Jeff's Reporter Blog

Editor’s Notebook: 1/3/13

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
Jeff Genung
• Happy New Year! Major fail, Mayans. Got us all worked up for nothing.
• Spent a good portion of New Year’s Day at Frank Revoir’s oath of office ceremony at the Chenango County Courthouse. Congratulations to Chenango’s newest county, family and surrogate court judge. It was impressive to see, right in front of you, the lineage of Chenango’s fine line of jurists – Irad Ingraham, Kevin Dowd, Howie Sullivan, and the “newer” generation of Elizabeth Garry and Judge Revoir. While this summer’s race often got mired in the rigors of smalltown politics, it was easy to forget, for a moment, just how important – and auspicious – this position really is. Tuesday’s ceremony brought that home for me, and the packed courtroom in attendance. Congratulations again, Your Honor. It was a hard-fought race, but now the real work begins …
• Speaking of real work, a familiar January cloud is hanging over The Evening Sun newsroom – the deadline for Progress Chenango 2013 looms ever near. If you encounter one of my trusty reporters over the next couple weeks, treadly lightly; they’re more irritable than usual. And once they’re done, stay clear of me for a couple weeks as I slave to put all 10 sections together for you. All kidding and kvetching aside, we’re always quite proud of our annual Progress editions – they show both the best work we can do, and the best Chenango County has to offer. Look for Progress Chenango 2013 in The Evening Sun the week of Jan. 28 to Feb. 1.

• Happy New Year! Major fail, Mayans. Got us all worked up for nothing.

• Spent a good portion of New Year’s Day at Frank Revoir’s oath of office ceremony at the Chenango County Courthouse. Congratulations to Chenango’s newest county, family and surrogate court judge. It was impressive to see, right in front of you, the lineage of Chenango’s fine line of jurists – Irad Ingraham, Kevin Dowd, Howie Sullivan, and the “newer” generation of Elizabeth Garry and Judge Revoir. While this summer’s race often got mired in the rigors of smalltown politics, it was easy to forget, for a moment, just how important – and auspicious – this position really is. Tuesday’s ceremony brought that home for me, and the packed courtroom in attendance. Congratulations again, Your Honor. It was a hard-fought race, but now the real work begins …

• Speaking of real work, a familiar January cloud is hanging over The Evening Sun newsroom – the deadline for Progress Chenango 2013 looms ever near. If you encounter one of my trusty reporters over the next couple weeks, treadly lightly; they’re more irritable than usual. And once they’re done, stay clear of me for a couple weeks as I slave to put all 10 sections together for you. All kidding and kvetching aside, we’re always quite proud of our annual Progress editions – they show both the best work we can do, and the best Chenango County has to offer. Look for Progress Chenango 2013 in The Evening Sun the week of Jan. 28 to Feb. 1.

Editor’s Notebook: 12/18/12

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012
Jeff Genung
• So much sadness and horror in Connecticut on Friday that it almost made me glad we don’t publish over the weekend. Although media-bashing is a popular sport post-any tragedy, I feel confident in speaking for my journalistic brethren when I say that no one “enjoys” this kind of reporting. Misinformation leaked out, lines of propriety were both blurred and crossed, but I can assure you no one was having the proverbial “field day” among the throngs of media that descended upon Newtown that day or since. Sometimes, this job is as ugly as the things to which we bear witness.
• I’m not even sure what a “field day” is, really. Pretty sure I’ve never had one.
• On a brighter note, I’m going to pour myself a stiff glass of eggnog tonight and “help” St. Nick respond personally to all the “Letters to Santa” we’ve received on his behalf at The Evening Sun this year. My trusty staff of elves helped with the first batch Friday afternoon (every kiddie who writes in gets a personalized response), and tonight I’ll bat clean up. So far, the best request was “I want my mom to be skinny.” There’s only so much Santa can do, kid. That, and the preponderance of requests (seriously, there were multiple) for duct tape. Duct tape. For Christmas. Not even sure what to do with that one.
• Every letter we received by deadline (yesterday) will be published in a special section this Friday, the last of our “Delivering Christmas” editions. It’s a keeper, for sure.

• So much sadness and horror in Connecticut on Friday that it almost made me glad we don’t publish over the weekend. Although media-bashing is a popular sport post-any tragedy, I feel confident in speaking for my journalistic brethren when I say that no one “enjoys” this kind of reporting. Misinformation leaked out, lines of propriety were both blurred and crossed, but I can assure you no one was having the proverbial “field day” among the throngs of media that descended upon Newtown that day or since. Sometimes, this job is as ugly as the things to which we bear witness.

