illegal.
    the ilegality of this.

    June 4, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  23. Kristien,Antwerp, Belgium

    Hey Erica,

    Do you know if they found the socks I'm missing with the lighthouse, lol, I've got a lot of half pairs.

    My mom was always home for us and now she's a part-time stay-at- home grandma and I'm pretty sure she would think that 117,000$ is far too low a figure. (and I agree!).

    I'm not surprised that Sharon Stone isn't welcome in China after her statements. You should always think before you speak!

    Thanks for your daily News Note, you always have great stories!

    See you tonight, Kristien

    June 4, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  24. Alisa Marie Bellettini

    Hi Erica,

    You are my favorite AC correspondent.

    I have a question that has nothing to do with your story but......

    WHERE IS JOHN KING? I don't understand why he wasn't on last night unless he had pneumonia. He's the only guy who made sense of the maps – which at first I thought were goofy – but John is so smart and he was someone I looked forward to seeing on primary nights. I asked Jack Cafferty but he is kind of grumpy and I have a feeling he won't write back.

    Would you let me know? He's one of the smartest guys around.

    Thank you and I look forward to seeing you every night – I like your updates and you are the only one who can make AC laugh – not an easy thing to do I am sure.

    Best, AMB

    June 4, 2008 at 5:17 pm |