Archive for March, 2012

Blue skies, ’30 Seconds,’ ADHD and the Governator

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
Brian Golden

Sunny skies and 60 degree weather in mid-March makes it a perfect day to (finally) blog once again, wouldn’t you say? I don’t know about the rest of you, but these spring- and summer-like temperatures are just fine with me. In no way, shape or form did I think I’d already have the grill fired up and – let’s face it – there’s nothing better than that first char-grilled burger of the year.

Not to mention the act of grilling itself, which I absolutely love. Just saying.

And now, on to my Funny (aka Ridiculous) ‘30 Seconds’ Post of the Day, brought to you by a Man from South New Berlin.
“Why did I just post that I believe Obama will win in November? Because he will get the votes from the welfarians, the union bosses, the liberal junkies, the blacks, the liberal Republicans, most Democrats, the radical Muslim terrorist (yes, some of them are U.S. Citizens), and probably from a few dead people too.”

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, to be quite honest. Oh, and Man from South New Berlin, you forgot liberal-leaning journalists (like me), enviro-whackos (like me), NIMBYs (like me, I guess) and those-who-avoid-radical-biased-right-wing-24-hour-news-coverage-like-it’s-the-plague (also like me).

Some people. And now, on to bigger and better things (that won’t be hard).

As is typically the case, I had my fair share of fun putting together this week’s column, ‘The kids are all right,’ and I’m hoping no one takes it the wrong way. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is no laughing matter, I know, but one really has to wonder sometimes if it’s absolutely necessary to drug our children into obedience. I’ll be the first to admit I was a little wild as a child. In fact, my mom would be quick to point out that I was either going full tilt, 110 percent, full speed ahead or … I was out for the count. Which is, in essence, my point.

Please make sure that prescription medication is truly the answer to a child’s behavioral problems because, at times, it seems like we’re doping our kids for being, well … kids.

With that said, my quote of the day, brought to you by the Governator himself, Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“I saw a woman wearing a sweatshirt with Guess on it. I said, ‘Thyroid problem’?”

I’m sorry, but that’s funny … real funny.

Happy fundraising

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
Shawn Magrath

Another beautiful day. If this is what the end of winter looks like, I look forward to the last week of the winter season.

There must be something about March that causes local non-profit organization to wake from a long winter hibernation. Roots and Wings, Habitat for Humanity, Friends of Rogers, St. Baldricks, The United Way, and Big Brothers Big Sisters all have their own fundraising event this month – and all for a good cause, by the way. That’s a lot of giving for the most charitable in our community. If you have a cause to which you would like to contribute, you certainly have your options.

We’re almost halfway through March already, which means (believe it or not) it’s time to start looking toward summer activities. Blues Fest, the Fair, Colorscape – all fun, but I’m really looking forward to Airport Day in June. Planes fascinate me and what’s more fascinating is that a trained pilot can barrel role a plane hundreds of feet in the air without screaming like a nine-year-old girl (at least I’ve never heard it before). I have to say, it’s nothing I would try doing myself if I were cool enough to have pilots license, but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of being in the same plane as someone who would… so long as I have dry underwear and a brown paper bag handy.

When I wrote an article about renovations at Burger King at the South end of town, I think I underestimated just how much work construction crews planned to do. I drove by it today and the place looked a little less like a restaurant and more like a wooden box with a drive drive-thru. I heard that it closed temporarily – my heart goes to a select few Chenango County residents who possibly thought they would starve to death. I’m sure that the temporary closing of Burger King influenced some sort of self-revelation among some people out there. Personally, I choose not to eat there. It’s tasty, but a Whopper has a really distinct scent that lingers in the car for months. You can’t hose that smell out.

Sports Editor’s Playbook, Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday, March 12th, 2012
Patrick Newell

Several hours after Norwich lost to Bishop Ludden, a post-game comment from NHS head coach Tom Collier struck a chord. “Bishop Ludden was the better team, and the better team won,” he said. “It’s hard for us to accept that, but that is what sports is all about.”
When you’re playing for a championship, only one team hoists the trophy, and its players are the last ones smiling. Too often you hear parents, fans, and often players and coaches making excuses for losing. Many coaches, gracious in defeat, will follow the comments post haste with the obligatory “would’ve, could’ve” rationales. I have no doubt, behind closed doors, Norwich’s players and coaches wished they had shot the ball better over the first three quarters. By our count, shooting 10-for-39 (25.6 percent) will not win too many titles at this level of basketball.
Matching up the advantages and disadvantages, Norwich was the better established perimeter shooting team. The Gaelic Knights were more of an up-tempo team that created easy buckets off of its defense or in defense-to-offense transition. Only one starter, Cameron Littlejohn, averaged at least one three-pointer per game, and Ludden made just one three-pointer in its 12-point win over the Tornado.
Norwich, meanwhile, made 115 three-pointers this season. It wasn’t Norwich’s team record for threes by a long shot, but the three ball keyed a 20-point comeback victory for the Class B title. The three-pointer was certainly a big part of the Norwich offense all season, and Kyle Edwards, Dennis Oralls, and Eric Walling proved themselves adept from long range. Norwich had plenty of good looks from 20 feet last Saturday, some of the same shots that went in one week earlier against CV. Overall, the Tornado made less than 20 percent of its three-point attempts, a statistic again summed up perfectly by Collier: “Sometimes the shots just don’t fall.”
That’s just basketball.

