Friday, February 10, 2006

Open Forum: The Tribune

It's going to be a long weekend for everybody, so let's open a thread. We've all been patient with The Tribune/Evening News over the past four months, and we have, for the most part, kept our opinions to ourselves.

And although Mr. Tucker seems a touch ambivalent about candid appraisals, he does seem to be inviting comments. So, here's your chance. What do you want to see from The Tribune and the Evening News? Where have you seen improvement? etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

We'll take a look again on Monday morning.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Community Activist Earns Coveted Prize

We're proud to pass on the announcement that Tabitha Sprigler, whom we love and admire for her tenacity and good spirit, has been awarded one of the three annual undergraduate Chancellor's Medallion scholarships at Indiana University Southeast.

This news comes to us by way of Cindy Hess, the new public relations specialist for IU Southeast. Cindy recently joined the professional staff on the New Albany campus and holds the designation of APR (Accredited in Public Relations). Thanks for sharing it with us, Cindy.

We'll talk more about Tabitha later in comments, but here, without further delay, is the official announcement, released earlier today:

Three IU Southeast students named as
Chancellor’s Medallion Scholars, Class of 2006

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (February 9, 2006) – IU Southeast today announced that three students have been named as Chancellor’s Medallion Scholars, Class of 2006. The students will each receive a $3,000 scholarship and be recognized at the annual Chancellor’s Medallion Dinner on February 25th at Huber’s Orchard and Winery, Plantation Hall. Recipients are Sara Lynn Endler, Alcinda Emilia Flowers, and Tabitha Leigh Sprigler.

The Chancellor’s Medallion Scholars Award is given to IU Southeast students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, are active in extracurricular activities, and volunteer their time to the community. Funds for the scholarships are raised from proceeds from the Chancellor’s Medallion Dinner and silent auction.

Tabitha Leigh Sprigler (New Albany)

Louisville native Tabitha Leigh Sprigler now lives in New Albany and is an enthusiastic community activist and volunteer. She and her husband, James, created and launched two web portals designed to improve and promote New Albany. One website is an interactive showcase for New Albany-based businesses, and the other site is a forum for keeping the city clean.

Sprigler is also active in New Albany’s East Spring Street Neighborhood Association and Develop New Albany. She volunteers at The Center for Women and Families where she provides crisis counseling and support.

Sprigler is a junior at IU Southeast majoring in Sociology. She has a 3.8 GPA and her expected graduation date is May, 2007.

A 2000 graduate of Seneca High School, Sprigler was active in drama, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Key Club (promotes volunteerism), Students Against Drunk Driving, and the marine Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp.

Sprigler’s mother is Marsha Satterley of Louisville.

Sara Lynn Endler (Floyd Knobs)

Sara Lynn Endler is a senior at IU Southeast pursuing a degree in Elementary Education with an expected graduation date of May, 2007.

While maintaining a 3.9 GPA, Endler participates in many extracurricular activities including Spanish tutoring and translation for area elementary students, student ambassador for IU Southeast, and membership in two honor societies--Phi Eta Sigma and Kappa Delta Pi. She was instrumental in planning and launching a fundraiser to assist a classmate who was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Endler is a 2003 graduate of Floyd Central High School (FCHS). While at FCHS, she won numerous awards as an outstanding member of the FCHS Orchestra. She also ran track, played basketball, donated dozens of hours of volunteer time to Jewish Hospital, and remained active in many clubs. She is a member of the National Honor Society and has earned many academic accolades in high school.

Endler is the daughter of Frank and Rhonda Endler.

Alcinda Emilia Flowers (Jeffersonville)

Biology major Alcinda Emilia Flowers is a junior at IU Southeast and expects to receive her degree in May, 2007. She intends to become a doctor or a pharmacist.

Flowers is active in extracurricular activities on campus. She is a senator for the IU Southeast Student Government Association, a student ambassador, vice president of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, and vice president of the Pre-Health Professionals Society. She maintains a GPA of 4.0.

