Archive for August, 2015

Tis The Season (almost)

Friday, August 28th, 2015
Jim Testani

Its that time of year again where school starts and summer ends for most of the world. For me I prefer to live in a fantasy world where summer doesn’t end until mid-October so I can keep wearing shorts.

Most people would say that Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer and I guess I can agree with them. Schools are back in session, high school sports begin again, and the leaves begin to change. Don’t get me wrong, I love fall and everything that comes along with it; but why are we all in such a rush for it to start? I already saw an add that all pumpkin everything will be back at Dunkin’ at the end of the month. I think that everybody would agree with me that we could all use a few more weeks of sun and warm weather, let’s not rush right into fall and winter.

If you go to any store they’ve all already put out their “fall” decorations and Halloween stuff. Its still August (for a few more days) people, can’t you wait until we’re in the actual month? Before we know it Christmas decorations and sales will be creeping up and I’m just not ready for it. Let’s keep Halloween in the month of October and the rest of the fall stuff stored away until the leaves actually turn.

That being said, I do enjoy everything that comes with the fall season, football, playoff baseball, and corn mazes… I really like corn mazes. So I am excited for the fall season to start, but let’s not rush it okay? I want to enjoy the time I have left with the sun before it becomes that weird bright thing in the sky that we sometimes see from the months of December to April when the snow finally stops.

I like my summer months, I look better with a tan and I don’t have to bundle up like I’m exploring the frozen ice planet of Hoth when I go outside. Everybody is generally in a better mood during summer and there’s always so much to do. I know that winter is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year” with the holidays, which I always enjoy. But, people are always in such a rush for the next thing to happen.

I think that we all need to slow down a bit, and come to the conclusion that warm weather is just better than the frozen tundra that everybody seems to be in such a hurry for. To end my rant I’ll leave you with this question, after the fall season that everybody is so fond of, are you really ready to shovel snow off your car every morning before you go to work?

Not a gun control problem

Friday, August 28th, 2015
Cameron Turner

Deciding what to write for my blog posts has been the hardest part so far. But when an incident happens that catches my attention, like the shooting of the two innocent journalists did the other day, I felt it would be appropriate to write my next blog post on that and my take on the bigger picture surrounding these shootings.

For those of you that don’t know, yesterday morning 41-year-old, Vester Flanagan shot and killed two broadcast journalists as they were doing a live TV interview.

Flanagan, who was a former employee of the TV station and called himself a “powder keg” of anger over what he saw as racial discrimination at work and elsewhere in the United States. Flanagan even resorted to Twitter to voice his anger.

Flanagan, later shot himself as police pursued him on a Virginia highway hours after the shooting. Flanagan, who was African-American, died later at a hospital, police said in a report.

The two TV journalists that were killed were Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27.

The original video that was posted allegedly by the shooter himself has since been removed but the video shot by the cameraman is still available. Viewer discretion is advised.

I feel this tragedy substantially adds to the debate about gun control in the country, and adds one more tragic case of people being killed by a man with a gun.

At this point you probably are thinking that I am in support of gun control, which would be extremely false.

As a journalist I am a big believer in upholding the constitution of our country to a T, and that all of our rights should never be infringed upon for any reason.

I feel the problem, and what seems to be an outbreak of gun related incidents isn’t the fact that gun control needs to be tightened down but more so an issue in mental health and a society that drives these troubled people to do extreme things.

And not to get too politically charged, and I am in no way advocating for Presidential Candidate Donald Trump. I do however, admire how outspoken he is as a politician and feel that his take on this situation and others like it is the correct one.

So as I personally sit here as a journalist just starting out on my career path, and it truly makes me wonder.

I feel for all who were hurt by this tragic event and all the other events both recent and in the past. But I think to attack guns instead of attacking the issues behind the violence is very naive. The fact that a troubled man can go commit this act of violence or a disturbed teenager can get his hands on weapons and intend to harm others is disturbing in itself.

