Thank You NNA

The National Newspaper Association brought me many marvelous ideas for improving the Milton Times.

The NNA held its annual convention in Mobile, AL, this past weekend. Publishers are people who are used to working on Saturday. So the fact that the convention’s workshops were on Friday and Saturday fit just fine with the people who form the backbone of the NNA. The awards ceremony was Saturday and, obviously, you don’t win prizes in newspapers by being a 9 to 5 weekday sort of person.

The Milton Times took an honorable mention in the feature writing category. Thank you, NNA.

People who dedicate their lives to community journalism are still having fun. And the NNA is one of the reasons journalists can still succeed and enjoy their work.

The group of vendors offered great stuff – but it is unlikely many sales were made. In a time when the economy is sluggish, the add-ons are a tough sell.

I bought a slew of baseball caps that annouce Press. I gave some out today to the office staff. More to come.

This week one of our staff members was almost run over while crossing the street to the post office. He was in a cross walk and had a red light. Today I gave him his orange vest, with big letters spelling out PRESS on the back. I have them for the rest of the staff.  He’s written a fine commentary on the event. (No, not the orange vest, the car.

Later this week when we meet as a staff, the Times staff will be thinking about the changes we can make to improve.

Thank you, NNA.

Milton Chamber Readies to Dance

Well, parking was on the agenda and the 25 to 30 people who gathered at Abby Park for a working lunch had some great ideas.

First we want to find out what the Selectmen are doing with the service zone parking in Milton Village.

Then there is the East Milton Square issue. Nancy Jesson, president of the Chamber, and Meryl Mannin, vice president, are both on the parking committee the town set up. They reported back that absolutely nothing is happening.

 The Chamber voted to let the Selectmen know how frustrated we all are.


 When I visited my email this morning, I found a comment about town government sitting there. It appears here because no one has actually commented until now.

I am thrilled.

rickj36 says:

Has anyone noticed that, lights are still on all over town. Why were the decorative lights on top of Collicot on all summer long? Do we really need the christmas lights on all year long in East Milton Square? Milton Public Schools is hiring, not laying anyone off, I have been getting emails with different people that have been hired all summer. French/Spanish immersion? Im not even going to get into, I think an independent company should come in and see if it has been worth the huge expense. Not a lot of students but look at all the teachers. Sure its a nice idea, but that is why private schools do it. That way the parents have a choice, do we want to spend more for our child to do this or not. We in Milton do not get that choice. I think the program is failing and nobody wants to pull the plug. How many students are in the program compared to how many go to school here. What is the cost benefit??

Police seem to be in full force. (Which is good). Construction seems like it is in overdrive.

Where are all the bad things that were still going to happen even if prop 2.5 didnt pass? Its amazing Milton was in the paper, nobody could believe that we were raising taxes so high and leaving them that way for good. This town has a lot of people that cant afford to have taxes raised just because a group says our town will go down the tubes without the increase. I believe strongly that they were all lies and the taxes should be taken back.

I think we deserve names? who got laid off? How are we saving money, what cut backs are happening?

I believe it was to scare people into raising taxes so that we didnt have to tighten our belts. We are all tighting at home and yet our town raises taxes. I think we need to stand up and ask why we were lied to and what is going to be down about it. If in fact we were lied to I think we need new management.

DPW service is going down, sometimes they pick up and sometimes they dont. They have a huge plot of land that they dont even use. How about building nice homes and getting more tax dollars. How about building up Randolph Ave, it looks terrible and its because of the DPW.

If we care about our town how about max our resources and cutting cost so that we can build our town within our means. Sure there are wealthy people in the town, but there are a lot of older people in the town that have been here 30 – 40 years and I dont think they should be pushed out just because we dont know how to spend and save money.

Summer Fades

My grandchildren are visiting for the weekend.

I spent Saturday evening mailing out notices for the Chamber of Commerce while the kids watched “Legally Blonde” and other Disney stuff.

Tonight we are watching “Surf’s Up” with the animated penguins and I am finishing my copy for the next issue of the Milton Times.

I was the one who covered Congressman Stephen Lynch at Curry College Sept. 3. I finished the basic part of my story before noon Friday, because that’s when copy is due. At 4:30 I finally connected with his press person. The Lynch staff had everyone sign a survey for or against health care reform as they entered the gym at Curry. I wanted to get rough numbers.

I was sure they didn’t collect all the surveys just to create an illusion of listening to the constituents.

My other question was: would the Congressman announce his decision on running for US senate before we went to press with the next issue.

The press person sent me an email announcement that the Congressman pulled nomination papers Sept. 4 for the special election.

I’m waiting for the survey results. My own opinion, based on my internal applause meter, is there were more people in favor of health care reform.

 But after listening to the various objections, I think the way to organize health care reform is to expand Medicare. Remove the age requirement. All any US citizen who is registered with Social Security to apply for Medicare and use the power of numbers to create a reasonably priced plan.