Editor’s Notebook: 9/12/11

Jeff Genung

• Wow, what a week. Terrific time to be a reporter, awful time to be a homeowner (or EMS worker) in much of Chenango County.

• Kudos to soon-to-be-departing reporter Melissa Stagnaro, who literally worked around the clock in providing the best, most up-to-date, flood coverage in the area. The intrepid reporter embedded herself at the county’s emergency operations center for three days straight, and spent at least one night in our rain-soaked office. (Out of the goodness of my heart, I had the ES put her up at the Super8 on that last night she couldn’t get home to Smithville).

• While Melissa was busy gathering information, Evening Sun photog extraordinaire Frank Speziale went up, up and away. Accompanied by Norwich pilot Stan Edwards, Frank flew all over the county, getting aerial shots of the flood damage. Although I knew it was happening, obviously, I wasn’t truly aware of the magnitude of the devastation until I saw Frank’s shots from the air. Spectacular work, horrible circumstances.

• And thanks, too, to Evening Sun readers for sharing their own photos of the flood’s effects – both on our Facebook page and via e-mail. Between your participation and our hard work, I dare say we covered the living heck out of that weather event. Between Facebook and our website, Evening Sun traffic quadrupled over the course of a couple days last week. Amazing stuff.

• Mother Nature almost overshadowed the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but we managed to publish a special commemorative edition on Friday anyway, which we also gave away for free at Colorscape and at the Arts Council’s “New York Remembers” exhibit. Coupled with stories and photographs from the Associated Press, the centerpiece of that section was two stories by Melissa deCordova – interviews with the families of Norwich 9/11 victims Robert Peraza and Michele Reed. Powerful stuff.

• Oh yeah, and it was Colorscape (boy am I tired!) weekend! Another amazing event, courtesy of Peggy Finnegan and her coterie of volunteers. And, they chose to honor yours truly with the “ColorsCape” award this year (there’s a photo in tomorrow’s paper; Frank insisted). Although the honor was for my “tireless and fearless” work in promoting Colorscape – and local arts in general – over the years, I’m really just doing my job, and supporting something I feel is important. Aww shucks, I know.