Archive for September, 2006

The sun shines on Colorscape

Saturday, September 9th, 2006
Jeff Genung

The aforementioned weathermen seem to have been right … it’s 3:15 now and there’s barely a cloud in the sky. We’re listening to the lovely ladies of Red Molly from the mainstage right now, and Colorscape has never sounded better.

The crowds have certainly picked up since the torrential downpour, and the Colorscape sidewalks are teeming with old friends and laughter. It’s always a treat to sit here in our Evening Sun booth and reconnect with John Q. Public, whom I generally hide from in my Ivory Tower …


Saturday, September 9th, 2006
Tyler Murphy

At this moment the 12th annual Colorscape is in full swing. I tried some Indian food and attempted to play the drums at a workshop only to discover that my musical ability only rivals that of my singing talent.

The thing I found most enjoyable at the festival however is the diversity. Living upstate I sometimes find we may be lacking in some cultural or ideologically varieties but at the festival I encountered many different types of people. There is an nearly endless display of personal creativity, their imaginations and emotions poured out through art and music. I feel a strong degree of personal motivation to express myself in some creative way and I suddenly wish I had some kind of artistic talent.

Being able appreciate the literary achievements I found the poetry and lyrics particularly interesting. Things are still happening right now and I am eager to get back so I implore anyone out there not already planning to visit to do so.

Rain rain go away ..

Saturday, September 9th, 2006
Jeff Genung

As our friendly weathermen predicted, it’s starting to rain pretty heavily here at Colorscape Chenango, about 12:25 p.m. People are scurrying for cover, but we’re here huddled under our trusty Evening Sun tent.

Colorscape President Bob Benton just announced that it’s a passing shower (!) and should be over in about 20 minutes, so don’t let that discourage you from coming on down this afternoon (Bob’s always right about these things!)

Colorscape beginneth …

Saturday, September 9th, 2006
Jeff Genung

It’s 11:15 a.m. on the park in beautiful downtown Norwich, and the 12th annual Colorscape Chenango is just over an hour old … The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and there’s a throng of happy Chenango residents (and visitors) perusing the many artistic offerings in East and West Side Parks. It’s looking to be a great day … if you’re reading this Saturday morning, come on down!

Back to school…

Thursday, September 7th, 2006
Jessica Lewis

This week, students everywhere will begin another school year, but students in Oxford are in for a surprise. The 12th grade English teacher in the Oxford School District decided not to come back this year. With all of the controversy surrounding the high number of seniors who failed to graduate last semester who could blame him?

Apparenty, quite a few people can and do. The problem is not that the teacher left the district, but that he chose to do so the day before classes began. Several people, students and parents a like, complained about the way in which he ran his classroom, but who could have suspected that he would leave the school high and dry the day before classes were to resume?
Existing teachers are now stepping up to take over the classes that are left unattended, giving up their free time to do so. A search for the next Oxford English teacher is to begin shortly. Hopefully they will find a replacement quickly and easily. Until then, I wish the teachers and students at Oxford luck. I hope this upset to the system causes as little stress as possible, and doesn’t cast a negative shadow on the first day back.

16 Years …

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006
Jeff Genung

This week (or thereabouts) marks my 16-year anniversary with The Evening Sun. It seems like only yesterday …

Oh, who am I kidding? It seems like 16 years! Generally in the course of daily events there’s no time to think about the totality of your career, until you reach that milestone known in the HR world as the “anniversary date.” That happened to me this morning, at our company-wide monthly birthday/anniversary gathering. It was one of those moments where you’re at once proud of your accomplishments (and longevity – only Darkroom Dave has me beat, by decades, in seniority) and at the same time wondering where the hell all that time went. Especially, of course, when I quickly calculated that the three new reporters I just hired were each seven years old when I started here …

Breaking news

Friday, September 1st, 2006
Jeff Genung

When you see newsrooms portrayed in the movies or on television, it’s always a fast-paced, high-stress, “Stop the presses!” kind of atmosphere. Reality is something different. While there’s plenty of deadline pressure stress to go around in The Evening Sun newsroom, it’s a fairly rare occurrence when “breaking news” demands everyone’s attention.

Such was the case Thursday morning, when shortly after that day’s edition had gone to press I received a call tipping me off about the appellate court’s decision reversing the conviction in the Peter Wlasiuk murder trial. It was one of those rare “oh my God” moments that really get the news-junkie adrenaline pumping.

Unfortunately, as is the case with most breaking news, the timing couldn’t have been worse. Thursday’s paper was already rolling off the presses, and I was almost out the door, having planned half a day off to visit the State Fair in Syracuse. Faced with a newsroom teeming with cub reporters, I considered canceling my plans and walking them step by step through what is the beginning of one of the year’s biggest stories. Instead, I managed to wrestle down my control-freak demons and left anyway, albeit an hour later after I fired off as many instructions as I could think of, given the time.

I’m happy to say I made the right decision. Newbies Tyler Murphy and Jessica Lewis jumped at the chance to delve into an exciting story, and handled it admirably (I’m trying not to sound too much like a proud parent here, as they already think I’m older than dirt).

My hat’s off as well to web designer Craig Ballinger, who built in a template I could use for breaking news. When I saw that in the system, I at first thought, “yeah, right.” But as we shift our mindset more to the 24-hour Internet news model, it makes more and more sense to break stories as they happen. I’m proud to say we were the very first new outlet to report the Wlasiuk story, shortly before noon Thursday. Without this here website, The Evening Sun would have been that last to report the story, in our print edition Friday.

While I still have yet to yell, “Stop the presses!” at least now I can yell, “Update the website!”

Wlasiuk Appeal

Friday, September 1st, 2006
Jessica Lewis

Yesterday was a huge day for news. The verdict in the case of Peter Wlasiuk was overturned on appeal. You may remember the case from 2002. Wlasiuk of Oxford, was accused of suffocating his wife and then depositing his vehicle and her body into Guilford Lake to make it look like an accident.

The case drew considerable media attention due to the dramatic details of the case, domestic abuse, alcoholism, affairs and unorthodox relationships. The list goes on and on.

From a news perspective, it will be interesting to see how things unfold. With so much attention on this case, there are few who haven’t heard the details. I wonder if that will affect the potential jury pool, or the court’s final decision.

What will have changed since the first trial, and most importantly, what kind of an effect will this decision have on the grieving family of Patricia Wlasiuk. After thinking this matter done and over, the news of the Appellate Court’s decision must have been overwhelming. We can only wish them peace, and hope that they are able to wait for justice to be served, whatever the outcome may be.