Tag Archives: island packet

(belated) Friday Happy: SC Second Congressional District All-Star Edition

All this Joe Wilson news has sent my nostalgia gears into overdrive! I’ve been wrested out of my always frantic, rainy, gray Brooklyn bubble to remember those long, hot summer and fall days in Beaufort County, South Carolina, where I spent four years working for The Island Packet, sharing an occassional boat ride with our formerly innocuous congressman or dodging the all-too-common bison stampede or raging alligator attack.

I just booked my first flight down to Hilton Head since leaving for the wedding of some good friends from the paper, who also informed me this week that they, along with just about everyone else I knew at the paper, is quitting and going elsewhere, partly due to the terribly depressing situation that is this specific iteration of the industry’s death throes.

So for Friday happy this week (yes, I know it’s way past Friday), I’ve complied an all-star list of Second Congressional District related items, as an homage to the friends, talented writers and unique personalities I encountered down there, and because it’s the only time that district has made national news for a political, non-missing persons-related story in many years.

First, Joe Wilson (real name Addison)! The memories we had together! The days spent on the phone, the thumbs ups he gave to constituents at public meetings, where — make no mistake — the people loved him. His reelection is not in doubt, and, in all likelihood, is even more assured after his outburst (just mire through the comments on this AP story the Packet ran if you need proof)

So here are two of our favorite Joe Wilson pictures of all time. Credit goes to Jay Karr/Island Packet.

shake?

shake?

constituent services

constituent services

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This Week in Great Sentences

It gets you out of the car and into the air that this week is drunk with the aroma of Confederate jasmine.

~David Lauderdale, Beaufort Tree Walk gives preservation efforts deep roots, Island Packet, 5/12/09

David once worked in the same building as Arthur Sulzberger Jr. at The Raleigh Times (a paper mentioned in this telling but honest-in-its-pessimism Vanity Fair piece last month), a scrappy energetic former paper in a great news town whose building has since, fittingly, been turned into a bar. David’s a solid reporter-turned-columnist who dabbles in that particular Pat Conroy ability to invoke the presence of tall Lowcountry oaks and sleepy spanish moss into his writing.

______________
We won’t leave behind much in the way of original scholarship or art, but future anthropologists will (kindly, one hopes) take note of how slavishly we tended to a garden of sequels, prequels, adaptations, remakes and reboots. It was all we talked about.

~Hank Stuever, The Trouble with Quibbles, Washington Post, 5/11/09

Baby, you’re born to run (screaming), continued

Follow up from yesterday’s post. E-mail received today from another inside source at The Packet (a McClatchy paper):

Ugh. Worst day since I’ve been here. Salaries are cut. Furloughs later this year. 11 people laid off (no specifics on who yet). Hourly employees all get their hours cut. We’re only supposed to work 37.5 hours a week now, which is nonsense because everyone will essentially be working harder now. It’s a 6.25 percent pay cut. About $2,000 a year. That doesn’t include these furloughs, which could be anywhere from 3-5 days. Also, they got rid of the Palmetto Passes (dammit!). That’ll be another $40-50 a month. Reimbursement for mileage was reduced. Uh, what else. Features section will probably be merged, meaning we might lose an editor or two.  Salaried people get wage cuts, too. Those making more than $60,000 get a 10 percent cut. Good news: no more layoffs this year.

I’m so glad I’m not still there, because I always said taking away the Palmetto Passes (the toll transponder paid for by the company at 75 cents a trip) would be the last straw. It was a symbolic gesture of the needling mindset that was scaring talented people away from print, and they would have to pry it from my cold, dead hands. The news in the above e-mail can be distilled into the basic message of “we want you to worker harder, over shorter hours, for less money, and at more inconvenience for you (until your job is eliminated, at least).” What people making these decisions don’t seem to factor in is: the news doesn’t go away when you have fewer staff members to cover it. It’s like driving the school buses in the morning or having firefighters on duty all day: it’s a cog that has to turn no matter what. It just has to get done somehow.

I still get angry about this because I care about my friends there, and still hold sentimentality towards the paper itself. The Packet doesn’t deserve this. Thanks to its location in a growing community with an older population, its readership is holding strong, even increasing in subscribers in recent years. Its sports section just won huge national honors. The online coverage we did of the missing persons case brought an unheard of number of web hits to the site. Its readership is loyal, involved and interested.