Are you a student of bracketology? This week we’re running the brackets for the men’s basketball March Madness Contest. As was the case last year, the first four games are a virtual gimme if you wait for the results before submitting your entry. Let me remind you: Those first four games (Tuesday and Wednesday) may be “gimmes,” but they are not “freebies.” If you leave that section of the bracket empty, I will gleefully mark them wrong with my red marker. (Or black, depending on which sharpie still has ink left.) I believe I am still scarred from my college freshman year when my English teacher had more words written in red than the entirety of my essays. Monday’s entry was on page 10, and if you’ll notice, we’re handing out $75 to this year’s winner. If you play your cards right, we may even snap a photo of the grand champion. The deadline to hand-deliver entries is this Thursday at 12 p.m. Mailed entries should by postmarked by Wednesday, March 14.

Follow Patrick Newell on Twitter @evesunpat.

Editor’s Notebook: 3/12/12

Monday, March 12th, 2012
Jeff Genung
• Hey, I wrote a story! Or, I guess I should say, more appropriately — Frank Revoir announced his candidacy for Chenango’s County, Surrogate and Family Court Judge today. Stay tuned — expect another Republican to announce his candidacy soon, and maybe even a Democrat to announce … hers? Should be an interesting primary/election season, to say the least. Contested races are not only good for news, folks – they’re good for the democratic process. Bring ‘em on, I say.
• Norwich High School held its annual Purple vs. White Spirit Night as the culmination of Spirit Week Friday, with Purple emerging victorious. See various Tornado students make fools of themselves (and have a good time doing it) in this Evening Sun subscribers gallery of Frank Speziale’s photos.
• Sad to say, all that spirit didn’t help to Tornado emerge victorious over Bishop Ludden Saturday. Kudos, anyway, to the Purple hoopsters and their first-year coach on an amazing season. Get ‘em next time!
• My American Idol update, for those who care about such things: They should just give the title to Jessica Sanchez right now and be done with it. It’s about time a girl won again anyway (whatever happened to you, Jordin Sparks?).

• Hey, I wrote a story! Or, I guess I should say, more appropriately — Frank Revoir announced his candidacy for Chenango’s County, Surrogate and Family Court Judge today. Stay tuned — expect another Republican to announce his candidacy soon, and maybe even a Democrat to announce … hers? Should be an interesting primary/election season, to say the least. Contested races are not only good for news, folks – they’re good for the democratic process. Bring ‘em on, I say.

• Norwich High School held its annual Purple vs. White Spirit Night as the culmination of Spirit Week Friday, with Purple emerging victorious. See various Tornado students make fools of themselves (and have a good time doing it) in this Evening Sun subscribers gallery of Frank Speziale’s photos.

• Sad to say, all that spirit didn’t help to Tornado emerge victorious over Bishop Ludden Saturday. Kudos, anyway, to the Purple hoopsters and their first-year coach on an amazing season. Get ‘em next time!

• My American Idol update, for those who care about such things: They should just give the title to Jessica Sanchez right now and be done with it. It’s about time a girl won again anyway (whatever happened to you, Jordin Sparks?).

It’s a gorgeous day out there

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012
Shawn Magrath

For the avid readers, I’m sure that you saw the Rails for Trails article written by Julian in yesterday’s paper. While I don’t foresee a train running through Chenango County any time soon (if ever), I say it’s not time to dump the rails yet. And to have trails take their place is just a waste of time, effort and money. The thought of trails promoting a healthier lifestyle in the area and increasing tourism is too idealistic. Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s a great idea for more metropolitan areas and perhaps if Chenango County wasn’t… well… Chenango County, I would jump on board. But let’s not lie to ourselves; few people would use a new trail and it would only be a matter of time before it was covered with weeds and garbage.