• I’m not even sure what a “field day” is, really. Pretty sure I’ve never had one.

• On a brighter note, I’m going to pour myself a stiff glass of eggnog tonight and “help” St. Nick respond personally to all the “Letters to Santa” we’ve received on his behalf at The Evening Sun this year. My trusty staff of elves helped with the first batch Friday afternoon (every kiddie who writes in gets a personalized response), and tonight I’ll bat clean up. So far, the best request was “I want my mom to be skinny.” There’s only so much Santa can do, kid. That, and the preponderance of requests (seriously, there were multiple) for duct tape. Duct tape. For Christmas. Not even sure what to do with that one.

• Every letter we received by deadline (yesterday) will be published in a special section this Friday, the last of our “Delivering Christmas” editions. It’s a keeper, for sure.

Editor’s Notebook: 12/6/12

Thursday, December 6th, 2012
Jeff Genung
• So Kevin Doonan comes into my office this afternoon to tell me about a story he’s working on … a local non-profit organization is having an unusual fundraiser, selling some strange “Mexican shrubbery.” Poor Kevin looked a little perplexed about their seemingly odd choice, but it didn’t take me long to figure out what he was talking about – poinsettias. They’re selling poinsettias. Seems city boy Kevin (he lives in Smyrna, mind you) had never heard of this oddly-named, exotic plant – so he did like any kid would do these days and Googled it. Hence the “Mexican shrubbery” definition, I imagine. Feliz Navidad and pass the tequila, please.
• Speaking of Christmas, The Evening Sun has once again partnered with our friends at the North Pole to coordinate the local “Letters to Santa” drive. Children of all ages are invited to write their Christmas wish lists to Santa Claus in care of this newspaper, which we’ll then forward on to St. Nick & Co. at the North Pole to be sorted into the “naughty” and “nice” categories. In order to get them up north on time, we need to receive them here no later than Monday, Dec. 17. On that Friday, Dec. 21, we’ll publish a special section with all the little missives – proofreading withheld. Best part? Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope and we’ll make sure Santa responds personally to each and every child! Mail in those letters to Santa Claus, c/o The Evening Sun, PO Box 151, Norwich NY 13815. If you prefer to do things digitally, you can also email your letters to Santa – santa@evesun.com.
• And still speaking of Christmas, I’m headed down to Oxford tonight to do a review of “The Last Doll,” an original musical written by the late Fred Dankert, an old theater buddy of mine, and scored by Diane Thorne. Fred’s talent is greatly missed on the local thespian scene, and I regretted that I didn’t get to see this show the first time the Oxford Civic Theater produced it, in 2008. Tonight, I’ll get my chance – check my column tomorrow to see what I thought; the show is this weekend at the OACS auditorium.

• So Kevin Doonan comes into my office this afternoon to tell me about a story he’s working on … a local non-profit organization is having an unusual fundraiser, selling some strange “Mexican shrubbery.” Poor Kevin looked a little perplexed about their seemingly odd choice, but it didn’t take me long to figure out what he was talking about – poinsettias. They’re selling poinsettias. Seems city boy Kevin (he lives in Smyrna, mind you) had never heard of this oddly-named, exotic plant – so he did like any kid would do these days and Googled it. Hence the “Mexican shrubbery” definition, I imagine. Feliz Navidad and pass the tequila, please.

• Speaking of Christmas, The Evening Sun has once again partnered with our friends at the North Pole to coordinate the local “Letters to Santa” drive. Children of all ages are invited to write their Christmas wish lists to Santa Claus in care of this newspaper, which we’ll then forward on to St. Nick & Co. at the North Pole to be sorted into the “naughty” and “nice” categories. In order to get them up north on time, we need to receive them here no later than Monday, Dec. 17. On that Friday, Dec. 21, we’ll publish a special section with all the little missives – proofreading withheld. Best part? Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope and we’ll make sure Santa responds personally to each and every child! Mail in those letters to Santa Claus, c/o The Evening Sun, PO Box 151, Norwich NY 13815. If you prefer to do things digitally, you can also email your letters to Santa – santa@evesun.com.

• And still speaking of Christmas, I’m headed down to Oxford tonight to do a review of “The Last Doll,” an original musical written by the late Fred Dankert, an old theater buddy of mine, and scored by Diane Thorne. Fred’s talent is greatly missed on the local thespian scene, and I regretted that I didn’t get to see this show the first time the Oxford Civic Theater produced it, in 2008. Tonight, I’ll get my chance – check my column tomorrow to see what I thought; the show is this weekend at the OACS auditorium.

