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…

Mother of the Bride Relaxes

jandj.jpg

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

senbrown.jpg

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.

So I Am Preparing for a Wedding

My daughter, June, will marry next summer.

I like the man she’s marrying. Her two children like him too.

So all the world is right.

This week we shopped for her wedding gown. She will make a beautiful bride – and the wedding will be designed to fit her hopes and dreams.

I married once myself – but I didn’t have the chance to design my dream wedding. It was fun anyway. But it was really my mother’s design. She didn’t have a big wedding herself since she and my father decided to marry right after he was drafted during World War II.

My daughter has been planning this wedding for more than a year now. It will be lovely. I wish I could post a photo of June trying on The Dress – but the future groom as internet access and we don’t want him glimpsing the dress before the big day.

Hollywood One, Wall Street Many Billion

This weekend I saw “Tower Heist” with my son.

It surprised me that Hollywood was months ahead of the Occupy Movement in calling out Wall Street.

It defined a class war worth the battle.

Hard to believe this film actually was conceived in 2005 and shot a year ago. Who knew how popular it would be to trash stockbrokers in 2005?

I enjoyed the political humor.

Loved the initiative on the part of the service workers .

Celebrating Milton

It’s nearly time for Celebrate Milton!

The event began 18 years ago as a celebration of the community – its spirit – its diversity.

George Welles, former pastor of the Church of Our Saviour, and I will both receive Lifetime Achievement Awards from the organization.

It humbles me to prepare for this honor.

In 1997 I won a community builder award which proudly hangs on my office wall at the Milton Times.

The paper was young back then and I was much younger than I am today.

My daughter, June, had nominated me and I was thrilled to know she wasn’t upset about the long hours she was working to help the paper grow. 1997 was a good year for my whole family. My son graduated from Milton High. My daughter had her first child, Hayley Bradford. And I joined a small group of Milton people called community builders.

I was living on Willoughby Road that year and I spent most of my days and nights connecting with people in the community.

Building a weekly newspaper is all about helping the community find its voice.

The town of Milton has a strong and vibrant voice.

I continue to enjoy being part of the community. And I am grateful for all the community provides.

Postal Issues Delay Delivery

If you have the Milton Times home delivered in Milton, you already know it arrived Friday, July 29, instead of Thursday.

We began getting calls from subscribers early in the afternoon of the 28th. One after another asked whether there was a problem with his or her subscription. After a number of these calls, I phoned across the street  to the post office, asking for Amy Carter, manager of the Milton office.

Although I couldn’t reach her, I discovered that no one would get the paper that day because the entire delivery had been sent to visit Boston.

Personally I think this is part of a scheme to encourage newspapers to find alternate methods of delivery and decrease the mail volume to a greater degree.

In case you haven’t received a piece of mangled mail lately, let me tell you: It’s on the way.

The post office has spent millions (or billions) of dollars on new machines – called FSS machines – that are supposed to sort the mail.

The Milton Times has been delivered on Thursdays to mailboxes in Milton for the past 15 years. When we began 16 years ago, the newspaper was mailed with a bulk imprint.

But within a few months we began the process of qualifying for a periodical permit (it was called second class back in those days.) We kept documentation of every dollar received for a subscription and filed all the forms.

The reason we worked to meet the mailing requirements is that periodicals are supposed to be treated with priority and delivered quickly.Those were the days my friend, I hoped they would never end.Back in the early days of the Times existence, my son (who was in high school) would pick up the copies of the newspaper several hours after we went to press. Then he and I and anyone else I could rope into the work crew would label the mail copies and sort into bags by carrier route.