But the Packet, like so many other newspapers, is tied to the finances of the overall company. Unlike a mass new media market in San Francisco waiting to fill the void when the Chronicle falls, if the Packet goes away, no online news source is primed to rise up in its stead. That means no comprehensive resource for for information on hurricane evacuation or recovery efforts, no local coverage of a national PGA tournament, and no weekly arts and entertainment publication to let people know of local events in one of the most popular (and affluent) tourism spots on the East Coast.

My advice to Gary Pruitt and other newspaper executives: either a) accept the fact that newspapers are no longer viable business operations and  just shut them down already to stop giving the illusion of job security for your employees while you bleed them to death or b) grow a pair and make a fucking stand against the dying of the industry. You’ll notice there was no plan for a recovery strategy announced today other than this continued and failing effort to stop the bleeding. That’s because there isn’t one.

A hopeful winter thought: people somewhere are drinking outdoors again already

I wrote a story this week last year about how the first signs of summer already start to peak their heads out this time of year on Hilton Head. A year later, it’s snowing in New York City and so many people have flu it feels like the first act of a friggin zombie movie. And the beach bar mentioned below just opened again for the season the other day.

I still don’t regret the move in the least. And for a kid with summer breeze in the veins like me, that’s saying a lot.

Tiki Hut reopens… and it sure feels like summer

Published Saturday, February 16, 2008

photo by Jay Karr/Island Packet

photo by Jay Karr/Island Packet

Maybe it’s the eternal optimism of the school child, or the sun-loving hubris of South Carolinians who refuse to take their beers or brunches indoors even in the dead of winter.

But there’s something about this time of year, an ephemeral quality that’s hard to nail down, that causes people to start shaking out their patio umbrellas and dusting off their beach chairs as summer on Hilton Head Island comes to life.

People in other parts of the country are still crowding around living room fireplaces and digging out from harsh winter snowfalls. Not here, where the most nascent signs of the season debut this week.

Planning for the island’s big spring events is well underway by now and a handful of restaurants that closed for the (albeit short) winter season reopened over the past few days. [MORE]

I used that word “hubris” on purpose, and I wasn’t being in the least bit pejorative. One of my favorite qualities about coastal South Carolina was its absolute stubborn refusal to cede the outdoors to the changing of the seasons, even when the paltry feint of winter rattled the windows. Everyone kind of looked at the weather in January and February, said “fuck it, you’re not the boss of me,” and went outside anyway. This is why propane-powered heat lamps were invented, why I stood in a light jacket drinking a beer at an outdoor oyster roast while watching through the window of a bar the Packers and Seahawks battle it out in a snowstorm so violent it looked like the TV was covered with static, and it’s why the island’s most-popular brunch spot used space heaters, plastic guards on the patio railing and even blankets left on chairs for customers to reclaim the use of its outdoor seating when that other, non-summer season was around.

The other environmental hubris I’ve noticed is in the arid California desert near Palm Springs, where civilization has been forced to pipe in water from afar to exist in a place probably not really meant for human habitation. That one makes me less happy. But I do not know what their brunches are like out there (save for the date shakes).

Still, only 122 days until summer. Not that I’m counting. Except I am.

And the SCPA award goes to …. pending

The list of  winners of the 2008 South Carolina Press Association awards (26,00 and under circulation).

These awards are listed as embargoed until March 14, but I’m posting them here for several reasons. One, because I think the idea of posting something online while still insisting on a two-month embargo is a tragic indicator of the ridiculous lack of understanding the newspaper industry has toward the internet; two, because this list isn’t even complete anyway, with some of the major categories missing, which angers me because it causes me to spend more time caring about a batch of ultimately inconsequential awards than necessary; and three, because I’m not part of the South Carolina press anymore, and I’m sure the world (read: mothers of SC journalists) are dying to know.

Friends, coworkers and one small shameless self-promotion from my former paper in Hilton Head in bold italics. There’s no doubt that journalism awards do grab journalists’ attention on an annual basis as it provides us the opportunity to measure up against each other in the only tangible public means of performance review outside of layoff avoidance. But they’re also nonsense prizes, judged by editors from other papers in another state who are typically too busy with the actual work of doing journalism to avoid procrastinating reviewing someone else’s work, and because the awards distract from the real purpose and drive behind the work reporters are doing, specifically the impact stories and information have on the immediate community. Particularly in the state the industry is currently in, it seems more like a distinct act of self indulgence than ever before. To wit, the slogan for the SCPA 2009 conference is “Something to cheer about.” Good journalism is still happening in newspapers, recognized or otherwise by press associations, but until a long-term strategy emerges that’s more creative than the bail-out-the-water-before-the-next-cannonball-hits approach, it’s hard to find something cheer about.