Speaking of jumping on board (segue), a lot of people are kicking themselves with excitements now that Apple unveiled its new iPad, complete with high definition display screen and 4G. And at a starting price of $629 for Wi-Fi and 4G, it’s much iCooler, iFaster, and iBetter than any iPiece-of-crap I can afford. Time to start collecting change from the couch cushions.

What a beautiful day! Though to fully appreciate the sunshine and 60 degree weather, let’s look at Evening Sun headlines from March 7, 2011:

“Snowmageddon!” “Chenango Declares State of Emergency” “Roads close as storm buries Chenango again”

Makes a good day feel that much better, doesn’t it?

Editor’s Notebook: 3/7/12

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012
Jeff Genung

• Longtime local historian Patricia Scott writes our weekly series on the old one-room rural school houses – “Schools of the Past” – each Thursday in The Evening Sun. Once in a while, she’ll drop off a historical tidbit she’s come across while doing her research to share with me. I thought this one was worth republishing … from the Jan. 26, 1963 edition of The Evening Sun, I give you …

GOALS FOR NORWICH AND CHENANGO COUNTY

The following are a set of goals that should be the aim of the people, organizations and governing bodies of Norwich and Chenango County.

1. Rehabilitation and expansion of the downtown Norwich shopping area.

2. Provide more housing and apartment facilities in and around Norwich.

3. Improve highways and provide better farm-to-market roads and streets.

4. City and County cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce Industrial Committee, in order to secure new industries and more payrolls.

5. County wide program to beautify public buildings, parks and homes.

6. Encourage better relationship between urban and rural residents for common progress.

7. Plan for better and bigger library.

8. Encourage individual and corporate business growth and expansion.

9. Boost Chenango County as a good place to live, do business and as a vacation area.

1963!! Well, at least we got that better and bigger library.

• That’s it for today … get out there and enjoy the sunshine!

Editor’s Notebook: 3/5/12

Monday, March 5th, 2012
Jeff Genung

• In case you haven’t heard the tortured cries and frustrated grumblings coming from our ivory tower on Lackawanna Avenue, The Evening Sun has endured an editorial software upgrade over the last week or so – the first major upgrade since the mid-1990s, mind you. Mostly, it went off without a hitch. Astute readers may have witnessed a few wonky things in our print edition, but hopefully we’ll have them all ironed out soon. Bear with us, dear readers! It’s been like learning this job, from a technical standpoint, all over again. My head is ready to explode.

• Congratulations to the Norwich Purple Tornado Boys Basketball team on their victory over the weekend! Of course I’d forgotten they were playing that night (that’s what I pay Pat Newell to keep track of) and thought the zombie apocalypse had started in downtown Norwich when I heard all the sirens going off. A hero’s welcome beats a zombie apocalypse any day. For those interested in seeing more of Frank Speziale’s pictures from the game, check out the gallery I posted on our Facebook page today.

• More than $4,000 for a chicken barbecue? Wow, those New Berliners really do love their village ambulance, don’t they? Wonder if the UVAC board members ate crow.

• Brian Golden’s off to the rescheduled “Music in Our Schools Month” concert tonight at Norwich. Check out our website tomorrow for a photo gallery.

And will you succeed? Yes! You will indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed)

Friday, March 2nd, 2012
Shawn Magrath

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the only one who’ll decide where to go…”

It’s Dr. Seuss’ birthday and I couldn’t think of a better way to commemorate it than to begin a blog from my favorite Dr. Seuss book. But as much a Dr. Seuss fan that I am, I’m still torn about my opinions of the movie rendition of “The Lorax.” I admit, though the film looks bad, it makes me giggle a little that color is the only characteristic deciphering the differences between the Lorax and Danny DeVito.

At the risk of sounding a little redundant to those who regularly read blogs and tweets on The Evening Sun website, we are in the midst of familiarizing ourselves with a new software upgrade here at the paper. I suppose it’s called for; our previous software was old enough to legally vote this year. While things are transpiring much more smoothly that they were at this time Thursday, I still can’t help but cry a little when I save stories and don’t know what happens to them afterward. Anyhow, now that I got the computer to stop smoking and angry (and at times, verbally abusive) computer warning boxes have stopped appearing on my screen, I think I’m on the right track. I have new respect for ghosts of reporters past who made the transition from type writers to computers. I don’t think I would have made it.

If you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend, check out the United Way’s mini golf course at the American Legion on Saturday. Money raised from attendees helps out the United Way’s 2012 campaign. Country club style golf apparel (polo shirt and vest, baggy plaid pants, goofy hat and colored knee high socks with white golfing shoes) are optional… No, I don’t stereotype.