Archive for November, 2010

What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 22nd, 2010
Melissa Stagnaro

Everyone has something to be thankful for, and when better to share those blessings than with The Evening Sun’s readers on Thanksgiving Day? At least that’s what my coworkers and I try to convince people of every year around this time, as we pound the pavement looking for “Thankfuls.”

“What are you thankful for?” we ask basically everyone we meet until we find the requisite number of people (this year 6) who will agree to both a.) answer said question and b.) have their photo taken for publication.

In past years, it’s been something of a chore to fill my quota. I’ve had to use all manner of persuasion. But for some reason, that wasn’t the case this year. Maybe it’s the economy, or too many families touched by the Big C, but people seemed more willing than usual to share with me what they are most thankful for.

Sure, I still had to strong arm a couple of them on the photographic end, but it wasn’t too much of a hard sell. (Honestly, I can’t believe they fell for the whole “touch up” thing. Tee hee.)

The exercise really got me thinking about all of the things I’m thankful for as well. The biggest tickets items on that list, so to speak, will once again be the topic of my Thanksgiving Day column. This will be my third year penning the piece, so I guess you could say it’s become something of a tradition for me.

But there are a lot of other, smaller things which I’m thankful for as well. Some of them may seem insignificant to some of you, but they are blessings in my opinion none the less. So, with your reading enjoyment in mind, I’ve decided to make them the running theme in my blogs this week.

Here are just a few of the things I’m thankful for…

- My Franklin Covey 2-page per day planner. I learned the hard way last January what life would be like without this life-saving piece of planning equipment. It’s an experience I never want to endure again – which is why ordering my 2011 refill is on my to-do list this week. I rely heavily on this planning tool to keep my life in order. And it never lets me down.

Unfortunately, there is such a thing as “operator error.” Like, say, when you write down an appointment on the wrong day. Which is what I did when I made note of a program at Oxford High School I’m attending this week. Tomorrow, actually. Unfortunately, I had it written down today. While I try to be a little early, 24 hours seems excessive, don’t you think?

But that’s okay. Because I used my time in Oxford to gather the aforementioned Thankfuls.

- The chocolate chip cookies at Hoppie’s. I can never seem to resist these freshly baked, chocolate laden treats. They are the ultimate comfort food, and can basically heal all wounds. Such as the shame and guilt of showing up for an appointment a day early. (See above.)

- Pizza. Whether it’s by the slice – my fall-back lunch option of choice – or an extra large pie enjoyed with friends, there is just nothing about pizza that I DON’T like. While I’m not averse to toppings, my old stand-by is plain cheese. New Park Pizza in Howard Beach will always be the gold standard to which I compare all others, but I’ve scoped out many a worthy slice in good old Chenango County.

- Wing Night at The Stadium. I’ll take The Stadium’s always-crispy wings (preferably the honey barbecue variety) any day of the week, but Thursday nights are my favorite. Not because of the price break, although, hey, that’s not a bad thing. I actually like how crowded the place gets. It’s like a high school reunion every week! And some times it feels good to reconnect with people you haven’t seen since, well, the last time you logged on to Facebook.

- Cupcake Euphoria. I know, I know, you’re probably sick to death of hearing me go on and on about the Oxford Community Youth Center’s now-annual fundraiser. I simply can not help myself. I’m a huge fan of their highly entertaining, utterly decadent take on the traditional bake sale concept. Even if I will have to spend some serious time at AIM Fitness as a result of my cupcake intake this weekend.

Friday night did not disappoint, as I’m sure anyone who attended the event can attest. The restaurants, caterers and bakeries who donated cupcakes for the cause simply outdid themselves. With so many incredibly delicious entries, my fellow judges (the true experts – Sue Ryan from Canasawacta Country Club and Kelly Banks of Kelly Banks Cakes in New Berlin) and I had our work cut out for us. But don’t worry, we were more than up for the task.

When the last crumbs had settled, it was Jennifer Rice of Ideal Sweets who walked away with the Fairest Cupcake honors in the Best Tasting categories with her sinfully delicious Triple Raspberry Chocolate concoctions. (Jennifer – I’m still dreaming about them!)

