July 22, 2011

From newspaper guy to college classroom to newspaper guy again

GENEVA, New York, USA - When I returned from Mexico in April, I cranked up the writing machine and started doing freelance work for the weekly Watkins Glen Review, The Elmira Star-Gazette and doing some magazine work. (An article comes out in Dog Fancy in its September issue about Mia, the pooch rescued by Sylvia and Laura McCartney in Arroyo Seco, Mexico.)

And as April ran into May, I contacted the afternoon daily newspaper in Geneva, the Finger Lakes Times, about doing some writing and some coaching of the staff. The paper has just made some management changes, including promoting the news editor to the post of Executive Editor.

FLT Column 'mug shot'
Timing is everything.

Fast forward to today, when my first column appears in the FLT. My assignment: write a column that will appear each Friday in the newspaper, on the topic of my choice.

And I can submit my column from anywhere I happen to be.

Already my file folder (yes, I still use paper file folders) has a dozen column ideas and daily gets several more stuffed into it. And as you might guess, Adm. Fox is contributing heavily to the idea folder. She's also the best in-house editor imaginable.

Last night I attended a Town of Reading planning board meeting - the group that will be making a decision about whether to allow a controversial project by a Kansas City, MO company to move ahead. The company wants to store millions of gallons of liquid propane gas  in salt caverns on the shore of Seneca Lake and build a huge salt water pond on a hillside.

Environmentally, it's just short of terrifying.

The planning board elected a new chairman who announced that during the public comment period, the public could not say anything on the topic of the proposed project. And when someone tried to ask a question about the approval process, he said no questions were allowed either.

You don't have to look very far to find column ideas.

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