brian's Reporter Blog

Letter From the Editor: 8/21/13

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013
Brian Golden

Yes, it is I, your fearless (well … sometimes) Managing Editor. And no, I didn’t forget how to blog. In fact, I’ve had this nagging little voice in the back of my head for some time, which I believe to be that of our former editor, whispering something like, “Yes, Brian, we do blog more than once a month here at The Evening Sun, let alone once every four months. I used to blog every day if I remember right.”

My only excuse? Well, there’s been a lot for me to learn here at The Ivory Tower on Lackawanna Ave. (to borrow one of Jeff’s terms), and my number one priority has always been the paper itself first and foremost. That being said, your next question might very well be, “Brian, why the hell are you blogging at 4 a.m. on a Wednesday?”

That, I’m afraid, I can thank my neighbors for. Apparently, when you’re young and don’t work for a living, it’s completely acceptable to bang, smash, party, scream, yell, curse, fight and get ridiculously violent – on both Monday and Tuesday of this week, I might add – until the wee hours of the morning. I’ve had very little sleep, needless to say, and I had a nice discussion with one of Norwich’s finest on my way to the office in the pitch dark this morning (at 3:45 a.m. to be exact). Not that I think those ruffians living next door to my tiny apartment visit our website daily (evesun.com for those of you who don’t remember), let alone read, but if one would like to warn them, please let them know the next time I hear that particular brand of nonsense on a weekday, the authorities will be notified … immediately.

That being said, come Friday and/or Saturday, I could care less, as this summer my travels have taken me far and wide on the weekends, much to the dismay of the ‘30 Seconds’ crowd, who seem to think I should throw a cot in the corner, shower in the parking lot when it rains and live on Hot Pockets warmed through in our office kitchen so as to be on duty – updating all things ‘30 Seconds’ – 24 hours a day.

That’s not going to happen.

On a brighter note, I had myself one helluva Blues Fest, thanks (once again) to the efforts of the Chenango Blues Association. As always, I was impressed with the line-up (top notch), the set-up (also top notch) and the crowd. That many people crammed into that kind of space and you’d think there would be some major issues. Our local blues association, however, has things firmly in hand (and have for more than two decades now), and I had an absolute blast. Also a quick shout out to my pal Jess Novak, who accompanied me to this year’s fest. Jess, a music writer in the Syracuse area (I believe her own review of our local blues fest will appear in this week’s Syracuse New Times, which will hit shelves today), is also a talented songwriter and musician, and I was lucky enough to share the stage with her not once, not twice, but three times last weekend (with the fest sandwiched in between).

Thanks for the company, Novak, and remember: only two good things in life, “You ain’t no C. Johnson,” zombie cats, and those letters to the aforementioned (and hopefully non-zombified) felines all equal some good times, with great friends, and some serious laughter.

See you all soon … and not at 4 a.m. … I hope …

Letter from the Editor 4.12.13

Friday, April 12th, 2013
Brian Golden

• Quite the week in news, particularly today’s top story and the estimated 100 pounds of marijuana (not to mention $36,000 in cash) confiscated by the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday. Needless to say, we were all rendered speechless here in the newsroom when we saw Kevin’s photos of Sheriff Cutting standing over the “goods,” so to speak. That, my friends … without a doubt … is an awful lot of marijuana, and yesterday’s raid was apparently one of the biggest busts of its kind, locally, according to several sources.

• Well, our latest addition to The Evening Sun’s staff of reporters seems to be settling in nicely. Ms. Ashley Biviano cruised rather painlessly through her first week here, submitting a healthy serving of copy and going a long way toward proving me right. When I ran into Ashley a couple of weeks ago, I immediately thought she might very well be our best bet in filling the vacant reporter position, and I’m just glad she seems to be enjoying the challenge. It’s not easy coming into the newsroom that first week and digging for stories, trust me, but at least Kevin and Shawn were on hand and willing to chip-in with a bit of advice when asked. As for me, I’m just glad we’re finally up to strength and I’m looking forward to seeing exactly what this team of ours is capable of.

• Moving on, anyone looking for something fun to do this weekend should seriously consider making their way down to the Norwich High School auditorium and taking in the NHS Musical Club’s production of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Show times are 7:30 p.m. both tonight and tomorrow, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. These kids (and a number of adults, as well) put an enormous amount of hard work and effort into making each and every NHS production a success and it’s beyond evident that there’s a lot of talent taking the stage this weekend. So let’s get out there and support what is always an unforgettable show, year in and year out.