Most Creative went to Mimi’s Italian Cuisine of Greene, for their truly creative contribution to the event – pizza cupcakes! (I know you’re shocked I was a fan.) And in the Best Decorated class, DCMO BOCES Culinary Arts student Jessie Tayler from Greene stole the show with her snowflake design, which took top marks for difficulty and execution. She should certainly be proud because she was up against some very tough competition, and both Sue and Kelly said her entry showed amazing technique.

We three judges also chose to recognize 4 other contributions for Best in Show, for their overall effort and the creativity of their display. In no particular order they are:

- Patty Izzard, whose groovy tie-dyed cupcakes and 70’s themed display were a show stopper to be sure.

- Jessica Cole of The Stadium for what I like to think of as the Football Field of (Cupcake) Dreams – complete with mini cupcake players sporting Nilla Wafer helmets.

- Karolyn’s Krossroads Cafe in Norwich, whose chocolatey cream cheese confections topped with chocolate swirls were both delicious and delightful to the eyes. (I particularly loved the striped chocolate pigs which complemented the display.)

- Price Chopper of Norwich, for their tremendous support of the Youth Center and Cupcake Euphoria. Representatives from the local store set up a huge display with dozens of cupcake varieties, all of which were a huge hit. Particularly, ahem, the Boston cream cake in a cup. Or at least that’s what I heard…

A special thanks (again) to Linda LaRosa-Mosner and the entire Youth Center board for all their hard work and, most importantly, for the invitation to judge the delightfully tasty competition.

Pictures of the event will be going up soon on The Evening Sun’s Facebook page.

Follow me on Twitter … @evesunmelissa.

Editor’s Notebook: 11/19/10

Friday, November 19th, 2010
Jeff Genung

• Totally forgot to blog yesterday. Sorry folks; just one of those days!

• And what a day it was, news-wise. I’m pretty sure the story about the state’s decision to close the Rogers Environmental Education Center in Sherburne and pink-slip all its DEC employees surprised us just as much as it did you (and them). It’s been a couple years since I’ve visited, but as many have said in the last few days, Rogers (or the game farm, if you’re an old timer) is truly one of Chenango’s treasures. Someone’s started a Facebook page to “Save Rogers,” too. I’m happy to report that after we put the link to it on The Evening Sun’s page this morning, their membership tripled. Let’s hope it can all make a difference.

• Today was the last in our five-part series, “Come To Italy With Me,” by local author Mary Musson. Thanks again, Mary, for allowing Evening Sun readers to come along on that journey with you. I’ve had a lot of good feedback from it, so I’m thrilled that you all enjoyed it, too. When I wrote earlier this week that I was beginning to embrace Mary’s concept of “immersion travel,” Melissa Stagnaro called me out on it. She’s right; that was total bull on my part. While I appreciate the concept, I’d much rather stay in a nice hotel and do all the touristy stuff. The natives usually scare me. But anyway, I’m glad Mary did it, and wrote about it for us.

• Today was the first in our five-week “Big Holiday Book” series of special Christmas sections. In addition to some great gift ideas from local merchants, each week the section has a different holiday theme. Today’s was “Decorating.” I’m still eating leftover Halloween candy; I can’t believe I’ll be putting up Christmas decorations next week.

• Some heartbreaking news that didn’t make our print edition: A little boy was hit by a car and killed in Greene Thursday night. We put the story up on our website this morning, but I was appalled when I came back from lunch to see a slew of heartless comments waiting in our approval queue taking that parent or parents to task for some perceived neglect. The State Police press release is sketchy on the details, but it’s clear there’s no one to blame here. It was a tragic, horrific accident. I can’t imagine the pain that all the parties involved must be going through – and I’m not going to allow the anonymous comments of Internet users to exacerbate it. No comments were, or will be, approved on that story.

A midnight rendezvous with Harry Potter

Friday, November 19th, 2010
Melissa Stagnaro

It’s not often I stay up past 10 these days, let alone into the wee hours of the morn. Particularly on a so-called “school” night. It has to be something pretty darn special to tempt me away from the sirens call of a cozy night’s sleep.

Something like, say, the midnight premier of the next-to-last installment of one of my favorite movie franchises of all time. I mean of course, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, part 1; the “beginning of the end” of the series of movies based on the international best-selling books by British author J.K. Rowlings.

