*

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Enough

Two things are sticking in my craw today, wherever that is, and it's time to vent.

First topic:  that idiot TV news anchor, who got fired after letting a couple bad words slip on the air.

Look, the FIRST thing you learn-- in college or at your first job is to consider every microphone a LIVE microphone, and be careful what you say.

Would I have fired him?  Probably.  On the other hand, he's a kid, and kids make mistakes-- but this was a huge one.  Second chance?  Likely.  It would all depend on what he's like.  Based on the round of TV interviews after the incident, I'm not impressed.

Second topic:  AM TV.

I'm currently reading "Top of the Morning."  It's Brian Stelter's book on the high stakes game called network morning television.  The book is a little wordy, but not bad.  I'll do a full review when I complete it.  I'm more than half way in, and I'm already disgusted by morning network anchors who complain about getting up at 3:30 AM.  Hey, they only get millions of dollars a year to do it-- plus someone else does the research, the writing, prepares questions, does hair and make-up, etc.

The only one I've ever heard with an ounce of class was Bryant Gumbel, and I vividly remember the quote.  Someone asked him about the hours when he left NBC's Today.  Gumbel said he wasn't going to complain because there are a lot of people "who get up a lot earlier, for a lot less money."  Thank you, Bryant.

We are lucky to do what we do.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Baseball

It was something I hadn't done in years-- attend a baseball game in Moosic.  They were called the Red Barons the last time I was here, and they were the Philadelphia Phillies AAA affiliate.  The weather was nice Wednesday morning, and the team had a 10:30 AM start against the Columbus Clippers.  It was a spur of the moment thing.  I jumped in the car and pointed it toward Moosic.

Times change.  I missed the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees era.  As you know, the RailRiders are in town, and the stadium has undergone a massive renovation.  The first thing you notice as you approach is the low profile.  The upper deck is gone.
Once you're inside, you notice those foul balls that used to land in the upper deck are now in the parking lot.

Something else is different.  Baseball is no longer enough to keep people entertained.  I get that.  A trip to this ballpark, and every other, means fans will be bombarded by a multi media blitz of ads and other assorted nonsense.  The between inning contests bordered on tedious, but at least they were short enough to avoid getting in the way of the actual baseball game.
Quill, the creepy, mangy porcupine mascot entertained the crowd, and he seemed to be a big hit with kids and adults.  The above photo was taken during pre game warm ups.  The RailRiders wore a combination of maroon, navy, gold, and white.  I'm a fan of neither the name or the logo, I will admit the uniforms looked sharp.
Champ is a hold over from the Yankees days, and that's a good thing.  Champ is still the best.  I'm fond of the furry, blue guy.  His first appearance, after the team's announcement a few years ago, was in the WNEP backyard on one of our weekend morning broadcasts.
Unlike the old stadium, you can walk around the outfield in this one, and a stroll through the outfield seemed like a popular destination Wednesday afternoon.  I didn't think it was the bast place if you want to take in the action, but it is a good spot if you want to snag a baseball.  I wondered how the lack of an upper deck affects the game.  Is it a hitter's park, or do pitchers have the advantage?  I'll have to consult the sports team on that one.  I suspect it's too early in the season for a definitive answer.
Speaking of the sports team, the station was well represented at Wednesday afternoon's game.  Sharla McBride is operating the camera.  Jim Coles is in the middle, and that's Courtney Harrison on the right.

A note of thanks before I go...

As I walked up to the box office to purchase a ticket Wednesday morning, a man approached and asked if I needed one.  I replied "yes" and was handed a freebie.  The man explained that friends and family couldn't make it to the 10:30 AM start, and he didn't want to see the ticket wasted.  I thanked him and offered to pay.  He declined.  By the way, the usher who showed me to my seat refused to take a tip.  Anyway, it was a great seat-- six rows up from the 3rd base dugout.  Bill, thank you for your generosity.

The food smelled great, but I didn't have any.  There are specials on certain days here, but be prepared.  It's not cheap.

All in all, and in spite of the sunburn, it was a really nice day.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bad Photography Sunday: Susquehanna River

You have to stand in awe of the Susquehanna River.  A week of rain turns this tranquil water way into a rampaging mess.