But don’t take my word for it: journalists like awards.

Full lists of winners here.

SCPA News Contest Results are not for release until the News Contest Awards Presentation, which will be held
March 14, 2009 in Myrtle Beach. For more information, see http://www..scpress.org.


100 Judson Chapman Award Open Division

1st The State
C. Aluka Berry Tale of the Tuba
2nd Carolina Forest Chronicle
DOT rejects guardrail
3rd The Post and Courier
Kiawah Controversy
102 Copy Editor of the Year Open Division
1st The Post and Courier
Allison Nugent
103 Cartoon or Humorous Illustration Open Division
1st News-Chronicle
Mike Beckom
2nd Carolina Forest Chronicle
Michael Tidwell
3rd The Greenville News
Mitch McKell
104 Mixed Media Illustration Open Division
1st The News
Football Fever
2nd The Post and Courier
Let’s put a smile on that face
3rd The Post and Courier
Dog chow
105 Sports Series of Articles Open Division
1st The State
Bob Gillespie, Bob Spear, Pat Obley, Neil White, Akilah Nelson and Steve Wiseman
Best Athletes of All Time
2nd The Herald-Journal
Jason Gilmer Family matters
3rd The Herald-Journal
Jason Gilmer Three who shoot their age

106 Online Column Writing Open Division
1st The Island Packet
Liz Farrell Ode to the Ugly Land

2nd The Herald-Journal
Lane Filler The illegal immigrant next door
3rd The Herald-Journal
Jason Spencer What the rest of the media missed
107 Online Video Open Division
Results Pending
108 Online Single Photo Open Division
1st The Herald-Journal
John Byrum No-arms golfer
2nd The Morning News
Angela Kershner Cops on donut shops
3rd The Morning News
Angela Kershner Spitting image
109 Innovative Concept Open Division
1st The State
GoGamecocks.com
2nd The Post and Courier
Watchdog
3rd The Herald
Popcast
113 Informational Graphics Portfolio Open Division
1st The Sun News
Chris Mowder
2nd The Herald-Journal
Gary Kyle
3rd The Post and Courier
Gill Guerry
117 News Graphics Open Division
1st The Herald-Journal
Gary Kyle Gas to energy
2nd The Post and Courier
Gill Guerry Foreclosures
3rd The Lancaster News
Jamey Shepherd Crimes occured
111 News Special Edition or Section All Daily Division
1st The Sun News
Horizon 2008: A look at the economic future of our coast
2nd The State
Voter Voices
3rd The Greenville News
Day in the life of downtown
112 Sports Special Edition or Section All Daily Division
1st The Island Packet
Staff Verizon Heritage

2nd The Herald-Journal
Staff Good Vibrations, Prep Football 2008
3rd The Herald-Journal
Staff A Different Era, Motorsports 2008
114 Illustrations All Daily Division
1st The Herald-Journal
Gary Kyle Shopping Commandos
2nd The Greenville News
Mitch McKell Domestic Violence
3rd The Sun News
Chris Mowder Countdown to the S.C. Primary

115 Critical Writing All Daily Division
Results Pending
116 Photo Page Design All Daily Division
1st The State
Tom Peyton and C. Aluka Berry Horse Power
2nd The Morning News
Traci Bridges Monster Madness
3rd The Herald-Journal
Bevin Hutcheson Thanks for the memories
118 Feature Headline Writing All Daily Division
1st The Post and Courier
Beth Harrison
2nd The Post and Courier
Sandy Schopper
3rd The Island Packet
Steve Austin

119 Best Pictoral All Daily Division
1st The Post and Courier
Grace Beahm Bridge Run
2nd The Island Packet
Jay Karr To the Moon

3rd The Post and Courier
Grace Beahm Birds Eye View


120 Humorous Photo All Daily Division

1st The State
Gerry Melendez Stretched voter
2nd The Post and Courier
Melissa Haneline From 9 to 95 (pounds!)
3rd The Island Packet
Jonathan Dyer Nun Run

