Newspaper Archive of
The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
January 4, 2012     The New Era Paper
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January 4, 2012

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Page 4 :1  ra - January 4, 201 '2 COMMUNITV OPINION Resolutions require reader response Now that the new year's here, I've got a few resolutions to work on this year. As publisher and editor of your local newspaper, I'm always in- terested in doing our job better. A newspaper is a business but, as I've noted in the past in this column, it's different than other businesses. It's a community institution. The New Era has served Sweet Home since 1929. It provides something readers cannot get any other way: dispassionate, neutral (as much as possible) coverage of local news - local government ac- tions that affect you, local calami- ties, local trends, local sports, local community activities - and local business communication in the form of advertising. And it belongs to you in a very real sense, although my family has invested money in it for the privilege of operating your newspaper. Notes From The Newsroom I Scott Swanson Publisher I remember a few years ago, before the recession really slammed home here in Sweet Home, writing that, so far, things hadn't been too bad for The New Era, despite the constant stream of news about the travails of the big city papers. What I said then, and what I continue to say, is that community papers such as this one will endure A locally owned newspaper founded Sept. 27, 1929 Scott and Miriam Swanson, Co-Publishers www, sweethomenews,com Office: 1313 MainSt., Sweet Home, Oregon Mailing address: The New Era, Box 39, Sweet Home, OR, 97386 Phone: (541) 367-2135 Fax: (541) 367-2137 WHO WE ARE Scott Swanson, Editor/Co-Publisher scott@sweethomenews.com Sean C. Morgan, Staff Writer sean@sweethomenews.com Miriam Swanson, Advertising Manager, Co-Publisher miriam@sweethomenews.com Christy Keeney, Classified Ads classifieds@sweethomenews.com Firiel Severns, Advertising Sales firiel@sweethomenews.com The New Era (USPS 379-100)is published each Wednesday. Periodical postage paid at the Sweet Home, Ore., 97386 Post Office. Postmaster: Please send address changes to The New Era, Box 39, Sweet Home, Oregon 97386 SUBSCRIPTIONS In Linn County: $32 Elsewhere: $40 Snowbird: $38 NEWS QUESTIONS/TIPS Call (541) 367.2135 or e-mail news@sweethomenews.com when the chain-owned and metro dailies that try to rely on the same wire copy you can read on dozens of Internet sites may not. But it's been a hard slog, business-wise, the last few years. Many local businesses either have stopped advertising or have reduced their advertising, which has consequently reduced both the amount of pages we can devote to news and our budget to finance our news operation. I clearly remember one time, soon after we were forced to reduce page counts in response to advertis- ing declines, that a member of the high school swimming team asked me why we didn't mn as many pho- tos as The New Era used to. She said she thought the coverage had slipped.. She had a point. We didn't have the space for news that we used to, and although I tried to explain that to her, I think it sounded kind of empty to a high school student. Thank God (1 mean that) for the faithful advertisers and insert- ers who have continued to pro- mote themselves and their services through the newspaper, because that benefits you, the reader. Having said all that, as publish- er, I have goals that we're working on to make ourselves better this year. Since I think it's foolish to make de- cisions in a vacuum, I would like to hear from you, the reader, regarding things we could do to improve The New Era. Here are some of the things I'd be particularly interested in hearing about from you: News coverage - We appre- ciate having a knowledgeable, fair reporter, who has worked in Sweet Home for more than 15 years, in Sean Morgan. Sean has done a pretty good job of balancing his commitment to the community, as a local resident, with his responsi- bility to report on local government -the city, public safety agencies, the schools - as objectively as possible. He has opinions, but you don't see them in his stories. That's good. I have worked for five or six differ- ent newspapers and taught journal- ism at a university, and I've seen a lot of journalists come and go. I appreciate his ability to fairly report stories - and the subjects of those stories frequently assure me that our reporting has been accurate and fair (even if I know it doesn't necessar- ily have the "spin" they'd prefer). That said, one goal for us this year is to improve our news cover- age in certain areas, without reduc- ing what we already provide - un- less it's unnecessary. When we're trying to decide what to cover and what not to cover, reader input is really helpful. I'm not talking just about tips here, although we greatly value story ideas from the commu- nity. I'm talking about ways that we might need to consider expanding our coverage. The flip side is that we have to make space for it, but I'm always interested in hearing your ideas. Other content - How about the comics? The puzzles? We know some readers really like some or all of those, but the question is wheth- er, given the tight space we have, they're popular enough to take up inches that could be filled by, say, sports photos. That's another area about which I'd like to hear from readers. If you have strong opin- ions, let me know. See Notes, page 5 From Our Files, Looking back on 80 years covering the San faro Playground. January 4, 1962 Edmond Crume, 50, a former Sweet Home resident, was killed in a sawmill accident on Dec. 26 in Hamilton, Mont. Crume was reportedly mak- ing saw adjustments during a break period when the machinery was accidently turned on, and he was thrown into the head rig- ging. Mouth-to-mouth breathing was responsible for saving the life of 6-month-old Jeffrey Wai- ters, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lee Waiters, on Saturday. The infant nearly suffocated as the result of breathing into one of several plastic cleaning bags which were draped over freshly cleaned clothing in the back seat of the family automobile. Mrs. Walters had gone into a store in downtown Sweet Home and while she was gone the infant had apparently crawled over to the bags. When Mrs. Waiters returned the infant was blue in the face and not breathing. Mrs. Wakers gave mouth-to-mouth breathing until his breathing returned to normal. The Sweet Home Union high school band will sponsor a festival in which the bands from Albany and Lebanon will be pre- forming with. "Each band will preform a couple of pieces then combine into a single group of about 200," said band director Bob Parker. January 7, 1987 A remodeling project at the Sweet Home Thriftway Store has been pushed ahead three months due to an accident Dec. 30 in which a 1976 pickup truck smashed through the glass front wall, crashing into the office area. Christi Alheit, 62, and Fred- erick Alheit, 92, two passengers in the truck, and Dean Shamek, 18, a passenger in the store, were all transported to the Lebanon Community Hospital. The plans for remodeling in- cluded a new hot dell and an ex- panded meat department. Dam- aged were three meat cases, a camera system, electrical equip- ment and ceiling and floor tiles. WRITE A LETTER We encourage readers to express their opinions in letters to the editor on matters of public interest. Letters should be typed and may be submitted by mail, e-mail, fax or in person at The New Era office. E-mailed letters may be sent to news@sweethomenews.com. Please include a telephone number in case we need to contact you. Also, we require that you include your name and city of residence or your letter will not be published. There is no length restriction, but letters may be edited for length and all letters will be edited for libelous content. We discourage letters that attack or complain about private citizens or businesses on a personal level. Also, letters containing comments on topics deemed by the editorial staff to have been exhausted in previous letters will be edited accordingly.