This past week has been one for the books. Well, in the grand scheme of things, not really. But itís certainly been something. I donít know if I can think of a time when I have ever been this busy. And things are just heatiní up.
So to take a ďbreakĒ so to speak, Iíve opted to write a little bit about recent newsroom and life happenings and observations.
ē Progress Chenango is in full-swing. This means long hours and late nights for the editorial staff, and theyíre doing a bang-up job thus far. Interviews, photos, and writing galore. All in addition to the regular stories the reporters produce daily. Theyíre working hard, and deserve a virtual thumbs up for their efforts. For those unfamiliar with Progress Chenango, itís basically a snapshot of various aspects of the community from the prior year, and highlights where certain towns, businesses, and organizations are heading.
As for me, I never wrote Progress stories as a reporter. I was hired in April and took over as editor in September, and Progress work begins in November. My duties will include building, designing, and filling the pages with content. Huge undertaking, and former editor Jeff Genung gets 77 virtual thumbs ups for being fantastic.
Itís not my style to ask something of the editorial staff that Iím not willing to do myself, so Iíve decided to write some stories for Progress as well. To be honest, Iíve enjoyed it. Am I overwhelmed? Absolutely. But thatís life. I should actually be working on one of those stories now, but tomorrowís a brand new day.
At any rate, keep your eyes peeled for the Progress Chenango 2014 edition, to be published the week of Jan. 27, in addition to the daily paper.
ē Shifting gears, I almost ran over a woman the other day. It was during the snow storm that came through. The roads werenít in fantastic condition, as to be expected. I drive a Subaru, so know my car is pretty okay in snowy conditions, but Iím cautious regardless. Iím going to take a shot in the dark and guess my car weighs 3,100 pounds. Iíll take another shot in the dark and say the aforementioned woman weighed approximately 170 pounds. This woman apparently thought her trip to the post office was the most important thing on the planet. She darted right out into traffic, on snow covered roads, perhaps thinking she was invincible. Itís a good thing I donít text and drive (or do something else that would be distracting) because if I wasnít paying absolute attention to the road I would have smacked right into her and probably wouldnít be typing this now as I might have been charged with vehicular manslaughter or something of the sort.
Luckily, I stopped just short of her body. And by ďjust shortĒ I literally mean approximately 16 inches away. There were four cars behind me. The car directly behind me had to swerve to avoid hitting my vehicle. And it went right down the row of cars just in that fashion. No one hit anyone, and I did not hit the woman Ö but seriously Ö donít do that.
I donít care if the post office is going to close in two minutes. Use your head. Does it sound logical to just bust out into traffic on a main road like that? I donít think so. When are you encouraged to look both ways before crossing the street? Age four, maybe?
This happens so often. The recent instance with the middle-aged woman caught me a little off guard though. She appeared as though she could have been a mother of either teens or young adults, and clearly should know that a car weighs more than her. Had she opted to use a crosswalk, I would have no problem with yielding for her to make her journey across the road. Instead, she felt entitled to put not only her life in immediate danger, but also mine and the motorists behind me. Iím glad it didnít turn out horribly, but that woman needs a lesson in logic.
I see it far too often. Usually with teens or children walking from school. Theyíll just go into the road at will, taking whatever risk they may or may not realize exists by doing so. I might mutter something under my breath, but whatís funny is that I expect nothing different from young folks these days. And thatís unfortunate. I simply expect to be greeted with some vulgar gesture by a high school student who feels like my vehicle on the road is getting in the way of his stroll down the middle of the road for the fun of it.
Also, if you have a stroller with a young child in it Ö I implore you, use a crosswalk, and make sure you look before you cross. Itís all too common for me to see mothers with babies in strollers who just pop out into the middle of the road with cars traveling at give or take 27 miles per hour.
I mean, Iím all about ďlive and let live,Ē but I really donít want anyone to get killed because they donít know that a car weighs more than a human.
And speaking of entitlement, stop signs apply to school buses, too.
ē On another note, long-time Sports Editor Pat Newell has announced his planned departure from The Evening Sun , after nearly 19 years of dedication. While Iíve only worked with him a short time, he has played a tremendous role and I am really going to miss him.
As a human, he is hilarious, witty, and smart. He knows a heck of a lot about sports, and is a fantastic writer. When I was a reporter, my desk was near his spot. I could always hear his music in the morning before deadline and sometimes, he would tap along to whatever he was listening to. From my office now, I still sometimes hear the tapping. Iíll miss that.
During my transition from reporter to managing editor, his advice was - and continues to be - invaluable. He knows the ropes and shares his knowledge, tips and techniques all the time. Itís great. Iíll miss that.
Heíll be off to New Mexico after the winter sports season. This means weíre on the lookout for a new sports editor. Check out the ad on page 11 of todayís edition for the specifics regarding the position, and I encourage those interested to submit their resume, writing samples, and information to me. Having someone new in Patís spot will be totally different, since Iím so used to how things are now; but Iím looking forward to what the future will bring.
ē Wednesday, I showed up to the newsroom and remembered we ran out of coffee. Imagine my disappointment. The third thing I do when I get to the office is get a cup of coffee. First thing is to walk in the door, second thing is to grab my coffee mug.
I was afraid Iíd have to build a paper and edit stories without any coffee. Luckily, a reporter managed to grab some. I had probably four cups, and all was right with my morning.
ē I hold daily staff meetings with the reporters. In each meeting, something happens that makes me laugh uncontrollably for an extended period of time. You know what that is? A sign that you have an awesome job and work with awesome folks.
ē I spent Wednesday with the Chenango County Sheriff and undersheriff, the Norwich City Police Chief Joe Angelino, and the District Attorney. The day prior, I spent some time with the County Judge. Itís been a tremedously interesting couple of days, and Iíve had a lot of fun. Do you folks know the history of the building that houses the NPD? Itís some creepy awesome stuff.
ē Also, the Chiefs lost. That bummed me out, but they had a good season.
ē In my office to the left of my chair is a white board. I try to keep a ďthought of the dayĒ on it and I usually switch it up each day. Right now, the board has been consumed by all the meetings Iíve had for my Progress stories, but the most recent quote was from a Michael Franti and Spearhead song, and said, ďEvery flowerís got a right to be blooimí Ö stay human.Ē I think thatíll be approrpriate for today, too.
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