Tuesday, January 31, 2012

71 newspapers sold last year

Investors bought 71 newspapers last year. Find out why.  

Read New York Times story.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Headless body in topless bar: How paper checked

NBC New York
Editors would have let the facts get in the way of the most famous tabloid headline in history, “Headless Body in Topless Bar.” Then-New York Post City Editor Dick Belsky explains how the paper confirmed the headless body was found in a topless bar.
I called the cops, but they didn’t know if the place was topless or not. I had someone try the bar, but there was no answer. We reached out for people who lived in the neighborhood, phone listings. Nothing. It was closing in on our deadline now. So I dispatched a young woman reporter named Maralyn Matlick to go to the bar and see first-hand if she could determine whether or not it was topless.
A few minutes before deadline, the reporter called in to say the bar was locked up tight. There were no signs, no advertisements about it being a topless place. I asked her if she could see inside. She said she’d try. She somehow was able to pull herself up and peek into a window of the bar. That’s when she saw it. A sign inside that said: “Topless Dancing.” Matlick was ecstatic. She called me to tell me the news, and just like that, New York City tabloid history was made.
The man guilty of the crime was denied parole this week and previously in 2010. Post Managing Editor Vincent Musetto, who came up with the headline, retired last summer. 

Endless era ends

By John Olesky (BJ 1969-96)

Former Beacon Journal printer Bill Gorrell started it all in 1971, when he purchased the 37-room Siesta Plaza Motel on Siesta Key, Florida, adjacent to Sarasota. He turned it into Poor Bill's Motel.

Renters could work off part of their tab by doing carpentry, plumbing, electrical work or painting.

BJ folks gathered as many as eight at a time to drink, play poker and golf while staying at Poor Bill's place. BJ vacation schedules in the Composing Room were choreographed to allow the mass exodus to
Siesta Key and Poor Bill's Motel.

Gorrell was famous for his parties -- the Kentucky Derby (first Saturday in May, when John S. Knight flew up from Florida to Louisville's Churchill Downs every year), Thanksgiving and the March climax to the shuffleboard tournament.

Poor Bill's place was across the street from the Sea Castle rentals by the time my late wife Monnie and I first stayed there in 1999. Previously, Sea Castle was called Sun and Sea Lodge because it was on Sun and Sea Drive.

I had called Bill about renting a place with him in the early 1990s, but something came up and Monnie and I never made the trip. When we arrived at Sea Castle in 1999, it was too late to get together with Bill. Born in 1930, Bill died in 1995.

But I had BJ reunions every year on Siesta Key. With former BJ Composing folks Dave White and wife Gina of Sarasota, my favorite makeup printer Terry Dray and wife Cecily of Avon Park, Florida, and newsroom rewrite expert Don Bandy of Bradenton. And former BJ printer Don Pack was the pool guy at Sea Castle, when he wasn't galivanting off to Costa Rica or another country with his girlfriend.

Monnie and I ran into Composing's Bob Lewis and Mike Jewell while strolling on Crescent Beach one year. Bob's 2-bedroom rental property at 7007 Point of Rocks Road was available for 10 days, so Bob and Mike popped down to Siesta Key to take in the sunshine. The four of us went out to dinner together.

Another time, I saw a car with Montgomery County license tags one building east of Poor Bill's former place and checked on the second-floor rental's occupants. It was Composing retiree Hugh Downing and wife Sharon.

Alas, times change.

Terry died in 2009. Don died in 2011. Dave and Gina, after about two decades in their Sarasota home, sold it and bought another one in Venice, south of Sarasota, and have been unavailable in recent years. Dave has about eight dimes that I gave him during each reunion since he was famous for telling newsroom types who were complaining in the Composing Room, "Here's a dime; call someone who cares."

Bob and Mike haven't crossed my path since.

The Downings moved from Medina County to The Villages, a Florida retirement city with 100,000 people and 40,000 golf carts and 90 miles of cart paths for shopping, restaurants, churches and, yes, the 38 golf courses. The Downings drive north to visit their four sons -- Chris in Hudson, Mark in Toledo, Ben in Vienna, Virginia, and Jonathan in Erie, Pennsylvania. Hugh and Sharon, married more than a half-century, have seven grandchildren. Retired printer Carl Nelson's father-in-law also lives in The Villages.

Those were the days, my friend. I thought they'd never end.

But, after four decades, they did.

However, when Paula and I took in my 14th annual Florida winterizing on Siesta Key Jan. 14-28, we arranged a reunion with former Beacon Journal reporter Pete Geiger and his wife, Sandy. They live in Penney Farms, a Christian retirement complex built by store magnate John Cash Penney 38 miles west of St. Augustine, Florida. The Geigers met us for lunch in Orlando at the Garibaldi Mexican Restaurant on Semoran Boulevard.

Pete's BJ career included an investigative team, the business desk, editorial writer, medical writer, automotive writer, religion writer, computer columnist and State Desk reporter.

Since the Geigers spent 13 years in Mongolia teaching English they had some fascinating tales of Mongolia, bordered by Russia and China. The Mongol Empire was founded by Genghis Khan in 1206. Mongolia didn't allow missionaries although there is a Buddhist influence despite the Communist government.

The Geigers presented Paula and me with a knitted pad made in Mongolia.

Paula reported for the State Desk in the 1970s when I was her assistant State Desk editor and working alongside Harry Liggett and John McDonald, who left the BJ for Washington, D.C. newspaper work, under the unqiue Nobil-chewing/smoking State Desk Editor Pat Englehart.

In the photo, that's Pete & Sandy on the left and John and Paula on the right.

