A sea of change is upon us. I am not a proponent of change for the sake of change, but change for a well-planned progression with a defined focus and purpose is a good thing.
What's that phrase? Don't upset the apple cart? Well, sometimes, moving the cart uncovers hidden gems and exciting opportunities that, simply said, make my job fun, invigorating and rewarding.
Over the past several weeks, our managing editor retired after 26 years. Existing staff were promoted to new roles and hires were made to make our transition smooth and conducive to community submissions and interaction with our team.
While Cary Brunswick will be greatly missed and I hope his golf game is doing well, I know those who assumed new duties will do a stellar job in their new roles.
During that same time, other ongoing projects were forging ahead, and I wanted to share some of the new features and upcoming expansion of services that might be of interest.
The current edition of our glossy quarterly magazine, Upstate Life, hit the streets in July with the next to publish in mid-October. Comments from readers have been overwhelmingly positive, and the magazines have been flying off the shelves.
That said, even with the 8,500 copies that are distributed, we were running out and have had many requests for past issues. Since its inception two years ago, readers have told their friends about a great article or feature on a community member or event.
So, I am happy to say, while continuing to the print version, we have launched an electronic version, www.upstatelifemagazine.com.
Not only does it have the current issue, but it also contains archives from past issues, a list of places you can get your hands on this hot commodity, and capabilities to leave comments, feedback and story ideas. Check it out!
Often when out and about, I hear suggestions and comments about the newspaper. Please know they do not fall on deaf ears.
Our new bridge game is a result of just that. I don't know how many times I have heard from the gamers and subscribers out there about how much they look forward to doing the crossword puzzle, Jumble or Sudoku with their morning coffee. You asked for a bridge column, and now you have it! I hope you enjoy it!
Now, there is something about the nostalgia of seeing yourself, your child, friend or neighbor's picture in print that will never go away. I still have the scrapbook clippings my mom saved during my younger, thinner years.
For the last six months, The Weekly Star, published every Friday, has featured a "friends and neighbors" spread highlighting community-submitted photos or a collage of a recent event.
It has been very popular. For the next few months, in addition to this photo array, youth soccer and pee-wee football will be highlighted.
Sponsors give money. Coaches donate their time. Parents bear the elements to support. But most importantly, the players practice, learn the rules of the game and the value of teamwork and sportsmanship and get physical activity, all while having a great time. They give it all they've got and deserve the limelight. Look for this season-long extra!
Very shortly, we will launch yet another offering. In my house, my husband has many endearing terms for my BlackBerry, but for me it is a necessary evil and helps me to fulfill my publisher's duties.
I look around and know I am not alone when a phone rings in a meeting and everyone reaches for their waistband or purse to turn their cell or device to vibrate.
Sit in a local coffee shop and just observe how many people are texting away, many quicker than I can type!
We are a society that wants vital information that fits our lifestyle the way we want it. Since The Daily Star already offers an e-mail-alert function, we are happy to announce an expansion to a text service.
You will be able to get text-alerts for school closings, National Weather Service warnings, sports updates and breaking news, all free of charge. Look for more details in the weeks to come.
But one thing that hasn't changed is my quest to quit smoking. While I still light up about 10 times a day, I look at it as a triumph.
By my calculations, I have not smoked 10,950 cigarettes I might otherwise have if I had not been so public about it.
I know I have some work to do since those that remain are the habit cigarettes, like after a meal or with my morning coffee, but I continue to forge ahead. I am proud that I have not digressed and still hold true to my ultimate goal of kicking smoking for good.
As for your local daily newspaper, your input makes us better, and your comments and suggestions are necessary and appreciated to enhance our products, offerings and features.
For more than 100 years, it has been our privilege to serve this community and we will continue to solicit, embrace and implement change for many more years to come. We are here, and our ears are open.