• And I’m spent. I have yet to take a full day off since accepting the reins as Managing Editor here at Chenango County’s Hometown Daily (something that’s not going to change any time soon) and – while I’m certainly not complaining – come Friday I can honestly say I’m beat. Working on the weekend isn’t so bad, really, and it’s typically only for a couple of hours, but let’s face it, everyone needs a break every now and then. For me? For me that now begins … err … right now. See you all (not in the literal sense, of course) on Monday and have a safe and enjoyable weekend. I’m ready for a nap.

Letter from the Editor 4.8.13

Monday, April 8th, 2013
Brian Golden

• Here we are, week four as Managing Editor of The Evening Sun and no … I haven’t forgotten how to blog, if anyone happened to be wondering. What can I say? It’s been more than a little … hectic … the last couple of weeks (not that I’m complaining), and we’re all making adjustments here in the newsroom as we move forward.

• With that said, a big welcome to Ashley Biviano, the latest in a long line of Evening Sun cub reporters. Ashley spent her first day in the newsroom exploring her new cubicle (get used to it, you’ll be spending a lot of time there) and adjusting to the controlled chaos that is life at 29 Lackawanna Ave. Hopefully we haven’t scared her too badly with our antics and keep an eye out for her very first byline on tomorrow’s front page (always an inspirational moment for any incoming staff writer).

• Moving on, I printed a Letter to the Editor today that literally had me on the verge of tears as I read – and edited, of course – it, one describing the trials and tribulations of the recovering addict. A more honest and heartfelt letter … I’m simply at a loss for words. I think most people are aware of our area’s ongoing issues concerning heroin and other controlled substances, and I hope today’s letter was as eye-opening for you as it was for me. The writer, who wished to remain anonymous (something I would normally not allow), deserves a lot of credit for his courage and continued sobriety. If you haven’t read this, please take the time to do so, either in print or online at evesun.com (I made the online version free for all, so you don’t even need a subscription … not that a subscription ever hurt anybody).

• And with that, I’m exiting the office for the day. Keep an eye out for future Letters from the Editor (aka blogs) penned by yours truly and we’ll see you all tomorrow.

Slow down!

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
Brian Golden

Quite the accident report in today’s paper, which comes as such a surprise considering it’s WINTER out there. Seriously, I don’t know what is wrong with drivers this year, but slow the heck down when it looks like it’s getting icy/snowy/slippery/etc. What’s worse, if you ask me, those idiots who like to ride your … err … tail when the roads are looking slick, obviously in a hurry to get where they’re going and upset that we – the intelligent, safe drivers – are taking our time. Here’s a hint … leave ten or fifteen minutes early, no matter where you may be headed, and do your best to keep the roads safe for all of us.

You’d think we’ve never seen snow or ice before, the way this year has panned out. Cripes.

Well, it certainly didn’t take long for my column today to ruffle some feathers, although I must say the name calling and accusations are certainly uncalled for. A column, for the last time, is an opinion piece, and I have yet to pen something so utterly damning that it required Jeff to censor me and not include it in Wednesday’s paper, including today’s column. And today’s column was, if I say so myself, completely unbiased. I continue to support every Americans’ Second Ammendment rights, yet it’s become obvious that something needs to be done in regards to firearms in this country. Canada, England, you name the country; they simply don’t have the problems we have when it comes to shootings.

Case closed.

And with that, the ever popular “Most Ridiculous ‘30 Seconds’ Post of the Week (thus far),” brought to us by the one and only Man from McDonough (and taken from the pages of Monday’s edition of The Evening Sun).
“I observed a person in Oxford buying soda with his EBT card. Then he went outside, dumped all the soda out of them, took them back, got the deposit back and bought what he really wanted. When are they going to clamp down on this?”

Well, Man from McDonough, I must admit this makes absolutely no sense at all. Unless the person in question (if this really happened) received and dumped … let’s see … more than ten cases or so of soda, they really didn’t make all that much money. How about some math? Ten cases of soda equals 240 cans, times five for the deposit, and you have $12 in cash. Wouldn’t they just be better off selling the soda to a friend or relative? Sorry, but it simply sounds like a whole lot of work simply to make a quick ten bucks … or five bucks … or even two bucks (still two cases of soda to be dumped). Then again, stranger things have happened (and do all the time) here in Chenango County.

You can do it!

