On the spot brings it home
Skimming through fellow student blogs, everyone seems to have picked-up upon the idea of a more grandeur picture painted by these journalist made personal by a single subject. In the case presented for the Golden Gate Park article, we can see how one state's issue can span across a country; because the problems threatening the San Francisco park could very well become problematic for other national parks. For instance, Michelle Tantlinger blogged about Pennsylvania's own Linn Run State Park being short on funding.
Also, both articles begin by concentrating on one individual's relationship to the issue being mentioned. In doing so it creates a more relational atmosphere for the reader. People can better connect with Steve Zadig, even if they're not Indy drivers, than an impersonal discussion on the environmental benefits of biofuels. I think whenever some people hear the word "ECO" attached to a topic automatically become deaf and blind, due to the amount of attention recently focused around eco-friendly everything. It's just an over mentioned subject that has even become merchandisable. But people do like Nascar--I'm not sure if Indy racing falls into that category, probably not, but its still within the same element of interest. My point is the writer made the story more relatable to a larger scale of people that might not have otherwise remained tuned in.