Archive for July, 2011

Editor’s Notebook: 7/11/11

Monday, July 11th, 2011
Jeff Genung

• Had enough Gus Macker? I have to say I’m kind of over it after laboring over our annual Saturday edition, but it looks like it was another astounding success. Frank took about 300 photos over the weekend, God bless his little Italian soul, and I put up about a third of them on for subscribers this morning. Click on the orange “Photo Galleries” link on the home page.

• In other sports-related news, Pat Newell is on vacation all week. That means yours truly will be acting as Sports Editor until his return. Insert snickers here. Luckily, there’s nothing local to contend with, and the Associated Press makes it pretty much paint by numbers. Here’s keeping my fingers crossed I don’t screw it up. It’s still baseball season, right?

Editor’s Notebook: 7/8/11

Friday, July 8th, 2011
Jeff Genung

• Most popular question of the day: “What are you doing here on a Friday?” Answer: I have no idea.

• Second most popular question of the day: “What’s really going on with Mark Abbott?” Answer: See above.

• OK, not entirely true … I do know why I’m here today, on what is typically one of my much-heralded summer Fridays off: Tonight I’m putting together our special, once a year Saturday edition – for the Gus Macker 3-on-3 basketball tournament in town this weekend. It’s a gargantuan effort (three whole sections, including player names and court brackets) and it’s FREE! You can pick it up courtside tomorrow morning in one of several drop off locations or newsstands, OR, even better, you can get it from me or one of my trusty reporter staff personally. We’re terribly excited about playing paper boy at 8:30 on a Saturday morning, lemme tell you.

• Congratulations to fellow journalist Steve Craig, who’s trading in the anchor desk for the president’s desk over at Commerce Chenango (formerly, and less awkwardly, known as the Chenango County Chamber of Commerce). I think it’s an interesting choice. I’ve known Steve in passing for many years, and I think he’ll bring a fresh direction to the goings-on at the Chamber. He’s certainly comfortable behind a microphone, which will make those annual dinners a little more digestible. Good luck, Steve! We look forward to working with you here at The Evening Sun.

• OK, now get out there and bounce some balls! (I’m talking about Gus Macker again, not Steve Craig. Try to keep up).

Shave and a haircut

Friday, July 8th, 2011
Brian Golden

Considering I’m long overdue for a haircut (not to mention a shave), I think I’m going to make my way over to my favorite downtown barber shop this afternoon for a little trim. Actually, I originally thought of this last night as I was preparing for bed, staring sadly at my somewhat shabby reflection in the bathroom mirror.

What can I say, losing one’s hair simply isn’t any fun. Therefore, I’ve been practicing my not-inconsiderable mental powers in an effort to force that ever-increasing bald spot into disappearing. Needless to say … it’s not working.

And then – just this morning – I had an absolutely fantastic idea. Rather than shave (a task I find to be extremely tedious), I’d simply “let myself go” for the day, if you know what I mean. My reasoning? Today would be a perfect opportunity to volunteer myself (and my face – which may not be all that pretty, but hey, it’s all I’ve got) for my first-ever straight-razor shave.

And yes, I’m scared to death.

I’ve never, in my 30-plus years, let anyone (and I mean NO ONE) near my face with any kind of razor, knife, surgical laser or other type of potentially life-threatening device. It’s not that I don’t trust people, particularly an actual professional, it’s just that, well, I don’t trust myself. I guess I’m simply afraid I’ll spontaneously go into convulsions or something and, in all honesty, I’d rather not have my face (or any portion of it) accidentally sliced off. I suppose I’m being a little paranoid about the whole experience, but really, can you blame me?

It is (a straight-shave), however, something I’ve always wanted to try. In fact, the reason behind my patronage of the local barber shop is the throw-back nature of each visit. It’s the camaraderie, you see. Chatting with an honest-to-God barber (who’s not afraid to tell me I’ve been waiting too long between visits), talking sports, the weather and local gossip, is just too much fun. It’s good for the soul, really, and something I truly enjoy, being the Renaissance man that I am (I’ll be portraying the King of France in the Norwich Theater Company’s upcoming production of Annie Get Your Guns this fall … or maybe it’s the King of Italy).

Regardless, as soon as I can get myself away from the desk for the weekend, I think a visit to the barber is absolutely necessary, especially considering that a group of my best friends recently compared my current “hair-style” to one of Jim Henson’s Muppets.

Personally, I took that as a compliment. They just laughed.

Editor’s Notebook: 7/6/11

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011
Jeff Genung

• Our newest reporter, Julian Kappel, got his first top-of-the-front-page story today, about Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s visit to Unison Tuesday. It’s something of a rite of passage for a budding journalist … hope we were gentle with him.

• So Randy Squier is officially out as Oxford superintendent this summer, according to Melissa Stagnaro’s story today. “Embattled” might be an apt word to describe his tenure. I only met him a few times, and am not an Oxford taxpayer (though I am an alum, which should carry a bit of weight!), so I can’t really judge his performance. I do have to say though, when I was a wee Blackhawk, it seems like superintendents – and principals – never left. The more we’ve reported on these administrative moves over the years in The Evening Sun, the more it appears that school administration has become a transient job. When did that happen? I always thought principals, like priests, dentists and oh, I don’t know, newspaper editors were in that job for life.

