Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What do you want to read about?

This is the question that every reporter/editor/newspaper owner wants to know. So naturally, I want to know.

I'm asking - what do you care about?

I know Newburyporters love to talk and read about food, so we recently added a food section on Newburyport Business. This was mostly because once Loretta opened, the hits on my December story about the new restaurant went up, up, up. I noticed the same spike in hits on posts on this blog about Oregano, once Oregano opened.

Do you want restaurant reviews, or just plain stories? Do you want photos of the food? Do you want menus? What? Do tell.


Ari Herzog said...

Personally, I'd like your blog to focus on the diversity you have always focused on.

Newburyport Biz is separate.

Great question, though; and the answers are fodder I'd enjoy reading from people about every local medium. What do people want to read in the DN, Current, Globe North, Newburyport Posts, etc.

Dick Monahan said...

I'd like to see some discussion about the idiocy of the police department's installing video cameras around the downtown. How can that happen without the Council's being involved? Are the police running the town?

If I were younger, I'd be working toward leaving town. Since that's not rational at this time, I'll content myself with avoiding the area whenever possible.

For example, I won't be going to the Firehouse for the performance I was planning on in two weeks, I will miss walking along the boardwalk and I will really miss the Gelato all summer. I wonder if I can walk to the Grog without being spied on? Can I go to the Tannery?

Have you seen what's been done in England? They hang a tire over the camera, pour in a little petrol, and set it on fire. Not that I'm suggesting such a thing, of course.

Ari Herzog said...

As far as the cameras, they were purchased through a grant and the Council does not need to approve grant expenses as it is not taxpayer funds.

That said, I've inquired about this particular process to some city officials who would know the answer and await a response. Stay tuned...

Gillian Swart said...

Yeah, you'd think that if you need Council approval for just about everything, this would be at or near the top of the list. They should have put them on the rail trail (if anywhere) since I hear there are few police resources to actually ... errrrr, I mean there will be LOTS of police presence on the rail trail (just in case some criminal element is reading this). Oh, I forgot I already posted the story ...

Gillian Swart said...

Hmmmm ... that's not a hyperlink, is it?

Dick Monahan said...

How about an Open Thread every day? Lots of blogs I read do that. You just post a standard message with an invitation to comment about anything.

macsurf said...

The camera issue downtown bugs me too. Not because I'm going to commit a crime, but because of the whole idea of being "under surveillance" while outside in public.

I know many restuarants and bars have cameras for liability issues, but that's different.

heck, at Michael's Harborside, EVERYBODY, staff and customer alike, is under constant surveillance. It's eerie. cameras are strtegically placed all around the restaurant.

But when it comes to simply walking on the water front, or down Inn or State Streets, the idea that some form of Big Brother kind of takes the way of strolling thru a New England sea port town.

Here's a question. I have an obedience trained little dog who responds to all voice commands, stays at my heel, and does not need to be on a leash.

So, if I'm walking Jake at six in the morning along the waterfront, with my my pooper scooper in hand of course, and I let him off leash, is a cruiser going to appear and write me a ticket because the dispatcher watching the cameras "caught" me breaking the law? I don't see this so much as a matter of enhancing true public safety, but rather as an Orwellian way to increase revenue.

I think the discussion should be brought to the City Council and the residents of Newburyport should be free to say whether they want to become part of the surveillance society

macsurf said...

Gillian, I chuckled when I read your concern, tongue in cheek as it may have been, about revealing the possible lack of a police presence on the rail trail.

I don't mean any disrespect, but this obsession people have in lily white, low crime, Neburyport with crime is almost funny.

Some of those people should try living here, in this tropical "paradise" that glossy high end, real estate rag magazines on the rack in Fowles depict as an upscale, bourgeois bohemian, retirement and vacation heaven.

I love the place. The closest thing to family I have now is here.

But man, have I learned to adapt to the realities of crime.

I NEVER walk the beach after dark. I don't ride my bike to or from town after dark.

My partner Frank took a marksman's course, got his license to carry, and whenever we are traveling in the car , especially if it's to the bank in Limon or on the four drive to the house in San Jose, he is wearing a shoulder holster with a loaded and ready to fire 9mm Glock within easy reach.

His dad does the same thing.

I don't have a gun at my house, but I have a taser in the drawer of the nightsand. I also am fortunate to have great Tico neighbors, and we all have attentive dogs, so the thieves tend to leave us alone - mainly because our houses are so basic they assume we don't have much to steal.

But many of the newly washed ashore Newburyport style bourgeois bohemians are building tropical trophy houses and they are being hit left and right by heavily armed bands of masked men who hold them at gun point and clean their homes out.

Knock wood, no one's been killed yet, but a few fools who tried to fight with the guys have been badly pistol whipped and cut up with machetes.

I guess that's why I find talk that surveillance cameras are necessary in Newburyport so comical and troubling. For the most part, Porters haven't even got a clue as to what living day to day with a very real crime problem is all about, yet so many of them seem so untroubled by their day to day activities coming increasingly under their scrutiny of what really is "Big Brother".

Gillian Swart said...

Heck, macsurf, I spent some years living in Flint, Michigan - you know, where my brother was nearly mugged in my parents' driveway (fortunately he was still in his car so he gunned it down the driveway), where you don't open the door w/out peering out first and so on and so forth. Then I lived for 20 yrs. in Boston, where I felt a little safer (!) but also where my sister was held up at gunpoint while walking from the T to our apartment on The Fenway and where someone else lifted her wallet on the Green Line (she apprehended the criminal at the Northeastern T stop). Living in Newburyport is like living in Nirvana.

Gillian Swart said...

A state of Nirvana ...? Whatever, you know what I meant!