Bribery is the best policy
Hoping to draw a few visitors to a recent meeting, an official offered pizza for those who would show up. The official was true to his word as seven pizzas were delivered to the hungry crowd. Oh, if only every public meeting included food. It's a good thing he didn't offer steak, the room would have been full (of reporters, if no one else) and his pockets empty.
The City of Warren has been working to eliminate blight in the city. Sometimes, a property owner can avoid a blight designation by making improvements, sometimes not. Installing new windows and siding are some of the steps often taken to ensure the committee that the property is getting better, not worse. At a recent meeting, committee members talked vinyl, but not on the outside of the house. After getting a look at a photo from inside a house, the members were impressed by the collection of record albums left behind.
The traditional handshake isn't always the best method of introduction for reporters. We tend to encounter people doing what they do. We might have to talk to them while they're cleaning out stables, delivering a calf, carrying something heavy, or right after they washed their hands to take care of something that requires a high degree of cleanliness. Before shaking a successful deer hunter's hand prior to taking a photo, a reporter hesitated at the sight of the blood covering that hand. Both agreed a gentlemen's nod would do the trick.
Hockey night in... Jamestown
The Jamestown Ironmen opened their inaugural season in Jamestown (they're from the Detroit area) in November. As a publicity stunt for the team and the healthy activities that keep the players in shape, every member of the team shared some time and expertise with students at Beaty-Warren Middle School. While the team captain was standing in front of a net (he's not the goalie) facing shots from middle schoolers, he said he still had all his teeth. A photographer who was crouched right beside the net - and was concerned for his own teeth - expressed some surprise. The player reassured him, but seemed resigned to the occupational hazard. "You haven't lost any teeth?" the photographer asked. "Not yet," he said.
When the Times Observer puts information on its Facebook site, it wants pictures. If no pic is provided, something somewhere tells something to go get one. For a recent posting, the picture chosen (possibly at random) was a picture of Times Observer reporter Brian Ferry with a "crazy scientist vibe."