Still “Progress”ing

Shawn Magrath

Is it really January? I don’t remember January looking so warm and muddy.

I hope everyone’s New Year has been as good as mine. Good health, good wife, good job, and a car that still runs; I can’t ask for much more, not that I’m stopping anyone from throwing money at me – I do have student loans to pay off.

Well, the annual reporters’ venture in Progess is, for me at least, progressing. I’m learning a lot, meeting some interesting people, even coming to some of my own conclusions regarding the state of local businesses and various organizations over the last year. What I’m finding is that while non-profits like the Norwich City School District, Opportunities for Chenango and Friends of Rogers are struggling to meet their financial obligations (in some cases, literally finding ways to keep the lights on), larger institutions like Norwich Pharmaceuticals and Frontier are reporting a year of growth and show no signs of slowing down in 2012. Hmmm…

On a separate but not so distantly related matter, I’ve made Tom Petty’s song “Free Fallin’” my official song for Progress. There’s no symbolic meaning behind this decision; it’s just that the song has been on the radio while I was driving to three of my last four progress meetings. Personally, I wouldn’t have chosen anything from Tom Petty to be the official song of anything, but fate just had to intervene and apparently fate likes Tom Petty.

I’m glad that the Iowa Caucus is over. I don’t care about it too much. It’s just that we see Iowa in the news so much once every four years. Now, Iowa can reside back into it’s dark corner of nothingness, where it will again be virtually ignored by the rest of the country until the next big caucus in 2016, when another group of presidential contenders decide that they have a sudden interest in corn, hunting, NASCAR and all other things regular Iowans enjoy. Oh, the things we have in common…