Archive for August, 2011

Monday Musings

Monday, August 8th, 2011
Brian Golden

Time flies when you’re having fun and – apparently – I must have had my fair share of it over the weekend considering I felt as if I’d never left my desk when I came into the office this morning. Which makes sense, however, considering I performed both Friday and Saturday night with the Master Thieves (Saturday in Syracuse, no less). And Sunday? Sunday was cleaning-shopping-barbecuing-and-Wii Bowling Tournament Day.

Needless to say – as is typically the case these days when I attempt anything even remotely resembling an athletic activity – I managed to injure myself. I’m not sure if I pulled a muscle or what, but I’m actually in a bit of pain today. Now that’s priceless.

I’m always excited when I run across a new musician or band that gets my creative, musical juices a-flowing and – on Saturday – that’s exactly what happened. A pair of singer-songwriter-instrumentalists and siblings known as The Avett Brothers caught my attention with their song “Laundry Room,” which I discovered, ironically, on CMT (what can I say, I’m not the world’s biggest country music fan). An interesting blend of folk, rock and old-school, Civil War-era mountain man music, I must say I’m impressed. It kind of made me want to sell all my gear, purchase an old, beat-up Martin acoustic guitar and retire to a small wood cabin somewhere in the wilderness and attempt to figure out how they pulled together such a unique sound. Unfortunately, that’s simply not in the cards, as my journalistic duties take precedence (not to mention I’m certainly not getting rid of my beloved Fender Stratocaster any day soon).

Speaking of journalistic duties, tomorrow marks the beginning of that one-of-a-kind experience that can only be the Chenango County Fair. For a second straight year, I was responsible for the fair preview story, which you can read here. This week’s Evening Sun will be chock-full of fair coverage, for sure, so don’t miss out. There’ll be blogs, columns, features and who knows what else throughout the duration of (one of, if not the) Chenango County’s longest running events, now in its 164th year.

Editor’s Notebook: 8/8/11

Monday, August 8th, 2011
Jeff Genung

• T-minus 24 hours (or less, depending on when you’re reading this) until we enter into All-Fair, All-the-Time mode here at The Evening Sun. It’s an exciting week to be a reporter, as my trusty staff gets to see, hear, taste (and smell) things they’ve waited all year for! Hyperbole, perhaps, but still, it’s a big week to celebrate all things Chenango – and the Fair’s got ‘em all!

• I tweeted earlier today that Brian Golden just interviewed the Pope. Probably not the same Pope you’re thinking of, but hey. It is Fair Week, after all. Check out the story in Tuesday’s Evening Sun.

• Julian Kappel may have shaken the hand of (and interviewed, of course) the next President of the United States when he stumped in Norwich on Friday. Or maybe not. In any event, it’s not every day you get to see a picture of a guy wielding a big red, white & blue wrench in West Park, so there’s that. Kudos to the guy, at least, for taking it to the people. Who knows?

• Must be Pat Newell’s still recovering from this weekend’s Member-Guest golf tournament at the Canasawacta Country Club, because yours truly gets to be Sports Editor, again, all week long. Be still, my heart.

The Evening Sun is still “more than free” every day. In each edition on Page 3, there’s a $1 off coupon good at a local business (the paper costs 75 cents; use that dollar coupon and you net a quarter! Thanks Oxford math teachers!). In today’s edition, it’s a buck off at The Colonia. Dying to see that new “Planet of the Apes” flick.

Editor’s Notebook: 8/4/11

Thursday, August 4th, 2011
Jeff Genung

• I panicked for a brief second this morning when I couldn’t find the AP Sports Digest, the paint-by-numbers list of the day’s top sports stories that make it possible for me to substitute for Pat Newell and actually make it look like I know what I’m doing. Thankfully, I find it in time. Otherwise, you might have seen a story about the Midget Ping Pong Internationals on the front of section two.

• Gerard O’Sullivan sure takes a lot of abuse as our superintendent of schools here in Norwich, so I sure didn’t envy him this morning when I found out that they’re reinstating the January Regents. Sure throws a wrench into the whole high school scheduling debate. I can say to all the critics that I don’t believe anyone set out specifically to scuttle the NHS music program, although the proposed schedule would out those students at a decided disadvantage. I know there are a lot of plates to keep spinning here, and this just adds another, in basically the 11th hour before the new school year. Hopefully they can work something out that’s in the best interests of all students.

• We’re entering into all-Fair, all-the-time mode here at the ES, with a few preview stories going in this week and wall-to-wall coverage (Stories! Photos! Video! Tweets! Blogs!) planned for next week. We have a great time with it every year … here’s hoping the 164th annual is one to remember!

• I’m off again Friday, so I hereby disavow any knowledge of anything that appears again until Monday.

Editor’s Notebook: 8/3/11

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011
Jeff Genung

• If it’s August, it must be Fair season (oh wait, Afton’s was in July, but still …). The 65th annual Otsego Fair kicked things off in Morris last night, and the merriment continues through Sunday. I sent both Julian and Frank over to cover opening day (and the parade) for our weekly newspaper, The New Berlin Gazette, but since Morris is thisclose to Chenango County, I decided to put it in The Evening Sun as well. Subscribers, check out Frank’s photo gallery here. And Julian’s here.

