Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rome Home Show is open

Good crowd early on At the Rome home show at the Armory on Black River Blvd.
As you can see  Elmo's here, along with his great pal, Mickey Mouse.
Stop by the Rome Observer booth (61) in Room B. You can live blog, just say 'Hi' to Managing Editor Kali Zigrino, or suggest stories you'd like to see in the paper.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

See you in Rome

I'll be stopping by the Rome Home Show at the Rome Armory on Black River Boulevard on Saturday.
The Rome Observer is one of the many businesses that will have booths there.
The event, which runs from 10am-6pm on Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sunday, offers the opportunity to meet lots of business people in Rome while stocking up on pens, chip clips, coffee cups and other swag.
The Rome Observer will offer live blogging throughout the show.

Read the Rome Observer story here

Learn more about the show here:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Oneida middle school plan makes sense

Like many residents of the Oneida City School District, I’ll need a lot more information before I decide whether to vote “Yes” or “No” on the budget on May 17.
One thing on which I don’t need any more information is the plan to move the district 6th-graders into the middle school. I’d be in favor even if it didn’t save a dime.
My lovely wife, Linda, and I had two children go through Otto Shortell Middle School, so we saw the current system’s shortcomings first-hand.
The biggest problem is that despite many of the teachers’ best efforts, it’s hard for them to develop closeness with many of the students in such a short time. This extra year will allow the teachers more time to reach out and mentor, something that benefits every kind of student.
And the kids, either they’re just newbies trying to find their way (not unlike high school freshmen) or they’re old hands focused on the next step (not unlike high school seniors). There are no analogues of the high school sophomores and juniors, who contribute so much to high schools.
Students’ time in middle school is, at its best, awkward and difficult. They lack the poise and coordination of high school students, but have already lost the cuteness of elementary students. For many it’s a time of clumsiness, self-consciousness and bullying. These kids need more attention and an extra year will make this possible.
I, for one, want to see the district go full-steam-ahead with this move. I only question why it took a budget crisis to do it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Golf is a cruel sport

 Anyone who plays golf and hasn't seen this video of PGA golfer Kevin Na's record-setting 16 on a par-4 last weekend should take a look. Think of it next time you have a bad hole.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Visitors asked questions at business expo in Oneida

It was great talking to so many people at Saturday's shindig in Oneida.
I learned a lot:
• Our new carrier force, provided by the Post Standard, is doing a better job, but more work remains to bring service up to the level it needs to be. Please call in at 888-699-2199 with any issues so things can be made right.
• A Canastota reader said he'd like to see more Canastota news. I told him I want more Canastota news, too. We'll get right on that.
• Several readers asked if our paper's recent outsourcing of printing and delivery is a sign that we're on the brink of going out of business. Far from it. The move puts us in a strong position. Once the final kinks are worked out in the delivery system, the carriers will be in good shape to prosper, even as the price of gasoline climbs. Since they are delivering both newspapers, their routes have more papers in a denser pattern. And as for the Post Standard press, it's one of the best in America. It can print high-quality color on every page. Yet it can only print newspapers - no greeting cards, handbills, wedding invitations or books, so most of the time it sits idle. While we are owned by different companies and still compete fiercely for news and advertising, both papers benefit from the arrangement.
• I talked to a number of people who want nothing to do with our digital efforts. They like their news on printed sheets they can hold in their hands. I told them they are not alone; lots of people still enjoy newsprint. It still works great for local advertising; people still pay to bring newspapers into their home. Newspapers don't need batteries and they're handy to have around for wrapping, window cleaning and a hundred other things. But the question isn't which is better, print or online or when or if online will replace print. The truth is they're both here now. Some people want their news in print and others only want it in digital forms. We want all these people to be our customers. We're a "digital first, print last," company, but we are committed to doing both.
This might be a good place to recap all we're doing digitally. It's a lot and we're getting better at it every day:
• - Our website continues to grow in the richness of content, frequency of updating and number of visitors. Local advertisers are finding it a good way to reach people who don't read printed papers.
• Twitter - Many of us at the paper are sending out tweets about things we find interesting in the paper or online. Follow me at and you'll find links to the others.
• Facebook - We post information on our Facebook page so our friends know what the top local stories are. Like us at:
• Blog Center - Several of us at the Dispatch have blogs and we've recruited a few community bloggers, but we want more. We want our Blog Center to represent a wide range of local information and opinion. Listing your blog with us is a win-win deal. Our site gets better, but we provide a big boost to anyone who wants more eyeballs for their blogs. Not only do we have thousands of visitors every day, but since we area a bonafide trusted news source, any blog linked from our site will rank higher in the search engines and bring you more visitors. Popular bloggers can earn money. If you want to know more, e-mail or call me. To see the blogs we have so far go to:
• SMS texts - I've saved the newest for last. The Dispatch has just begun offering news via text messages for mobile phones. This is completely different from Twitter or Facebook. We will not use this as a way to inform readers of our stories in our other products. It is breaking, significant news as it happens. Each story is only one or two sentences that sum up the basics. We won't send any after 8 p.m. (who wants their phone to wake them up for news?) and we'll only send 1 to 4 messages per day. If there's no big news we won't send any. The service is totally opt-in. If you don't request it, you won't receive it; you can turn it off any any time.  The service is free, there will eventually be a line of advertising text added to end of the story, usually offering local deals. To try it out, just text "ONEnews" to 22700.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