121 Health Reporting All Daily Division
Results Pending


122 Education Reporting All Daily Division

1st The Herald-Journal
Gary Glancy College tuition rises
2nd The Post and Courier
Diette Courrege School under scrutiny
3rd The Greenville News
Ron Barnett Some of the best school in state behind bars

123 Business Reporting All Daily Division
1st The Post and Courier
Katy Stech
2nd The Sun News
Lisa Fleisher
3rd The State
Kristy Eppley Rupon
124 Entertainment Section All Daily Division
1st The Post and Courier
Preview
2nd The Island Packet
The Guide

3rd The Sun News
Kicks!
125 E. A. Ramsaur Memorial Award for Editorial Writing All Daily Division
1st The State
Warren Bolton
2nd The Greenville News
Paul Hyde
3rd The Greenville News
Beth Padgett


126 Lifestyle/Feature Special Edition or Section All Daily Division

1st The Sun News
With Liberty and Rock for All
2nd The Sun News
Living Here
3rd The Morning News
Inner Views
145 News Headline Writing Daily Under 26,000 Division
1st The Item
Traci Quinn
2nd The Island Packet
Steve Austin

3rd Times and Democrat
Lee Harter and Lee Hendren


146 Sports Headline Writing Daily Under 26,000 Division

1st Times and Democrat
Herman Brightman and Jennifer Spears
2nd Times and Democrat
Travis Boland
3rd The Index-Journal
Scott Bryan


150 Spot News Reporting Daily Under 26,000 Division

1st Times and Democrat
Gene Zaleski, Gene Crider and Lee Harter Terror in the morning
2nd The Item
Ken Bell Oops
3rd Aiken Standard
Karen Daily Murder-suicide: 3 dead

151 Enterprise Reporting Daily Under 26,000 Division

1st The Island Packet
Renee Dudley An altered life

2nd The Island Packet
Tim Donnelly
and Daniel Brownstein The face of Hilton Head’s homeless
3rd The Item
Randy Burns Murder in Lee


152 Lifestyle Feature Writing Daily Under 26,000 Division

1st Beaufort Gazette
Mark Allwood Political odd couples
2nd The Item
Ivy Moore A tomato by another name
3rd Beaufort Gazette
Mark Allwood Love your bog, love the Lord
153 Feature Writing Daily Under 26,000 Division
1st Bluffton Today
Tim Wood We own the knight
2nd Bluffton Today
Tim Wood Kitt, you’ve met your match
3rd The Island Packet
Liz Mitchell The Alligator Hunter

154 Profile Feature Writing or Story Daily Under 26,000 Division
1st The Item
Ivy Moore The reluctant draftee
2nd The Item
Annabelle Robertson War capture
3rd Times and Democrat
Wendy Jeffcoat Crider A bittersweet moment


155 Short Story Daily Under 26,000 Division

1st Aiken Standard
Rachel Johnson Bureaucratic catch-22 denies nonagenarian a passport
2nd Times and Democrat
Richard Walker Trees, power lines victims of winds
3rd Times and Democrat
Richard Walker Serving the sole
156 Column Writing Daily Under 26,000 Division
1st The Island Packet
David Lauderdale

2nd Bluffton Today
Tim Wood
3rd The Item
Graham Osteen


157 Series of Articles Daily Under 26,000 Division

Results Pending
158 Reporting In-Depth Daily Under 26,000 Division
Results Pending
159 Beat Reporting Daily Under 26,000 Division
1st Times and Democrat
Richard Walker Cops and Courts
2nd Beaufort Gazette
Jeremy Hsieh County Court
3rd The Island Packet
Liz Mitchell Environment


160 Humor Column Writing Daily Under 26,000 Division

1st The Island Packet
David Lauderdale

2nd Beaufort Gazette
Tim Hager
3rd Bluffton Today
Tim Wood
161 Public Service for Daily Newspapers Daily Under 26,000 Division
1st Bluffton Today
Kyle Poplin Community mourns teen
2nd Times and Democrat
Lee Harter Lakes dirty little secret
3rd The Union Daily Times
Graham Williams Patriot’s Lake
165 Spot Sports Story Daily Under 26,000 Division
1st The Index-Journal
Kevin Fiorenzo Fight erupts at girls game
2nd The Daily Journal
Will Vandervort Bowden era over
3rd The Index-Journal
Scott Bryan Neal’s future at Ninety-Six in limbo


166 Sports Enterprise Reporting Daily Under 26,000 Division

1st Beaufort Gazette
Jeff Kidd From golf balls to moth balls
2nd The Island Packet
Jeff Kidd Sand sharks struggle to recruit women

3rd The Index-Journal
Matt Anderson Is football in Erskine’s future?