I also had another reunion, with four people who are graduates, like me, of Monongah (West Virginia) High School, at the home of a MHS alumnus. There were 10 of us, including spouses and girlfriend, and we spent five hours talking about our high school days and beyond.

Maybe Monongah High graduates will provide my annual reunion for the next winterizing on Siesta Key. One era ends and another begins. That's life, my friend.

Linda Torson retires after 42 years at BJ

Click here to see other photos

Linda (Wiliams) Torson retired from information technology at the Beacon Journal and  retirees and folks who worked with her threw a party at the Barley House in the old O'Neil's building.  Here’s the story by Mike Williams:

By Mike Williams
Linda started in the Beacon Journal classified phone room in the summer before her senior year in high school (1969). She was 16 then (her birthday is in early August).  Helen Becton, manager in the phone room at the time, got a two-fer:  Linda's fraternal twin Cinda Williams started at the same time.

It was a part time job to fund college that just grew.  They arrived just in time for the IBM Selectrics to replace manual typewriters, and
sat around a long table in the big second floor room next to Wheeler Alley. There were no sound-deadening partitions: the phones, typewriters and agent voices clashed together all day long, Monday through Friday and a half day on Saturday.  The obituary taker came in on Sunday as well.  They all had headsets and multi-button phones, and some had regular clients who always called when the ad taker was on another call.  The agents used hand signals:  "take a number", "put him on hold", or possibly, "I'm not here!"  They had variations on the signals, and a discussion recently of the gestures among some phone room veterans broke up in laughter.

Linda's sister Cinda wore the headset for nine years, and left in 1978 to be a dietician.  Linda soldiered on in the phone room.  Along the way, she married Tim Torson in 1974.  When she went full time in classified in 1975, she was given a pseudonym: Miss Martin, and later, Miss Allen.

In the early 80s, computers entered the newspaper world, and the goal was go direct to press plate from the keyboard.  Several intermediate steps were taken with typed copy from classified, and the composing room used optical character recognition to get the text into the typesetter. Linda was a quick study during these phases, and in October 1985 accompanied phone room supervisor Marge Lane to train for a computerized typesetting system.  In six months Linda was helping with the System 55 installation for the newsroom.  She eventually became a member of IT and worked with pc's and the phone system for several years in addition to supporting the news and advertising systems.

Some folks knew Linda had a long-standing love for horses, and she received her first horse, Alf Landon, a thoroughbred that could no longer race, from Landon Knight.  She loved all her horses, which over the years included both Arabs and Saddlebreds.  She and her mounts collected ribbons and trophies from English saddleseat competition over the years, and many friends in the sport.

Linda supported pagination through all its permutations, and in 1994 worked closely with Ken Wright in the final step to direct to
plate:  to adjust the classified typeset pages to bypass the last relic of stereotype, where paper transfer mats shrink during baking.

Classified over the years accumulated many hundreds of logos, and each had to be resized to fit the constraints of the new classified column widths. The logos had to be moved over and tested between press runs, and Ken and Linda worked from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. that Sunday of conversion to get it all done.  During a recognition ceremony a couple of years later IT director Bob Tigelman was quoted: "it was like overhauling an airplane while it's still in the air."

With the installation of the comprehensive Mactive software, many of the custom scripts and tweaks of the legacy systems were no longer available.  Linda and others in IT worked to make the systems more user friendly.  A major task was the advertising rate
conversion for modular makeup.  The day before her retirement, Linda stayed after to finalize an update to the online recruitment booking system.

She looks to a larger role in the national Dock Dog jumping competition in her retirement. Linda and Tim's Labradors, Bosco and Duncan, have competed for several years in the art of jumping for distance and height.  Linda says Bosco is a real competitor. Where else can you run down a catwalk and launch your dog into space above a blue, rippling pool of water, and win prizes for it?

Linda was with the Beacon Journal for 42 years.

Added by Tom Moore:
Attending were:  Sue Robinson, Margaret Samulak, Sue Lindeman, who all spent time with Linda Torson in the classified phone room decades ago. Margaret retired a few years ago, Sue Robinson still works in Classified auto/real estate, and Sue Lindeman is employed in Retail Advertising, though she has worked for Advertising promotion and Production-Mailroom as well as in Classified.

Linda Torson (nee Williams, guest of honor), Bob Wright, Ken Wright, Bob Tigelman, Jim Beard, John Vicars, all IT people; Linda's husband Tim (retired from the Akron-Summit County Metroparks), Michael McCrady Ad Art Dept. supervisor, Laura Barron and Will Christie of Classified Recruitment (Will is the newbie, came to us just a few months ago), and Mick Dimeff (retired from Accounting / Payroll).

Laura Walker (classified obituaries) and her exercise partner (will call her for his name); Tom Moore (retired from the newsroom), Mike Williams (Ad Art) and wife Jane (who works for the VA in Brecksville).  Hope I didn't miss anybody.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Olga Reswow dismissed from hospital

Olga Reswow, who was injured in an auto accident December 30, was dismissed from Aron City Hospital on Friday.  She is in a wheelchair with injuries suffered when her car was rear-ended by an intoxicated 25-years-old woman driver going 80 to 90 miles per hour, who rammed into the rear of Olga’s car on I-76 at the Kenmore leg.

Olga suffered a severe pelvis and right leg injury.  She has a pin in her leg and had 15 staples in the leg. She is in a wheelchair and has a hospital bed.   Therapists, a home nursing aide and an RN will be visitng her regularly. Husband Bruce is looking for a ramp so she can get out of the house for doctor’s appointments.