• I got a little excited when I heard the sirens (and later read ‘sky is falling’ posts on Facebook) last night, but it turns out a helicopter did not crash in the Town of Norwich. Looks like it just hovered, landed and took off again … but still seems kinda vague as to who it was and what they were doing here. You don’t see a lot of private helicopters around these parts.

• I get to play Sports Editor in the morning, since our own Pat Newell is playing in (and covering, natch) the Member-Guest tournament at the Canasawacta Country Club. Not much of a golf fan myself, shockingly, but this is a big event here – and in its 53rd year. Check out the first-round pairings here.

• Actual text of a letter I received in the mail yesterday: “Mr. Editor: Now that Gov. Andy Cuomo has signed the same sex bill into law, he has made NEW YORK STATE into a GIGANTIC WHORE HOUSE, so is he a good Gov. or a bad GOVENOR.” To top it off, it was poorly typed on a typewriter, on a slip of paper about the size of a dollar bill. Looked more like a ransom note than a Letter to the Editor. Though it was postmarked Syracuse, the author failed to give an address, phone number or any contact information, negating it under our publication policy. Just thought I’d share the fun little things that cross my desk on a given day.

• Come to think of it, I suppose if I were to live in a whore house, I would want it to be a GIGANTIC one.

Look who remembered how to blog…

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011
Melissa Stagnaro

Okay, so I know it’s been a long time since I’ve tapped away at my little key board just for the pleasure of penning a blog for the enjoyment of our readers. Trust me, I’ve missed it as much as you have. Maybe even more.

Since I started at The Evening Sun three looooooong years ago, blogging has been one of the greatest highlights of my week. But of late, I’ve struggled to find time to put finger tips to keys. It isn’t laziness, I assure you. Or a lack of things to write about. No, it’s just that my new beat is eating me alive.

Don’t get me wrong! I love the challenge of it. Between my newly assumed coverage of the police/fire/court beat, plus the seven townships, four school districts and other bits and pieces I continue to cover, well, let’s just say there is never a dull moment. Especially since Jeff’s been doing his best to put me in an early grave by taking Friday’s off through the summer.

Oh, how I miss those care-free days, when Fridays were my favorite day of the week. Now they’re fraught with tension as Pat and I pull extra duty putting the finishing touches on the day’s edition in Jeff’s absence. But that too is exciting, and a nice change from school board meetings and the like, so I’m not really complaining.

I’m still in the “learning curve” phase with it all, but I’d like to think I’m getting the hang of it. And at some point, I hope that I’ll be able to find a little more balance. So I can find time to blog. And maybe, just maybe, have a social life again.

Although that last bit is probably too much to ask. I’ll setting for time to work on my summer to-do list. On which, regrettably, I have yet to make much of a dent.

Follow me on Twitter … @evesunmelissa.

Wednesday’s weigh-in

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011
Brian Golden

I could go on and on about the blues (and other genres) greats I get a chance to shoot the breeze with in the weeks leading up to Blues Fest, but I’m sure people are tired of hearing about it, which is understandable. I must admit, however, that J.J. Grey was extremely gracious and great to talk to. Lastly, I’m beyond excited to chat with blues legend and harmonica player James Cotton prior to Chenango County’s best festival of the year (in my humble opinion).

One thing I can tell you, that whole NFL lockout – not to mention the debt ceiling deal – must have rubbed off on me. For the first time in well over a month I came into the office with no immediate idea what to write for my weekly column this morning. Everything worked out okay in the end, thanks to our federal government and its inspiration for said opinion piece. Procrastination at its best.

I must say I’m a little sad that I won’t be able to participate in the Norwich Theater Company’s fall production of “Annie Get Your Gun,” due to my complete and utter lack of free time this summer. I warned the group – when informed I was thrown into the cast following an impromptu performance at its talent show a couple of months ago – that it would be difficult (if not impossible) for me to participate. Sadly, between work and my performance schedule with the Master Thieves and Voodoo Mystics, I’ve missed (and would continue to miss) rehearsals for the show. Regardless, they have an amazing amount of talent cast for the production and I’m sure it will be a great one.

Being the gleeful optimist that I am (yeah right), I’m guessing I’ll be able to pick up my car (a.k.a. The Green Machine) sometime this afternoon. While it hasn’t been all that bad living without it, I must say it takes me back to my early days here at The Evening Sun, when I had no wheels of my own whatsoever. Now if it can only make it a couple of months or – God forbid – a year or so without breaking down, I’ll be getting somewhere (no pun intended). Unfortunately, I think it’s almost time for a new vehicle, and how I’m going to swing that one is beyond me.

With that said, I’m extremely excited for J.J. Grey & Mofro’s performance Thursday night in West Park. If you’re into music at all, particularly a great live show, don’t miss this one. I still can’t believe the Chenango Blues Association managed to get this band, for free no less, to perform here in Chenango County. This is going to be one heck of a show!