Appreciation time

It’s definitely feeling like fall around here. And with Thanksgiving not far away, autumn always feels like a good time to think about appreciation. I have a number of things to be thankful for this fall, not the least of which is our staff here at the Beacon. And apparently I’m not the only one who thinks they are doing a wonderful job.

At your fingertips

Most people I speak with — regardless of their age — tell me they prefer reading a real newspaper (on paper) rather than a virtual one on a computer screen. They like the “old-fashioned” tactile experience, where they can turn the pages, skim the headlines, choose which ads to read, clip articles of interest, and generally feel like they have accomplished something when they are through. (You’re somehow never “through” with online media.)

Awesome subjects

Expressing awe at anything nowadays makes one appear to be a simpleton, or at the very least, uncool. Of course, my children and their friends say “awesome” at almost any expression of good fortune. But I still think true awe — expressing amazement, wonder or astonishment at something — is a sentiment we are expected to keep under wraps, in favor of a more contemporary blasé attitude.

Back from Branson

There are a number of observations I could share with you about my recent trip to the “Live Music Capital of the World” (a.k.a. Branson, Missouri) for a national newspaper convention.

Being heard

In so many aspects of life, we can find ourselves frustrated because we feel we aren’t being heard. It happens between parents and kids; it happens between spouses; it happens at school and at work. When we feel our views are dismissed and our needs are ignored, we want to bash a wall, gnash our teeth, trash our rooms or worse. These feelings can affect us no matter what our age. But perhaps it is even more the case when we are young and perceive our legitimate means of expression to be limited. I was thinking about this as I read about the many recent protests around the country by high school and college students after last month’s national election.

Blowing our horn

Each year, we enter a selection of our writers’ original stories in the national journalism competitions of the North American Mature Publishers Association (NAMPA) and the National Mature Media Awards. We do this for two reasons: One, as a way to be sure we are keeping up the quality of our writing compared with other publications throughout the country.

Burn, baby, burn?

Perhaps you saw (or heard) this news short a few weeks ago: Firefighters responding to an alarm in a rural area of Tennessee’s Obion County stood back and allowed a mobile home to burn to the ground because its owner hadn’t paid an annual $75 fee for fire protection services. But when the fire threatened a neighboring mobile home whose owner had paid the fee, they finally put out the fire.

Can you relate?

You have probably seen some of the immense publicity devoted worldwide to the terminally ill British infant, Charlie Gard. Charlie was born with a rare genetic condition that has, in his 11 months of life so far, made him blind, deaf, subject to seizures, and caused irreversible brain damage. He cannot breathe without the aid of a ventilator. There are no known treatments for his condition, no prospect of reversing any of the damage, and only the vaguest promise of help through an experimental treatment proposed by an unnamed American doctor who admits the treatment has never been tried on any living thing. And yet, the story of Charlie has generated huge interest worldwide, and his

Coming to our census

I’ve long been on record as objecting to the use of terms like Age Wave, Senior Tsunami and the like to describe the demographic changes occurring across America (and, indeed, the world).

Common (lack of) sense

An item from the “be careful what you wish for” department: I was having a problem coming up with a topic for this month’s column. I was praying for some inspiration. Then I glanced at the day’s news in the paper, and oh, was I sorry! While it provided a nearly instant topic, it also made my blood boil, not once, but three times.