Editor’s Notebook: 11/26/12

Monday, November 26th, 2012
Jeff Genung
• A “Christmas to Remember” alright!! The 18th annual Saturday-after-Thanksgiving parade in downtown Norwich was certainly one for the books. While I’ve taken part in each and every one of those parades (costumed character, sign-bearer, balloon-wrangler, judge and float-rider), I’m sure that the Parade of 2012 will always stand out in my memory … as the year it snowed like a %&^@#$!
• OK, so we were spoiled a bit by last year’s balmy 60-plus degree temperatures, but what a difference a day makes! Heck, what a difference 24 hours makes – especially in upstate New York! You can bet The Evening Sun crew was cursing Mother Nature’s sudden change in temperament from one day to the next as we toiled to construct this year’s “Delivering Christmas” float on Saturday, particularly because we barely even needed to wear jackets on Friday! While the first measurable snowfall was a whopper for those who marched (or rode) in Saturday’s parade, it must have been perfectly magical for those watching it – especially the little ones. “We need a little Christmas, right this very minute,” Auntie Mame was fond of saying, and boy did we get it. This is the stuff memories are made of, folks – can’t complain about that a bit.
• There are so many people, businesses and organizations to thank for helping us put together this parade year after year that my frost-bitten fingers would fall the rest of the way off if I were to type them all here, but suffice it to say that we at The Evening Sun and Pennysaver are eternally grateful for the support we get from the Chenango County community in making the Parade of Lights happen every year. Again, it’s a time-honored tradition that makes memories of a lifetime for young and old alike, and we’re thrilled to be part of it. Congratulations to our own Mike McCormack and his crew of volunteers for pulling this off yet again.
• I’d be remiss if I didn’t congratulate my own Evening Sun crew here, too – Brian Golden, Shawn Magrath, Kevin Doonan and I spent the greater part of Saturday duct-taping that “Delivering Christmas” float together (and freezing our collective buns off), and were rewarded with a 4th place finish from the judges in our category. Hold your applause – Brian wants a plaque!

• A “Christmas to Remember” alright!! The 18th annual Saturday-after-Thanksgiving parade in downtown Norwich was certainly one for the books. While I’ve taken part in each and every one of those parades (costumed character, sign-bearer, balloon-wrangler, judge and float-rider), I’m sure that the Parade of 2012 will always stand out in my memory … as the year it snowed like a %&^@#$!

• OK, so we were spoiled a bit by last year’s balmy 60-plus degree temperatures, but what a difference a day makes! Heck, what a difference 24 hours makes – especially in upstate New York! You can bet The Evening Sun crew was cursing Mother Nature’s sudden change in temperament from one day to the next as we toiled to construct this year’s “Delivering Christmas” float on Saturday, particularly because we barely even needed to wear jackets on Friday! While the first measurable snowfall was a whopper for those who marched (or rode) in Saturday’s parade, it must have been perfectly magical for those watching it – especially the little ones. “We need a little Christmas, right this very minute,” Auntie Mame was fond of saying, and boy did we get it. This is the stuff memories are made of, folks – can’t complain about that a bit.

• There are so many people, businesses and organizations to thank for helping us put together this parade year after year that my frost-bitten fingers would fall the rest of the way off if I were to type them all here, but suffice it to say that we at The Evening Sun and Pennysaver are eternally grateful for the support we get from the Chenango County community in making the Parade of Lights happen every year. Again, it’s a time-honored tradition that makes memories of a lifetime for young and old alike, and we’re thrilled to be part of it. Congratulations to our own Mike McCormack and his crew of volunteers for pulling this off yet again.

• I’d be remiss if I didn’t congratulate my own Evening Sun crew here, too – Brian Golden, Shawn Magrath, Kevin Doonan and I spent the greater part of Saturday duct-taping that “Delivering Christmas” float together (and freezing our collective buns off), and were rewarded with a 4th place finish from the judges in our category. Hold your applause – Brian wants a plaque!