Let's celebrate a quiet time.  This is a photo taken from the Danville side earlier this month looking upstream toward Catawissa.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Bad Photography Saturday: Danville Bridge

I made a quick stop in Danville earlier this month. I forgot two things:  the last time I was there, and what a pretty town it is.

This is the Route 54 bridge over the Susquehanna River.  Riverside is on the left.  Danville is on the right.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Shocker

I'm looking for the words to describe my thoughts and feelings:  shocked, stunned, surprised...

The Marywood University Board of Trustees voted to rename the Mellow Center for Athletics and Wellness the Marywood Center for Athletics and Wellness.

Bob Mellow is currently sitting in a federal prison for stealing your money, and he was recently hit with a new round of corruption charges on the state level.

Marywood apparently finally realized decency, honesty, and integrity are more important than saying "thank you" to a thieving state senator who threw $2 million at you for a new gym.

The only sad part here is it took Marywood several months to realize honoring Bob Mellow is an insult to the community, and every student-- past and present.

As I've written before, that wasn't Bob Mellow's money.  It was your money, and I hope the university has learned it has to stop playing games with politicians. I had no problems with Marywood getting state money. Full disclosure:  I'm a graduate.  Marywood has opened its facilities for community events.  The building provided construction jobs, and I'm sure it attracted students to our area-- helping the economy.  What I didn't like is Marywood beatifying Bob Mellow, and then using every excuse to avoid doing the right thing and removing his name.  Yes, I do know you have to be dead to be beatified.  Blogger's license.

Lackawanna College yesterday took Bob Mellow's name off its theater, and Mellow's name will be removed from a park in Blakely.  The Mellow name is also coming off a facility at Keystone College in Factoryville.

Maybe, there's hope for this area after all.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Passing

I should have gotten to this earlier, but it's just been so busy lately...

Pat Summerall died recently.  Someone on FOX Sports Radio said it best-- Summerall was the voice of Sundays.  He was best known for football, but Pat Summerall was also a studio host, a golf anchor, and even a basketball play by play man when CBS had the NBA contract back in the 70's.

There will never be another Pat Summerall, and here's why.  He was a minimalist who let the pictures tell the story.  It no longer works that way.  Today's broadcasters feel like they have to fill every second of every broadcast.

There is one story that illustrates my point.  In an interview several years ago, John Madden said Summerall used to ask him a lot of questions on the air.  Madden said Summerall already knew the answers, but he was just trying to bring out the best in his color man, and make sure viewers understood the game.  That's what being a professional broadcaster is all about.

Pat Summerall was 82.

Al Neuharth, the USA Today founder, also died last week.  He was 89.

I don't think it's an understatement to say Al Neuharth revolutionized newspaper publishing.  Other papers laughed at USA Today's color, short stories, and abundance of pictures and graphics.  They all wound up copying him.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Gap

I found myself in the borough of White Haven Sunday afternoon, and I cannot pass through town without remembering the huge fire that took out a big hunk of the 400 block of Main Street.



As you can see from the photo above, taken Sunday afternoon, the space remains empty.

The fire here started just before 4 AM on December 23rd of 1987.  I would have guessed a few years earlier, but that's according to the White Haven Fire web site, and I doubt it's wrong.  I was working day shift at a radio station back then, and I remember driving in to town, and being in awe of the devastation.

I did what we do-- talked with people affected, and there were a lot of them.  Businesses and apartments were gone.  It had and still has a big impact on the borough.

A couple things stick out from that day.  There was a TV reporter following me around like a lost puppy.  I almost snapped at her and told her to do her own work.  She went on to a TV job in Baltimore.  Go figure.  The other thing was an investigator admitted there was so much devastation, they might never know what sparked the flames.  The candidness impressed me.  You see, real life isn't like prime time TV.  Investigators don't have all the answers, and things are never in a neat package after just one hour.

Even though there's a big hole on Main Street, White Haven is still a very pretty town.  I took some pleasant photos of the area, and I'll share them on a weekend in the not too distant future.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Good Intentions

It is often said the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

This is my story.

The spring edition of Blogfest was held Friday night at a bar in Pittston.  Blogfest is a twice yearly event, where bloggers and politicians get together to talk about the craft and just have a nice time.

I've blown off several prior Blogfests, but this one was different.  It actually happened on a weekend when I didn't have to work.

