James Earnst finishes up the process of loading a roll of
newsprint, and sets the tension on the copper belts in the
pressroom at the Sacramento Bee. Earnst has been at the Bee for
26 years. “When [the presses] run good, they run good,” he says.
“But they don’t always run good. It’s mechanical. You have to
listen for things — subtle noise changes, like plates coming off
and gears grinding. I’m not a sit-down-at-a-desk guy.”