Editor’s Notebook: 11/12/12

Monday, November 12th, 2012
Jeff Genung
• The Superbowl for reporters, Election Night, has come and long since gone … and I’m just now able to see the top of my desk (I speak metaphorically, of course). Amidst all the armchair quarterbacking going on since, on both the local and national levels, I am eternally grateful once again that we were given the choice – on the bench, in Congress, in the White House – as to who we want to represent our interests.
• That said, I just now chucked my dog-eared copy of “The Judicial Campaign Ethics Handbook,” that lively tome that suggested how McBride, Revoir and DiStefano should have (and in most cases did) comport themselves over the last nine months or so. I’ll not be missing that sitting in my inbox. I could probably write a book, or at least a chapter, about what went on in the local political arena (and in this newsroom) over the course of this hard-fought campaign, and maybe I will, someday. To say the least – and that’s all I can muster right now – it was an interesting ride.
• Just when I thought ‘30 Seconds’ would continue to be nothing but Obama/Romney/Scooters/Aliens/Fracking for the foreseeable future, a fight breaks out at Norwich High School, and unfortunately a student is hospitalized with severe injuries. Of course, all of a sudden those aforementioned armchair quarterbacks are experts on student discipline and behavioral psychology – but I’m guessing there are so many sides to this story that no one will ever know what really happened. All we know is the sad, sad result. Hopefully, parents, teachers, students and administrators alike can use the aftermath of this event to construct a positive outcome – one of acceptance, tolerance, civility and understanding. No one ever wins the blame game, folks.
• On a lighter note, had an awesome time at the Chocolate Ball at the Canasawacta Country Club Saturday night! The biennial gala is a fundraiser for the Chenango Arts Council, a cause that many of you know is near and dear to my heart. Hats off to the organizers (and decorators) of this fantastic event – all accounts say it was a record-breaker in attendance and fundraising for this worthy cause.  And to anyone who might have been offended when I said, “You look like a drinker …” as I was selling raffle tickets for the “Bucket o’ Booze,” well … remember it was for charity!

• The Superbowl for reporters, Election Night, has come and long since gone … and I’m just now able to see the top of my desk (I speak metaphorically, of course). Amidst all the armchair quarterbacking going on since, on both the local and national levels, I am eternally grateful once again that we were given the choice – on the bench, in Congress, in the White House – as to who we want to represent our interests.

• That said, I just now chucked my dog-eared copy of “The Judicial Campaign Ethics Handbook,” that lively tome that suggested how McBride, Revoir and DiStefano should have (and in most cases did) comport themselves over the last nine months or so. I’ll not be missing that sitting in my inbox. I could probably write a book, or at least a chapter, about what went on in the local political arena (and in this newsroom) over the course of this hard-fought campaign, and maybe I will, someday. To say the least – and that’s all I can muster right now – it was an interesting ride.

• Just when I thought ‘30 Seconds’ would continue to be nothing but Obama/Romney/Scooters/Aliens/Fracking for the foreseeable future, a fight breaks out at Norwich High School, and unfortunately a student is hospitalized with severe injuries. Of course, all of a sudden those aforementioned armchair quarterbacks are experts on student discipline and behavioral psychology – but I’m guessing there are so many sides to this story that no one will ever know what really happened. All we know is the sad, sad result. Hopefully, parents, teachers, students and administrators alike can use the aftermath of this event to construct a positive outcome – one of acceptance, tolerance, civility and understanding. No one ever wins the blame game, folks.

• On a lighter note, had an awesome time at the Chocolate Ball at the Canasawacta Country Club Saturday night! The biennial gala is a fundraiser for the Chenango Arts Council, a cause that many of you know is near and dear to my heart. Hats off to the organizers (and decorators) of this fantastic event – all accounts say it was a record-breaker in attendance and fundraising for this worthy cause.  And to anyone who might have been offended when I said, “You look like a drinker …” as I was selling raffle tickets for the “Bucket o’ Booze,” well … remember it was for charity!

Editor’s Notebook: The Hurricane Sandy Edition

Monday, October 29th, 2012
Jeff Genung
• Sooo … what’s new? How about that weather?
• The big news – the only news – is Hurricane Sandy, of course, and we here at The Evening Sun are right on top of it. Maybe not in that stand-outside-in-the-middle-of-it-on-camera-to-prove-you’re-really-there TV weatherman kind of way, but still. Brian Golden, our intrepid police/fire/natural disaster beat reporter, will be on the job all night, literally – he’s camping out in the ES newsroom here on Lackawanna Avenue, promising to bring you online (here, Facebook and Twitter) updates as the storm progresses. He’ll be braving the winds back and forth between our office and the emergency operations center on East Main to keep you updated.
• That will last as long as the power does, of course. After that, we’re pretty much at a loss. We fully plan on publishing a paper Tuesday (single-section to avoid timing issues), but without power, that obviously won’t be possible. There may come a time tomorrow when, if power is not restored, we will have to give up on Tuesday’s print edition entirely, and focus our efforts on web updates and on putting out a regular edition Wednesday. If that happens, it’ll be the first time in anyone’s memory (and possibly, ever) that we’ve failed to put out a print edition. Since 1891. Here’s hoping we don’t break that streak tomorrow.
• Been bombarded with closing notices all afternoon, everything from Planned Parenthood to GHS. Aside from schools (and the county itself), we won’t be able to keep up with all those closings individually. Bottom line: Use your head. Roads are closed officially between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. tomorrow, and God only knows what will happen after that. When in doubt, call. Chances are, if it’s nasty out, it’s closed.
• OK, that’s enough for me … I’m gonna head home, and hopefully that’s where you are, too! I’ll be keeping abreast of things electronically, and helping Brian give you updates as long as we can tonight. Stay safe, Chenango!
• And before I sign off … My heartfelt gratitude and well wishes to the men and women who will be out serving the populace in emergency services tonight. You are truly the real heroes of Chenango County!