Olga’s sister, Luva Miller R.N. flew in from Shawnee, KS, and is staying with her for a few days.

The driver of the other car, who had a blood alcohol level 2 ½ to 3 times the legal limit is facing a felony charge and could be sentenced to 1 to 5 years.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Video of Fran Murphey's 50th anniversary party

Here’s a 37-minute video of Fran Murphey's 50th anniversary at the Beacon Journal. The video was shot by Roger Mezger in the newsroom on Jan. 28, 1993 as BJ people and visitors honored Fran. This is an unedited video of the entire program. Speakers include Dale Allen, Bill O'Connor, Stuart Warner, Jewell Cardwell, John Dotson, Jim Crutchfield, Chuck Ayers and Craig Wilson. “Bear in mind that this is amateur video shot with early 1990s technology, so it isn't crystal clear,”

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mother of BJ’s Carol Biliczky dies

Rose Mary Biliczky died Thursday, Jan. 19, at Hospice of Medina County of complications from a broken hip. She was 94.

Rose and her twin brother, Carl, were born Aug. 9, 1917, to German immigrants Peter and Elaine Siewertson of LaFargeville, N.Y. The couple had three older children -- Elizabeth, Julius and Irving. Rose graduated
from Watertown High School and the House of the Good Samaritan Nursing Schoolin nearby Watertown and enlisted in the U.S. Army. A lieutenant, she served for two years during World War II, living in tents in Wales and eventually contracting pneumonia and being discharged. She moved to Ohio to take a job at Crile Hospital in Brecksville. In 1950, she met a handsome sheet metal worker who crashed the hospital's doctors and nurses dance with hisfriends. The couple married a year later, had two children and settled in Medina. She returned to nursing when her daughters were teens and worked for a decade at Medina Community Hospital. Along the way, the couple travelled extensively throughout the United States. Rose learned to love canning the fruits and vegetables her husband grew, became an accomplished bridge player and read voraciously.

She was heartbroken when Charles died on July 9, 2010; her son-in-law, Robert Levandoski on Sept. 8, 2008; and her daughter, Joyce on Dec. 26, 2003. In recent years, Rose had become increasingly frail.

The family thanks Hospice of Medina County -- especially aides, Renee and Robin and nurse, Kathy Boehnlein -- for their tender care in the last months of her mounting struggles.

She leaves daughter, Carol Levandoski of Akron; sisters-in-law, Dorothy Siewertson of Alexandria Bay, N.Y., and Blanche Siewertson of LaFargeville, N.Y.; cousin, Ingelina Borchers of Chesapeake, Va.; nieces, Susan Plachy of Perry, Maine, Jean Siewertson of LaFargeville, N.Y., and Nancy Wanamaker of Tecumseh, Mich.; and nephew, Bill Plachy of Nyack, N.Y. Rose will be remembered as a sweet, fair-minded and generous friend to many. May she rest in peace.

Family will receive friends from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday with services to follow at 1 p.m. at Waite and Son Funeral Home, Medina Chapel, 765 N. Court St. Cremation has taken place. Burial will be in Spring Grove Cemetery. The family suggests memorial contributions be made to Hospice of Medina County, 507 Windfall Road, Medina, OH 44256. Online condolences may be left at www.waitefuneralhome.com
[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Saturday, January 21, 2012, page B4, col. 2]

Friday, January 20, 2012

Check out BJ memorabilia on eBay

Check out the Beacon Journal memorabilia on eBay.   Click here.

For instance, you can buy this press photo of Mickey Porter, Beacon Journal columist for $13.88

Mark Price guided us to the collection.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tim Smith to retire at Kent State on June 1

Timothy D. Smith, professor of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Kent State University, is retiring June 1. Smith joined Kent State University in 1986 after working for 19 years for the Akron Beacon Journal, leaving as managing editor. He has also worked for the Columbus Dispatch, the Painesville Telegraph and United Press International.

Smith, however, plans to continue working part-time after a hiatus of a couple of months.

Smith  has a bachelor’s degree and master’s in journalism from Ohio State University and a law degree from the University of Akron. In
1991, while on leave from the university, Smith served as a law clerk for now-retired Ohio Supreme Court Justice Craig Wright. In June 1991, he was named acting director of the School, a post he held until June 1994, when he returned to the faculty and resumed his service as adviser to the Daily Kent Stater, the student newspaper.

In addition to his teaching duties, Smith served as a newspaper consultant, an expert witness in media law cases and as a lecturer on media relations, libel, invasion of privacy and public records issues.

“I’ve enjoyed work here immensely,” said Smith. “It’s been a great place to work.  I like the people I work with.”

In 1996, Smith  received the John S. Knight Award for excellence in the service of journalism by the Buckeye Chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists. In 1997, he was selected as a Fellow of the American Society of Newspaper Editors Journalism Excellence program, a summer newspaper residency for journalism professors. In 2000, he was presented with the Distinguished Teaching Award by Kent State University Alumni Association. In the fall of 2003, Smith took a professional leave to work in the Portage County Public Defender’s office, representing indigent clients in municipal and common pleas courts.

He is a member of the American and Ohio State bar associations and a founding member of the National Freedom of Information Coalition and the Media Law Committee of the state bar. In 1991, he created the Ohio Center for Privacy and the First Amendment at Kent State. In 2007, the name was changed to the Media Law Center for Ethics and Access with Prof. Jan Leach as the director and Smith as the chair.

Smith and his wife, Jane, a  teacher of gifted children, have three grown children.  Jane (Andrews) Smith retired in 2010 afer 20 some years as a teacher at Litchfield Middle School.