I took a long afternoon nap to get ready.  Blogfest began at 6 PM, which is far past my bedtime-- even on non work nights.  Once I get in to a pattern, it's hard to get me out.

Mother Nature threw a fly into the ointment, and a monkey wrench into my plans.  There was a Friday evening tornado watch for most of the area.  The sky looked threatening. There was a big line of red, indicating severs storms, on WNEP's radar.

I didn't want to die in a Pittston bar, and I wanted to be at home to keep an eye on the place and clean up storm damage.

The red line came-- a little gust of wind, and a short spurt of heavy rain.  That's it.  By the storm got to me, it fizzled.  While I was happy about that, waiting for the worst occupied a big part of my Friday night.

I gave a tentative RSVP to one of the organizers, and I apologize for being a no show.  As Dorothy Gale said when a tornado swept her off to Oz, "there's no place like home."

Monday, April 22, 2013

Boston

Several Boston related notes today...

In the midst of one of the bloodiest incidents in American history, and during one of the largest manhunts-- ever, Boston Police managed to keep the media updated.  If the media knows what's going on, you know what's going on.  Social media and the internet transmit false information at the speed of light.  It's nice to know someone has it figured out.  Police departments and criminal justice students need to study the Boston model to see how to do it the right way.

Speaking of the right way, CNN and FOX learned it's better to be late and right than first and wrong.  Both got burned on bad reports of a mid week suspect capture.  Both made nice comebacks.

Whatever NBC is paying Pete Williams, it isn't enough.  The same goes for Kerry Sanders.

How did ABC let Don Dahler get away?

CBS pulled off a coup Friday morning by having Rudy Giuliani, former Boston Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and reporter John Miller at the same desk at the same time.  I could have listened to those three for hours.  You know what Giuliani has been through.  Bratton, obviously, knows Boston like the back of his hand.  Miller's worked for the New York and Los Angeles police departments, plus the FBI  He knows cop work, the law, and broadcasting.

If you want to make money, invest in companies that make security cameras and surveillance systems.  I can see a lot of cities and private businesses upgrading their gear.  Surveillance cameras helped crack the case, and we have to get used to the thought that our every movement, in every public place, will be on camera.

We saw the images over and over and over again.  Too much?  Too bloody?  I know you had to show the horror at the beginning, but I though the carnage video went on too long.

The capture of the second suspect provided some of the most compelling television in years.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bad Photography Sunday: Bloomsburg U

I am envious of reporters who have vibrant colleges and universities on their beat.

There's always something going on at Bloomsburg University.  Young people have different ways of looking at things, and I enjoy being in an academic atmosphere.
On top of that, Bloomsburg is a pretty campus, with a nice mix of old and new buildings.  Plus, there's a lot of green space.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bad Photography Saturday: Bloomsburg

I had my mind made up that if the weather was nice during the drive to WNEP's "Pennsylvania Outdoor Life" Expo at the Lycoming Mall, I'd take some pictures on the journey.

I detoured off Interstate 80 on the way out, and dropped down to Bloomsburg.  This is Town Hall, from the east side, where the police department is located.

I chose this particular angle because that was the side of the building lit by the morning sun.

It's a great, old building.  I can't say I'm thrilled with the color.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Vacation

I've always been one of those people who slams all of his vacation time into the second half of the year.

The up side is that there's a lot of time off in the summer and fall.

The other side of the coin?  I'm fried by the time the first vacation week rolls around.

This year, I'm doing something different-- taking a vacation during April.  I need it.  I'm tired.

There are no plans, other than to rest up.

Bill Wadell handles the weekend morning broadcasts tomorrow and Sunday.  You're in good hands.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

What's in a Name?


Marywood University's Board of Trustees meets tomorrow and Saturday.  It is likely the name of the building pictured above will be discussed.  It is the Mellow Center for Athletics and Wellness.

The University slapped Mellow's name on the front because he helped Marywood get $ 2 million of your tax dollars to help pay for it.

As you know, Mellow is now an admitted thief, cheat, and liar.  He's serving time in a federal prison.  Mellow also faces a long list of charges on the state level for more cheating, lying and stealing.

Bob Mellow's name shouldn't have been on this building in the first place, and there's no way it should remain there.

