Archive for April, 2015

The start of a long, winding campaign season

Friday, April 17th, 2015
Shawn Magrath

Hats off to all who have been involved in bringing the Greater Chenango Cares initiative into fruition. For those who don’t know, Greater Chenango Cares is an innovative readiness training (IRT) exercise for service men and women that will connect the underserved community to much needed health, optometry, veterinary, and dental care services. At the same time, it will provide invaluable training for service members for wartime and disaster missions. It’s a classic win-win arrangement between the Department of Defense, and the people their sworn to serve. And while the DOD has held similar events in other parts of the country, Chenango was chosen as the first IRT site in the north east region. Now I wouldn’t ever make it a habit of saying this, but sometimes (and I stress “sometimes”) it pays to be underserved.

Even though the Chenango County Republican primaries are still five months away, the local election season is already starting to heat up. “House of Cards” references aside – at least until one of our reporters goes missing – three campaign related stories were published in The Evening Sun this week: one announcing Assistant District Attorney Zachary Wentworth’s intent to challenge District Attorney Joseph McBride for the DA position; another regarding the Chenango Republican Committee’s endorsement of McBride for reelection; and lastly, an announcement from longtime Norwich resident Christine Carnrike that she’s throwing her hat in the ring for Norwich mayor. As a reporter, it’s an exciting time – for the newspaper and for the profound words of wisdom sure to shine on ’30 Seconds.’

From local elections to the national scene (grunt). It’s a long 19 months until the next presidential election, but considering the constant Hillary buzz from national media outlets in the last week, it’s hard to believe elections aren’t right around the corner (not that I don’t already have a repertoire of candidates I can’t wait to vote against). Hey, I’m all for shattering the glass ceiling that’s barred women from advancing in the male-dominated political arena. But then again, the election of a female president will be just as effective ending sexism as the election of a black president was in putting an end to racism. If being a woman is what gives Hillary an edge, I can’t wait to watch the presidential debate when every candidate’s rocking the Hillary Clinton haircut, heels, and well tailored pantsuit.

It’s been two weeks since Easter but I still have a flock of Peeps on the kitchen table staring at me every time I walk in the room. It’s unsettling how fresh they still look in their… um… maturity. I’ve heard the only way to tell the age of a Peep is to throw it against a window. If it bounces, it’s less than a year old. If the window needs to be replaced, it’s older than a year. I do love a good experiment.

Sports Editor’s Playbook: April 3, 2015

Friday, April 3rd, 2015
Patrick Newell

We don’t have a full accounting of his career record – and all of the wrestlers he has guided to Section IV and New York State titles – but we would be remiss if we didn’t recognize Tim Jenks, Greene’s longtime wrestling coach.
Our coverage of Greene wrestling was primarily in big tournaments, and that’s where Jenks’ charges flourished. Jenks announced his retirement before the start of the 2014-2015 wrestling season, and he leaves with more wins than any local wrestling coach. Although we do not have his career victory total, Jenks passed 300 career dual meet wins a few years ago, and his list of championship-level wrestlers is voluminous. Over the past five years, Jenks guided Christian Dietrich (2014), Kyle Stanton (2012), and Nick Wilcox, Tyler Beckwith (2010) to Division II state titles.
I may have spoke to Jenks perhaps two or three times a wrestling season, but he was always good for an entertaining quote. Good luck to Jenks in retirement, although I can’t see him too far removed from the wrestling mat.

Thursday, April 2 we published the first of what we hope will become a long-standing and yearly edition: The Best of Chenango County Winter Sports. It’s a departure from our usual inserts in that it was almost exclusively a pictorial edition with bullet points of each respective team and athlete. Why was it photo-based? More on that in a moment. On a season-by-season basis, we typically publish dedication/congratulations/good luck pages for teams that achieved at a high level. Last winter, for instance, the Norwich varsity boys’ basketball team was recognized for its third straight Section IV championship. About four weeks ago, there was a staff discussion about which particular teams and athletes had outstanding seasons. We concluded that there were too many who excelled and one dedication page was not enough, so we decided to expand on the theme. Initially, the thought was a 10- or 12-page edition, but advertising support was tremendous, so what you saw in yesterday’s print edition was a 20-pager. About that all-picture concept: We covered all of these teams and athletes in great detail throughout the winter sports season, so the picture concept was designed to create an ultimate scrapbook keepsake. Where else will you find half-page photos of teams and athletes? And in color? Aside from our yearly Progress Chenango editions, this is the most color we have published in any insert with 16 of the 20 pages in full color. The new written copy we did add to the feature was updated quotes from many of the individual athletes who were able to speak in a non-competitive setting and elucidate on their sport.


Before I left for vacation last month (mid-March), I looked at the spring high school sports schedules and noticed that several teams were scheduled to play in late March/early April. I can’t remember if I smiled or laughed out loud, but with about two feet of snow still on the ground, I wondered yet again why the schedulers stubbornly paired teams in late March. Maybe once every four years is a game played in late March, and in those cases, the teams scheduled in those games were fortunate to have actually practiced outside in preparation for opening day. Inevitably, a boatload of games are rescheduled to later dates when, presumably, the weather is less inclement. Last weekend I received an email from the Unadilla Valley coach, who had games scheduled the ensuing week. The coach wrote: “As you might suspect, all events for baseball for UV this coming week have been cancelled.” This coach knew there was no hope any games would be played. Over the past three days, we’ve seen quite a bit of snow melt away, however, the bare spots remain muddy and soft. Major League Baseball’s opening day isn’t until April 6, and that’s the top level of sports. Stands to reason the six-week regular season of baseball/softball should follow suit and not schedule games until the second week of April, thereby reducing some cancellations and postponements. That probably makes too much sense.

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