Archive for the 'Blogroll' Category

Stagnant approach to an escalating problem

Thursday, December 31st, 2015
Cameron Turner

By now everyone in the Norwich community has hopefully realized the very serious problem we all are facing, addiction. If not, it is time everyone jumps on board, because this problem doesn’t just involve the drug addicts and alcoholics, it encompasses everyone.

I attended, like many in the community did, the drug panel that was held at the Guernsey Memorial Library on Dec. 1, 2015. It was truly awesome to see that community room packed, with only minimal standing room in the back.

The panel of speakers included: Jennah Shreve, a Drug Court graduate; Mike Galesky, a Drug Court graduate; Sarah VanTine, a Drug Court graduate; Connie Barnes, mother of a deceased drug victim and nurse; Sarah Stewart, mother of a former user; Jim Everard, Drug Court Facilitator; Elliot Stewart, a former user and Rehab Intake Director; Joseph McBride, Chenango County District Attorney; Frank Revoir, Chenango County Judge; and John Dunkel, Probation Officer.

I think this panel was a huge step in the right direction for a Norwich community that seems to be very fed up with the addiction problem that exists.

I congratulate and thank each and every person who spoke at that panel that day.

I would also like to thank our law enforcement and court system for their ongoing efforts, but their actions are purely reactionary in nature.

However, not including these drug related arrests, and drug convictions in County Court, which happen what seems to be every few days; since this panel I have seen little to no actions taken to continue taking the steps necessary to cleaning up Norwich.

You may ask what these steps may be; a simple response is to continue to talk. A community that communicates has greater chance of tackling a problem than one who simply posts statuses on Facebook and complains constantly.

I would even go far enough to say that since no one has passed away recently from a drug overdose, as far as I know, the chatter about what needs to be done has simply faded away, as people have seemed to fall back into their Norwich bubble everyday routine.

I chose to attend the last Norwich City School Board meeting, which was held a few weeks ago at the Norwich Middle School. During the public opinion section of the meeting, I listened to one concerned individual – who also spoke at the drug panel – speak out on this matter of addiction.

Donald Chirlin, a retired Norwich City School teacher, per normal procedure, only spoke for a mere five minutes at this school board meeting. But he still spoke.

During these school board meetings, each person who wishes to speak during the public comment section is permitted to a five-minute time slot. Despite this long-standing rule, I feel this is somewhat of a metaphor for how Norwich seems to be handling their drug and addiction problem. Let them speak on the matter so it can be heard and publicized, that way it seems like a true effort is being made. However, we can only permit you to speak for five minutes because we really don’t want to hear about it, seems to be the attitude.

Chirlin spoke in regards to addressing the problem at the middle and high school level, essentially arguing that an attempt needs to be made in the schools to help prevent or reduce future addicts before graduation.

This short presentation was listened to intently by the board and a positive response was given.

Many of you who may be reading this piece, by this time might be thinking that the resources just don’t exist in Chenango County or Norwich, and you would be correct in assuming that.

But I would like to remind people that the more a topic is talked about, the more attention will be brought to it, and hopefully that will cause some more change.

Thankfully since the last time I wrote no one has passed away from overdose, but just the other day on Dec. 21, there was another major drug bust that occurred right in City of Norwich on Division Street. This time the Norwich Police Department recovered methamphetamine, as well as material used to manufacture this drug.

Speaking from personal experience when I cover County Court for The Evening Sun, there seems to be a lot of drug related burglaries recently. During the panel at the library, our District Attorney even alleged that with drug addiction comes an increase in burglaries, due to addicts stealing to support their habit.

So maybe drugs aren’t a part of your life directly, and maybe no one you know has an addiction problem. But burglaries take a toll on everyone, as they put a community in a state of fear.

So as we enter the new year of 2016 in just a few short days, it is important to remember that this addiction problem isn’t just a 2015 problem. So as the new year is fast approaching, we should remember when making our new year’s resolutions that maybe as a community we should look to correct the direction our community seems to be heading before we fail to try to hit the gym a little more as resolution.

