Archive for March, 2007

Hard news

Friday, March 30th, 2007
Tyler Murphy

Wednesday morning I must admit I didn’t give a whole lot of thought into the disappearance of Tammy Periard. After all this is a small town and the last time a murder happened in the city I wasn’t even born. So the thoughts of fowl play escaped me and most others I would imagine, having justly adapted to life in our humble corner of the world.

With my first meeting with Chief Joseph Angelino on early Wednesday morning he seemed quite concerned over the disappearance and I could tell that the circumstances of the case didn’t seem to sit right with him. I left feeling a little nervous and concern. I figured that some unpredictable event of circumstance might have lead her off the radar for a while. I didn’t know the woman at all and ran scenario’s of love, drama and fate through my head, the chance of something sinister appeared small. Perhaps something risqué, but evil?

As Wednesday progressed police were everywhere in Norwich and people began calling in with unfounded information and in respect for the family I will not elaborate on what they were saying. Rumors are dangerous. I heard all kinds of commotion on my scanner. Somewhere in the midst of all these escalating events, a feeling arose, that feeling the family and Chief Angelino must have felt since earlier in the morning, crept its way up my spine; despair. For the first time I seriously accepted foul play as a likely culprit and it changed the day.

The dreaded and inevitable moment came the next morning when I found the PD’s press release in my e-mail. I knew all hell was going to break loose for the rest of the day and my intuition certainly did not disappoint.

I spent most of the day gathering “off the record or unofficial” information and then trying to get someone to confirm it on the record. Honestly I wish I could spill my guts to you but that really would be unethical. The police and DA have certainly been tight liped and that is not a criticism, in fact a department that doesn’t leak information is a very good department indeed.(Makes my job a pain though)

So after calling law enforcement officials, family member and friends, of both sides, a million times and getting in line behind all the other information scavengers that piled into Norwich from numerous media outlets I found out more than most. It turned out well, after all I did have the home field advantage.

It must have been rough for the PD. They worked hard long hours to break the case. Making a late night arrest and discovering the horrors of what really happened brought many officers into the wee hours of the morning. Three hours later its seven o’clock and they’ve better be thinking on their feet. Reporters looking for answers, rumors racing through the public, an investigation still underway. They know it will be highly scrutinize and publicized. So my hats off to you guys, even though I was one of the many that aided in running you all ragged yesterday.

I wish I could finish this off more strongly but I’m just too tired. We all, I’m sure, are looking forward to the weekend where hopefully some of us, (Family, friends, police, attorneys, reporters) can get a little peace before coming back to fight yet another day. Although I suspect many will be working and certainly grieving straight through.

In a Norwich minute

Friday, March 30th, 2007
Michael McGuire

Abandoned shopping cart numbers are surprisingly low at the moment. Not sure what’s going on – maybe they melted away with all the snow. Or maybe it’s like Groundhogs Day and “Silver Street Sam” the shopping cart saw his shadow, got scared and went back to P&C’s return rack to hide-out for six more weeks.

Speaking of melting snow…
The onset spring certainly tells a tail.
With the nice weather we’ve been having came a winter’s worth of preserved cigarette butts, dog poop and rotting garbage that’s been released from a prison of snow and ice. Aside from being a little symbols of persistence and survival, these spring lovelies are nice accent of the local culture.

Condolences to the family of Terry Periard.

March showers…

Monday, March 26th, 2007
Jessica Lewis

I love the spring and summer. I love being outside and not having to wear a sweater, a coat, mittens, a hat and furry boots. (I’m a whiner and I get cold fast.) All winter long, I have been longing for warm weather and dreaming of bike rides and picnics and blooming flowers. Now, spring is finally here, or so it would seem. I should be happy. The temperatures are getting warmer, the birds are singing and the snow is melting.

It’s wonderful…except for the constant threat of flooding. It seems that since the snow has started to melt, every day we have had temperatures above 40 degrees, the National Weather Service has issued a flood warning. I don’t want to argue about the merit or the necessity of these flood warnings, but it seems every time I turn around, another warning or watch has been issued. I’m all for these types of alerts when something is actually happening, I just doubt they are necessary every time a cow pasture on the banks of the river gets a couple inches of water.

In recent weeks, so many flood warnings have been issued, that it feels almost like the NWS is the boy who cried wolf. It’s spring. Of course there is going to be extra water creeping onto the banks of the river, but if every time the water rises an inch or two, a flood warning is issued, nobody is going to pay attention when the next real flood comes our way.