America has always been a country which likes to put band-aids on its problems, and not face its true issues. Guns are simply not the problem, they were purposefully put in our original constitution to ensure our safety, and they should stay there to continue to do so. The problem is the people, it has been said a million times, but guns do not kill people any more than a telephone or a pen does. The people in the world with mental problems need to be looked at and helped, the American law-abiding citizen should not suffer for a few peoples actions.

“Pumpkin” flavor: It’s like Fall in a cup.

Thursday, August 27th, 2015
Matt White

Evidently, everyone loves fall. Everyone. So much so that it’s become a cliche of sorts, what with autumn-colored everything and pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING dominating coffee shops, breweries and even fast food chains – there’s no longer room at the table for any of the other seasons now that pumpkins are in season.
Nowadays, it seems that it can’t be fall – or autumn, whichever you prefer – without pumpkins. I don’t get it.
Buy why the pumpkin? I mean – isn’t it really just a big ugly squash that no one knew what to do with at one point?
When I was a kid, we used the bulbous wrinkly orbs for two things only: carving and smashing. Of course, there was pumpkin pie… but we all know pumpkin pie is dead last in the lineup of “actual” pies. Apple, blueberry, banana-upside-down—you know, FRUIT pies; that’s where it’s at.
The Pumpkin pie: It’s a vegetable pie, really. A mashed–up vegetable flesh scraped from the head of a jack-o-lantern. Practically a chicken pot-pie.
I have questions.
1) How did pumpkin “flavor” become so dang popular?
2) Is there some secret marketing collaborative hell bent on selling useless produce?
3) Lastly, why not let acorn, zucchini or butternut have a shot at fame?
It can’t possibly be because pumpkin won the garden beauty contest of 1533. Let’s face it, they’re all pretty ugly.
Try imagining the scene of the first human that attempted to eat a pumpkin. That person was either very curious and daring, or very hungry—you can’t just crack open a pumpkin and start munching away.No, the road to savoring this beast is a labor of love… and spices. And pounds of sugar.
Plain cooked pumpkin tastes as close to mud as I’d like admit. It is a bland, slimy and somehow chalky mush that you HAVE to add at least a half dozen other ingredients to in order to be made palatable.
And then, after a few eggs of a chicken are tossed into the mix, it has to be cooked down to reduce for hours. Who thought of this?
Only then do we get a product that UGG-Schlepping teens and droves of force-caffeinated soccer moms refer to as “Pumpkin Flavor” anything.
But, the harsh reality is that we should just call it a “Fall Flavored” cappuccino and be done with it.
I hate the taste of actual pumpkin, but I do love me an occasional molten-lava-hot paper cup of pumpkin “flavored” liquid.
It’s like fall in a cup. Mmm, delicious.

I’m not a golfer but…

Friday, August 7th, 2015
Jim Testani

 The only golf that I’ve ever played is of the mini variety. I’ve never really played an 18 hole course or really ever just hit a ball. The last time I went to a driving range I couldn’t drive the car to get there. The previous sports editor was a golfer, he used to write about golf almost every week. I am not; my biggest accomplishment in golf was when I figured out that if I hit the ball hard enough the magic brooms would dump water on people at the Fantasia mini-golf course that I played at while I was in Orlando on spring break this year.

What I am though is a fisherman. I love to fish and will go out as often as I can. For about as long as I can remember my father has taken me on the water and taught me everything that he knows about fishing. I learned everything from how to bait a hook to what lures to use when I wasn’t having any luck with a bobber and worm. I grew up fishing in Chenango County and can remember walking the streams in Amblerville with my father and grandfather and having very little luck, but having a lot of fun. 

Fishing in Chenango County for me has been a lot of trial and error. Some days spots that are usually gold mines end up being complete busts for the day. Recently I’ve been fishing a lot at Chenango Lake. The past few years the joke has always been if you want to practice your casting, that’s where you want to fish. But this summer has been different. Almost every week I’ll ride on up to the lake with my father and fish from shore with just a bobber and worms and catch tons of fish. There hasn’t been much of anything in the trophy fish category, but the little guys still put up a fight nonetheless.