• Sooo … what’s new? How about that weather?

• The big news – the only news – is Hurricane Sandy, of course, and we here at The Evening Sun are right on top of it. Maybe not in that stand-outside-in-the-middle-of-it-on-camera-to-prove-you’re-really-there TV weatherman kind of way, but still. Brian Golden, our intrepid police/fire/natural disaster beat reporter, will be on the job all night, literally – he’s camping out in the ES newsroom here on Lackawanna Avenue, promising to bring you online (here, Facebook and Twitter) updates as the storm progresses. He’ll be braving the winds back and forth between our office and the emergency operations center on East Main to keep you updated.

• That will last as long as the power does, of course. After that, we’re pretty much at a loss. We fully plan on publishing a paper Tuesday (single-section to avoid timing issues), but without power, that obviously won’t be possible. There may come a time tomorrow when, if power is not restored, we will have to give up on Tuesday’s print edition entirely, and focus our efforts on web updates and on putting out a regular edition Wednesday. If that happens, it’ll be the first time in anyone’s memory (and possibly, ever) that we’ve failed to put out a print edition. Since 1891. Here’s hoping we don’t break that streak tomorrow.

• Been bombarded with closing notices all afternoon, everything from Planned Parenthood to GHS. Aside from schools (and the county itself), we won’t be able to keep up with all those closings individually. Bottom line: Use your head. Roads are closed officially between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. tomorrow, and God only knows what will happen after that. When in doubt, call. Chances are, if it’s nasty out, it’s closed.

• OK, that’s enough for me … I’m gonna head home, and hopefully that’s where you are, too! I’ll be keeping abreast of things electronically, and helping Brian give you updates as long as we can tonight. Stay safe, Chenango!

• And before I sign off … My heartfelt gratitude and well wishes to the men and women who will be out serving the populace in emergency services tonight. You are truly the real heroes of Chenango County!

Editor’s Notebook: 10/16/12

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
Jeff Genung
• Got a press release today advertising a “Spookghetti” dinner coming up for near Halloween. I have officially heard it all.
• Speaking of hearing, and believing  … a ‘30 Seconds’ caller online said she’d heard a rumor that Pumpkin Fest wasn’t “allowing” pumpkins this year because it was too early – and believed it. I know there’s a sucker born every minute, but really? Although there was a decided dearth of jack-o-lanterns at this year’s festival, do you really think they’d be banned altogether in a festival which bears their name? She also claimed that this year’s festival wasn’t advertised enough, but I’ll save the “you can lead a horse to water” lecture for another time.
• Bravo should totally do a “Real Housewives of Chenango County.” Now that I’ve sadly sat through three full hours of the “reunion” special for “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” (which should basically just be called Six Screaming Harpies on a Couch), I think the reality network has sufficiently mined the psychoses of this group. Honey Boo Boo, watch out … I know some Chenango “housewives” who could really put us in the national zeitgeist.
• Can’t believe we ran a front page story on the Christmas Parade already. Yes, folks, it’s pretty much that time of year again. In respect to allowing Thanksgiving its due, our “Parade of Lights” actually takes place the Saturday after Turkey Day, effectively ushering in the Christmas season locally. We’ve been a proud sponsor (and chief organizer) of this parade here at Snyder Communications for 18 years now … and it’s grown into quite the holiday tradition. For spectators, the parade takes place at 6:30 on Nov. 24 … but for float-makers, now is the time! See the details in today’s story (and the ongoing ads in the paper) to get your organization on track for a spot in the parade today!

• Got a press release today advertising a “Spookghetti” dinner coming up for near Halloween. I have officially heard it all.