A rant, bad drivers and a tip

Thursday, October 9th, 2014
Matt White

I love to drive; It probably should be my profession. Behind the wheel is the one place I can go and have some adequate level of peace; but every so often it’s also the very place where I exhibit the most rage.
I’m not alone, either.
Now, I’m not the “road rage” type, but no matter where you live, I think it’s safe to say you have encountered another driver and thought “what the bleep is wrong with this bleeper.” (immediate apologies if you’ve thought that about my driving).
In my many years on the road, I’ve discovered that good music, a nice sounding horn, a sunroof, and two fingers help keep my rage in check.
An any rate, getting cut off make me especially testy. I don’t understand it at all, and more than likely never will.
We’ve all been there, but for whatever reason I seem to be a magnet for drivers how would like nothing more than to be tee-boned.
Lately I’ve been cut A-LOT. After the initial usual expletives, I find myself asking “why would you do that, what’s wrong with you?” Of course my mind wants to surmise that that the perpetrator is just a jerk – but that can’t always be the case, right? Maybe that minivan with the M.A.D.D. Bumper sticker is a mother late picking up her three kids from soccer practice. Perhaps that guy in the orange Mustang is a surgeon delivering a donated heart to a baby somewhere.
Then again, maybe those folks are just inconsiderate cogs in the rat-race machine trying to get “theirs” before everyone else.
I’ll be driving along observing the posted speed limit, no one behind me and a fellow narrow-minded motorist will dart out ahead of me two seconds before I’m about to pass them.
As a result, I am forced to abruptly slam on my brakes and weave my car in the opposite direction in an effort to avoid colliding with them.
My mind wanders once in a while to a conclusion where the hands of fate and laws of physics are allowed to run rampant – like if I didn’t brake hard and swerve right to avoid a collision.
But car accidents are never good for anyone; there’ll never be a plus side or silver lining to a fender-bender, only headaches and hassle with the police, gawkers and insurances adjusters, if we’re very lucky.
If roads were wide open and nobody else used them, driving would be just as brilliant as the car ads on TV portray. Can you imagine?
What if we all had the Nuremberg ring at our disposal like the chaps across the pond on Top Gear?
What if we could had the freedom to try and get our cars up to their top speed with no recourse?
How much less stress would we endure if we could own the road and travel at our own pace. Now I’m just talking nonsense.
Unfortunately, reality is nothing like television. I live in a village…in a 15 m.p.h. School Zone.
For now I’ll have to share public roads, covered with potholes and packed with thousands of bad drivers, just like you… so we might as well make the best of it.
Let’s try and show some care and respect out there; and take the high road when you can.

If you knew me, you would know my Father

Monday, May 12th, 2014
Shaun Savarese

I was born on Long Island in Huntington, NY on May 6, 1985. My Father was a 22-year-old roofer and my Mother was a 19-year-old nursing assistant. They were young, free-spirits, born during an era of expression and united by love.

Over time, with the tribulations of parenthood and adulthood, their love for one another was tested. Personal battles with personal issues and inter-relationship differences drove a wedge between them.

I have fleeting memories of my early childhood. However meager or morose our situation was at times, I could always feel their mutual love for me.

No matter their differences or collective economic struggles, I always felt comforted and provided for.

There was always food on the table and no matter the budget, Christmas and my birthdays were made very special by my parents.

We relocated, disjointed, in 1989 to be closer to my maternal Grandparents in upstate New York. My Father, the hardest worker I know, remained on Long Island for a period of time to continue to earn money as a roofer and support his young family.

He made frequent trips upstate, by any means necessary, to be by my side.

After time, we were all together again but the relationship between the people I love the most was strained and the time came when they went their separate ways.

I have spent years in anguish over that moment. The disbandment of the bond that brought me to life. The separation of my family.

Early in life I wanted nothing more than for my family to be reunited again, in harmony and love.

The happy memories I held onto during my adolescence were hard to hold onto, I have very few now.

As my Mother and I braved the world together, without my Father, I felt a void inside.

I needed the laughter, the jokes, the smiles and the hugs. The all-encompassing joy that is my Dad.

For reasons better known by my family, being with my Father wasn’t one of the options.

We saw each other occasionally over the years and on holidays and I missed him very much.

Writing this, and thinking back to the years I spent longing for a closer relationship with my Dad makes me angry.

I’m partially mad at him, but I’m primarily upset with myself.

He did his best. He moved within ear shot of my childhood home, where my Mother, brother and Step-Father lived, and he always supported me financially.

He started a family of his own, giving me a wonderful little sister to worry about and love unconditionally.

I never wanted for much in my youth. I had the nice clothes, the trendy shoes, the newest video games; but now as I grow older and mature I understand the importance of development and growth and I would gladly exchange any of it for those memories of a complete family unit.

I don’t want to seem ungrateful, I had a great childhood that I would never trade away. I love that I have a younger brother whom I taught sports to and grew up with. I thank my Step-Father for giving me that bond with my brother, one that I will never relinquish.

I just want more memories with my Dad.