You’ve already heard me blather on (and blog) about my love for all things Harry Potter-related. As soon as I heard our little hometown movie theater – The Colonia in Norwich – would be having a midnight showing of the seventh film, there was no doubt in my mind where I’d be at 12:01 on the appointed day.

I was determined to go, even if I had to go solo. But luckily it didn’t come to that, however. My friend Maureen (a.k.a. the cat lady) graciously agreed to accompany me. She gets extra friendship credits for agreeing to spend that much quality time in a theater teeming with rowdy teenage Harry Potter fans.

We met at The Stadium a couple of hours before show time, in order to fortify ourselves on the establishment’s fabulous wings and copious amounts of coffee before heading to Norwich. As we munched our way through our meal (which represented two of the most important food groups: deep fried and caffeinated), we speculated about what kind of line there’d be at the theater. I know I was picturing a throng of people stretching around the block,  heavy on Hogwarts-themed attire. I packed the camera in my car in preparation for just such an experience.

I was a little disappointed, actually, that there wasn’t a line when we arrived at approximately 11:45. Although it was a blessing really, since the temperature was already plummeting and suspect precipitation was in the air.

Not that there wasn’t a crowd, mind you. Attendance was on par with the Friday opening of any popular movie. (I’m sure they’ll be packing them in over the next couple of weeks as well.)

I did spot a scarf in Gryffindor’s signature burgundy and gold, too. But there was a complete dearth of wizard cloaks, which I found strangely disappointing.

Mo and I were definitely outnumbered by teenagers about a zillion to one. And I’d be lying if it didn’t make me feel a little old. There was one particular moment, when the previews were rolling and they were all still chattering away, where I had to resist an overwhelming urge to shush them. Thankfully, I was saved from having to turn into my mother by a particularly astute teen who took action all on her own. She earned my undying respect when she took her peers to task.

Once the movie itself started, we didn’t have to worry about the Chatty Cathies in the audience, though. Everyone was rapt with attention. It was just that good. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil it for any of you. Suffice it to say it was chock full of all the things movie-goers love: Suspense, drama, intrigue, action, and emotion, with a bit of levity mixed in for good measure. And of course all of the characters we love (Harry, Hermione, Ron and the albeit dwindling members of the Order of the Phoenix) and love to hate (Voldemort, the Death Eaters and Ministry of Magic drones).

How closely did it follow the book? That I couldn’t tell you, because I never did re-read the final tome as I’d planned. In fact, it’s the only one of the 7 Harry Potter books I haven’t read at least twice. From what I do remember, however, I’d say Warner Brothers did an excellent job. Because there were parts of the first half of the book which kind of dragged. That wasn’t the case with the movie.

It was nothing less than stellar – perhaps the best installment in the series so far. This is the point where, if I was a film critic, I’d give it an enthusiastic 5 stars or high five or something. Because, truly, I cannot wait to see it again. And you can bet I’m already counting down the days to the release of the final movie next summer.

It was well on its way to 3 a.m. when we finally left the theater, and I still had a drive home ahead of me. The temperature was still on the decline and a wintery mix of snow and rain had started to fall. By the time I got to Oxford, it was snowing in earnest. In Tyner, there were already a couple of inches on the ground. It was your classic winter wonderland, with snow dusting the trees like so much powdered sugar.

Winter had finally, arrived, I thought to myself as I took a moment to take it all in.

But then another thought crossed my mind. Maybe it was hell freezing over! How else can you explain my willingness to give up the lions share of my nightly sleep allotment, with such enthusiasm. I mean, here I am, functioning on little more than 2 hours of sleep. And I’m not all bent out of shape about it.

Or maybe, just maybe, it’s magic.

Follow me on Twitter … @evesunmelissa.

You gotta be kidding me

Friday, November 19th, 2010
Brian Golden

Anyone who knows me is well aware of the fact that it takes an awful lot to make me truly angry. That’s not to say I’ve never gotten a little heated up from time to time, namely when a debate over politics, religion or the ignorance both topics tend to breed crops up. Last night, however, all it took was a single stupid and absolutely ridiculous comment from an obviously disturbed youth to push me over the edge.

