Our New Web Space Expands

For the past few months the staff of the Milton Times has been working on a new project – an arts and entertainment website for the South Shore.

It is called South Shore Happenings – it is reached at www.southshorehappenings.com.

So far the site holds promise and more than a slight bit of interest from people in the region.

Will it grow or will it wilt? Only time will tell. We have tried other projects to supplement what we do at the Times. A few years ago we tried a shopper, delivered monthly to every home in Milton. It failed before a year was out.

It was the wrong time to start a new project that required new capital.

For our new website, we are keeping costs down and giving it a strong push.

Do people want to know about the restaurants and night spots from Plymouth to Milton? We’ll find out and let the rest of the world in on the secrets.

Out of the Darkness

Two years ago I was handed a cancer diagnosis. And it changed my life.

I stopped blogging on a regular basis because I had more I needed to say to people in person. Oh, from time to time I would write something about my daughter’s wedding or my company’s move from one space to another. But my life slowed down.

Of course the plus side is my personal life has improved – my son and his wife are building a house only two hours from where I live.

The world is good.

I tell this snippet today as the TV news continues to go over the craziness of the school shootings in Connecticutt because I know that after the darkness, there can be light.

Balancing Can Be Tricky

The Milton Times is tucked into its new headquarters at 3 Boulevard Street, near the edge of East Milton Square and we continue to change.

One of the main features of our new space is a 150 gallon aquarium that is being cared for by John Blackadar and his band of fish sitters. Friday they brought us an angel fish. The rest of the fish in the tank are called starter fish, according to John.

We have two yellow-tailed devil fish, named Hayley and Desmond for my grandchildren. Then there is one domino, I think we need to call that one Milton, for the community. We also have three clownfish.

Our fish bring us peace amid the craziness of our weekly deadline schedule.

The whole operation has been slightly off track since we moved. Everything has been put away but we aren’t positive where we stored all the many pieces. Just last week we ran out of deposit forms for our bank account. We’re coping and somehow I think we’ve tucked them away…

Moving Ahead

For the past 13 years, the Milton Times has made its home on the second floor of 480 Adams St.

When the paper moved to this location at the edge of East Milton Square, there were three people working in the office. (Of course, that was because our writers worked from their homes.)

For three years before moving to Adams Street, we were tucked in a small office on High Street in Milton Village. At that time our circulation manager sat in a closet with used PC.

Much has changed in the course of the years.

We are still the newspaper of record for the community. We have added a new technology to bag of communication tools we use.

In 2010 the Milton Times began posting on its own Facebook page. Soon after a Twitter account was set up for the Times.

This year we added an e-edition which is an online version of the paper that sits behind a pay wall. Last week we had a chance to update our e-edition, adding a new page when the Selectmen decided in a closed session they would not renew the contract of Town Administrator Kevin Mearn.

We are working on an email database to let people know when we add to the e-edition due to breaking news that happens outside our regular cycle.

So we are on the move in many ways.

The latest move for the paper is coming up some time in August.

The new home of the Milton Times is 3 Boulevard St. We’ll be on the ground floor.

We are still working out the details of the move but we know we will be in the new space before Sept. 1.

The item that is up in the air is the telephone system.

We are still looking into the possibility the new space may be wired for broadband already.

We will be able to access our telephone messages during the move so please leave information in voice mail.

We know the move will be disruptive. We expect we will be closed for one to two days.

As we prepare for the move, we are ruthlessly tossing out old files and old papers.

We need anyone who has left a photo in our office to pick it up before Aug. 1. That’s our deadline for recycling unneeded materials.

We are hoping to reduce our use of paper as we make this move. We plan to sift through old materials.

Mother of the Bride Relaxes

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For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to relax and bring perspective to my daughter’s wedding.

It was a day of joy. A day for family solidarity and connections.

My daughter, June, married her sweetheart, Jeremiah, with her two children standing as witness to the union. My son, Ambrose, who is ordained in the Unified Buddhist Church, officiated at the ceremony.

The most amazing part of the day was my grandson who made us all tear up with his moving acceptance of his new father.

Now the family is moving forward.

And I am back to work. Tomorrow I’ll be taking photos at a fair at First Congregational Church in Milton.

Back from DC

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Sen. Scott Brown and Pat Desmond talk about Milton.

Earlier this month I spent a few days in Washington, DC, with the leadership of the National Newspaper Association.

I planned to write about the trip right away – but I came back to Milton to find I needed to step up and handle the day-to-day editing of the paper.

The man who handled that work for the past three years, Mike Whalen, is no longer at the Milton Times. He will be missed. So it has taken a week before I can tell the world how interesting the political scene in DC happens to be.

First all politics is local. I had a chance to meet with Congressmen Stephen Lynch and Michael Capuano as well as Sen. Scott Brown.

It was wonderful and amazing to see that they all care about Milton and its 350th anniversary celebration.

There is much more to say but today is the day the MHS hockey team meets Burlington at the Boston Garden in the state finals.

New Line Up for the Mayor

Tonight I learned the mayoral field has been winnowed.

The latest list of candidates for Mayor of Milton includes: Jayne Goode, Philip Driscoll, and Mike Lynch.

The 350th Committee met at town hall tonight. We did quite a bit of chatting but most of us hadn’t realized we needed to be sworn into office once again. So we put off voting.

The race for the mayor is heating up.

Mayor of Milton Contest Begins

I try not to work weekends but Sunday evening I spent some time at the first meeting of the candidates in the Mayor of Milton contest.

They are an interesting group.

The nomimation campaign for Mayor ended recently.

The candidates include: Bob Karp, Jim Comer, Philip Driscoll, Janice Fahy, Deborah Felton, Jayne Goode and Mike Lynch.

So Brian Kelley who is running the event gathered a few of the candidates for a quick meeting. Comer, Driscoll and Goode were on hand. Photos of those candidates will soon appear in the Milton Times.

Voting is now underway. The candidate who raises the most money will be declared the Mayor of Milton.

The rules appear to be $1 a vote.

Tickets for the 350th Concert will count toward the votes.

Meanwhile Kelley purchased four large ballot boxes in the town clerk’s recent auction. The locked boxes will be placed at strategic locations around the town. Envelopes with money, checks made out to Town of Milton, with 350th and the candidates name, will be counted as votes. To be clear, a $10 check equals 10 votes.

Parties are planned. Fun will be had.

Our E-edition Grows

A little more than a month ago, the Milton Times established a paywall to protect the content on our web site.

Next week we plan to open a small hole in the pay wall to allow readers to view special pages on our annual reader’s choice contest. We call it “The Best in Milton.”

It will mean the 40,000 plus unique visitors that stop by our web site each month will have a chance to go through the Special Pages we are creating to explain the story of the contest winners.

Let me be clear. There are many winners. I can’t reveal who they are before we go to press next week – but I can say the story and the new special section on our web site will be fun.