Blotter time

Friday, March 23rd, 2007
Tyler Murphy

Every morning I come into work and sift through a small stack of papers that soon enough will be perhaps the most broadly read – the police blotter.

If only I could tell you the number of favors I could have cashed out by just letting one of these sheets slide off into the nearby garbage can. It would be so easy… and just think of all the rewards… true love, gold coins and immortality. Yes, the temptation to remove both friend and foe from the list has great reward. It’s tempting, but lucky for me credibility and honesty are in rare quantity. I’m sure if I just hold out a little longer they’ll just keep appreciating. Maybe someday when the weight of the reward outweighs the usefulness of such things, I’ll sell out and build a house on a magic cloud, riding my flying pig back and forth from Disney World every day. (Sorry for being so sarcastic, I can’t stand Disney… not since the Lion King anyhow.)

My favorites are the calls we get from people who demand not to be placed in the blotter and these calls are usually from the most guilty. It’s not like we were the one that sold you your crack and made you drive down Rt. 12 at 80 miles an hour with a license that was suspended because of your two prior DWIs, all since October. (Seriously we get a lot worse than that.)

Everyone goes into the blotter – EVERYONE. You, me, my neighbor, cops, judges and even my boss (holding my breath for that day.) If you get arrested, you get published. I can’t help it if people before me weed out their relations, but as far as I know every agency takes it very seriously and anyone who does “help out a friend,” shouldn’t.

I understand the appearance of guilt by being arrested, but remember anyone in the blotter is innocent and such assumptions of guilt are often made by the type of people who appear in it. So remember don’t be quick to judge because we all will be on the other end at one point or another. If any of you out there wants your dispositions published, please contact us. A disposition is the result of your case, however most don’t get them put in … geez, I wonder why. (That was me being subtly sarcastic because most people are guilty of at least something).

But if you refuse to give up the fight, here are my asking prices

Misdemeanor- 50 bucks and a monkey that can serve me coffee in the morning

DWI- Let me hit you in the face with a tire iron….. twice…. then maybe

Felonies – 200 bucks and I get to fire you out of a cannon. (Sorry our cannon is having technical difficulties so please provide your own)

Murder, Manslaughter, rape – No need to worry about the blotter, you’ll make front page news

Child molesters- let me hit you with my car at 70 miles an hour…. twice… then no.

“Life is tough, it’s tougher if you’re stupid.” -John (the Duke) Wayne

March Sadness

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007
Michael McGuire

Syracuse has the right to sing the blues in the off-season. Their fans – myself included – have a right to hold a grudge. But not one of us has the right to let the NCAA tournament selection committee’s decision to shaft Syracuse overshadow the team’s real problems.

Because after watching the NIT – and the entire season, for that matter – it’s clear Syracuse’s sob-story is more like a Greek tragedy.

They had everything a team could want (almost). Bulking size, big league skill and oodles of talent. But they took it for granted – until it was too late.

First off, they lived on the edge way too often. It seems like every game they had to get buried alive or put on life support before they’d start clawing tooth and nail to survive. 24 times it worked. However, the entire season felt like a tear-jerking movie. You’ve seen it; some guy with a nice family, nice house, nice job, and a nice car doesn’t enjoy or care for the things he has, and then he loses it all by some twist of fate – temporarily. It’s only after everything gets taken that he realizes he wants it back, proves his love, and it all works out. The End.

Not the case for the Orange.

Syracuse didn’t deserved to get snubbed. But they deserved a wake-up call. And they didn’t even answer the one they got.

The NIT was the same old story. Get totally out-played, out-hustled, and get out-muscled for 20 or 30 plus minutes – then turn it on in a panic when the walls start to cave-in. That strategy earned them two home wins from two mediocre teams.

Syracuse lacks identity. Yes, they are known for the 2-3 zone. But that’s pretty much it! They don’t rebound, pass, catch, defend, make foul shouts, shoot or finish with any consistency. Real identity comes with taking care of the little things, something Syracuse doesn’t do.

They do hustle – after they screw up. They need to hustle with purpose. They need to hustle with success in mind.

They have potential, they need results. They have leading scorers, they need leaders.

They don’t need to get angry (the NCAA already accomplished that). They need to stay angry and play angry, and carry it into next season.

