Alright, I think I can finally declare that it’s spring! I’ve held
off for a while, knowing that a light two-inch dusting of snow would
dump on me if I even started getting my warm weather clothing out of
storage, but I’m feeling good about it now. I’ve been driving around
with my car windows down most of the week. And I’ve been happy driving
around Van Wert’s north side, seeing work at the old Sonic as crews are
busy turning that into Subway. (The restaurant, not a new way to get
around Van Wert.) Nearby the future Arby’s is taking shape. The smell of
sawdust is in the air, and outside of the city limits, tractors are
pulling discs and planting is underway. It’s a good time of year.
also means spring cleaning, so I thought I’d clean out my inbox and
answer a few questions that have been piling up on my desk lately.
First, several people have wanted to know what happened to the TV Times
section of the Times Bulletin. Although most folks have been polite with
their question, several others have been very rude in their question,
immediately assuming we took it away so they’ll never know when Wheel of
Fortune is on the tube. Of course, that’s not the reason it’s no longer
a part of the paper.
The simple fact is that not enough
advertisers bought space in that section, so we were losing money by
printing it each week. Since we are a business, losing money because we
are telling people when Wheel of Fortune is on is not a solid business
strategy. And because there are a few Times Bulletin employees who
insist on getting a paycheck in exchange for our hours of work each
week, we have to monitor those things which lose money and quit throwing
away the money which could be used by the employees for food,
insurance, car payments, etc. This newspaper prints a lot of things, but
money is not one of them. So there’s your answer: if it loses money for
us, we can’t afford to keep it around.
Here’s another letter
wanting to know what on God’s green earth a “sudoku” is. Apparently this
person saw an odd-looking word on the comics page and wanted to know
what it means. Well, the word is actually Japanese for “single digit”
and a sudoku is a number puzzle where the player tries to fill a
nine-by-nine grid so that each row, each column, and each smaller
three-by-three grid within the puzzle use all the digits from 1-9.
That’s it. For some people the sudokus aren’t that hard, just little
warmup exercises. Others of us start the puzzle and end up jabbing our
eyes with pencils after a few minutes because I’ve already used a 9 in
that column! At any rate, readers have been asking for sudoku puzzles
for a while now, and since our reader surveys showed that few people
seemed to be addicted to the old cryptoquote puzzles, we made the switch
when we redesigned the comics page. Best of luck puzzlers!
here’s one I received a while back… why doesn’t the newspaper print
admissions and discharges from the local hospital like they used to?
(many years ago.) The short answer here is privacy. The government has
regulations in place so that you must given written permission for a
health care facility to let anyone know that you are, or was a patient
being treated there. Since so few people want to see in the newspaper
that they were just discharged from the hospital after a gall bladder
attack, there just simply is none of that news to print. Quite frankly,
it’s more gossip than news after a while. If there is a lesson here for
us, it’s to keep closer track of your friends. That way you will know
when Madge’s gall bladder starts acting up.
As the editor of the
Times Bulletin, I try to make sure we are providing a service you cannot
get anywhere else. High school sports stories and pictures, stories
involving city council, county government, police, and other entities
that get your tax money are things you usually won’t see on television.
That’s why we are here. And I do welcome suggestions, but oftentimes,
the suggestions and/or complaints cannot be taken care of to please
everybody. Luckily though, it’s spring. Go ahead and get one item at
your place cleaned up this weekend. Save the naps for Monday. Mondays
are made to sleep through anyway!