Thursday night was an eventful one for me. Following my typical work day here at The Evening Sun I raced home, changed, gathered up my musical equipment and headed over to The Bohemian Moon for my monthly solo acoustic performance. It was an enjoyable evening, with a great crowd that was attentive and quick to applaud a favorite or familiar song. Once I’d concluded my two-hour musical display I quickly packed up my gear and returned home. In hindsight I wish I’d stayed there.

Unfortunately, my miniature refrigerator was barren of anything resembling a proper meal, so I proceeded to unload the car before hiking over to our downtown grocery for a bite to eat. After I’d made my meager purchase (Hot Pockets once again) I readied myself for the return trip home. And that’s when it happened.

Mathematically speaking, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. With this in mind, I usually cross through the Fire Department’s rear parking lot on my way to and from the store. It’s simply quicker that way. While I was crossing said parking lot, I noticed from under my hood, which I had drawn up against the cold, a young couple. Paying them no mind I proceeded on my way, only to be stopped up short as the young man asked me in his best tough-guy voice, “You staring me down, bro?”

Needless to say I was speechless – and angry. I didn’t know this punk (I refuse to refer to him as a young man after his tasteless question) and I was offended by his gang mentality and pathetic posturing. I’d barely glanced at either one of them after all. Instead, I simply said, “Excuse me?”

To make a long story short, I eventually (after a little discussion in which I utilized my not-inconsiderable repertoire of more colorful language) went on my way. I’m not into the whole put-up-your-dukes nonsense and I wasn’t about to get into a physical altercation with an obvious idiot. It’s just not worth it in the long run. I did, however, vent to myself the rest of the way home how much I would have liked to.

Regardless, I’m tired of these punks and wannabe gangsters staring at me like I’ve offended them somehow by my very presence. It’s beyond rude and I wish they would all grow up. They’re nothing but obnoxious, foul-mouthed, ill-mannered, uneducated fools.

In the long run, the joke’s on them.

Save Rogers Environmental Education Center

Thursday, November 18th, 2010
Melissa Stagnaro

Honestly, over the last couple of months, with all the hype about the election, I’d basically forgotten all about our lame-duck governor. But today I was reminded that he’s not only still sitting at the helm of our once-great state, but he’s also continuing to do his damnedest to do further damage.

So much for exiting office gracefully.

His latest atrocity is against New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation – 140 laid off, with the promise of more to come. And with those layoffs, the closure of one of our area’s most treasured environmental educational assets. I’m speaking of Rogers Environmental Education Center, which is one of I believe four such facilities to be snuck onto the chopping block while most of us weren’t looking.

My first reaction to the news was of the “Say it ain’t so” variety. I could do little more than sit there in stunned disbelief for a minute. After I double checking the veracity of the information I’d been provided, of course.

I was hoping that it was all vicious, completely unfounded rumor. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

I just have such great memories of the place that it breaks my heart. My first trip to the Sherburne facility was as a Girl Scout, I think. I remember feeding the fish and the ducks, hiking the trails, getting a birds-eye view of the entire valley from the farm tower. There was that little frontier cabin, too, which I’m not even sure is there anymore. I know the fish hatchery is no longer.

I loved the exhibits in the conservation center as well. (Wait, wasn’t it called Rogers Environmental Conservation Center back then?) I was always fascinated to watch the bees in their hive. And I’d get myself all worked up about sticking my hand into the box, the one where you had to try to identify what was in there just by touch?

And don’t think I didn’t learn something. As an insect-hater, I was a staunch proponent of eliminating the entire bug population. Until I saw the exhibit about the balance of the eco-system, which explained how those dastardly, annoying little insects were an important link in the food chain – and without them we wouldn’t have all those beautiful birds.

Not that it made me like insects any more. I just stopped thinking of wholesale annihilation, and started appreciating the avian population a little more.

There were school and family trips, too, when I was a kid. A decade or so later, I was the one taking my nieces to explore all that Rogers had to offer.

A few weeks ago I went with a friend. It was one of those crisp, sunny fall days where you can almost forget winter is just around the corner. There were a few leaves still on the trees, and the wind rustled through them as we explored the boundary trail. Dragonflies darted around us as we paused to watch groups of Canadian geese glide across the pond. When we crossed the road, I realized the hike to the farm tower was much shorter than I remembered, but the view of Sherburne and vicinity was no less spectacular.