Academic fraud can get you expelled from Marywood.  Being a convicted felon gets your name on a building.  It sends the wrong message to the university community, and the community as a whole.

The student newspaper, The Wood Word, called for the removal of Mellow's name in a recent editorial.  Below is a quote from a news story in the same edition of the paper.

“I am confident that the naming of the Mellow Center will be discussed, understanding that the board will take this matter seriously and consider the many nuances involved in making such a decision,” said Juneann Greco, communications director.

What nuances, Ms. Greco?  Bob Mellow is a criminal, and criminals shouldn't have their names on buildings.  Why are we even at this point?  It's so easy, but the people who run Marywood just refuse to see it.  Money, to Marywood, apparently means more than morals.

Marywood administration is losing the confidence of the students.  Proof of that is the Wood Word editorial.  It's losing the faith of the alumni.  I've spoken with fellow graduates.

It's time for the administration to stand up and do the right thing.

 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Aftermath

One of the things that drives me insane after a major horrible event, like Boston, is the rampant speculation, and the rush to judgement.

Yes, it could be evil foreign forces at work.  Yes, it could be domestic terrorism, like Oklahoma City.  We just don't know.  Incessant and uninformed yammering-- on tv, in print, on radio, on the internet-- doesn't help.

It appears the people in charge are doing and saying the right things-- caring for the injured, mourning the dead, assuring the public that the person or persons responsible will be brought to justice.

And, that brings us to Scranton-- the other side of the universe.

Someone shot up a housing project on a warm Monday evening, when kids were playing in yards, while people were sitting on porches.  This was no middle of the night shoot-out.

There were multiple calls and in person visits to Scranton Police.  No answers for us.  No answers for the residents.  At a time when people needed to know the police department was working to protect their safety, no one said a word.

Increased patrols in the project?  A declaration that leads are being followed?  Assuring the public that shoot outs won't be tolerated?  A few simple and sincere words from someone in uniform or someone elected would have made a lot of people feel a lot better.

There was a release of a few details Tuesday afternoon.  Residents shouldn't have been forced to wait that long.

You deserve more.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Name That Tune



I listen to oldies radio, both terrestrial and satellite all the time, and it's one I hadn't heard in years.

Plus, I heard it in the strangest of locations-- the in house music system at Turkey Hill in Moosic.

The song is "No Matter What Shape" by the T Bones from 1965.  The song was used in an Alka Seltzer commercial and was later released as a single-- not what you'd expect to hear in a mini mart at 2:30 AM.

It blew me away, brought a smile to my face, and it was a fantastic way to begin a day.  The tune is still running through my head, and I'm still enjoying it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The End

There was an interesting story in yesterday's Allentown Morning Call, concerning the fate of the building you see above-- the former headquarters of Bethlehem Steel.  I took this photo in July of last year.  At 21 stories and 330 feet, it's the tallest building in the Lehigh Valley.

Martin Tower has been vacant for years, and there is no one interested in developing it.  It would cost too much, and there's no demand for the space.  The building has been removed from Bethlehem's "anti demolition" list.  It now appears the land is worth far more than the building.

It's sad.

Martin Tower was constructed when America made things.  Now, we don't.

The building is huge.  Preserving it, and reusing it would cost a fortune.

The building is in private hands.  It's clear the end is near.

Our track record at preservation is rather weak.

I recently drove past the old federal building in Lewisburg.  It's been rehabilitated by Bucknell University.

Newswatch 16 did a story on Friday on an old Catholic school in Wilkes-Barre Township that's been turned into a brewery.

I watched an old convent in Avoca be demolished for a parking lot one week ago.

Wilkes-Barre let the Hotel Sterling rot, and it has to come down.

The Chamber of Commerce controls the Irem Temple in Wilkes-Barre, and it's in a state of disrepair.

The old train station on Wilkes-Barre Boulevard deteriorates by the day.  Scrappers and vandals have torn the building apart.

We've had successes.  We've had more failures.

Success takes money and something you can't buy-- vision.  Both are in short supply.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Bad Photography Sunday: Roots

I've covered wind storms, ice storms, hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding.  I've seen more than my share of toppled trees, and I never cease to be amazed at the shallow root systems of some really big trees.