The meaning of public

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007
Jessica Lewis

Some words and phrases can be misleading. The English language is full of them. For instance, if someone snaps at you, you might say they’re biting off your head, or if someone is telling a story, you say they’re pulling your leg.

Phrases like those could be easily misinterpreted, but to the best of my knowledge, public meeting is not one of these slang terms that sounds like one thing and means another. Everyone should be able to tell from the term “public meeting,” especially the “public” part, that the public has a right to know what occurs at the meeting.

It seems obvious, yet, I still talk to people who don’t seem to understand. Last night, a gentleman got up at a meeting of the Common Council and spoke during the open forum. (Yes, it was public and open.) He spoke his mind and the council responded. Yet after the meeting, he informed me that everything he said was off the record. He even went one step further and said anytime he ever speaks at a meeting, it is off the record.

At the time, I wasn’t sure what to say, so I simply said my good-byes and left for the night, but after some consideration, I only find myself more and more confused. I did not quote the gentleman in today’s article, but if he had said something worth noting, I would have been obligated to do so. Speaking at a public meeting and declaring it off the record is a lot like screaming a secret from a rooftop. Just because you call it a secret, doesn’t mean everyone isn’t going to know about it anyway. Public meetings are just that, public. So if you don’t want to be on the record, don’t say it in a public forum.

Red Light, Green Light

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007
Jeff Genung

Well, whaddya know? One of the entries I commented on in “30 Seconds” is currently the highest rated.

Here’s the entry:

“Seeing what actually gets posted in this forum kinda makes me want to see the garbage that they don’t print.”
Man from Sherburne

I’m saving them all for a tell-all I’ll write in my retirement. Somewhere around 2033 …

As I write this at 7:30 Tuesday night, waiting for Idol to come on (shameless Idol plugs seem to garner the most response on the blog side – Go, Lakisha!), it’s currently got 21 greens and 2 reds, making it the top of the heap when you sort by “Highest Rated.”

I have no idea what that means, either.

Do readers really want to see the garbage we don’t print? Do they think what we print is garbage? Are they anxiously awaiting my future best-seller, or are they just anxiously awaiting my retirement?

Trying to make sense of “30 Seconds” is like trying … oh, why even bother to complete the analogy? It’s just darn right impossible. When our webmaster came up with the Red State/Green State voting scheme for the online “30 Seconds,” I said sure, why not, it can’t get any more inane, can it?

Oh Ed., sometimes you’re so silly.

If nothing else, the voting system gives some instant interactivity to “30 Seconds” that it’s never had before, which is cool. And it puts some pretty primary-colored numbers off to the side, which is also cool. And I’m particularly fond of the new sorting feature, though I still think we should add a drop-down choice for “Most Inbred.”

Forum Fighter

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007
Michael McGuire

What’s happening to our beloved Evening Sun Forum?

It’s become a wasteland.

Clicking on a posted topic these days is like lifting up a couch cushion at a frat party and discovering a well-placed pile of Milwaukee’s Best Keg vomit.

The forum has gotten so bad that it makes 30 seconds look like the New England Journal of Medicine.

It is so stinky we’ve actually discussed putting in some interactive scratch n’ sniff buttons next to each topic so you can get a hint of what you’ll be digging into.

Come on people! The uni-bomber’s manifesto made more sense than some of the stuff in there – and it was probably shorter, too.

Let’s play a game. Let’s see if we can have three posts on a topic that make sense and have a logical connection. Let’s keep them down to five or six normal sentences. If you’re feeling really froggy and want to throw in some evidence to back-up a point, put up a link rather than pasting in an entire article. And if you see a topic already in the forum that is a lot like the one you want to create, use it. Don’t just make a new one.

We have to conserve our free forum spaces, or else they will be gone.

Many of our native “forum-mericans” have already been pushed onto smaller, marginal forums because the greedy have taken up all the choice intellectual lands for themselves, only to waste it. Soon the forum, just like the once proud “Buck Corn Cobb,” our first user on the Evening Sun website, will disappear forever.

Hobbs = General Custer.

Eve of Destruction

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007
Tyler Murphy

I’m having a hard time seeing a clear future for my kids and even a more vague one for their children. I know all the world problems that echo across crowds today like global warming, the economy and war on terrorism. Since the source of the sound usually originates from the minds and mouths of men nailed to a culture of politics and media, I take it in stride. Like most I think I can figure out what to believe and what not, but there is an incredible amount of gray area I can not figure out.