It was an awesome afternoon, and my friend and I lamented that we hadn’t brought a picnic basket. No problem, we thought, we’d do it in the spring, when the trees were filled with buds and the season’s first flowers were poking through the ground.

Now, thanks to Albany, we may not have the chance. Of course, they don’t care about that. Or about all the school children who will miss out on the opportunity to learn about our environment hands on at Rogers, and other education centers like it. And what about all those other DEC employees, who work so hard as stewards of our state-owned lands?

I wasn’t the one making phone calls this morning about the closure, because my dance card (or story sheet, in this case) was already full. But I could hear my coworkers – Tyler and Melissa – calling state officials, legislators and local advocates beating the proverbial bushes for more information. And quite frankly, I was almost as frustrated as they were that those parties weren’t more forthcoming – with either information or support for Rogers.

I’m not sure if they feel this is a done deal, not worthy of going to the plate for, or what. But it wasn’t too long ago that we all teamed up to show our support of the state parks. I have faith that we can muster up a similar showing for Rogers.

Who’s with me?

Follow me on Twitter … @evesunmelissa.

P.S. I plan to start by contacting our state officials. Don’t you be shy about doing that either. Rogers Environmental Education Center falls in the 51st Senatorial District & the 123rd Assembly District:

NYS Senator James Seward
432-5524 or (518) 455-3131

Assemblyman Gary Finch
(315)255-3045 or (518) 455-3895

Remember when?

Thursday, November 18th, 2010
Brian Golden

I was thinking just the other day of my youth here in Norwich and the many changes which have taken place in thirty-plus years, especially in the downtown business district. I used to revel in the freedom I had as a child, playing football in the library park, exploring every square inch of the city on my bicycle and generally having an absolute blast. One thing that sticks out in particular, however, are the many local businesses where I once visited and shopped, if my funds allowed.

A favorite haunt of all us kids, which has been gone for decades now, was the now-legendary (at least to me) Hayes Street Ice Cream Parlor. I can still remember the darkly-stained wood that made up so much of the interior but – and I don’t think I’m alone here – what I recall most fondly were the best damn root beer floats in all of creation. What I wouldn’t give for a taste of one of those right now (or anytime really), which got me thinking of the other memorable locales we used to frequent in our youth.

Another favorite stop for us kids – The Copper Kettle, which featured candies and sweets of all varieties and descriptions. Some of our favorites back in the day, if I remember correctly, were the now-famous Sour Patch Kids; those fruit-shaped hard candies, known today as Runts, that came in the shapes of bananas, cherries, oranges and limes; any type of chocolate covered gummy candy, which always went fairly quickly, and of course, gummy worms.

We also loved the Corner Cigar, even though it sounds like a strange place for young children to be hanging out (it was a tobacco store). However, we weren’t there for smokes or cigars, we had more important purchases to make, namely baseball cards. Trading baseball cards back in those days was like trading on the stock market in modern times. That breathless anticipation when one picked up a new set of Topps baseball cards was unlike anything else back then. The Corner Cigar was also where my love affair with comic books first began, one which has ebbed yet never disappeared entirely as I’ve grown older (see my ‘Embracing my inner geek’ blog and you’ll totally understand).

Then there’s one location I can’t think about without feeling a touch emotional, the old wooden playground at Perry Browne Elementary. Emotional because I was there in sixth grade when we built the thing. I’ll never forget sitting in the school’s cafeteria poring over the architectural plans for the proposed playground, it was just too cool. My father was with me that weekend, with a host of other kids and parents, to put the whole thing together and the end result was truly magical. In addition, my artwork was one of five pieces selected to grace the inner walls of the maze-like structure. My only regret at this point is the fact I was unable to save that elementary painting of a knight in shining armor striding purposefully toward his castle (at least that’s what it was supposed to portray, I wasn’t much of an artist really).

I’m sure there are others places I’m forgetting but hey, this was twenty to thirty years ago. All in all our community has remained, for the most part, quite safe and kid friendly. In fact, if I were to ever have children I don’t think I could ever find a better place to raise them. Nor would I want to.