Since I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown closer to my Father. We spend as much time together as our work schedules allow.

He is the funniest person I know, he can always make me laugh.

His brand of common sense and wisdom is my favorite. A no nonsense air of intelligence earned through hard work and commitment to his craft. He has taken the past two decades and turned himself from a roofer into an expert mill wright, welder, craftsmen, builder, repairman, carpenter, husband and Father.

But this isn’t about him, it’s about me.

I am an adult now, I make my own destiny, my own memories.

I can choose to spend a Sunday afternoon watching eleven hours of football and grilling burgers with my buddies, or I can take the trip down that long familiar road and see the man who made me and learn a little about why I’m here.

I’m a man that wants something specific in life. I want those that knew me to have respect for me and a place for me in their heart. I try to love my brother and my neighbor as I love myself.

If I can forgive myself for the mistakes I have made, and learn to live without regrets, than I can forgive those who have made mistakes in my wake.

There was a period in my existence when I resented my family for not staying together, or for raising me in a “broken home.” But I have since realized that people are imperfect, life does not follow a set path and you make your own destiny.

So now, instead of calling my friends to talk sports and other equally unimportant issues, I phone my Father and try and make him laugh.

Instead of spending $4.50 on fries and shake with my buddies, I buy a box of pizza and plant myself on the couch next to my pops and endure hours of home renovation television shows.

While it took time to build what we have now; an honest, trusting, caring relationship, the only regret I have is “Why didn’t I do this sooner?

 

 

Catching up with Jerry Rice

Thursday, March 27th, 2014
Shaun Savarese
  • Shaun Savarese
  • Evening Sun Sports Editor
  • Email: ssavarese@evensun.com
  • Twitter: @evesunshaun

 

As it is Dynasty Month on NFL Network and because it just so happens to be San Francisco 49ers week, I have been watching a number of specials on Jerry Rice. Rice is unquestionably the greatest receiver to play football, if not the greatest player. His work ethic and dedication was unmatched. Though the NFL has changed to open up passing numbers, there is nobody close to the statistical collection of Rice.

The six-foot-two-inch, 200 lb., 51 year-old, amassed 1,549 catches in his career, racking up 22,895 total yards. That is nearly 15 yards per catch. Rice is just three touchdowns shy of 200 for his career.

His best season was 1995. He had 122 grabs for 1,848 yards and 15 touchdowns. His best scoring season, was with Joe Montana in 1987, when he had 22 touchdowns.

These are just a few of Jerry Rice’s staggering statistics. To see them all click here.

While watching the Rice documentaries, Steve Young appeared. Young threw Jerry more total touchdowns than Montana. Sitting in awe, Young recalls 1995 and the Super Bowl and defeating San Diego, then he recalls Rice.

Three days after Number 80 caught ten balls for 149 yards and three touchdowns to lead the San Francisco 49ers to a win in Super Bowl XXIX, he was back at work. Young went to Candlestick park three days after the big game and nobody was there. He made his way back to the field and saw something unthinkable. Jerry Rice was on the field running routes.

That’s what defined him, his work ethic. I remember reading stories about his intense workouts and drills. He caught hundreds of balls from a left-handed assistant coach to gain a feel for the left handed spin of quarterback Steve Young.

His training sessions would begin earlier and occur more often than 90 percent of the league, and his attention to detail was unparalleled.

Starting a new job is one of the most stressful things a person can undertake. It can be difficult to remain motivated and at times I feel the euphoria of busyness cut towards anxiety. Scheduling, organizing, managing my time… in a new place, with new faces… its tough.

But, Jerry Rice worked hard year round. When he came to the league he set a goal for himself, he wanted to be the best football player he could be. Growing up, Jerry was my idol. I loved to watch him outperform everyone he lined up against. In an era in the league defined by toughness and grit, he was graceful. Gliding into position, under pinpoint passes, catching balls in traffic, deflecting hits that would be flagged today, and more often than most, ending up in the endzone.

Steve Young admitted that Rice was in the conversation for greatest of all-time, but he offered an explanation. Maybe when after you’ve accomplished a feat, a grand feat, you don’t stop working. That’s what Rice was doing three days after winning the Super Bowl.

I remember reading an article in Sports Illustrated about how quickly Rice recovered from an injury, and one part stuck with me. He was so fed up with being stagnant and unable to rehab, that he snuck into the garage in the dead of night and cut off his own cast. He was in physical therapy the next week, working harder than ever.

So, as I venture into the sports editors’ realm of early mornings at the office and long nights in the field. I look to my mentor, Jerry Rice and keep working.