A P-I (Work) Party

The region's current economic downturn - a potential 50,000 jobs to be lost says economist Dick Conway - was the focus of an NBC Nightly News report last week. It included a glimpse into the double whammy hitting married P-I employees - six sets of them. It's sort of a triple whammy for photog Dan DeLong and reporter Vanessa Ho. Besides possibly being pink-slipped by the (sale, closing, half-closing, reinvention?) of the paper, they were in the midst of remodeling their home when the bad news came.

One NBC scene shows them standing outside the home of exposed 2X4s, puzzling how to finish it. "Maybe we can do that ourselves," DeLong tells NBC's George Lewis. That prompted a P-I staffer to e-mail others: "I'm up for a P-I work party, Habitat-style. It could serve two purposes:

it would help out a couple of colleagues, and pounding nails could be

very therapeutic right about now . . ." Says a P-I'er: "Staffer after staffer has said 'I'm in,'" with Managing Editor David McCumber among the first to volunteer. A date is now being hammered down.

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