Archive for March, 2015

Think outside the bun, indeed

Friday, March 27th, 2015
Shawn Magrath

I have attended a lot of public meeting in my time as reporter, but never one where I hear the question: “What does that smell like?”

Of course I’m talking about a recent story on last week’s informational meeting for a proposal to build a meat processing plant on County Road 23 in the Town of Sherburne. The meeting (or meat-ing, as we were tempted to put on the front page) brought out well over 100 residents who wanted to weigh in on the idea. The company behind the $20 million project, All In Meats, Inc., claims it would add about 120-150 jobs to the area, and boost the local ag industry by saving farmers the expense of shipping cattle to slaughtering facilities in Pennsylvania. While I certainly agree that more jobs would be welcome to the area, I don’t know enough about the industry to say where I stand yet. But I look forward to the impending debate.

On a separate note, with Norwich Mayor Joseph Maiurano’s two-year term expiring at the end of the year, talk is swirling of who might be sitting behind the mayor’s desk come January. Only one candidate, Thomas LoPiccolo, has officially thrown his hat in the ring while rumors of other possible Republican candidates are beginning to circulate. Regardless of whom you’re pulling for, it looks like this year’s ballot will not be uncontested (unlike it has been in the past two city mayoral elections). Thumbs up for choice. I know what you’re probably thinking; and no, this not a jab at Maiurano, nor is it an endorsement of any particular candidate. This is simply a cheer for the democratic process the way it was intended to be: with options.

I think it bears mentioning that Taco Bell has been in the news way more that you would think it should be lately. On Wednesday, the AP put out a story about the chain’s decision to change up its breakfast line by getting rid of the “waffle taco” and replacing with a biscuit – something or another (I mean, it’s Taco Bell. Does it really matter exactly what they’re replacing it with?). The… well, big announcement, I guess… comes just weeks after Taco Bell said it will use a test market in California for its “Cap’n Crunch Delights” – a deep-fried ball of sweet dough filled with sugary cream and dusted with crushed Captain Crunch cereal. You can almost hear the diabetes setting in. All this is to say that Taco Bell is, beyond any doubt, the foremost company to benefit from the legalization of recreational marijuana. Better buy your stocks now. Who would have thought we would see the day when Taco Bell as a safe financial investment?

Greene field hockey coach built on a great legacy

Saturday, March 14th, 2015
Patrick Newell

A couple of weeks ago we acknowledged the impending retirements of a pair of winter-season coaches. It took a while, but word on the grapevine finally traveled up Route 12 to these ears – from Greene.
The parent of an outgoing senior field hockey player on the Trojans confirmed that longtime head coach, Sue Carlin, is retiring from teaching at the end of the school year. Does that mean she’s retiring from coaching? Appears so.
Carlin was an outstanding high school player for Hall of Fame coach Nancy Bromley during the formative years of the program. About a quarter century after graduating from her alma mater, Carlin took over a program that was already a well-oiled machine.
During Carlin’s tenure, Greene doubled its field hockey state titles winning three times – the first in 2002 when assistant coach – and likely successor – Christine McCabe was a freshman.
The first game of the 2013 season, Carlin reached a victory milestone – 400 wins – and according to our records, finishes her distinguished coaching career with 418 wins. That includes double-digit Section IV titles, and five overall state titles – two at Maine-Endwell prior to moving back to Greene.
“I’ve just had some great kids, great families, and great assistant coaches over the years,” Carlin said in 2013 after her 400th career victory.
Humble in victory, gracious in defeat, and always giving full credit to her charges, Carlin was a steady influence on the sideline stressing poise and precision under fire. And her kids always performed with class on the field, a reflection of Carlin’s own character.
When I visit Greene for preseason photos and interviews this coming August, it just won’t be the same without Sue Carlin. Best wishes in retirement, Sue, and it was my pleasure to witness how you built on Greene’s long tradition of success.

Follow me on Twitter @PatrickLNewell

Sports Editor’s Playbook: March 6, 2015

Friday, March 6th, 2015
Patrick Newell

We didn’t do any advance promotion, and truthfully, the run dates of our Norwich Sports Hall of Fame inductee articles crept up on me. Today, we publish the first of six articles highlighting the accomplishments of the 2015 class.
First up is 1946 Norwich graduate Don McGraw, written by Norwich graduate and retired NHS teacher, Don Chirlin. Like many young kids of his era, star athletes on the varsity teams were idolized and revered. McGraw was one of the best all-around athletes of the 1940s following closely in the footsteps of previous NHSSHOF inductee, Charles “Doc” Ulrichs.
As revealed in the article, McGraw was a close relative of legendary New York Giants baseball manager, John McGraw. It’s of little surprise that Don McGraw not only starred on the football field and basketball court, but particularly shined on the baseball diamond. An unfortunate injury – likely from his football playing days – cut McGraw’s likely pro baseball career short.