167 Sports Feature Story Daily Under 26,000 Division

1st The Island Packet
Justin Jarrett More than a cartoon
2nd The Island Packet
Justin Jarrett Support from the sidelines
3rd The Island Packet
Sam McDowell Just one of the guys

168 Sports Column Writing Daily Under 26,000 Division
1st Beaufort Gazette
Brandon Parker
2nd The Island Packet
Justin Jarrett
3rd The Island Packet
Jeff Kidd

170 Page One Design Daily Under 26,000 Division
1st The Island Packet
Pamela Uhles
2nd Beaufort Gazette
Jennifer Alliet
3rd Beaufort Gazette
Ashley Ammons


171 Page Design Daily Under 26,000 Division

1st Beaufort Gazette
Jennifer Alliet Festival of Lights
2nd Beaufort Gazette
Jennifer Alliet Halloween

3rd Times and Democrat
Kristin Coker Top reasons to pick…


172 Feature Page Design Daily Under 26,000 Division

1st Beaufort Gazette
Pamela Uhles
2nd Beaufort Gazette
Jennifer Alliet
3rd Times and Democrat
Kristin Coker and Sherry Fogle
173 Sports Page Design Daily Under 26,000 Division
1st Beaufort Gazette
Dan Worthington
2nd The Island Packet
Mike Bragg

3rd Times and Democrat
Travis Boland


180 JL Sims Memorial Award for Spot News Photo Daily Under 26,000 Division

1st Beaufort Gazette
Bob Sofaly 2 cars overturned
2nd The Item
Chris Moore Oops!
3rd The Island Packet
Sarah Welliver Towing crackdown

181 General News Photo Daily Under 26,000 Division
1st Times and Democrat
Larry Hardy We’re not satisfi ed
2nd The Island Packet
Kristin Goode Vigil for slain teen

3rd Bluffton Today
Scott Salisbury Autism
182 Feature Photo Daily Under 26,000 Division
1st Beaufort Gazette
Bob Sofaly Fun at the fair
2nd Bluffton Today
Stephen Berend Nuns on the run
3rd The Index-Journal
T.M. Jones Providing love therapy
183 Sports Action Photo Daily Under 26,000 Division
1st Aiken Standard
Michael Paul Face off
2nd The Union Daily Times
Pete Cochran Feel the pain
3rd The Island Packet
Jay Karr Caught in the middle

184 Sports Feature Photo Daily Under 26,000 Division
1st Bluffton Today
Scott Salisbury Post-season anguish
2nd The Union Daily Times
Pete Cochran Coach pitch
3rd The Island Packet
Sarah Welliver Chip

185 Personality Photograph or Portrait Daily Under 26,000 Division
1st Bluffton Today
Stephen Berend Cookies
2nd Bluffton Today
Stephen Berend Saving the May River
3rd Beaufort Gazette
Bob Sofaly Humbled on Halloween


186 Photo Series or Photo Story Daily Under 26,000 Division

1st Bluffton Today
Scott Salisbury Parris Island female marines
2nd The Island Packet
Jay Karr Go fly a kite

3rd The Island Packet
Kristin Goode Iraqi boy

187 Photo Illustration Daily Under 26,000 Division
1st Bluffton Today
Scott Salisbury Don’t get blown away
2nd The Item
Traci Quinn The war
3rd Times and Democrat
Kristin Coker Orangeburg Massacre
190 Newspaper Web Site Daily Under 26,000 and 26,000 – 80,000 Combined” Division
1st The Island Packet
islandpacket.com

2nd The Sun News
myrtlebeachonline.com
3rd The Herald
heraldonline.com

192 Best Integration of Print and Web Coverage Daily Under 26,000 Division
Results Pending
201 General Excellence Daily Under 26,000 Division
1st The Island Packet
2nd Bluffton Today
3rd Beaufort Gazette


191 Best Online News Project Daily Under 26,000 Division
Results Pending

193 Best Photo Gallery on a Newspaper Web Site Combined” Division
1st The Herald-Journal
Tom Priddy The Final Piece
2nd Anderson Independent-Mail
Sefton Ipock Tent Revival
3rd Beaufort Gazette
Basic Training