• Speaking of hearing, and believing  … a ‘30 Seconds’ caller online said she’d heard a rumor that Pumpkin Fest wasn’t “allowing” pumpkins this year because it was too early – and believed it. I know there’s a sucker born every minute, but really? Although there was a decided dearth of jack-o-lanterns at this year’s festival, do you really think they’d be banned altogether in a festival which bears their name? She also claimed that this year’s festival wasn’t advertised enough, but I’ll save the “you can lead a horse to water” lecture for another time.

• Bravo should totally do a “Real Housewives of Chenango County.” Now that I’ve sadly sat through three full hours of the “reunion” special for “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” (which should basically just be called Six Screaming Harpies on a Couch), I think the reality network has sufficiently mined the psychoses of this group. Honey Boo Boo, watch out … I know some Chenango “housewives” who could really put us in the national zeitgeist.

• Can’t believe we ran a front page story on the Christmas Parade already. Yes, folks, it’s pretty much that time of year again. In respect to allowing Thanksgiving its due, our “Parade of Lights” actually takes place the Saturday after Turkey Day, effectively ushering in the Christmas season locally. We’ve been a proud sponsor (and chief organizer) of this parade here at Snyder Communications for 18 years now … and it’s grown into quite the holiday tradition. For spectators, the parade takes place at 6:30 on Nov. 24 … but for float-makers, now is the time! See the details in today’s story (and the ongoing ads in the paper) to get your organization on track for a spot in the parade today!

Editor’s Notebook: 10/15/12

Monday, October 15th, 2012
Jeff Genung
• We cover a lot of fires here at The Evening Sun, of course, most of them tragic – but none so heartbreaking as those that hit close to home. And pretty much every Friday afternoon, the ES crew calls Fred’s Inn home for a few hours. It’s alway sad to see a local business lose so much so quickly, but the Fred’s Inn fire Sunday was a particularly heartfelt tragedy for me and my intrepid reporting team. For the better part of the 2000s, our weekly staff lunch ritual has alternated between the Canasawacta Country Club in the warmer months and Fred’s Inn in the colder (which as you know is not an equal split around here). While our hearts sank with news of yesterday’s fire, we can’t even imagine what the Cirello family, its employees and friends must be going through with such a tremendous loss. Here’s hoping that the majority of the building can be saved, a local landmark restored, and our favorite watering hole … err, restaurant … back in business soon.
• This weekend was also the 14th Annual Pumpkin Festival. I’m not going to lie and say I went, but I did look at Frank’s pictures. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it is for this festival’s organizers to keep things going year after year, as Mother Nature certainly gave this event a beating over the last dozen or so. This time, they moved it up a couple weeks, hoping for better weather. That, they got. Unfortunately, it also meant taking most of the “pumpkins” out of Pumpkin Festival, and cutting the co-occurring YMCA Halloween Parade – one of its biggest draws – from the festivities (that one will still happen, but closer to … well, Halloween). Still, there were plenty of activities, rides, games and contests – all in the spirit of autumn. So, my hat’s off to this year’s festival organizers – volunteers, all – for thinking outside the box and trying to keep this family-friendly festival going.
• Here’s a cool one. Normally, Chenango’s own paparazzi Frank Speziale is behind the camera, but every once in a while someone will train the lens on him. This time, it was Patricia Fiske of Coventry’s hometown website, www.thecoventryvillegazette.com. Last week, Patricia sent me a few links to video she’d taken during Coventryville’s most recent Civil War commemoration event, and Frank, while doing his job for me, appears in some of the clips. Talk about rallying the troops, Frank! Check out the videos on YouTube by clicking here.

• We cover a lot of fires here at The Evening Sun, of course, most of them tragic – but none so heartbreaking as those that hit close to home. And pretty much every Friday afternoon, the ES crew calls Fred’s Inn home for a few hours. It’s alway sad to see a local business lose so much so quickly, but the Fred’s Inn fire Sunday was a particularly heartfelt tragedy for me and my intrepid reporting team. For the better part of the 2000s, our weekly staff lunch ritual has alternated between the Canasawacta Country Club in the warmer months and Fred’s Inn in the colder (which as you know is not an equal split around here). While our hearts sank with news of yesterday’s fire, we can’t even imagine what the Cirello family, its employees and friends must be going through with such a tremendous loss. Here’s hoping that the majority of the building can be saved, a local landmark restored, and our favorite watering hole … err, restaurant … back in business soon.