Earlier this week we printed a press release revealing the Section IV Athletics Hall of Fame selections with ties to Chenango County. Gaining induction Saturday will be Jeff Parker (Norwich), Craig Reynolds (Oxford), and Bob Conway (girls’ basketball coach).
Reynolds graduated well before my days here at the paper, in fact, I was a freshman in high school when he completed his playing days. I covered Parker his final two years of high school, and his status in the football program as the school’s all-time leading rusher cemented his credentials in my mind. With Conway, I have worked with him every season of my career, and I see no end in sight.
Conway, 58, is in his 33rd year as a varsity basketball coach, and his accomplishments continue to pile up. He took over a Mt. Upton program, one with no success to speak of – and one of the smallest enrollments in all of Section IV – and took it to the state championship game in his fifth season. When Mt. Upton merged with Gilbertsville, Conway moved on to Bainbridge-Guilford – another girls’ basketball program with no established history of success in the Susquenango Association.
In 22 years at the small Class C school, Conway has had just one losing season, won nine division titles, five league titles, one Section IV title, and multiple Section IV finals appearances. By no means is Bainbridge-Guilford a factory of high-level athletes that affords Conway premium talent to maintain the program’s success. Conway is adept at defining roles for players on his roster, while also loosening the reins for his marquis players.
In 33 years patrolling the sidelines, no area coach in any sport has won more games than Bob Conway. After Thursday night’s victory over Newfield, Conway has 485 career victories. Saturday afternoon at the Floyd L. Maines Memorial Arena will be a big day for Conway: His Bobcats will play for a sectional championship, then he’ll enter Section IV’s Hall of Fame along with the other inductees. Knowing Bob as a I do, his focus will be squarely on his team’s performance. But it would be a weekend to remember if Conway’s team can piggy-back a sectional title on top of the coach’s well-deserved individual honor.

Follow me on Twitter @PatrickLNewell

Updates from the newsroom

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015
Ashley Babbitt

It has been far too long since the last ‘newsroom update,’ so here we go.

• Since my last blog, The Evening Sun staff has moved locations, and we’re now finally settled in. Well, my walls could use some art — and I have a few local artists in mind — but all in good time. For now I like my coffee cups and notebooks. The decorating can wait.
• As you may have noticed in last Friday’s print edition, ‘Thumbs’ returned to the Viewpoints page of the paper. Each week, the writers and I will weigh in on an issue and give a brief opinion. Sometimes a thumb will be in regard to a village, town or city meeting, a new piece of legislation, a new business opening, a kind act witnessed (or personally carried out), or something in relation to our local criminal justice system. ‘Thumbs’ give each writer an opportunity to voice how they felt about something they may have covered, whereas in their news story, they remain objective.
• Something else that will be rolling out soon is a newly designed online ’30 Seconds’ submission page. All will be given the opportunity to create a handle before they submit their thoughts or reactions. The reason behind this new feature is because ’30 Seconds’ will be returning to print in the near future. The handle will allow me to pick the best (and worst) posts to put into print twice per week, and will ensure that one person isn’t pretending to post as another. There still will be the opportunity to post as man or woman from wherever you may be.
• Also related to ’30 Seconds,’ in no way do I find joy in censoring the words of others, but I would be willing to bet that people who submit the extremely profane, derogatory, racist, and downright mean posts know before they hit ‘submit’ that I won’t approve it. We could save us both some time if we cut out the hardcore swear words I see on a daily basis.
• It was great to see the photographs our photographer Frank Speziale shot from the Holy Family Lenten Fish Fry on Friday. The happiness in each of the photos Frank brought me put a smile on my face, and showed me that the people who help out at the weekly event really do care. It was very nice to see.
• Congratulations to the two young men who won the State Championship with their wrestling skills. Even though I am not as familiar with their career as our Sports Editor Pat Newell is, I have paid attention to their sports activities for the past couple years, and it’s been exciting. Well done, Mr. Rifanburg and Mr. Garcia.
• There have been numerous complaints about the winter weather we’ve been having. I allow myself one complaint per season. I use my winter and summer complaints right away. The first time I have to clean the snow off my car, I use my winter complaint. Once the temperature goes above 70 degrees, there goes my summer complaint. But I digress, even though it’s March, it’s still winter and chances are it will snow. Use caution when driving, don’t drive unless it’s necessary, keep warm, make sure your pets are inside, and remember it’ll be over soon. I have a hard time complaining when I have a roof over my head and there are plenty of people in this world without that.
• Things are rolling along in the newsroom, with some investigative, in-depth stories on tap. These include research that has taken weeks so far, and the filing for certain documents necessary for the stories to come to life. They’re not time sensitive, but I think readers will find them interesting and perhaps eye-opening.
• In closing, we are working on a year-long series that will highlight those who hail from Chenango County who have made a name for themselves. This includes humanitarians, arts and entertainment, science and medicine, business, politics … you name it. We plan to feature a different individual each week once we have our ideas solidified. We’re opting to include those who are living that are currently making an impact — be in here in Chenango or anywhere else in the world — or who have left a lasting impact but are no longer with us. If you have a nomination for someone who fits this criteria, please send an email to ababbitt@evesun.com or send a private message to The Evening Sun’s Facebook page.