For me fishing isn’t really about the competition of who can catch the biggest fish or who can catch the most fish. I just find it to be relaxing and fun. I’m not saying that I don’t go out and try to land the biggest fish that I can, I’m just saying that I fish for the fun of it, just like my predecessor golfed for the fun of it.

All in all there are literally hundreds of hidden spots around the county to fish. I haven’t yet gotten the chance to get out and explore them all yet, but I’m hoping that one day I will. It’s worth noting that I’m not the greatest fisherman in the world either; you can ask anyone I’ve ever fished with about the rat’s nest of a tangle that almost always ends up happening to my line. I am by no means an expert, but I’m more than capable to handle myself on the water.

  I feel obligated that I should take this opportunity to talk about my new position here at the Evening Sun. It has been two weeks since I’ve gotten settled into my new position as the sports editor and I think that I’m starting to get the hang of it. I’m starting to get my name out there to all the different coaches and people that make athletics happen in Chenango County. Like I said in my introductory article last week, I’ve got some big shoes to fill with Pat gone, I wear a size 12 but no we’re just getting off topic. What I’m trying to say is that through these blogs and through my articles I hope to bring you all the coverage and accuracy that was seen in the previous 20 years (I’m only 22 so I was two when Pat started). 

As this is my first blog I wasn’t really sure what to write or how to write it. I just figured that I’d write about something that I’m passionate about. So goodluck to all the other fisherman out there, and let me know where the best spot in the county is and maybe I’ll see you there.

 

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @evesunjim

Couldn’t be any happier with where I am at the moment

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
Cameron Turner

My name is Cameron Turner and I want to take this time to introduce myself a little.

I was born and raised in the Norwich community. I was actually home schooled, by my wonderful mother, until I was getting ready to enter 7th grade. At this time, I was enrolled in the Norwich Middle School where I met many new people, some of which have become lifelong friends. Throughout middle and high school I was fairly involved in community and school related events while participating in sports: Football, Wrestling and Track and Field, year round. Along with my family, these sports and my coaches, I believe truly helped shape me into who I am today. And I would like to thank you.

After high school I was not sure exactly what I wanted to do with my life, but I new pursuing a higher education would be for the better, no matter what I decided on. I was accepted and attended Le Moyne College as an undeclared major. Le Moyne was a great place and I don’t regret going there for a second. But after completing my second year of college I decided I needed a change. I transferred to SUNY Oswego, I heard they had a great journalism and communications department, and I couldn’t have been more happy with that choice. I immediately changed my major to Journalism at Oswego (I realized at this point in college that I could write, but that my math and science skills were garbage). While at Oswego I met some of the best people I could ask for in life, professors and students alike. At Oswego I ended up getting involved with the student paper, which my only regret in doing so, was not getting more involved sooner. I recently graduated college from SUNY Oswego this past May with a bachelors degree in journalism and a minor/learning agreement in political science/overseas relations and thought.

That brings me to where I am now in my life. As college was nearing an end, I was also beginning my new life of a working adult. Job applications, working hard to make connections, along with the pressure of finals seemed at times to be overwhelming. Once college was over, and while I was waiting to hear back about a job offer, I decided to go back to work for the Norwich DPW as a summer help employee, which is where I had worked during the summer months of college. However, after applying to many newspapers all across New York State and even some out of state papers, I finally received a call back. I am now the new reporter covering the crime and court beat for the Evening Sun in my hometown of Norwich, I also cover various other topics as well. As I was more than willing to move out of Norwich to start my career in journalism, I am thrilled to not have to make that change and move away from so many of my family and friends.

In my few short weeks since being hired here at the Evening Sun, I couldn’t be more impressed with the staff that I get to work with on a daily basis. I honestly was a little worried about getting used to and fitting in with the staff right away just due to it being so new to me. But the transition has felt almost seamless. I hope I have impressed everyone I work with as much as they truly have impressed me thus far.

So like I said before, I could not be happier with where my life has taken me, and where I currently am on this journey. I am really looking forward to what will come next.