Their  oldest son, Randall, is a NASA scientist employed as an astro physicist for Harvard Smithsonian Astro Physics Laboratory in Cambridge, Mass. He and his wife Lauren, live in Boston

Daughter Rachel is a school teacher in Hiliard teaching gifted students.  She and her husband, James     Nelli, a computer programmer, live in Columbus and have two children, Dashiel, 5, and Sophia, 3.

Youngest son Brian, is director of planning for the  Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority. Brian, who like his father has a law degree from the University of Akron, is currently involved in developing the $20 million bus terminal in downtown Ken. He and wife, Wendy, a nurse at Robinson Memorial Hospital, have two children, Zebediah, 8, and Eliza, six months.

Among the first IT support guys

Marv Katz called our attention to this video

PD readers confused by witholding comic strip

The Plain Dealer decided not to publish a Non Sequitur comic Friday that depicts a bunny looking at a police lineup of other animals and saying, “They all really do look alike to me.” In its place was an editor's note that said dthe sdtrip  “was deemed objectionable.” Art Costanzo, 63, a self-professed lifetime reader of the paper, writes in a letter to the editor,  “The only thing I found controversial was the fact that you did not publish it.”

The paper left a blank spot where the strip would have appeared.

Lee Salem agrees. The president and editor of Universal, which syndicates Non Sequitur and other comics, said by email that pulling a strip is “a very rare occurrence (I scratched my head over that move), made more complicated for newspapers because the strip in question is so easily available from online sources. In many cases, the pulling of a strip or sequence just draws more attention to it.”
Salem said strips are pulled “maybe twice a year total,” including Doonesbury, which Universal syndicates:

In earlier times, Doonesbury was pulled more frequently, but I think more newspapers have a sense that many readers expect Doonesbury to be Doonesbury. And they prefer to avoid the headaches pulling a strip creates.

Those headaches for the Plain Dealer include more letters and 175 commendts on former columniar Conniw Schultz's faceboo page. 

No other papers pulled the strip, Salem said. Another Non Sequitur strip was pulled on December 3. And prior to that, a Non Sequitur srip titled "Where's Mohameed?" was pulled in October 2010.

[Source: Poynter Online

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tom Moore derailed at Scenic Railroad

This from a facebook post by Tom Giffen:

Tom Moore reports that he is not 20 years old any more, and he celebrated by doing a face plant in some concrete while doing his train thing on the Cuyahoga Valley Railroad!

Here's an update from Tom:

Here's me two days later. This may last until November....not sore, just unconfortable.
~ tom

Friday, January 13, 2012

Extensive Firestone Park history

Clarice Finley Lewis came up with an extensive "History of Firestone Park" for the 20th anniversary of the Firestone Park Citizens Council in 1986.

I just stumbled on it. Well, Paula pointed me in the right direction.

If you want to read it, click on the headline. There's a LOT of details, lot prices, etc. so be prepared for a long read on a snowy winter night, which is what we've having today.

To read it all before the postings are complete on that web site, go to


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Aetna ideas for relieving stress

Aetna Medicare Insurance emailed these suggestions for relieving stress:

Exercise takes your mind off stress. Even 20 minutes a day of running, swimming or brisk walking can do wonders.

Consider exercising with a friend. You can vent some steam about what's stressing you (if that helps) or talk about only pleasant topics.

Talking about problems with someone you trust helps relieve tension. And you may gather ideas for solving problems.

Avoid "happy hour." A glass of wine with dinner may have health benefits, but too much alcohol can make stress worse. Instead, team with a friend or a group to de-stress in some active way.

Visualize. Imagine you are somewhere that makes you feel good, such as the beach, woods or mountains.

Breathe slowly and deeply. Focus on all 5 senses. Imagine what you see, feel, hear, taste and smell. Continue this for 5 to 10 minutes.

Gradually return to the real world,

And try not to think how close Aetna has you to the donut hole and extra prescription costs.

Sarah Gibson Blanding: A Geoffrey Gevault pofile

Geoffrey Gevault, a former business editor at the Beacon Journal who organized the  Young Writers Project in Vermont in 2002, writes this charming story of Sarah Gibson Blanding,  the first  woman president of Vassar College.  The Life photo by Alfred Eisensdtaedt  was taken n 1949 when she reeoed an honorary degree from Smith College.

Sarah Gibson Blanding, a native of Kentucky, was the first woman president of Vassar College. She was a visionary. In 1946 she admitted male GIs to the school, she strengthened the arts departments, built new buildings and in the early 1960s picketed a Woolworth's because they wouldn't let blacks eat at their lunch counters. 

In the mid-1960s, she and her sister Ellen retired to a house down the road from me. She became a friend and mentor -- someone
who'd give me a straight opinion but wouldn't judge -- her faith in me didn't waiver. She had an engaging sparkle in her eyes, liked jokes and loved bourbon, cigarettes and reading, in no particular order.

I worked summers for her, taking care of the yard and gardens, though she and her sister were at odds at how best to use my time. Ellen would have me clean the garage and put some of "Sarah's junk" into the station wagon to take to the dump. Sarah would come by, howl, and tell me to empty the car. "Don't listen to Ellen," she'd say.

On hot days, Sarah invited me to eat lunch in the shade of her porch where she had lemonade and plenty of books. She taught me Faulkner. And Welty. And Steinbeck. Sometimes we'd talk about the writers, or their stories. Sometimes we wouldn't talk at all. Often, when I’d get up to return to work, she’d say, “What’s your rush? Stay and read.”