Sports Editor’s Playbook, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010
Patrick Newell

– Echoing Jeff Genung, congratulations to staff writer Melissa Stagnaro on her selection as Employee of the Year. So much of our job is about building relationships with our contacts, but also gaining the trust and confidence of our readers. Melissa does a great job in all of those facets, and she’s also the most amiable person – by far – on staff at 6:45 a.m.

– Every high school coach will tell you: There is a huge difference between varsity and junior varsity sports. Great success on the lower levels does not guarantee success on varsity, nor does fleeting success on the junior varsity or modified level predict the same on varsity.
No more is the truth evident than Walton’s football team. We spoke about the Warriors in Tuesday’s playbook edition, and had the opportunity to speak to Oxford head football coach Mike Chrystie, whose club lost to Walton, 28-7 on Oct. 15.
In that game, Walton led by just five points entering the fourth quarter, and put the game away with a pair of touchdowns. That game was the start of a five-game winning streak for Walton, who are now in the Class D state semifinals after beating Section III champion Onondaga, 20-0, last weekend.
“Talking with coach Kelly (Dave, Delhi), he told me the last couple of weeks, Walton has just picked it up and started to jell,” Chrystie said. “It’s not the most physical or talented Walton team that I’ve seen, but what they do, they buy into the system. They run it from the peewees up to varsity.”
This past season, numbers in the football program have dropped at Walton, and for the first time that we can recollect, it did not field a junior varsity team. Also, based on reports from other coaches in our area over the past two years, this group of Walton players – on junior varsity or modified – did not win games at the same rate for which Walton is accustomed. If you were to play the prediction game based on modified and junior varsity performance, you would never conclude that Walton was sectional or state playoff contender.
Yet, here the Warriors are, two wins from the school’s third state championship. It helps that Walton is led by the winningest coach in Section IV history, all-around good guy, Jim Hoover. “The way Jim Hoover coaches is drastically different from any other Walton team (on any other level),” Chrystie said. “He has that aura and he has the credentials.”
Chrystie’s respect for Hoover runs deep. When he got into head coaching, he sought out advice from two men: Hoover, and Kelsey Green of Chenango Forks, who won seven straight Section IV titles and two state championships between 2001-2007.
“You couldn’t go wrong talking to those guys,” Chrystie said.

Editor’s Notebook: 11/17/10

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010
Jeff Genung

• A major portion of my day was derailed by a company event, but in a good way. Snyder Communications held an Employee Appreciation Day at the Canasawacta Country Club on Wednesday (I posted a bunch of Frank Speziale’s photos on Facebook). I think what people may not often realize is that The Evening Sun is part of a larger local family of companies that also includes The Pennysaver (in its many incarnations) and Circulars Unlimited. The Evening Sun’s crew is of course by far the hardest-working and best-looking of the bunch, but then again I may be a bit biased.

• Congratulations to Melissa Stagnaro, chosen by her peers as The Evening Sun’s Employee of the Year. Melissa’s made quite a name for herself as an intrepid reporter in just a few short years with us, and has grown to be an indispensable member of our team. A well-deserved honor, to be sure.

• As I was away from the office for most of the day, The Evening Sun’s online Forum remains closed. Perhaps I’ll relent tomorrow. I’m just praying that the offending parties are using this time away from their keyboards to consider how to behave like adults.

Sports Editor’s Playbook, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
Patrick Newell

– Before all else, I must acknowledge the birthday of the person who brought me into the world, my mother, who is…older than me by one additional number today. Happy birthday mom!

– The past three days, I have finalized all of the football statistics for the 2010 season, and began the process of receiving all-star nominations from the six area coaches. So far, I have had contact, by e-mail or phone, with half of the half-dozen coaches, and I am estimating we’ll see anywhere from three to six players per team selected to the squad. Of the three coaches I missed, I have left the first of what could be multiple voicemail messages. From a readership perspective, this all-star team seems to be a big favorite, and it’s kind of neat to think that a lot of people are poring through the edition on a day when families come together to give thanks. It is for that reason I am quite persistent in tracking down the local grid mentors.

– Milford Academy might want to ask for more home dates at Norwich High School in future years. The Falcons finished off an 11-1 season last Sunday on the field turf at Norwich. It was the third straight “home” game for Milford, and in those games, the Falcons scored 47, 59, and 51 points. Attendance was also up at the final game, said head coach Bill Chaplick. Perhaps the fact that admission was free to the public helped out a little.