• This weekend was also the 14th Annual Pumpkin Festival. I’m not going to lie and say I went, but I did look at Frank’s pictures. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it is for this festival’s organizers to keep things going year after year, as Mother Nature certainly gave this event a beating over the last dozen or so. This time, they moved it up a couple weeks, hoping for better weather. That, they got. Unfortunately, it also meant taking most of the “pumpkins” out of Pumpkin Festival, and cutting the co-occurring YMCA Halloween Parade – one of its biggest draws – from the festivities (that one will still happen, but closer to … well, Halloween). Still, there were plenty of activities, rides, games and contests – all in the spirit of autumn. So, my hat’s off to this year’s festival organizers – volunteers, all – for thinking outside the box and trying to keep this family-friendly festival going.

• Here’s a cool one. Normally, Chenango’s own paparazzi Frank Speziale is behind the camera, but every once in a while someone will train the lens on him. This time, it was Patricia Fiske of Coventry’s hometown website, www.thecoventryvillegazette.com. Last week, Patricia sent me a few links to video she’d taken during Coventryville’s most recent Civil War commemoration event, and Frank, while doing his job for me, appears in some of the clips. Talk about rallying the troops, Frank! Check out the videos on YouTube by clicking here.

Editor’s Notebook: 10/1/12

Monday, October 1st, 2012
Jeff Genung
• Figured it’s a new month, I should probably see if I remember how to blog …
• Been a while since I last checked in here, but what an eventful month September was! From Colorscape to the judicial race, a shootout in Pitcher and the murder of a former S-E principal, to the 175th anniversary of the Chenango County Courthouse, we certainly haven’t lacked for news lately.
• Speaking of September’s primary, it’s becoming apparent that it bears repeating … the race (s) isn’t over! It seems a lot of people think Frank (or the winning nominee in any other race) actually won the election, but of course that’s not the case. We’ve still got a few weeks to go before the Nov. 6 general election – that’s when we’ll see who really won! I say this, of course, to the ‘30 Seconds’ crowd who seems to think that races were decided in September. And that the world is flat and Obama was born in Baghdad, but that’s another column.
• Someone wrote a Letter to the Editor that we received mid- last week. Today, I got two inquiries as to when that letter would be in – neither from the author of said letter. Things that make you go hmm … In any event, folks, it usually takes a few days for a letter to get in; be patient. Especially in recent months – it seems that writing me letters has once again become very popular. And I’m thrilled; keep ‘em coming!
• I had the great privilege of attending the 175th Anniversary Celebration for the Chenango County Courthouse on Saturday, as did a couple hundred of you. I was proud to be present for such a historic occasion, and for having the opportunity to produce a special section of The Evening Sun last Thursday highlighting the courthouse’s storied history and remarkable preservation. Thanks to everyone who helped me put that together – Kevin Doonan, Brian Golden, Jill O’Hara and Brad Carpenter on our end, and County Historian Pat Evans and Public Facilities Director Julie Gates. If you missed it in last Thursday’s paper, we gave them out for free by the truckload at Saturday’s event. Hats off too, to the 175th Anniversary Committee, led by the Hon. Howard Sullivan. Saturday’s ceremony was a fitting and dignified tribute to what truly is “the jewel of Chenango County.”

• Figured it’s a new month, I should probably see if I remember how to blog …

• Been a while since I last checked in here, but what an eventful month September was! From Colorscape to the judicial race, a shootout in Pitcher and the murder of a former S-E principal, to the 175th anniversary of the Chenango County Courthouse, we certainly haven’t lacked for news lately.

• Speaking of September’s primary, it’s becoming apparent that it bears repeating … the race (s) isn’t over! It seems a lot of people think Frank (or the winning nominee in any other race) actually won the election, but of course that’s not the case. We’ve still got a few weeks to go before the Nov. 6 general election – that’s when we’ll see who really won! I say this, of course, to the ‘30 Seconds’ crowd who seems to think that races were decided in September. And that the world is flat and Obama was born in Baghdad, but that’s another column.

• Someone wrote a Letter to the Editor that we received mid- last week. Today, I got two inquiries as to when that letter would be in – neither from the author of said letter. Things that make you go hmm … In any event, folks, it usually takes a few days for a letter to get in; be patient. Especially in recent months – it seems that writing me letters has once again become very popular. And I’m thrilled; keep ‘em coming!

