Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tidbits from the 10th Issue of The Henderson Press

Here we have Vol. 2, No. 5, dated March 10 - March 23, 2011. I can't wait until I get to the weekly issues. More immediate news, and I'm interested to see if pressure like that improves a few of the writers. Jeremy Twitchell slam-dunks it no matter what, but since he's no longer there, I want to see who steps up and perhaps does it just as well.

Now to the issue itself:

- I'm sure Don Logay's in here again somewhere, but first, the leading article in this issue is about the forthcoming St. Patrick's Day Parade & Festival. It's by Karen Y. Lu and begins: "The lively sounds, sights and scents of the Irish culture will fill the air from Thursday, March 17th through Sunday the 20th at the Henderson Events Plaza in celebration of St. Patrick's Day." I'm a sucker for alliteration, so Lu's pulled me in right away. And she may be right about it all being lively. I don't consider it editorializing because those festivals generally are lively. I hate the "fill the air" part. I read too many articles like that in The Signal which began with just that phrase: "Celebratory noises and shouts filled the air as..." "The pleasant, blooming scent of various flowers filled the air..." It's not Lu's fault. But one writer at The Signal, when I was there, continually used it, never stretching to think of something else. Mad Libs for journalists.

- It seems like the economy is gradually getting better, and here's a Twitchell article about the City of Henderson's Development Services Center (described as "a one-stop shop meant to streamline the planning and permitting process") being dismantled after being projected to bring in its lowest income total ever, with construction having come to a standstill in Henderson. I'm interested to see how the articles read in future issues, especially those starting from the beginning of this year.

- This is the Fred Couzens I like: An article about public comments being accepted until April 4 about "a proposed 600-kilovolt extra-high voltage electrical transmission line running through the utility corridor between Lake Las Vegas and Calico Ridge" is well-written because he deals best in facts over people. He's the one reporter besides Twitchell who can make sense out of bureaucratic gobbledygook, which is most of this article, and of the issues that come out of it.

- Another Couzens article is about the bid for a proposed expansion of Warm Springs Road in eastern Henderson coming in lower than expected. No quotes from anyone. Just facts and figures. This is Couzens' playground. He does it best.

- Twitchell's big article in the Local News section, headlined, "Transportation Options Studied," about "three planning studies examining the future of transportation in Henderson" being "among seven studies expected to be funded by the Regional Transportation Commission" has two photos by Couzens, one of the site of a potential future roadway and another of Boulder Highway, highlighting its right-of-way issues with a truck turning out of the roadway and a car turning into the roadway. Couzens doesn't write very well all the time, but his photos are great all the time. He's a true photographer. I know I've mentioned this before, but it's part of what makes The Henderson Press a rare professional community newspaper.

- Page 6 has a coupon in the middle of the left side for Mocha Joe Coffee. "Free Drink with Purchase" at 117 Water Street in downtown Henderson. Sounds like a new business.

- Couzens has another article, about more computers at the new James I. Gibson Library than at the old downtown library, which I think closed. This one shows that if Couzens interviews only one person, branch manager Candace Kingsley in this article, he gets good quotes. More than one, and there's mix-ups and other troubles. But I hope that he becomes more skilled at interviewing more than one person for an article as these issues go on.

- On page 12 in the middle of the right side is a coupon from Emery's La Barrista Restaurant for "All you can eat Spagetti [sic] and Meatballs (Lunch & Dinner) - $9.95 + tax." It sounds a lot nicer than Olive Garden.

- Here is Don Logay with an article about the upcoming "semi-annual" Brew's Best Beer Festival at Lake Las Vegas. In this article at least, he understands to just let those putting on the event speak, not himself, to just observe various details without getting overexcited about them. Readers will figure out what interests him based on what he writes about, that is if they're reading for more than just the information like I do. The last paragraph is weak, though: "A festival to celebrate beer. Imagine that! Better yet, don't imagine it, be there." It feels tacked on, not a natural part of this article. My guess is that he was trying to figure out some way to end the article, but couldn't come up with anything else. That's happened to me many times and when it does, I make sure that it feels like a natural ending, that all that I've written leads to that. Sometimes I don't succeed, but lately, when I haven't, it's never as public as this. Otherwise, it's a good article, and Lake Las Vegas has quite the booster in Logay.

- There's a coupon in the first page of coupons for a $4.95 16 oz. ham steak with eggs, potatoes and toast at Skyline Casino. I'm still taken aback by all the food choices in Las Vegas, Henderson, and Summerlin. If you feel like going out, you could be paralyzed by indecision.

- The Service Directory/Jobs page looks a lot more organized. Different categories instead of listings for the businesses just splashed all over and each business in its own box.

- On the Transportation page is a listing for a 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser for $11,988. We have it now, it's good for what we need, but only locally. It can't handle long trips anymore, which is why the next time we go to Nevada, we're renting a car. That's not a reflection on the PT Cruiser in general, but I want to be continually comfortable in a car and this isn't the one for me. Speaking of that, still no listings for a Toyota Corolla.

And that's it. A milder issue this time. More about the business of the community, which is necessary, but I hope the next issue delves into more of the actual community, activities, and other things bringing people together. A consistent balance of the business of the community and the community itself is ideal.

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