– It’s too bad Jeff Genung shut down the Evening Sun Reader’s Forum for a day. I had general thought to add to one of our threads, one that traipsed through my thoughts this afternoon as I contemplated the Walton football team and its remarkable run into the state semifinals.
I had the opportunity to watch Walton play a game earlier this season against Bainbridge-Guilford, and saw the Warriors fall behind 20-8 in the first half. I thought to myself, “this is not your typical Walton team.” B-G drove for an early touchdown, and tacked on two home run TD runs from Dakota Vandermark. It appeared the Bobcats would hand Walton its second loss in a row. (Sidney beat Walton in week one). Walton’s offense was mistake prone, and the usually stout defense was getting ripped to shreds.
But football games are four quarters long, and Walton’s ball-control offense set the tone in the second half, and the Warriors eked out a last-minute win. Now, two months’ later, Walton is one win from reached the Class D title game. I never saw that coming, especially after my one and only viewing of the team.

Editor’s Notebook: 11/16/10

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
Jeff Genung

• So I had to get all teacher-y and punish the whole class for the actions of a few unruly students today. I’m talking about the ES Forum on our website, which I made read-only this afternoon. Overnight, I’d received no less than 10 reports (users turning in other users for perceived violations of our conduct code) on a single topic! I’d considered first just suspending the account of the biggest offender, nickstellino (not his real name, of course, and he’ll just make up another one like he has before), the biggest “troll” du jour, but he/she wasn’t the only guilty party, so I closed down the whole thing. At least temporarily. I have enough real-world issues to deal with during the course of the day without having to constantly cyber-babysit the same handful of computer-bound miscreants. I’m guessing that many ES Forum users haven’t read our Code of Conduct, or haven’t in so long that they’ve clearly forgotten the simple rules of behavior, so here it is again:

The Evening Sun Forum User Policy

Be Civil

Treat other members with respect. Flaming or name calling will not be tolerated.

Stay on Topic

If you feel a topic is creating a new discussion, start a new topic on it. Any thread that continuously veers off topic will be locked.

Keep it Family Friendly

That means no #$%! swearing. Topics should remain PG rated. News is news, we know what goes on, we live here too. But we don’t need ALL the details, really. We’re serious.

No Multi-Forum Posts

We read them all, there’s no need to post your message in more than one.

Don’t Post Spam/Chain Letter Emails as Topics

You know those emails that your sister’s uncle’s cousin insists on forwarding to half the world? Chances are it’s less reliable than wikipedia, and it’s already in our junk mail folder. Save us the trouble of deleting them here too.

No Commercial Advertising

Do not use your avatar or signature to advertise your business or commercial website. The Evening Sun offers many advertising opportunities on our website, free plugs on the forum is not one of them. Links to personal websites and local blogs are completely acceptable, even encouraged, provided the content is appropriate.

You’re Responsible for What You Say

Being as this is a local forum, this goes twice for you. We have a zero tolerance policy for accusations and mudslinging. Posts attacking local figureheads, citizens or organizations are completely unacceptable and will be dealt with as such.

Me, Me, Me… Me Too

We realize that an opinion always sounds better when someone else backs it up. Some individuals may even be so inclined to register a second account to agree with themselves. Sad, but true. Creation of multiple accounts by a single user will result in all related accounts being banned. This includes creating ghostnics after your account has been banned.

We’re not the Better Business Bureau

This isn’t the place to register a complaint for a local business. If you feel the need to take action because your coffee was too hot, please do it elsewhere. Rave reviews, however, are encouraged. We know, life isn’t fair.

Respect People’s Privacy

Due to the nature of this being a local forum, posters may not want to identify themselves personally. While you may have suspicions about a user’s identity or even be certain, you may absolutely not “out” or even hint at another user’s identity. This is a ban-able offense.

You’re Not Anonymous

While the internet certainly affords a great deal of anonymity, you are by no means completely anonymous. With each post your unique, trackable IP address is logged, this is a standard practice on major websites.

This public forum is provided by The Evening Sun. The opinions expressed are solely those of the poster and not that of The Evening Sun, its employees or publisher. The Evening Sun reserves the right to remove any post, at any time, for any reason, at its sole discretion.