Each summer she had me prune her lilac bush. It was more a tree than a bush -- it stood 25 feet tall and was the most prolific lilac anyone had ever seen. She had me carefully snip the dead blossoms at the outside of the "Y" of the stem. A lilac has a double blossom, and her theory was that a new blossom would come from each side. "From two will come four and from four will come eight," she would say, "and that's why I have so many blossoms." Who was to argue.
I moved away after college, but we kept in touch by letters. Then, in the early 1980s she developed Alzheimers and moved to a nursing home. In 1982 I stopped to see her. She was confused. "How do I know you?" she kept asking.

I would tell her, but nothing worked. Finally I said, "Miss Blanding, I'm Geoffrey. I used to take care of your lilac tree. Remember? From two will come four, from four will come eight …"

"Geoffrey!" she shouted. A thin, silk veil seemed to lift from her bright blue eyes. She beamed. “Oh, Geoffrey.” And then, just as quickly, the puzzlement returned. A frown. "How do I know you?" She died in 1985.

Sometimes, when I write, I imagine that she is my audience.

Stewart named content veep for Scripps

EVANSVILLE — Mizell Stewart III, who has been editor of the Evansville (IN) Courier & Press since 2007, will soon take a new job with the newspaper’s corporate parent.

Effective Jan. 23, Stewart will become vice president of content for the newspaper group
of The E.W. Scripps Co. The job is based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In this job, Stewart will develop content strategy and directly oversee the creation, curation and production of news, information and entertainment for both print and digital platforms in Scripps’ 13 newspaper markets. All Scripps editors will report directly to him.

Stewart said he looks forward to “the opportunity to play a larger role in leading Scripps newsrooms into the future.”

Stewart said newsrooms face an “incredible challenge” of keeping up with the increasing number of ways people consume news — online, via smartphones, via electronic readers or in other ways.

“We have to evolve our newsrooms to be able to serve all those platforms,” he said.
See more

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pat Dougherty certifiable Best Man

BJ Engraving retiree Pat Dougherty will be the best man at the wedding of his grandson, the father of two of Pat's grandchildren.

Pat has eight grandchildren and a pair of great-grandchildren.

Pat discussed the upcoming nuptials at the monthly BJ retirees lunch in Papa Joe's restaurant on Akron-Peninsula Road at Portage Trail Extension.

Six showed up. Only two of the 16 most recent retirees lunches have drawn a larger "crowd." At one time 30 would be a normal attendance number, but the 1 p.m. second Wednesday of the monthly chew-the-food-and-chew-the-fat gatherings haven't hit double-digit attendance since March 2010.

Tom Moore discussed his annual trips to Florida to handle former BJ sports editor Tom Giffen's Roy Hobbs World Series for older baseball players, where Tom M. gets paid to write daily stories about the players for Tom G. every late autumn.

It all started with Giffen gave Moore a call, asking if Tom M. could do a few interviews for Tom G. over the phone. Moore did. Giffen liked it. And asked former copy desk makeup man Tom M., "How would you like to come to Florida?" That was the beginning of an 8-year alliance between the two former BJ co-workers.

Others at today's retirees lunch besides Tom Moore and Pat Dougherty were retired printers Gene McClellan, Carl Nelson and Al Hunsicker and newsroom retiree John Olesky, who was between his December trip to Spain, Portugal and Morroco and his Jan. 14-28 14th annual winterizing on Siesta Key (Sarasota), Florida, within a block of where the late printer Bill Gorrell had his Poor Bill's building of rental apartments that drew BJ personnel for decades. John and Paula will return from Florida in time to get ready for their trip to Thailand and Cambodia, Feb. 15-March. 2. That will bring John's countries-visited total to 48 since his 1996 retirement from the BJ.

Attendance totals for BJ retirees lunches in the six years that Olesky has been keeping track (and has no idea why he does):

January 11, 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

December 14, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

November 9, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

October 12, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 (including Rosetta Blanton)

Sept. 14, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

August 10, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

July 13, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

June 8, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

May 11, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

April 13, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

March 9, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

February 9, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 including Denzil Parker

January 12, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 (heavy snowstorm)

December 8, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

November 10, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

October 13, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 (including Cal Deshong’s daughter)

September 8, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

August 11, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

July 13, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

June 10, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

May 12, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

April 14, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

March 10, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

February 10, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . 2 (Engraving’s Pat Dougherty, Composing’s
Gene McClellan)

January 13, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . 5

November 11, 2009 . . . . . . . . . 4

September 9, 2009 ……………. 8

August 12, 2009 ………………. 7

July 8, 2009 ……………………. 10

June 10, 2009 …………………. 10

May 14, 2009 ………………….. 8

April 8, 2009 …………………… 5

January 14, 2009 …………… 3

December 10, 2008 …………… 8

November 12, 2008 …………… 6

October 8, 2008 ……………… 8

August 13, 2008 ……………… 9

July 9, 2008 …………………… 23
(Sandy Levenson, Bob Pell memorial)

June 12, 2008 ………………… 8

May 14, 2008 ………………… 12

Feb. 13, 2008 ………………… 11

Dec. 12, 2007 ………………… 8

Sept. 12, 2007 ………………… 16

August 8, 2007 ……………… 7

June 13, 2007 ………………… 12

May 9, 2007 …………………… 14

April 11, 2007 ………………… 15

March 15, 2007 ……………… ??
(no story & photos no longer available)

January 10, 2007 …………… 14

December 13, 2006 ………… 18

November 8, 2006 …………… 13

October 12, 2006 …………… 11

September 13, 2006 ………… 12

August 13, 2006 …………… 15

July 12, 2006 ………………… 10

June 15, 2006 ……………… 12

May 11, 2006 ………………… 11

April 12, 2006 ……………… 11

March 8, 2006 ……………… 13

February 8, 2006 …………… 11

January 11, 2006 …………… 13

On the survivial of newspapers

Newspapers that survive "may be in towns under 100,000 in population, where the hyperlocal news, high school sports, etc., loyal local advertisers and a fairly narrow distribution pattern make it economically viable."