I’m educated compared to most on the planet. I make a concentrated effort through what I’ve learned from my public education, personal experience and real world truths in an attempt to see just a few years into the future. It’s hard but there are things that are undeniable.
One, the world populations will continue to grow. Fifty years ago we had about 2.5 billion and today it’s somewhere around 6.

Two, as that number grows so will peoples desires for better lives. Think about China, so many caught in a third world yet exposed to “first world” life styles everyday, and they want more. Cars, electricity, running water and medical care all things that have existed here for 50 years are just beginning in many parts of the world. This all leads to greater numbers consuming greater amounts of energy and materials. Simple math, not everyone can get everything. The Earth supported a billion individuals from western culture during our industrial revolution but can it support the next 10 billion across the globe in the next 50 years?

Three, with all this population growth and consumption comes the pollution or waste generated by them. How can we get a handle on the masses of the earth demanding more? If people are suffering today they tend not to care about tomorrow and if their lives can be improved then they’ll ignore next week. It is fact that if everyone in the world had what we as Americans have had then the world would be dead in a matter of decades.

Four, it’s inevitable that the financial problems of the poorest become fatal. If there isn’t enough to go around, the rich sure won’t be the ones to lose out. It’ll start far off in some foreign countries but the fight for economic and personal survival will reach across national lines along the parallels of rich versus poor. I know I sound like Marx but when you’re in a room with 10 men and only enough food for 9 and one eats enough for three, just see who gets ousted first. A poor American has more in common with a poor Asian than a rich American.

Five, when things fall apart our highly specialized economy will work against us. If you couldn’t get food from the supermarket tomorrow, where would you go to get it? The modern capitalist scheme is not self sustaining. We all rely on others for our daily needs from toilet paper to antibiotics. (Made in China) If something dire happens, you only get what you’ve got and most of use don’t have enough to survive on our own.

The worst thing is when one thing collapses it makes everything else harder to bare. If the world economy drops, then the fight for the environment may get pushed aside but the worsening environment will eventually cause even greater economic problems.

So what do we do to save ourselves? Technology is what every single American had better be betting on, because it’s the only way to sustain our way of life and our dominance over the world. What if it can’t? Have we become so addicted and dependent on the digital revolution that we are in danger of becoming extinct without it? What if something made technology regress? Most people couldn’t survive a day without a cell phone, when 15 years ago few had them. Imagine no electricity. Our entire society functions on two things that it needs in order to survive, communication and transportation – both of which rely entirely on modern technology.

Now we wait for other men, scientists, to hopefully invent the new wonders of history, machines of pollution repair, population control, economic stability and resource/energy production.

If they fail billions will die, maybe all. It’ll probably be our grandchildren or theirs. So I guess we don’t have to worry about it too much, it’s their problem. It’s not like anyone left us a perfect world. Ha.

We have a responsibility. If we do not assume it, then we deserve our fate. That is an undeniable, not inconvenient, truth.

Rude people suck!

Monday, March 12th, 2007
Jessica Lewis

You know what makes me mad? Probably not, but if you keep reading, you will in about two seconds. I can’t stand grumpy, rude people who get angry just because you expect them to do their jobs. I don’t know what has happened to customer service and the “customer is always right” attitude, but if you’re looking for it in the general vicinity of upstate New York, all I can do is wish you luck.

This weekend, I had a run in with an especially rude store employee. When I asked a question, she rolled her eyes and acted like the simple act of doing what she is paid to do was too much to ask.

I’m sure everyone has had similar experiences, and I’m sure it isn’t entirely one sided. I worked in the food service industry for years while I was in high school and college, and I know dealing with people all day can be frustrating, and customers can be every bit as rude as employees. What I don’t understand is why people have to be so negative in the first place.

Maybe I am an idealist, in fact I know I am, but I don’t understand what is so difficult about being pleasant to people. Granted, after I was addressed so rudely in the store, I probably wasn’t the most pleasant person to be around. (Fire was shooting from my eyes and my glare had the potential to cause physical injury.) But maybe if everyone had a sweet disposition and a friendly attitude the world would be a better place.

I know, that will never work. I guess we’ll just have to go around hating each other and being rude, and I can keep complaining about how much rude people suck!