This one, and the one below are beside the Lackawanna River at Peckville.  They've seen a lot of high water and erosion over the years-- and they're still here.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Bad Photography Saturday: The River


This seems to be the "Year of the River" on the blog, and this is a shot of the Lackawanna at the soon to be former Mellow Park.

I really have to put my walking shoes one of these days and take a stroll downstream.  Reliable sources say eagles have been spotted as far south as Dickson City, and I'd love to get a photograph of one.

Eagles show the presence of food, namely fish.  It means the river is clean and supports life.  As one who remembers when the Lackawanna was an open sewer, it's a refreshing concept.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Unfinished Friday

I really thought I was going to be in the middle of a tornado Wednesday afternoon.  The atmosphere turned a yellowish green, which is supposed to be a signal that it's tornado weather.  All my neighborhood received was high winds and heavy rain, which was more than enough.

The cooler weather made me smile.  It's spring, a great time of year.  I'd hate it if we went from winter, directly to summer.

Former Citizens Voice publisher Bob Manganiello died Wednesday night.  He was a nice man who helped keep the newspaper running during the difficult early days.  My sympathy goes out to his family and friends.  Bob Manganiello was 75.

Of the nine teams in the International League that have had home games, the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders are seventh in attendance.  Granted, it's a young season, and attendance usually doesn't pick up until summer hits and the kids are out of school.

The pretentious Masters golf tournament is underway.  I won't be watching.

I own a few LED light bulbs, and I like them.  They deliver good light, without the heat and they don't burn power.  Some LED bulbs were involved in a recall.  Reading the code numbers on the base was nearly impossible.  There ought to be a law-- make the fine print less fine.  After an examination with a magnifying glass, and after dealing with an impatient woman at the bulb company, I learned my bulbs were not part of the recall.

The MLB Network goes a really good job of stringing together game highlights.  They use the calls from game announcers, rather than voice overs from studio hosts.  Bravo!  It's baseball without the ESPN style schtick.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Health & Beauty

I've shed a few pounds in recent months, and some people noticed that at last week's WNEP "Pennsylvania Outdoor Life" Expo at the Lycoming Mall.  A few people asked if I was sick.  No, I'm fine.  Just a little tired.  Thanks for asking.

I dropped the weight by becoming a little more active and cutting down on the junk food a bit.  There is an occasional slip.

On the way back from the Expo, I was a little hungry, and stopped by a fast food restaurant near my home.  It's the place with the little red haired girl.  The restaurant is undergoing a remodeling.  It's now hip and trendy.  They chopped off a sun room that I liked a lot.  The place now has the warmth and charm of a mausoleum.  However, the spicy chicken sandwich and fries were as good as always.  There is a new drink dispenser, with several interesting options.  I chose Orange Diet Coke.  What was I thinking?  It was awful.

I'm usually at the gym early in the morning, when the cable and broadcast tv stations are showing infomercials.  Joan Rivers is hawking some sort of beauty product.  I can't tell you what it is because the sound is down.  Joan Rivers has made a career out of saying horrible things about people.  She needs to learn beauty is on the inside.  It's a concept that obviously escapes her.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New Coke

On the way back from WNEP's "Pennsylvania Outdoor Life" Expo Thursday afternoon, I decided to get off Interstate 81 and see if I could get an up close look at the baseball stadium in Moosic.  A left field gate was open, so, camera in hand, I stepped inside.

After a walk around, I decided it was a lot like Coca Cola Park in Allentown, home of the Iron Pigs, but something was different.  While Allentown has warm brick and tans, the stadium in Moosic is cold and icy steely grey.  An Allentown shot, from August of last year, is directly below.  Both parks are low.  There are no upper decks.  Fans are close to the action, and they can walk around both parks in their entirety.

I do realize the Moosic stadium is a remodel, and not new construction.  Hey, we only spent $ 40 million and gave up control of the team to get this.  Still, fans should be happy with what they see.


It's one of those new parks-- as much playground as it is baseball stadium.  That's the way it is these days.  Be family friendly.  There's more to a trip to the ballpark than baseball.

Below is another Allentown photo.

While I don't like the RailRiders name or logo, and the mascots, except for Champ, are creepy, I don't want the local effort to fail.  The new owner and old management company have a rather dubious track record for fan friendliness and media savvy.  I trust they've learned from the attendance sucking behavior of the past and it will be a good 2013 season.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Brand X

Sen. Robert Casey's embrace of same sex marriage is fascinating.

