Mike seemed a bit taken aback when I gave him a call Tuesday afternoon.
He had emailed me a note that morning, asking about the rain totals we published on our weather page, noting the modest numbers we reported following Monday’s storm. In Nevada City, the report showed 0.25 inches had fallen, while 0.15 inches were recorded in Grass Valley.
Mike’s note was well-received and put to use, as we looked further into the matter. Apparently, the totals we receive are recorded over a 24-hour period, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., but by the time they hit the paper, they’re nearly 24 hours old.
So what appeared in Tuesday morning’s edition was rainfall recorded from 7:30 a.m. Sunday to 7:30 a.m. Monday. Wednesday’s edition, of course, showed 1.20 inches of rain fell in Nevada City, while Grass Valley got 1.39 inches between 7:30 a.m. Monday and 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. In all, between Sunday morning and Tuesday morning, a total of 1.54 inches of rain fell on Grass Valley.
“(Rain totals) are always going to be in arrears,” said Dave Winterholler at the Grass Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant, where the recordings are made and sent to the National Weather Service. “We can’t record it until it happens.”
In calling Mike to share word of what we’d heard, the numbers seemed to make more sense to both of us in the end. And, I told him, perhaps there was a way to improve upon the whole process and our weather page reports in general, which he seemed grateful to hear.
But Mike also seemed a bit surprised that I’d taken the time to give him a call to hear out his concerns, which surprised me because understanding what our readers — aka customers — want is a big part of my role here at The Union.
And, as of today, you have a direct opportunity to help us better understand what you want from your community newspaper. We extend an invitation to you to provide your feedback through our Reader Survey, now available at TheUnion.com/Survey.
What areas of our community need more focused news coverage? What are your favorite features published in The Union? What are the ones you could do without? What suggestions do you have for making The Union the community newspaper you desire?
Now’s your chance.
The survey includes newspaper and website questions, as well as consumer and demographic questions. Anyone who completes the survey will have the opportunity to register to win $50 in gift cards for breakfast at Tofanelli’s Gold Country Bistro, one of Grass Valley’s most popular restaurants.
Your comments will be thoroughly and thoughtfully reviewed by our staff as we plan for the future of The Union and TheUnion.com, helping to form editorial content strategy in order to produce the kind of content you want and need.
And, who knows? Like Mike, you might just be surprised by how much your opinion matters to your paper.
Brian Hamilton is editor at The Union. Contact him via email at email@example.com or by phone at 477-4249.