Thursday, February 14th, 2013
Brian Golden

Somehow, someway … I will find the energy to make it through this weekend, I just know it. And it’s not like I’m complaining – any chance to play the guitar and I’m on it – particularly with tonight’s Dinosaur BBQ gig, Saturday afternoon’s Coleman’s gig (the bar’s “Winter Warmer,” should be a great time), a potential gig in Ithaca Saturday evening (if the whole thing didn’t fall through, no word yet), and Sunday’s Songs for Casey memorial all on the horizon. Granted, there’s a good chance my voice will be completely shot by the time it’s all said and done, but that’s the price you pay for all this fame and fortune.

Except I’m not famous … nor have I amassed a fortune of any kind … hmm … something to consider.

Sunday’s performance will be a bittersweet one, obviously, in memory of a good friend, Casey Decker. We lost Casey in a car accident just two days after Christmas, and all of us who knew and loved her are still trying to make sense of it all. My heart goes out to the entire Decker family, who are also good friends, and if you happen to see Kobie, Scottie or Bill out and about, it never hurts to let them know your prayers and thoughts remain with them through this unbearable time. We’re all here for you, and I can’t wait to see you all on Sunday.

And now, another edition of “Most Ridiculous ‘30 Seconds’ Post of the Day,” brought to us by Woman from Norwich …
“30 second picnic in the park? Please, NO! That much stupidity all in one place could cause a change in the earth’s magnetic field, tilting it off it’s axis and causing the end of the world as we know it.”

Woman from Norwich, just so you know, I did not find your post to be ridiculous at all, I simply had to post it as it made me laugh. And I needed a good laugh. With that, adios, my friends. I will see you all on the other side of the weekend, albeit with no voice and a sore hand from all that guitar playing.

Yeah, it’s that cold

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013
Brian Golden

It’s a chilly one out there today, don’t you think? Personally, I’m not a big fan of winter; one of those people always wondering aloud, “Why haven’t I moved south.” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I have no winter hobbies to speak of, besides surviving; I don’t like snow, except on Christmas; and as far as I’m concerned, it’s simply too damn cold. Especially today … and tomorrow … and through the weekend, according to the weatherman. I don’t like the weatherman either, I’ve decided.

Finally finished my first read of Robert Jordan’s and Brandon Sanderson’s “A Memory of Light,” the final (and fourteenth, I might add) volume in his Wheel of Time series. This book has – literally – been three decades in the making, and to say I was both impressed with its scope and literary excellence (the book … the entire series … the whole thing) would be an understatement of … well, epic proportions. I’m looking forward to my second read, of course, which will commence later this evening.

Not that it’s often I have music on the brain or anything, but I’ve had Dire Straits – and guitarist/songwriter Mark Knopfler, in particular – on the brain lately, waking this morning with Brothers in Arms’ “Why Worry” running through my head. Beautiful song, beautiful album, and one of few, albums that is, produced in the 1980s that would rank on any Top Ten List of mine. With that in mind, my Top Ten Dire Straits’ songs of all time … 10) Lions (or maybe Tunnel of Love) 9) Down To the Waterline 8) So Far Away 7) Wild West End 6) My Parties 5) Money For Nothing 4) On Every Street 3) Sultans of Swing 2) Brothers in Arms 1) Romeo and Juliet

Who am I kidding? There’s no way to do a best of with Dire Straits … it’s all good.

Last but not least, a “Most Ridiculous ‘30 Seconds’ Post of the Week,” brought to us by none other than … Woman from Norwich.
“For the benefit of any new posters to 30 sec., here is the definition of FAKE news: “CNN”, “ABC”, “CBS”, “MSNBC”, “CURRENT”. If you want to hear both sides of an issue go to “FACTS” network (FOX).”

Now, Woman from Norwich, I have a feeling you were being sarcastic here, which I applaud. If not … well, it still made me laugh, if in a sad, disturbed kind of way.

It’s that time of year …

Thursday, January 10th, 2013
Brian Golden

Well folks, our annual Progress Chenango deadline is right around the corner and while I feel I should be worried about making said deadline, for some reason, I’m not. I suppose my previous Progress experience is part of that, as I’m feeling fairly confident about my … err … progress, to date. Granted, I’ll be spending some extra time at the office over the next eight days, but that’s nothing new when we’re talking about The Evening Sun’s biggest offering of the year. Will I be happy when it’s all said and done? Probably, yet I’m decidedly not excited for our very own Melissa DeCordova’s forthcoming retirement. We’re going to miss you, MDC.

