Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Gas shortages

We're starting to hear reports of service stations running out of gas. Please post your reports of shortages and higher prices.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Katrina ....

Sorry to have been away.

The full extent of Katrina's damage is just starting to come into focus. The pictures are unbelievable.

I also am infuriated by the reports of looting. Some looters have told reporters: "We're getting back at what society owes us."


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Skip speaks

I'll be talking to a group of local Democrats Thursday night. Looking forward to sharing The Star's editorial philosophy. I think some Democrats will be surprised to hear some common ground between liberterians and liberals. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Eye on the tropics

If you are going to the coast next week, keep an eye on Irene. As you can see from this map, the National Hurrican Center, which for days had been forecasting Irene to turn out to sea, has made a dramatic change and now has the storm staying on a west northwesterly track, which could threaten the S.C./N.C. coasts. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 05, 2005

More on the 505th

Here is my column from today which the staff talked me into running on the front page.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

God Bless the 505th

Took my two young boys to Kings Mountain this morning to send off the 505th Engineer Combat Batallion of the National Guard. Folks lined Kings Street to wave goodbye and wave American flags and give support.

It was brutal, emotionally.

We read the statistics all the time, but until you see fathers says goodbye to their children, wives say goodbye to their husbands ..

As the buses passed by, you could see the range of emotions. Some wore huge grins at the site of children and adults offering support.

For others on that bus, whom I could briefly see as it moved past, the emotions were too much and the tears flowed.

My 7-year-old looked up at me and said. "They could die, couldn't they Dad?"

Yes, son, they could.

God Bless them one and all.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Need some help

We are talking in the newsroom about our "blurbs" as we call them. Basically these are announcements of local events, happenings, etc.

We are trying to strike a balance between honoring the wishes of the people submitting the blurgs and honoring the wishes of readers.

Here is an example of what we currently publish:

Cleveland County Memorial Library will host ghost story writer Nancy Roberts Monday, July 25, at 7 p.m. The event is free of charge for adults and school-age children, but tickets need to be picked up at the library.
After her presentation Ms. Roberts will be available for a book signing. Books will be provided for purchase and light refreshments will be served. This event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Library.
Ms. Roberts is the author of more than 25 books about the supernatural, including "Civil War Ghost Stories and Legends," "Blackbeard and other Pirates of the Atlantic Coast" and "Haunted Houses: Chilling Tales from American Homes."
A storyteller dedicated to inspiring students to read, she has performed at seminars, on radio and television and at hundreds of schools and libraries across the South. If you have questions, please call Dolores Ashworth at (704) 487-9069, ext. 237.

Now, here is what we are proposing to do to shorten blurbs like this one:

Ghost stories
Author and teller of ghost stories Nancy Roberts will be at Cleveland County Memorial Library on Monday, July 25, at 7 p.m. After a presentation, she will sign books, which will be available for purchase. Light refreshments will be served. The event is free of charge for adults and school-age children, but tickets need to be picked up at the library. The event is co-sponsored by Friends of the Library. Contact: Dolores Ashworth, (704) 487-9069, ext. 237.

Advantages to longer blurb
1) Tells everything the person who submitted it wants
2) Gives more complete information to readers

Advantages to shorter blurb
1) Respects that readers are pressed for time and gives them basic info quickly
2) Takes up less space which means we can run blurbs "farther out" from the event and more often.

Which do you prefer? Comments?