A 2003 graduate of Jeffersonville High School, Flowers participated in Varsity Girls Golf, Cheerleading and was the class president of the Student Government. She has won numerous academic awards and donated more than 100 volunteer hours at area hospitals and non-profit agencies.

Flowers is the daughter of Norman and Emilia Flowers.

The 2006 Chancellor’s Medallion Dinner

Now in its 13th year, the IU Southeast Chancellor’s Medallion Dinner is a premier civic event and fundraiser. Last year’s event generated over $32,000 for IU Southeast scholarships. Over 500 of the community’s civic, business, and educational leaders are expected to attend the event, which will feature a silent auction and John Belski of WAVE 3-TV as master of ceremonies.

In addition to the three scholarship winners, three distinguished Southern Indiana residents and philanthropists will receive the IU Southeast Chancellor’s Medallion for 2006. They are Norman Melhiser and Carlton and Sue Sanders. The Chancellor’s Medallion is the highest honor given by IU Southeast’s chancellor, Sandra Patterson-Randles, and is based on service to the community and a commitment to higher education.

Tickets to the Chancellor’s Medallion Dinner are $100 per person and can be obtained by calling Donna Harvey at 812-941-2630.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Quote of the Day

Civil society means that free expression trumps the emotions of anyone to whom free expression might be inconvenient. -- Christopher Hitchens in Slate.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Curiouser and Curioser

It's too early to speculate, but let's do it anyway.

We've watched carefully as the Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. (CNHI) newspapers make over The Tribune and The Evening News. I have to say that, so far, I'm less than impressed.

And perhaps I'm not the only one. Sources confirm to us that staff writer and former City Editor Amany Ali is the latest of senior employees to part ways with the company.

Amany has carried the city beat for quite a while now, but now is moving on toward more edifying pursuits. In something of a shocker, Ms. Ali has accepted a position with (drumroll, please)...The McCartin Companies.

Every person is entitled to seek happiness where it can be found. Transitions from journalism to commerce are all too common, but this writer will miss the unique cadences of the Ali reporting and commentary. Best wishes, Amany, in your new career. As you help to expand The Gary's empire of cookie-cutter sprawl, don't forget those of us who live and work in Mr. McCartin's donut hole.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Tribune Tribulations

Congratulations, John. You get it.

The Tribune's publisher, John Tucker, has taken on the role of ombudsman (or public editor) by speaking directly to readers about the ever-evolving local newspaper. In today's editions, Tucker issues a mea maxima culpa to readers and to one reader in particular.

Careful readers will recall a letter to the editor from a "Liz Murphy" a few months ago. This blogger was stunned to see his friend Liz stepping out with a slap at The Tribune and a dig at the Scribner Place project.

Although the Scribner Place debate was over, "Liz Murphy" took a gratuitous swipe at The Tribune for supposedly focusing attention on the downtown redevelopment project at the expense of matters of importance to Greater Floyd County.

Seeing Liz's signature at the end of the letter was a shocker. As I made further inquiries, it made even less sense, as Liz and husband Chuck had been strong supporters of the project. The real Liz, a teacher in the public school system and a friend to and patron of my own establishment, set the record straight in a subsequent edition by way of a published letter to the editor.

In no uncertain terms, Liz assured us she remained a supporter of Scribner. Furthermore, she denied any great dissatisfaction with The Tribune.

You know what? I know and like Liz. But I'll bet you I know the fake "Liz," too.

"Liz" is a cowardly assassin, hiding under a hood and firing shots at anyone seeking to make New Albany a better place for all. Climb back into your hole and get out of our way. Unless you're willing to claim your opinions, you're not entitled to express them. Now, go take your meds.

And you know what else? "Liz" just read these words and is even now plotting anonymous revenge. Either that, or "Liz's" little brain just exploded.

And John? Good job today. You just made a whole bunch of enemies. These "free speechers" who hide from sight are a virulent plague, but in the end, harmless. They do not mold opinion. No one seeks out their counsel. Some are tools of other cowards. Some are thrashing in confusion. But as you might guess, the only way they read the paper is to steal it off their neighbor's porch.

Can't wait to see a "signed" opposing view of today's column.