If it’s not one thing, it’s another, as usual, even as the gun debate continues to garner national attention. I must say I enjoyed Governor Cuomo’s impassioned speech last night, although there was an awful lot of things-need-to-change-but-I’m-offering-no-real-solutions, if you ask me. And suffice it to say, I’m tired of the whole “government coming to take our guns” nonsense. No one is trying to take your guns away, people. Simmer down.

Let’s see … how about a “Most Ridiculous ‘30 Seconds’ Post of the Week,” just for the heck of it, brought to us by … Woman from Smyrna.
“MFSNB: It doesn’t do any good to report the unlicensed drivers to the cops! these drivers are friends of the cops! It just isn’t fair!!!”
Holy exclamation points, Batman, Woman from Smyrna seems worked up about this one. Sorry to say, but I sincerely doubt reporting unlicensed drivers doesn’t do any good. And I’m absolutely positive the cops are not refusing to ticket said drivers because they are their “friends.” As for the fairness of it all … well, no comment. The fact of the matter is this: it’s apparent you haven’t been keeping up with the Police Blotter, as a week doesn’t go by where I don’t type up an entry which includes a charge of second or third degree unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. Plenty of people are being caught driving without a license, trust me.

And now, alas, I am headed home. Not much going on tonight, I suppose, except more Progress. Chances are I’ll take an hour or so to wind down and read my new book (Robert Jordan’s and Brandon Sanderson’s ‘A Memory of Light’) before delving once again into my ever-expanding set of Progress notes; another quick break for a bite to eat; maybe another sit-down with my book; and then … how about some more Progress? Not that I’m complaining, considering Saturday is my birthday and it seemed wise to get as much done as possible prior to the festivities. Feliz cumpleaños to me, indeed!

So long, holidays and happy birthday to me

Friday, January 4th, 2013
Brian Golden

I don’t know about the rest of you, but this week – actually the last two weeks – have been completely out of whack for this mild-mannered newspaper reporter. This, of course, due to the holidays (and Christmas and New Year’s falling on Monday and Tuesday, respectively), and I’m sincerely hoping for a weekend of “rest and relaxation” (like there’s really any rest or relaxation for an Evening Sun employee at this time considering our Progress deadline is right around the corner). I have, however, been making strides in regards to Progress 2013, although there are a number of distractions I could do without … namely my 36th birthday (next Saturday) and the release of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson’s ‘A Memory of Light,’ a book I’ve been waiting for for more than a decade now.

Note to readers, ‘A Memory of Light’ is the final volume of Jordan’s epic fantasy, ‘The Wheel of Time,’ which consists of fourteen books (not to mention a prequel novel), hence the long wait for this, the story’s grand finale. To say I’m excited for the book would be a major understatement, and it will be difficult, to say the least, to put it down once I pick it up next week. As for my birthday … well, now that I’m on the downslope to 40 … that I’m not so excited for.

Despite that out of whack feeling, Christmas and New Year’s Day were both a great time, spent with the family up on Prospect Street. It’s not too often we manage to get all four of us together (my mom, stepfather, grandmother and I) outside of the holiday season, and it’s always a pleasure, particularly when you consider mom’s home cooking. Sure I don’t mind living off Hot Pockets and Byrne Dairy subs throughout the week, but a home cooked meal is something you won’t find this reporter turning down very often.

With that … the latest installment of “Most Ridiculous ‘30 Seconds’ Post of the Week,” brought to us by Man from Oxford.
“Assault weapons are regulated under the NFA. The problem is the libs are trying to expand the definition of assault weapons to include semi-automatic rifles. It’s another step in total gun confiscation. We all know that the big city politicians want to ban handguns, too. Next, your deer gun will be a dangerous sniper rifle if it has a scope on it.”

Needless to say, I’m sick and tired (once again) of the gun debate, and both sides of said debate are equally annoying. Nobody … and I mean nobody … has said anything about “total gun confiscation,” something that will never happen in this country even if it were the right way to deal with this situation. Relax, hunters and gun owners, while it may be more difficult at some point in the future to own that semi-automatic of your dreams, you will certainly be able to do so following whatever guidelines our fearless leaders come up with. To say “they” are trying to take away all your guns is ridiculous. And yes, I do think it should be difficult to own a gun, particularly certain types. God only knows we have enough irresponsible (not to mention just plain stupid) people out there, and I think we’ll all feel better if the guns are kept out of their hands. Enough said.