• I had the great privilege of attending the 175th Anniversary Celebration for the Chenango County Courthouse on Saturday, as did a couple hundred of you. I was proud to be present for such a historic occasion, and for having the opportunity to produce a special section of The Evening Sun last Thursday highlighting the courthouse’s storied history and remarkable preservation. Thanks to everyone who helped me put that together – Kevin Doonan, Brian Golden, Jill O’Hara and Brad Carpenter on our end, and County Historian Pat Evans and Public Facilities Director Julie Gates. If you missed it in last Thursday’s paper, we gave them out for free by the truckload at Saturday’s event. Hats off too, to the 175th Anniversary Committee, led by the Hon. Howard Sullivan. Saturday’s ceremony was a fitting and dignified tribute to what truly is “the jewel of Chenango County.”

Editor’s Notebook: 8/23/12

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
Jeff Genung
• And just as soon as the Fair is over, Blues Fest has come and gone. Colorscape is right around the corner, and before you know it we’ll be writing about Pumpkin Fest. Tempus fugit.
• The Evening Sun welcomed its newest reporter this week: Kevin Doonan joined us on Monday. He’s a BU grad by way of Sherburne-Earlville, and you’ll be reading more about him as soon as I get his blog set up! Coverage-wise, Kevin will be handling our “small towns” beat – primarily Oxford, Sherburne and Greene, all important areas circulation-wise that we’re looking for focus on more. Follow our cub reporter on Twitter, @evesunkevin.
• As you’ve probably noticed by now, The Evening Sun will be hosting a Candidate Forum for the three judicial candidates – Diane DiStefano, Joe McBride and Frank Revoir. It’ll take place on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Norwich High School auditorium. That’s a week before Primary Day, so it’ll be the perfect chance to see all three candidates live and in person before making your decision (if you’re a registered Republican, Conservative or Independence party member, that is – the rest of us have to wait until November). Due to restrictions governing judicial races, this won’t be an open forum – I’ll be asking the questions (and I’m limited in what I can ask, before you accuse me of going easy on them). There will be an opportunity for you to mingle with the candidates after the formal program, though. I’m glad we got all three on board (for the record, all were enthusiastic about the opportunity) and I look forward to seeing a big crowd there.
• Unfortunately the Associated Press did not provide me with the nude pictures of Prince Harry snapped on his recent Vegas jaunt. Sooo wanted to write that “Crown Jewels” headline. I’ll leave that to the Post.
• Youth Days! The 51st annual celebration kicks off with the Miss Youth Days Pageant over in New Berlin tonight. We’ll have a full preview of the weekend’s festivities in tomorrow’s edition. By the way, Brian Golden will be our new New Berlin reporter, covering the community and school for both The Evening Sun and our weekly newspaper, The Gazette. I’m confident he’ll be giving that area the attention that it deserves, and he’s excited about the prospect.

• And just as soon as the Fair is over, Blues Fest has come and gone. Colorscape is right around the corner, and before you know it we’ll be writing about Pumpkin Fest. Tempus fugit.

The Evening Sun welcomed its newest reporter this week: Kevin Doonan joined us on Monday. He’s a BU grad by way of Sherburne-Earlville, and you’ll be reading more about him as soon as I get his blog set up! Coverage-wise, Kevin will be handling our “small towns” beat – primarily Oxford, Sherburne and Greene, all important areas circulation-wise that we’re looking for focus on more. Follow our cub reporter on Twitter, @evesunkevin.

• As you’ve probably noticed by now, The Evening Sun will be hosting a Candidate Forum for the three judicial candidates – Diane DiStefano, Joe McBride and Frank Revoir. It’ll take place on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Norwich High School auditorium. That’s a week before Primary Day, so it’ll be the perfect chance to see all three candidates live and in person before making your decision (if you’re a registered Republican, Conservative or Independence party member, that is – the rest of us have to wait until November). Due to restrictions governing judicial races, this won’t be an open forum – I’ll be asking the questions (and I’m limited in what I can ask, before you accuse me of going easy on them). There will be an opportunity for you to mingle with the candidates after the formal program, though. I’m glad we got all three on board (for the record, all were enthusiastic about the opportunity) and I look forward to seeing a big crowd there.

• Unfortunately the Associated Press did not provide me with the nude pictures of Prince Harry snapped on his recent Vegas jaunt. Sooo wanted to write that “Crown Jewels” headline. I’ll leave that to the Post.

• Youth Days! The 51st annual celebration kicks off with the Miss Youth Days Pageant over in New Berlin tonight. We’ll have a full preview of the weekend’s festivities in tomorrow’s edition. By the way, Brian Golden will be our new New Berlin reporter, covering the community and school for both The Evening Sun and our weekly newspaper, The Gazette. I’m confident he’ll be giving that area the attention that it deserves, and he’s excited about the prospect.