A year of experience in the books and more on the horizon
July 5, 2013
Today is my one-year anniversary at The Union. Where does the time go?
One thing I've learned is there's no starving the social calendar in our community. There's always a festival, a special event, concert or art exhibit to which I look forward.
Given the abundance of fun things to do and experience around here, inevitably there is overlap and conflict that often leaves me disappointed when I have to choose one gig over another. Certainly, that's a good problem to have.
The first "event" I attended here last year was the July Fourth parade in downtown Nevada City. I was impressed by the crowds of onlookers lining the streets and quickly knew this community was special and a great place to be. I'm looking forward to the Grass Valley version of the parade this Thursday.
I’m still amazed at all the cool stuff that goes on here and the dedicated people who make it happen. You’ve heard me say this more than once: I am grateful I get the privilege to call this community my home.
I find the farmers markets to be especially entertaining and a great way to wind down and enjoy the sense of community. I'm grateful for free events like these that happen here each every week during the summer that give our residents and visitors fun activities for all ages.
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I love live music, so when I need to dig into my wallet, I'm often torn between the calendar of events at The Center For The Arts, In Concert Sierra, Music in the Mountains or the summer happenings at our local wineries. We are chock full of choices, and again, it's a problem I don't mind having.
I'm still amazed at all the cool stuff that goes on here and the dedicated people who make it happen. You've heard me say this more than once: I am grateful I get the privilege to call this community my home.
Let's not forget there's work to do and work we've been doing, indeed. This past year at The Union, we've made some strides to be a better community newspaper, but there's always another mile in the marathon. Frankly, we've been a work in progress since 1864, and we'll continue to adapt and improve the ways we do things to continue to be your most reliable news and information source in the area.
I've used this space on several occasions to provide "the state of The Union" to bring you up to speed on the latest changes and upgrades we've made, and today is no exception. Here we go, again …
First, I'm pleased to announce the promotion of Brian Hamilton from managing editor to editor. Admittedly, this is more of a formality since Brian has led the daily operations of the newsroom for the past year. It's been rewarding to watch him grow in his leadership role at The Union and within the community.
Second, I want to announce two new columns that will rotate bi-weekly in Wednesday's Farm to Table section of the newspaper and on our website starting next week. Several authors from the BriarPatch Co-op will write a column titled "BriarPatch Bramble," and Kevin Cotter, general manager of New Earth Market in Yuba City, will pen "The Root." Both columns will focus on the benefits of healthy eating and buying from local, organic food sources.
Third, I'd like to introduce you to "Web Connect," a compilation of our favorite local blogs on myriad subjects that is now available at TheUnion.com. To get to it from TheUnion.com's home page, simply click on the "Web Connect" link on the right-hand side under the "Inside" header. Voila!
These popular local bloggers on Web Connect provide a fresh perspective and highlight the best our community has to offer. Like a lot of the content on our website, Web Connect does not require a subscription. I encourage you to visit TheUnion.com and see what these locals have to say.
Lastly, we hosted our first community advisory group session last month. We had 12 local citizens attend a meeting to provide feedback on The Union's performance in satisfying their news and informational needs. They gave us input on what we're doing right and what we needed to improve. We found the discussion very worthwhile and look forward to the ongoing dialogue.
For the past year, I've tried to be accessible and approachable to community leaders, business owners and the members of our community at large. I think it's important to have constructive dialogue, and I look forward to doing more of that in the future and meeting more of you.
As I move into year two at The Union, I look forward to continuing to contribute, personally and professionally, to help make our community an even better place to live, work and play.
Dave Schmall is publisher of The Union. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 530-477-4299.