Read about it in the Merced (CA) Sun-Star

Monday, January 09, 2012

Another way to avoid the Rx donut hole

Use the Giant Eagle discount generic prescriptions, which cost $10 for a 90-day supply. It doesn't go through Aetna and it doesn't count toward getting you to the donut hole. It has helped save me $1,665.59 in 2011 compared to my 2010 prescription costs. Well, that, using Canadian pharmacies and Obamacare donut hole reductions.

Check "Rx Math: 2010 vs. 2011" below for my earlier post on my Rx savings in 2011 compared to 2010.

If you have other tips for saving you money on your prescriptions, email John Olesky at jo4wvu@neo.rr.com
and I'll check it out and pass it on to BJ Alums readers.

Click on the headline to see if your drugs are on the Giant Eagle list. Other stores have similar lists, which you might want to check out, but I use Giant Eagle because it's convenient to where I live in Tallmadge, just outside the Chapel Hill shopping complex.

10 ways to reinvent journalism

Ten things journalists can do to reinvent journalism.

Check the list

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Rx math: 2010 vs. 2011

In 2010, before Obamacare, I paid $2,680.42 for prescription co-pays.
In 2011, with Obamacare, I paid $1,014.83 for the same prescriptions.

I did stock up on my prescriptions through Canada once I hit the donut hole in 2010, saving hundreds of dollars.

Same prescriptions both years. I just keep refilling them, and have for years.

Not taking sides in the debate. Just reporting the facts. Check your 2010 and 2011 prescriptions, if you had identical prescriptions for both years, the only way to compare fairly.

The pharmaceutical industry is working hard to "fix" that situation, though. Here's an example of what the drug dealers are charging for a specific drug for 90 days (not what I pay before I hit the donut hole, but the total cost of the drug for Aetna and me combined):

$363.87 on 9/30/09.

$655.37 on 5/25/10

$766.89 on 1/8/12

You think maybe they're trying to offset the Obamacare reductions?

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Olga calls from Intensive Care

Olga Reswow called from Intensive Care at Akron City Hospital this afternoon and sends her love to all. She was just taken off the ventilator today.  Her car was rear-ended by an intoxicated woman driver, going 80 to 90 miles per hour,  who rammed into the rear end of Olga's car  on I-76 at the Kenmore leg. 

Olga suffered a crushed pelvis and ankle and has had surgery for both. She is likely to be in a wheelchair for weeks. She's in room 208 at Akron City Hospital, but still in intensive care and no visitors other than family are allowed at the moment.

The 25-year-old woman who hit her has been charged with DUI. The car, which was totaled, did not have air bags.  Olga suffered a broken leg in three places and a severe hip injury.

Ironically, one of the last stories she edited was one by Rick Armon about a former Barberton man serving a 16-year sentence in prison for drunken-driving conviction who is trying to change his life and reputation.

PD sportswriter Jack McDermott dies at 68

By Grant Segall
Lorain -- Jack McDermott hung out with world champions but liked interviewing teenage hopefuls, too.

McDermott, a long-time sportswriter for The Plain Dealer and other area newspapers, died Monday, Jan. 2, at home in
Lorain from an apparent heart attack. The 68-year-old had suffered heart problems for years.

"Jack loved Lorain, knew it like the back of his hand and loved those kids out there," said Bob Fortuna, Plain Dealer sportswriter. "And the people in Lorain County loved Jack."

Those people included Joe Gentile, a boxer turned promoter. "Jack was a real, real nice guy," said Gentile. "He was fair with people. He was very supportive."

Gentile said he and McDermott had dinner with Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner in 1975, before the boxers' championship clash at the new Richfield Coliseum. And McDermott posed for a photo while taking a mock punch from champion Larry Holmes.

McDermott also covered countless young unknowns, including future stars like football's Matt Wilhelm, who won championships with Ohio State and Green Bay.

McDermott was born in Amherst and lived in Lorain County the rest of his life. He graduated from St. Mary Catholic School and Ohio State University.

In the mid-1960s, he began to cover high school teams for the Elyria Chronicle. He joined the Lorain Journal in 1969 and covered the Cavaliers's first years, including the Miracle of Richfield.

On the side, he was sports information director at Baldwin-Wallace College under football patriarch Lee Tressel and later at Oberlin College.

In 1978, he was sports editor of the short-lived Ohio Observer in Mansfield. He joined The Plain Dealer a year later and transferred to the paper's new Lorain County bureau in 1992. He retired in 2006.

McDermott coached his children in recreational baseball and softball. He was a passionate Democrat and Irish-American. He especially liked the Irish Tenor who shared his name.

His son, John M., coaches boys' basketball and girls' softball at Brookside High School in Sheffield and freelances sports stories for the Elyria Chronicle.
John Edmund McDermott


Survivors: Wife, the former Mary Kay Walker; mother, the former Margaret Mackin of North Ridge ville; children, John M. of Lorain, Kris Higgins of Hilliard, O., Molly McDermott of Amherst and Katy Smith of Clyde, O.; and 10 grand children.

Funeral: Private.

Contributions: St. Jude Chil dren's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105, stjude.org, or Autism Speaks, 5455 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 2250, Los Angeles, CA 90036, autismspeaks.org.

