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Posts published in “Day: March 28, 2015”

One less voice

idaho RANDY

A couple of years ago another writer and I were researching for a book on the Northwest’s newspapers (it would be called “New Editions”), which involved calling many of the proprietors one by one. One of the most memorable was Sandra Wisecaver, who would not have called herself – but who was – one of the more remarkable journalists in the region.

She was owner and operator of the Buhl Herald, a paper with a heritage going back more than a century. The area around Twin Falls sprang up like magic, as its valley name would attest, just after the tun of the twentieth century, and Buhl’s downtown was platted in 1906. In the manner of the day, the town’s newspaper set up shop (having moved several miles over from Filer) a few months later.

Through the decades since it has published consistently, running very much as it did at the beginning. It was never bought by a larger organization, but was run for decades by the Bailey family. In 2005 Sandra Wisecaver, who had worked there for some years, bought it.

It had not been, and she didn’t try to turn it into, a paper with lofty pretensions. It didn’t join the parade of many papers to the Internet, even to Facebook. (Today, there is a modest Facebook page for the Buhl Herald, evidently started last year.) And she seemed almost a little apologetic about the paper’s brand of journalism: It wasn’t a regular breaker of gee-wow news stories, of scandal or spectacle.

It was, rather, a small town community newspaper: “Business is a little slower, but we have advertisements every week and people read them. It’s probably because you’re not going to find the stories that we print somewhere else. The daily is not going to carry the applause for somebody who’s done something good in the community, or been a great volunteer. I think its important to have the kids in.”

She was exactly right, and the Herald’s kind of journalism helps provide the glue in a community. With all the disaster and catastrophe we’re daily exposed to, even on Facebook and Twitter much less cable TV, we need the reminders that the world around us is not all aflame. The Herald did that. The children got in the newspaper through the years, and many of them probably felt themselves part of the community in a way children in many larger communities never quite do.

(I should add: The Buhl Herald also did run this column for some years back in the 90s.) (more…)

On the front pages


Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Meridian tries to plan substantial downtown (Boise Statesman)
Legislature approves $1.8b for schools (Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
ER schedules at Pomeroy cut (Lewiston Tribune)
House passes fed lands control bill (IF Post Register, TF Times News)
Another run at Craters of the Moon park status (IF Post Register)
Analysis: Tax plan would help wealthiest most (Nampa Press Tribune)
Feds announce Oregon sage grouse deal (Nampa Press Tribune)
House may vote next week on road tax (TF Times News)

Gearhart mayor not recalled (Astorian)
State data hacked, Brown seeks review (Astorian)
Amanda Knox case ends in Italy (Eugene Register Guard)
State pot director fired (Portland Oregonian, Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tribune)
Legislators meet with locals on state issues (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Sage grouse deal reached by ranchers, feds (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Possible tradeoff over road repair, software (Salem Statesman Journal)

WA Democrats may try for capital gains tax (Tacoma News Tribune, Everett Herald, Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic, Bellingham Herald, Longview News)
Marysville school may seek $5 for cafeteria (Everett Herald)
KapStone deal still hands on health plan (Longview News)
Possible prison for mentally ill (Olympian)
Olympia will add officers to night patrol (Olympian)
Amanda Knox case ends in Italy (Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribunne, Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic, Longview News)
WSU medical school plan still moving (Spokane Spokesman)
Tacomans sue to stop new government building (Tacoma News Tribune)
Inslee considers interchange for Mill Plain (Vancouver Columbian)
Union possible for Yakima clerks office (Yakima Herald Republic)