More blogging from the Oneida Business Expo / Chocolate Fest

Bogey's at Kanon Valley Country Club and Kanon Valley are offering great deals from the Business & Chocolate Expo today in downtown Oneida!  Easter dinner menu and trial golf memberships are available.  Come to the Kallet and find out more!


Here at La Vie Boheme we are enjoying an awesome time at the Chocolate Fest......I'm sooooo full!!!! Come and check out our Fair Trade Items!!! When you purchase an item, you support the artisans that create them and their local villages.


Come on down and try the chocovine espresso, raspberry or the Pleasant Valley Chocolate lab....these wines are delicious....have a great day...Barbanos Liquor store


RealtyUSA  is now open in Oneida and Chittenango and we welcome all our past present and future clients to stop in and say hi.  Thank you to the Oneida Daily Dispatch for all the advertising help.  Come and meet any of our qualified agents to help you with any of your real estate needs.


Good afternoon Oneida,

The Oneida City Police are here showcasing community and personal safety.  At our booth we have free information regarding senior safety, Internet safety for kids, home fire arm safety, as well as other various topics.  Come visit us at the show and we will be happy to answer any questions.  Thank you and enjoy the chocolate fest.

Ofc. Lowell
Oneida City Police


greetings from downtown gotham city there are over thirty vendors displaying thier wares,  a great turnout. a nice job by the o d a    see you at summerfest.     george clark     


Photo post from Business Expo / Chocolate Fest

John Haeger stopped by and took a much better photo. Thanks, John.

I'm blogging with our General Manager Karen Alvord and our Circulation Director Marc Alvord.

Blogging at the Oneida Business Expo / Chocolate Fest

Among the people posting to our blog today was 5-year-old Jack Grinnell of Oneida. He's being watched by Bernie Sykes.

Visitors invited to blog

Visitors to our booth at the Oneida Business Expo / Chocolate Fest this afternoon at the Kallet in Oneida are invited to contribute their views. Watch this blog for their comments.

Up and blogging at the Oneida Business Expo / Chocolate Fest

C'mon down to the Kallet; say "Hi" this afternoon

Thursday, April 14, 2011

See you at the business expo/chocolate fest Saturday

The Dispatch will be one of about 35 local businesses at Saturday's Spring-time Chocolate Festival and Business Expo.

I'll be there doing live blogging and some tweeting. I hope to field questions about the Dispatch's online or print efforts.

I'm hoping to recruit some people who want to have their own blogs on our site. The mechanics of blogging are easy; I'll be happy to show you how it's done.

Oneida’s Downtown Association is holding the event from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Kallet Civic Center.

Other businesses, including Hood, Hershey’s Ice Cream, Kerwin’s Cakes and WMCR radio will be there. Barbano’s Liquor store will handing out wine samples.

The band Double Chase will play and La Vie Boheme Bistro will hold an open mic program.