Arrangements: Dovin and Reber Jones of Amherst.
[Source: PD Alumni News blog]

How Sad: Marv's lament on sale of hometown newspaper

The Times-News of Hendersonville, North Carolina, is among 16 newspapers sold by the New York Times Co. and Halifax Media Holdings LLC.  It’s the hometown newspaper of former Beacon Journal staffer Marv Katz.

Katz, in an email with the subject line How Sad, had this to say:

Our local paper, now operating out of offices in a strip shopping center across the street from its old building (which has been torn down to make way for a brand-new Goodwill facility), with production performed down the mountain at a sister paper in Spartanburg, S.C., welcomes a new owner, known primarily for sucking up to the moneyed interests in town and ignoring the public interest.  How comforting...
Read about it on the newspaper’s website.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Catching up with . . . Bill Norvell

Bill Norvell, a former computer tech at the Beacon Journal, has his own firm, Digital Service Group, with three employees and $170,000 annual revenue.

DSG is on Casterton Avenue in Akron. It was incorporated in Ohio in 2005.

But let Bill tell his story, after he received a request from BJ Alums blog to do just that:

"I have my own company and I perform multiple services. I have completed my Microsoft Certification A+ and I'm also an electrician.

"I like working with networking and computers better. I service old
analog systems and new.

"My company's name is Digital Service Group.

"I live in Coventry Crossing, a very lovely place with my wife, Carol.

"I'm still in contact with Tracy Kane: Her email is jstskane@msn.com and Larry Vancant: His email is vancant@att.net .

"I did meet with Art and Charlene at a restaurant. It was really great to see them.

"Let me know how the Blog goes.

"Thanks, Bill Norvell."

After Bill ran into Art and Charlene, it was Char who emailed BJ Alums blog that "the really friendly guy from IT . . . might make a nice catch-up story. He says the Beacon was the best employer he ever had."

Thanks, Char, for the tip.

Bill's wife, Carol, is vice president of Digital Service Group.

If you want to phone Bill and catch up on the BJ days, call (330) 384-1388.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

NY Times, AP, Washington Post found NewsRight

Several newspaper organizations are banding together under an organization titled NewsRight to license and profit from the spread of their content online.

A project first developed by the Associated Press and initially named the News Licensing Group, NewsRight launched Thursday with 29 investors, including the AP, New York Times Company, Washington Post Company, McClatchy Newspapers  and numerous other major newspaper corporations.

Its board includes a who's who of media executives from many of those same companies, such as Tom Curley, President and CEO of the AP, Katharine Weymouth, publisher of the Washington Post and Gary Pruitt, CEO of McClatchy. Its chair is Bob Nutting, CEO of Ogden Newspapers and the owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team.

"We are providing the easiest legal way for internet companies to gain access to quality journalism," David Westin, the CEO and president of NewsRight and the former ABC News chief, told TheWrap. "We can give them the rights under copyright to use the stuff. They don't have to be over the line, close to the line, worry about the line. It's one-stop shopping."

NewsRight puts code into every piece published by the sites it works with -- 841 newspaper sites at this point -- and that code travels with the story across the web. If someone else steals it, NewsRight's database registers it.

Olga Reswow in auto accident

BJ Alums got this email from Debbie Van Tassel, former BJ department head who went to the PD.

You might get something onto the blog about Olga's accident. Here is what I know from a colleague:

Beacon staffer Olga Reswow was badly injured in an accident.

It happened Friday night on I-76 at the Kenmore leg. She suffered a crushed pelvis and ankle and has had surgery for both. She is likely to be in a wheelchair for weeks. She's in room 208 at Akron City Hospital, but is in intensive care and no visitors other than family are allowed at the moment.

The 25-year-old woman who hit her has been charged with DUI.

-- Debbie Van Tassel

In 2010 Olga missed about seven weeks with a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage.

Olga, who has been at the BJ for 26 years, has been a BJ copy desk fixture. She also served as the BJ's unofficial Russian translator when reporters were talking to someone who spoke Russian better than they spoke English.

Brian Usher omitted from 2011 In Memoriam list

BJ Alums got this red-face email from Bill O'Connor, former BJ reporter

John -

I appreciate your work on the blog. However, you missed Brian Usher in the obit list for 2011.

All the best to you and Paula for a healthy and prosperous new year. Hell, I've been reading about trips to outer space. I figure when you and Paula run out of countries, you'll be sitting in a rocketship.


Bill is right, of course. Brian was the BJ Ohio Statehouse reporter before becoming press secretary when Richard Celeste was Ohio's governor.

Brian has been added to the original In Memoriam list. Click on the headline to see the list of 2011, 2010 and 2009 BJ-connected deaths.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Black Keys appear on cover of Rolling Stone magazine

Ohio.com post by Malcolm X Abram:

Yep, the local boys continue to make good and gooder as they get
amped up for what could be their biggest (gooderest?) year of their decade-long careers.

Their album "El Camino" debuted at #2 on the Billboard Charts, they appeared on "Saturday Night Live" twice in one year and looked awkward and uncomfortable on their recent "Colbert Report" TV appearance and now they have made the cover of Rolling Stone.

I'd try and post it here for your enjoyment but I don't want a phalanx of lawyers to cut a hole in my ceiling and descend upon me a la Terry Gilliam's "Brazil."

So instead, here's Pat and Dan sweating through an interview with Stephen Colbert from a few weeks ago.

"Akron's got a lot of cheesburgers," HA!

Carney is the son of BJ reporter Jim Carney. Jim Carney's wife, BJ reporter Katie Byard, is his stepmom.