The momentum is building, and okaying same sex unions seems to be the thing to do these days, but this blog entry is not about that.

It's about the Casey brand.

Sen. Casey's father, Robert, served two terms as Pennsylvania governor beginning in 1987.  You cannot look at the senator without seeing the governor.  There's a family resemblance.  For a long time, they had the same philosophy-- socially conservative, fiscally liberal.  The governor was perhaps one of the leading pro life advocates in the country.  I get the feeling he wouldn't be happy with his son's decision to go along with the same sex wedding wave.  I could be wrong.

Times change, and we no longer live in the governor's world.

It seems to be an abandonment of the Casey brand-- a little like opening up a can of Coke and finding 7 Up.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Ebert

Film critic Roger Ebert lost his battle with cancer Thursday.  He was 70 years old.  Ebert had a blog on the Chicago Sun Times web site.  While most of us will remember Ebert's movie review shows on TV, he was also a gifted writer.

When I was going to a lot of movies, I'd read Ebert first, see the movie, and then re-read the review.  It happened all the time.  He'd pick out a scene or a moment that defined the film.  You'd learn something you might not have realized while in the theater.

A perfect example is "Juno."  There were moments of great suspense, when you wondered if Juno would actually give up her baby for adoption because the couple she chose was splitting up.  Ebert pointed to a scene, where the prospective mom, Vanessa, was playing with random kids in a mall recreation area.  Juno saw Vanessa would be a great parent.  While I wondered about Juno going through with the plan, Ebert didn't.  He knew Juno would give up her baby, even to a single mom, because of that scene.

Roger Ebert wrote things the critics would appreciate and understand.  He also wrote for the average guy who spends $ 10 on a matinee and a big soda.

On TV, during some often heated discussions with his partners, you could see Roger Ebert had a passion for good movies, and he was disappointed when efforts fell short.  You could also read his love for the craft.

The man was a genius and one of the most influential journalists of our time.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Expo 2013

NOT REAL
REAL



Creatures-- some stuffed, some breathing, on display at the Lycoming Mall for WNEP's "Pennsylvania Outdoor Life" Expo.  The bird was amazing, and the stuffed animals were fascinating.  You'll learn something.  You'll have a lot of fun, but time is running out.  The Expo wraps up this evening.  Enjoy!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Raegan and the Rat Snake

I have but one simple rule when I'm at WNEP's "Pennsylvania Outdoor Life" Expo every other year:  When the snake comes out, I run away.

Luckily, Raegan Medgie is a good sport.


She agreed to let field staff member Rick Koval curl a rat snake around her arm.  The Medge is brave.


Ryan Leckey asked her about the experience live on Newswatch 16 at Noon on Thursday.

The Expo continues until tomorrow evening.  Say "hello" to the snake for me.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Expo 2013



You might have heard WNEP's "Pennsylvania Outdoor Life" Expo is underway at the Lycoming Mall near Williamsport.

I was there for a few hours yesterday.  I'm not an outdoors person, to say the least, but I do enjoy looking at the animals and the displays.

A big bonus is purely personal.  When you work weekends and overnights, there are some co-workers that you never see.  Expo time is reunion time.  The first photo features photographer Tom Durant, Jim Hamill, Julie Sidoni, Raegan Medgie and Nikki Krize.  That photo is history-- east meets west.  Raegan covers the eastern tip of WNEP's coverage area, while Tom, Jim, and Nikki handle the west.

The second photo shows the gang just before we split up for the day.

Thanks to all those who stopped by to say hello.  Special thanks to those who said I look younger and thinner in person.  Huge thanks to the woman who thought I was Jon Meyer.

The expo continues until Sunday evening.  I'll be working, so my expo time is complete.  Stop by and see the rest of the staff.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Little Easter

Working holidays is never fun, but as I've said before, when you take a job in the news business, you know it's going to happen.  I've worked a lot of Easter Sundays over the years.

One of my co-workers, Suzanne Goldklang, made the day tolerable this year.  She organized not one, but two staff Easter egg hunts.  The first was for the morning crew, and a later edition for the night people.

I was in a hurry to get out of the building Sunday morning, and I was lucky there was an egg sitting right below my computer monitor.  The search was neither lengthy nor difficult.

