First, the links and info:
Eagle Gun Range provided a construction update on their new indoor range in Lewisville. They expect to begin demolition in the building in the next couple of weeks, with construction commencing July 16th or 23rd. That puts the timeline for completion in October or November. I guess we won't be able to schedule a birthday party for my youngest son, who turns 12 on July 5th.
A woman fell off a balcony and died Saturday morning in Lewisville. Beth Falleur , 44 was the victim. Police suspect alcohol was involved.
Better not say anything good about the economy, or risk angering Mitt Romney's campaign, who apparently want to keep up the doom and gloom message.
I got an email from these idiots, claiming there has been a massive underground nuclear explosion in Michigan, set off by the Russians, who are trying to set off the New Madrid Fault. Why do I collect crazy people? I used to have a category here for crazy emails. I think it would be fun to collect and catalog them. Of course, the compassionate side of me says we just need to double-down on efforts at public mental health services.
How is the relationship with your significant other? Would your spouse or partner help you dispose of the body?
Denton Record Chronicle says that retired Precinct 5 Constable Ken Jannerith didn't appear to actually work during the last year he was in office. He's been prevented from drawing a retirement check. He simply drew a paycheck, but never showed up for work. Jannerith had also been convicted of criminal mischief for repeatedly destroying a barrier that his homeowners' associate had installed. What never ceases to amaze me is how voters will elect scoundrels like this simply because they have an "R" after their name. A local connection is mentioned here, in that one of Jannerith's last actions before he was forced to resign, is that he fired a deputy and attempted to hire Barry Minoff to take his place.
Now some miscellaneous thoughts:
On a daily basis here lately, I feel bad about not being able to cover everything I'd like to be able to cover. It still seems like we have time to scratch the surface on about 20% of the newsworthy stuff that goes on in Lewisville. In my OneNote software that I use to compose my posts for LTJ, I have about 8 or 9 stories I've started writing, but just either run out of time, or have gone stale in the past few weeks before I could get them done.
Again, I'm not under any illusions that readers expect full and professional-level coverage of us yet. We do have local professional media who do what they can, and cover the top stories. I'm happy to link to their coverage and avoid duplicating too much effort. Still, I think we can do better than what we have right now for Lewisville. There is no reason why we couldn't have our own newspaper with the same level of local coverage as the Denton Record Chronicle or the Waco Tribune Herald. We're just in a place where the market is not supporting that.
Dallas Morning News has one person covering Lewisville (along with other duties), but the paper is so thick with Metroplex stories, that they are lost. Wendy Hundley is a great writer, and I appreciate the depth with which she covers stories when she does. I just hate that it seems they have her spread too thin. Further, since DMN went to the subscription-only model, you have to pay $20 a month just to read the handful of stories that apply to us. I've seriously considered cancelling my subscription, because I'm tired of the papers piling up in my foyer, unread. I've also cut back on providing links to their content, since many of our readers do not subscribe, and can't read it.
Lewisville Leader has done about the same since being acquired. Chris Roark does pretty well covering LISD matters. Still, it seems they're afraid (or unable) to do investigative reporting or anything that rocks the boat. Their website is horrible on the eyes, and user unfriendly. Overall, for Lewisville, they barely scratch the surface. I would subscribe, but 90% of the time, I have heard the story from first-hand accounts, or through the grapevine before I read it there.
I'm not saying all of this to run them down. I'm really not. They're in a tight spot because they rely on subscribers and advertising to pay the bills. Without DMN around, the Leader would have more subscribers, and offer better content. DMN knows they'll sell papers regardless of whether they adequately cover Lewisville. Both of these have the primary goal of making money. We're unencumbered by that, because our goal is to help Lewisville specifically have a more informed and cohesive community.
Anyhow, I suppose I'm rambling, but this comes about after some thinking yesterday. I was in this mode of lusting after gadgets that I'd like to have in order to do a better job here. One of the gadgets I need is a better camera ($600) and the other is a better police scanner ($200 - 300). But I realized that neither of those things really give me what I need, which is more time. I do have to earn a living, and I do have a wife and 2 boys who need attention. But I think that if I won the lottery, or somehow got a grant from some wealthy benefactor, I'd rather be doing this instead of my day job. My plan this year was to try to leverage community volunteers to take on more of the work. I still want to do that. I still would like to have some of the wealth of talent in our community contributing their time and efforts reporting on the stories that matter to them.
I'm glad to say that this year, we've had that happen more. We've had new contributors, and a step up in stories written by folks other than myself. I think that's a win, not only because we can cover more, but because you readers get the benefit of a wider perspective.
So once again, I'm asking for volunteers. I'm asking for our current volunteers to think about contributing more. I can help out those who are interested by providing you with some of the story tips, editing assistance, third-party resources, and so forth. I know that there is a ton of stuff going on in our community that gets very little coverage. There are things that I know need to be covered, but I just don't have the time or expertise to do well.
Anyhow, I know that I'm rambling, so I'll wrap this up and go do some laundry. If you can write, and you have topics of local interest that you feel strongly about, or don't mind covering, I'd love to hear from you. Email email@example.com. We can't pay anything, but we promise you'll have our gratitude, and the knowledge that you've contributed something to the community.
If you're not a writer, then of course we're always willing to accept financial contributions. We do okay at breaking even on expenses, and we're not hurting but could always put the extra bucks to work.