Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thoughts on a Pelican

In South Florida, we have a number of papers.   The Miami Herald is the big one, it used to have a national reach especially on South Florida News and Latin America Affairs.  This was the paper that was referred to when I lived in Philadelphia when ever someone wanted to report on serious news down here in South Florida.

The Sun Sentinel is the big paper in Broward County, heavily reporting on Fort Lauderdale and South Florida, but it has a distinctly "Second City" feel to it.  Lately it has been depending on the Wire Services so much for news that I have to question if it would not be easier to go to or one of the other web pages and get national news directly.  It reports heavily on Fort Lauderdale and Broward County but if you live in a smaller city, I've found it is not all that helpful. 

Personally I tend to get more information from the BBC on national and international news, I skim the headlines in the two papers above online, and then settle in to read local news in a weekly paper here, The Pelican. 

Yes, I did speak of a weekly newspaper in the same breath as I did when mentioning my lifelong news source, the BBC, and the two big gorillas on the local news stand, The Herald and the Sun-Sentinel.

After moving here, I got quite involved in Politics as a volunteer.   As I have said to two successive Mayors here, the reason I go to Wilton Manors Commission Meetings is that it is entertaining and informative.   In my typical irreverent manner, I have said that it is more entertaining than watching TV, especially on a Tuesday Night.  I record everything on my Digital Personal Video Recorder anyway so if it comes into the house, I can time shift it and watch programming at my own schedule freeing me up to be involved. 

TV Viewing and Entertainment aside, There is a LOT of information that is given in the Commission meetings here.  I sit in the front row clicking away on my Zaurus, typing into a text editor some horrifically spelled notes in some high level of detail getting the information down.   It is helping me get to my goal of 366 days of consecutive pertinent posts here on - that anniversary is September 13, 2010 if you're counting.

In the same crowd is the reporter for the Pelican, Michael D'Oliveira, taking notes down on a steno pad.  I'll look over from time to time and am usually rather surprised that he takes very sparse notes, relying on his memory to get some quite in-depth articles out for the publication, on Fridays, while I'm sitting there acting more like a stenographer banging away furiously and ending the evening with sore thumbs when I'm through.  Apparently, his memory for this subject is better than mine.

Michael has an excellent view on the way things are working here.  I've seen him in multiple city meetings, such as Commission, Planning and Zoning and others.  He also does this for some of the other smaller cities in the county that the Sun Sentinel slights.  Pompano and Deerfield get significant coverage as well as Oakland Park and Lauderdale By The Sea. 

We get a lot of free papers here in Wilton Manors, some of them are just "Bar Rags" and not worth the effort it takes to pick them out of the stands.  Others vary from being catty nonsense to somewhat informative.  I will say that due to Michael's efforts, the Pelican is a Must Read for anyone who lives in or cares about Wilton Manors and nearby cities.

Now, if they could just get this paper online...

Thanks Mike, I'm looking forward to our next chat.

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