That's me-- holding my prize.  There were chocolate malted milk candy eggs inside, and I love those.  By the way, I'm wearing the a new turquoise tie I found on eBay.  Pink is usually my Easter tie color of choice, but I decided to change it up this year.  I wore pink on Saturday and purple on Monday.

It's amazing how something as simple as a few candy eggs can brighten your day.

Thanks, Suzanne.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Another Nail

I nearly fell out of my chair when I read this one...

Syracuse, NY--The Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, are pleased to announce the Syracuse Chiefs Baseball Network, a new audio channel devoted to the Syracuse Chiefs.  The Syracuse Chiefs Baseball Network's first programming will be the broadcast of all 144 games through the course of the 2013 season.  The network will be available on the web at www.syracusechiefs.com and via one click on an app, created by Onseeker Technologies, for iPhone and Android. 
"We are glad to offer our fans the ability to take the Chiefs anywhere,"  Chiefs General Manager John Simone said.  "I grew up listening to baseball and now more people in more places will have more chances to listen to the game we all love."

Yes, that's right.  The Syracuse Chiefs, one step below the major leagues, are bypassing radio to put all their games on the internet.

It makes me sad.

I grew up listening to Harry, Whitey and Andy...  and Phil, Bill, and Frank on the radio.  Cable wasn't around yet.  There is nothing like baseball on the radio.

The fine folks of Syracuse, and points beyond, will still have access to audio, but not from a radio station.

I'm not naive.  The Chiefs couldn't find a radio station willing to make a deal work financially, so the the internet is a better-than-decent alternative.

Radio, once again, loses something that makes it special.  The downward spiral continues.  Good luck finding a live and local voice on most stations after sundown.  No news.  No weather.  No connection with the community.  Strike three.

The Chiefs won't be the last. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Flower Power

All in all, it wasn't a bad holiday.

Easter is one of my favorite days of the year.  As a kid, it meant new clothes, chocolate, eggs, baseball season, springtime...  The memories are responsible for me looking forward to Easter every year.

There is one Easter related task that troubles me.  On Holy Thursday, I set out in search of Easter flowers.

Amazingly, my pre-dawn visit to a big box store was extremely productive.  I found a lily and a hyacinth plant that were a couple days away from blooming, and they went into my cart. 

Unfortunately, the store's tulips were pretty beat up, so I passed.

There's an art to buying Easter flowers.  You have to pick the plants that look like they will be in full flower on Easter morning.  Timing is everything,  There were many years I blew it, and picked plants that bloomed nicely-- a couple days after Easter.

I jumped back in the car Thursday afternoon and stopped by one of those parking lot flower tents.  I like tulips.  I really wanted tulips.  Luck and the bunny smiled on me because the flower tent's tulips were in fantastic shape, with a variety of colors.  I chose red, and also grabbed a pot of baby daffodils. 

It will be tough to repeat this year's performance.

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Easter.

Monday, April 1, 2013

About the Cover

I hope today's blog and this month's header accomplish two different goals.

I usually do something "churchy" for the Easter blog entry.  I went in another direction yesterday-- baseball.

We do have a new pope, and as I said in this space before, even if you don't buy into what the church is all about, you can still be fascinated by the process.

Pope Francis is getting good reviews in his first weeks.  He appears to be a humble man.  Proof of that was the name he chose-- Francis, patron saint of the poor and animals.  How can you go wrong with that?

This month's header shows the St. Francis statue outside the St. Francis of Assisi kitchen in downtown Scranton-- a place that feeds thousands in need every month.  It's quite an operation.

As for the header photography, The statue isn't in in the greatest setting, so I tried to fuzz the city/industrial background.  It's okay, but I should have been fuzzier.


The rest goes like this, and I'll paraphrase Humbert Humphrey here.  He felt a society will be judged by its willingness to aid those who need help the most.  I can't speak for the rest of the area, but I think we do okay in the Scranton area.  It could be better.

We in the news business do the stories all the time, especially around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.  There are a lot of people hurting.  We have organizations like the Church, Salvation Army, Friends of the Poor and several others who do what they can.  There are countless volunteers who work at it, and even more who make donations.

Belatedly, count your blessings, and Happy Easter!