I took this photo of the cemetery across the street from the Brattleboro Reformer offices on Black Mountain Road -- to act as a companion piece (if nothing else) reminding folks that, in addition to cook-outs and parades and family fun, there's a serious undertone to the holiday as well:
Enjoy the day!
I recently received about 20 letters to the editor from a group of local students (sixth-graders!), on a wide range of topics -- from civics to crime to drug abuse.
We have a great social studies teacher at the Brattleboro high school, and so I'm used to getting well-thought-out guest opinion pieces from some of his older students. But to see students this young not only exercising thought on topics a lot of kids aren't thinking about, but then choosing to share those thoughts with the rest of the community via the daily, local newspaper .... well, it's a humbling experience.
I look forward to the next batch.
On March 1, the Reformer's 100th anniversary was recognized at the newspaper's offices on Black Mountain Road. There was a live remote of Live & Local with Steve West, which broadcasts on 1490AM in the Brattleboro Area. Just after noon, there was a cake cutting ceremony; I and the publisher, Ed Woods, said a few words to a group of guests from the community.
It was an honor to be a part of such an event, and to speak to the group. Here's a few photos from the day:
The story had to do with area school safety (in the wake of the shooting in Newtown, Conn.), and I used a file photo of the new (at the time the photo was taken) Brattleboro Union High School principal standing in front of his school.
The reader commented: He looks a little too happy given the topic being discussed. To which I responded that we only have so many file photos to pull from for online stories.
Readers may be interested to know I've been working with the photo editor to create a stockpile of file photos for just such a purpose: notable locations, are main streets, landmarks, businesses, etc. Of course, as with anything, a project like that takes time.
This was similar to an issue at the end of last year, about the Vernon "Newspaper" suspending publication. In that case, a member of the selectboard was instrumental in making sure the newsletter was printed on a regular basis, but no longer had time to devote to the pet project. For the story, I ran a photo of the town clerk holding up an issue, which we had on file after doing a feature a few years prior.
Some town residents viewed that as a slap in the face to the selctboard member, who had dedicated her time and effort to the project. Again, that was the best file photo we had available at the time.
In a perfect world, each and every story would have brand new art (read: photos/illustrations) to run with it. However, that can't always happen for a variety of reasons. Still, I believe working toward a usable, and large, base of file photos is a good step in the right direction.
The newsroom (well, myself and Mike Faher) welcomed several Windham County lawmakers to the Reformer offices on Wednesday, to discuss the upcoming legislative session, challenges and goals. ...
While not necessarily a new tool, a reporter in the newsroom was several days ago able to Skype (video conference/chat) with a local man stationed over in Afghanistan.
This was the first time we were able to utilize such a resource in the newsroom. And while it added a great level of connection between the reporter and the subject, consider this: The man's wife is currently pregnant with the couple's first child. Instead of it being how it was just a few years ago -- where this man may not see his child until he/she is several months old (or older), he'll be able to see mother and child as soon as they're able to get in front of a computer.
The wonders of modern technology.
Candidate for and current Vermont state treasurer Beth Pearce visits the Reformer offices for an interview. Watch the whole interview over at the Reformer's YouTube channel.
Jack McMullen, candidate for Vermont attorney general, stopped by the Reformer offices today.
Check out the full interview over at our YouTube channel.