Thoughts and prayers … and other stuff

Friday, December 14th, 2012
Brian Golden

Another school shooting, this time at a Connecticut elementary school. Dozens dead, many of them young children. And no, I’m not going to turn this into another anti-gun plea, because I am not – nor have I ever been – anti-gun. I’m simply tired of the wrong people getting their hands on these weapons, an occurrence that seems to be happening more and more often. Senseless violence is all it is and there’s simply no excuse for it. My prayers and thoughts go out to the families of those impacted by this tragedy, and I pray that someday we can find a viable solution to this growing problem.

Let’s pray, as well, that something like this never happens in Chenango County, because that would be surreal to say the least, and truly heartbreaking. Then again, that’s probably how they’re feeling in Connecticut. What a world we live in.

On a brighter note, I had a chance to see the international space station zooming across the night sky last night, thanks to the good folks at WBNG who gave the heads up that it would be travelling across the west-northwest portion of said sky at approximately 6:36 p.m. And while it’s hard to believe that tiny speck of light is actually a space station (I can just hear Obi-Wan Kenobi now … “that’s no moon”), the thought of the structure hurtling through the cosmos certainly appeals to the science fiction fanatic within. Now if we could only build a true-to-scale Death Star, which would orbit the Earth protecting us from any and all future alien invasions … well, then we’d be all set.

You never know, it could happen.

And with that, this week’s “Most Ridiculous ‘30 Seconds’ Post of the Day,” brought to us by … Man from Norwich.
“Hey Brian!!!! I swear not to long ago there was an article saying Chenango County and the city are debt free. If this is true why raise taxes????”

Well, man from Norwich, I’m not sure how to answer you on this one considering I had no hand in writing either article. However, I believe one of the articles you’re referring to indeed stated Chenango County as debt free. Note to man from Norwich … the City of Norwich, while located within Chenango County, is not Chenango County. Cities, towns and counties all have their own taxes.

With that said, here’s hoping everyone has a great weekend. I’m off to Syracuse to put the finishing touches on Master Thieves’ soon to be released live disc with my musical brothers in arms, Capt. Chuck and Mr. Tozer, otherwise known as Kyle the drummer … even though his name is Eric.

Long story.

Progress … parades … and ‘libtards’

Friday, November 30th, 2012
Brian Golden

Ah, yes … it’s Progress Chenango time once again here in The Evening Sun newsroom. A time met with trepidation by the most seasoned of veteran reporters. A time when tears will fall and one’s patience and resolve will be sorely tested. A time to reflect on Chenango County’s many successes, challenges and plans for the future. Yes, my friends, it’s that time again. Progress has arrived.

And no, believe it or not, I’m not complaining. Because as our esteemed editor likes to remind my fellow reporters and I, Progress is truly the greatest thing we do year in and year out here at The Evening Sun. It may be time consuming – and even frustrating at times – but the end result is something we can all be proud of. This will be my third experience with Progress Chenango (my three year anniversary here at The Evening Sun actually falls on Friday next week) and – as always – it’s equal parts excitement and nervousness. Let’s face it, Progress is a lot of work for all involved. I will, however, go on record stating it’s all worthwhile once the finished product hits the street.

In other news, Jeff, Kevin, Shawn and myself had a great time designing and building this year’s Parade of Lights’ float last weekend, and an even better time braving the snow-filled streets of downtown Norwich participating in said parade. A big round of applause for all those who work so hard to put this wonderful event together year after year, and a special thanks to North Norwich Motors and Chenango Welding Supply for loaning us the use of a truck, trailer and generator. We couldn’t have pulled it off without you guys and your willingness to donate to the cause every year is greatly appreciated.

With that said, it’s now, once again … time for the “Most Ridiculous ‘30 Seconds’ Post of the Week,” brought to us by … Man from Sherburne.
“What is a ‘libtard’?”

Well, Man from Sherburne, you must be new to ‘30 Seconds,’ so – with that said – welcome aboard! I say new to The Evening Sun’s reader reaction column because if you don’t know what a ‘libtard’ is, you obviously haven’t been here before. As I understand it, a ‘libtard’ is anyone who supports women’s rights, education, safe and responsible use of our natural resources and believes in climate change; as well as one who supports same sex marriage, the de-criminalization of marijuana and fair and equal pay for all Americans, regardless of sex, religious belief (or lack thereof), age or race.

Me? I’m proud of my ‘libtardliness,’ personally. I call it common sense.