Click on the headline to read Rolling Stone excerpts of the cover story. We can't use that language on this blog.

Update from Bill Chaney

Bill Chaney reports his health is improved and he is now living in Barberton and would like to hear from friends.

Bill Chaney
21 23rd St. NW
Barberton, OH 44203
Tel: 330-706-9277

Sunday, January 01, 2012

In memoriam


Ralph E. Norman, widow of former BJ reporter Pat Norman, Jan. 3.
Jack Patterson, former BJ sports writer, Jan. 22.
RoseAnn Schleis, BJ reporter Paula Schleis’ mother, Feb. 6.
Guy F. Limbacher, former BJ reporter Jolene Limbacher’s former husband, Feb. 12.
Dennis ``Denny' O'Neil, former BJ circulation department, March 1.
Lloyd S. Leadbetter, Composing retiree, Feb. 12.
Frank William Pantages, father of BJ's Larry Pantages, March 14
Donald Lee Bandy, BJ rewrite man, March 20.
Michael Ryan Tople, grandson of BJ photographer Paul Tople, May 17.
Anne Louise Henry, former BJ correspondent, May 28.
Luella D. Cordier, retired Record-Courier editor, June 8.
Linda Golz, BJ reporter, June 11.
James Kirby (Jim) Farrell, former BJ ad director, July 1.
Richard H. Backderf, 84, father of former BJ artist John "Derf" Backderf, July 3.
Charlotte Ruth McCarthy, former BJ reporter Pam McCarthy’s mother, July 28.
Harry Dunphy, father of former BJ reporter John Dunphy, July 31.
Philip Hegenderfer, 66, BJ astronomy column, Aug. 9.
Creed C. Black, former president of John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Aug. 16.
Theodore J. Mellow, former PD editor/slotman, Aug. 21.
Danny Hess, son of retired BJ reporter Dave Hess, Aug. 23.
Dr. Evonne H. Whitmore, Kent State journalism professor, Aug. 25.
Harold Ray McElroy, BJ business retiree, Sept. 5.
Bob August, former Cleveland Press columnist, Sept. 9.
Lisa Katz Pagel, daughter of Marv Katz, PR and BJ, Sept. 21.
Leonard Arthur Burkhard, father of Sharon Loentzen, Sept. 22.
Robbie Stillman, PR and former BJ reporter, Oct. 4.
Evelyn Ruth (Gretta) Pantages, mother of Beacon Journal business editor Larry Pantages, Oct. 5.
James E. Dancy, Sr., retired engraver, Oct. 14.
Elizabeth Hallowell, former BJ reporter, Nov. 9,
Terry Oblander, former BJ and PD reporter, Nov. 13.
Leo V. “Vern” Osmar, 83, Composing retiree, Nov. 24.
Ethel Rita Aspell, wrote for the BJ before 1970s, Dec. 14.
Brian Usher, former BJ Ohio Statehouse reporter, Dec. 23.


Joan Morris, 73, retired chief artist Bud Morris' widow, Jan. 22.
Ann Deskovich, 88, maintenance department retiree John Deskovich's widow, Feb. 19.
Mary Elizabeth Swartz, 87, former BJ reporter, March 7.
Charles "Chick" G. Lipford, husband of accounting retiree Martha, March 26.
Ruth Kenny, 85, in the BJ accounting department in the 1970s and 1980s, March 31.
Mary Ohlinger, 90, retail ad retiree and sister of the late retired BJ printer Jerry VanSickle, in March.
Terry Lieberth, husband of Maribeth Lieberth, Accounts Payable (previously Human Resources and the Newsroom), April 11.
Steven Spragg, 38, of Middleburg, Virginia, retired printer Sid Sprague's son, May 4.
Nettie Evans Skeens, 75, retired printer Bob Skeens' widow, June 12.
Helen C. Liggett, 79, wife of newsroom retiree Harry Liggett, June 26.
Michelle LeComte, former BJ enterprise and features editor, Aug. 3.
Carol F. Guregian, mother of BJ staffer Elaine Guregian, Sept. 2.
William "Bill" James Carney, father of BJ staffer Jim Carney, Sept. 7.
BJ Circulation truck driver retiree Raife Woodall, 69, Sept. 12.
Arleen Louise Durst, 88, widow of former BJ printer Gene Durst, Sept. 26.
Carlos ``Carl' Anderson, 85, Nov. 11.
Theresa Ann Osmar, 78, wife of composing retiree Leo Osmar, Nov. 16.
Elizabeth Margaret Harvey, 95, former BJ food editor, Nov. 25.
Dick Shippy, 83, BJ staffer, Dec. 6.
Robert A. Coudriet, 87, retired circulation manager, Dec. 10.
M. Elaine Schoenleb, widow of former BJ News Editor Edwin Schoenleb, Dec. 30.


Cleveland Phillips, maintenance, Jan. 20.
Barbara Patterson, wife of sports retiree Jack, March 17.
Robert Kamenar, freelance photographer, March 22.
Watson Blanton, printer, March 25.
Robert Cull, father of reporter Mike, April 4.
Nancy (Lile) Wise, May 27.
Bill Kennedy, July 20.
Armand Lear, printer, June 5.
Virginia Berger, wife of promotion's Bill, Aug. 5.
Kevin Jackson, son of Gary, Aug. 6.
Olga O'Neil, Aug. 22.
Stephen Schleis, father of reporter Paula, Oct. 11.
Terry Dray, printer, Oct. 25.
Trammel Hogg, printer, Nov. 15.
Kevin Vest, sports statistician, Nov. 18.
Bob Nold, sports writer, Dec. 20.