There is a $5 admission fee, but with all the swag that will be handed out, it sounds like a bargain.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Difficult to balance liberal, conservative views

Reader Robert Hughes Sr. wrote in the other day saying he kept a tally of the columnists on our Opinion Page from Dec. 31 through Feb. 27 and during that time we featured 46 liberal columnists and only 27 conservative ones.
He freely admits the classification was “based on my opinion of liberal and conservative points of view.” He knows that others doing the same study might arrive at different numbers; in fact, he encourages them to do exactly that.
I’d like to thank Mr. Hughes for his efforts; I like the fact that people care what appears in their newspaper.
I’ve spoken to Mr. Hughes several times. He’s not the only one who thinks the “mainstream media” are filled with liberals who want to foist their views on America.
For what it’s worth, I take comments from readers to heart. I want our Opinion Page to reflect the wide range of thought that exist among our readers.
I do my best to balance things given what’s available and pertinent on any given day. I love it when I can run two diametrically-opposed points of view on a particularly partisan issue. But this isn’t always possible. There might be room just for one column on a subject. Sometimes, in cases like these, I’ll run a cartoon that takes another point of view. Since Mr. Hughes only tallied columns, these would not appear in his analysis.
I don’t have the ability or the inclination to answer for other news outlets, but I believe this paper’s most pronounced prejudice is in favor of diversity of opinion. And I believe the stable of columnists that appear on our page represent a wide range of viewpoints.
I don’t find it quite so easy to brand most of them as liberal or conservatives, but here are my own opinions of each of our regular columnists:
• Donald Kaul - This retired Des Moines Register columnist has been a leading liberal voice on the national scene for years.
• Will Durst - San Francisco-based comic calls himself “Raging Moderate,” but his jokes are usually at the expense of conservatives.
• Donna Brazile - She was Al Gore’s campaign manager. ‘Nuff said.
• Gene Lyons - This Arkansas Democrat columnist is co-author of the book “The Hunting of the President: The 10-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton.”
• Katherine Lopez - She’s editor of the strongly-conservative National Review online.
• Byron York - Former National Review columnist, he’s a conservative voice for the Washington Examiner.
• Michael Reagan - The late president’s adopted son, he’s a popular radio talk-show host.
• Tom Purcell - Columnist for the conservative Pittsburgh Review, Purcell’s humor almost always has a conservative slant.
Not so easy to label
• Nat Hentoff - While he stands up for individual rights, much as many liberals and conservatives say they do, he agrees with conservatives on abortion and Fidel Castro.
• Morton Kondracke - The Roll Call editor sometimes agrees with the Republicans, sometimes with the Democrats and sometimes finds a position in-between.
• Peter Funt - Son of “Candid Camera” creator Alan Funt, he sometimes takes liberal stances, but more often than not writes about things that have no conservative or liberal platforms.
• Jim Hightower - Populist who opposes what he sees as the increasing power of corporations over indiduals in America. He writes short, to-the-point columns, so he can appear virtually every week.
• Andy Rooney - He says he’s a liberal, but rarely writes about politics.
• Martha Randolph Carr - Writes mostly about personal struggles.
• Tina Dupuy - L.A.-based stand-up comic frequently goes after conservatives, but will also give a tongue-lashing to liberals.
• Steve and Cokie Roberts - They certainly aren’t conservatives, but a lot of their writing is informational and not so partisan.
• William A. Collins - Likes to write about government waste.
• Jim Mullen - No politics, just humor.
• Michael Gormley - The Albany Capitol editor also writes news stories in addition to frequent analysis pieces. I haven’t noticed any biases either left or right.
Anyone who regularly reads our Opinion Page will recognize these names, but also know that some appear more often than others.
We will always try choose the opinions of local people on local issues over any of the national columnists speaking on national issues.
From a nuts-and-bolts point of view, Reagan, Purcell, Carr, Durst and Rooney write shorter than Hentoff, Kondracke and Brazile. Since whole sections of short columns don’t have to be eliminated to fit onto the page, shorter is better.
As always, I love to hear from people who disagree with decisions we make in presenting the news. It’s good to know people care what’s in their news report.
As they say, the opposite of love isn’t hate; the opposite of love is indifference.
I welcome your response.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Autism Walk at OHS draws big crowd

I'm amazed at the number of people who showed up for today's Autism Walk at Oneida High School. I'll be sure our story includes some numbers, but it must be in the hundreds.
The event's benefiting the Kelberman Center's work with people who have autism. I know from experience they do good work.
We'll have a story by local freelancer Michael Yeoman, along with photos and video by John Haeger.