August 10, 2007

School lunch budget problems

This week's Dryden Courier has a long article about the Dryden school lunch program's deficit. Last year's contingency budget forced benefits into the program's budget, creating problems, but there seem to be a lot of other issues as well. There are two photos of the kitchen at Freeville Elementary School, with Lonnie Boyer at work.

Also on the front page is tomorrow's Farm City Day at Lew-Lin Farms on Livermore Road. I can't make it, but I loved the 2005 Farm City Day on the Marquis Farm, and highly recommend going. It has activities for the whole family, and runs from 11:00am to 4:00pm this Saturday, August 11th.

The Courier visits budding chef Joel Whitmore of Dryden, and prints his recipes for a dry rub and barbecue sauce. They also list the winners from the recent Tompkins County 4-H Youth Fair, including a lot of Dryden residents.

Matt Cooper's Inside Dryden column reports on Amy Dickinson's coming presentation tonight. He also has an update on Beyond Measure, the Dryden High School a cappella group, notes that Sertoma soccer registration is tomorrow morning at Dryden Elementary (forms are accepted through the 18th), notes that the Intergenerational Band will perform August 12th at 3:00pm at Dryden High, and reports on an infestation of "fat, slow, green flies".

There's a photo of Douglas McVarish surveying for historical landmarks along 366 in Freeville, apparently as part of inventorying for future roadwork.

Harry Weldon's Anecdotes and Brevities column starts with concerns about the recently renovated piece of Route 13 through the Village of Dryden, where "there are big chunks of pavement that are being ground to a fine dust on a daily basis."

One final note is annoying, though it seems to be the Courier's corporate parent, the Finger Lakes Community Newspapers speaking, and not the Courier itself. In a call for contributions from readers - less kindly, "please send us material for free to keep us going" - they pause to blast blogs:

Local blogs in some areas include community event information, but blogs are not edited in any way, shape, or form, and are often wrong. Blogs also make little pretense of objectivity and therefore may ignore any particular event because they don't happen to think it is important.

Wow. Not to bash the Courier, but it's not exactly renowned for its editing prowess or its completeness. I'm very pleased with Matt Cooper's work, and enjoyed that of his predecessors, but never really thought of the Courier as complete, objective, or even (some days) necessarily correct. Apart from the historic level of editing, I'd say the same about the Ithaca Journal and Cortland Standard, so it's not like it's in bad company, but I'm not sure why a piece soliciting reader contributions needs to start with a blast against the competition.

Maybe they're concerned that the rise of self-publishing blogs will make it harder for them to get material from readers for free?

I know this blog is far from perfect, but wow.

Posted by simon at August 10, 2007 5:34 PM in , , ,
Note on photos


KAZ said:

As an example of the errata you describe, the contingency budget did not occur last year, as MC suggests, but closer to 10 years ago. The benefits for employees were shifted over at that time. Since Dryden offers full benefits to part-time employees (I believe that is changing), that was no small thing.

Christopher Lyons said:

Ironically, I just sent an email to the Fingerlakes Community Newspaper folks inquiring about subscribing to the Courier. This is only because Simon's mentions of the paper have gotten us interested in it. To Simon's point, it is sad to see the simultaneous decline of papers across the country in parallel to their total inability to understand or use web culture...

NYCO said:

Interesting broadside from the Finger Lakes Community Newspapers. I don't know what their motivation is for printing that sentiment, but it seems kind of "five years ago" or something.