• Doesn’t West Park look amazing? I think they’ve done a great job … the monuments, all cleaned and sparkling, stand out more than ever before, and the sidewalk configuration is graceful and logical. And the freshly-laid sod is far more welcoming than the scraggly mess that preceded it. I even dig the new lamp posts and benches. Can’t wait for East Park to be finished; too bad it wasn’t in time for Gus Macker this weekend.

• I might be the last person in Greater Chenango County to do this … but I’m off to the new Byrne Dairy for the first time to pick up a gallon of milk.

Editor’s Notebook: 7/5/11

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
Jeff Genung

• Happy belated 4th of July, Chenango County! In honor of our nation’s birth, I have remembered how to blog. And while it was great to have a long weekend, I have a feeling taking Monday off will lead to four consecutive Mondays in a row this week …

• Busy time here at The Evening Sun, as we’re preparing for our annual Gus Macker edition – on Saturday! That’s right, it’s the only time of the year in which we eschew our Monday-Friday routine and bring you a special edition. Saturday’s paper, full of Gus Macker features, photos, team brackets and regular news of the day, will be distributed FREE on the Macker grounds Saturday morning. Pick up your complimentary copy at several drop-off locations around Norwich’s East Main Street, or get one from me personally! Yup, it’s also the only day of the year on which I play paper boy. Joined by Melissa, Brian and Julian, I’ll be hawking free newspapers around 10 Saturday morning. No autographs, please.

• Catch those fireworks last night? I didn’t, although I’m sure the Norwich Firefighters Association did a spectacular job, as usual. Frank Speziale was there of course, photographing the pyrotechnics for today’s front page. Although I must say, I’m not sure why I send him down every year. Other than the fact it would probably break his heart if I didn’t have him go, personally I think if you’ve seen one firework, you’ve seen ‘em all. Frank’s photos from last night are identical to the ones from last year, or the 15 years before that. Bah, humbug. I just don’t get the fireworks appeal, I guess.

• More good news coming out of Columbus, where Chobani yogurt maker Agro Farma continues to put Chenango County on the map, literally. In addition to a boatload of federal aid, the yogurt manufacturer is also extending its reach worldwide. Read Melissa Stagnaro’s story here.

• Speaking of Frank Speziale, which I was a couple paragraphs ago in case you’re not hanging on my every word, he also spent part of the evening up in Smyrna, where the venerable Smyrna Citizens Band kicked off its 2011 summer concert series. Evening Sun subscribers can see a photo gallery of the event here.

The Fifth of July

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
Melissa Stagnaro

Here we are, back to the grind, images of Fourth of July fireworks still burned into our retinas and the remains of the weekends many barbecues still digesting in the furthest reaches of our digestive tracts.

There is nothing quite so depressing as returning to work following a holiday weekend. Even more so when the holiday in question is Independence Day. After three days celebrating our nation’s freedom with camp outs, cook outs, parades and fireworks, it’s hard to resign oneself to  something as freedom-less as work. Particularly when that work keeps you inside on a perfectly gorgeous day like today.

It isn’t just that the memories of this Fourth of July have already begun to fade into the collective conscience of holiday weekend’s past that’s getting me down. It’s the fact that the first blush of summer is gone. The next long weekend we have to look forward to is Labor Day, which basically means winter is on its way.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to hang up my golf clubs for skis just yet.

So, I’m starting a new tradition: Summer Resolutions. Which, as the name implies, are not dissimilar to the New Year’s variety. It’s all about living a happier, healthier existence. Only in this case, the focus is more on in-the-moment summertime fun than positive lifestyle change.

Here are 15 things which I have decided I absolutely must do before the end of summer:

1. Golf. I hereby pledge to golf at least once a week between now and when the first snow flies. And no, put-put is not an acceptable substitute.

2. Make use of the golf lessons my mom was kind enough to give me last year. (Yes, I realize she was trying to tell me something.)

3. Tennis, anyone? This year, I intend to dust off my tennis racket and play at least 5 times between now and Labor Day. Be forewarned.

4. Hit the beach. Any beach.

5. Step 1: Find my bathing suit. Step 2: Put it on. Step 3: Go swimming. (Can be combined with item #4.)

6. Frequent the Unadilla Drive In at least twice.

7. Reacquaint myself with my watercolors. Preferably on a deliriously sunny afternoon, ensconced on a blanket in the middle of a newly-mowed field.

8. Hike a portion of the Finger Lakes Trail.

9. Go wine tasting. (I’m all ready to check this one off the list. Already have a trip planned in August with Lizzy!)

10. Go camping. Even if it’s in my own back yard.

11. Plan a weekend trip to visit friends or family at least 100 miles from home.

12. Plan a weekend trip under 100 miles from home.

13. Take my mom, the ultimate baseball fan, to at least 2 more Binghamton Mets games this summer.

14. Host a backyard barbecue.

15. Have a picnic.

I think that’s enough to get me started. But I’m definitely open to other suggestions. What’s on your summer to-do list?

Follow me on Twitter … @evesunmelissa.