Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ben Franklin needs your help

Come celebrate the Fourth of July with us!
As regular readers of www.troyrecord.com already know, The Record is celebrating the Fourth of July in a special way with “The Ben Franklin Project.”
On July 4, all of us at The Record will proclaim our independence from proprietary computer programs by producing that day’s newspaper, as much as possible, using only free software available on the Internet. All 18 Journal Register Company dailies
Another important element of this innovative project, which was conceived by JRC CEO John Paton, is reader involvement.
And that’s where you come in.
We’ve planned a variety of projects, some suggested by our readers, for that day’s edition.
Record digital specialist Tom Caprood is putting together detailed information on each project for this web site and our print edition, but I want to touch on a few of our efforts and encourage you to become a citizen journalist for the Fourth of July.
Copy Desk Chief Siobhan Connally is already getting response to what she has dubbed “The Wedding Project.” Siobhan is hoping to gather a collection of photos and stories of an important moment in your life, be it from the proposal, the walk down the aisle, the bouquet toss, or the cake smash. Whether it’s romantic, poignant, funny or really funny a decade or two later, share it with Siobhan. She can be reached at sconnally@troyrecord.com, siobhanconnally@gmail.com or 518-270-1285.
Another photo project we’re planning that day has a summer/patriotic theme. Chief Photographer Mike McMahon is hoping you’ll share photos of your favorite historic sites, patriotic displays, and local summer events with us. The Flag Day Parade this weekend might be the perfect occasion to snap a few photos and send them along to Mike at photo@troyrecord.com. Feel free to check out your photo albums or the digital sites that host your snapshots for photos from a local fireworks display, a view of the Cohoes Falls, your family’s summer reunion or event historic Oakwood Cemetery.
We also want you to be a part of our “Travel” page that Sunday and share stories and photos from your favorite vacation destinations. Among my favorite destinations are the Outer Banks in North Carolina and the “Big Easy,” New Orleans, but I’m looking forward to learning about your special trips. You can send your stories and photos to Siobhan Connally at the email addresses and phone number listed above.
The public is also invited to submit content for our Fourth of July editorial page, be it editorial cartoons, columns or guest editorials related to an Independence Day theme of your choice. Feel free to contact me at llewis@troyrecord.com to submit your items or discuss your ideas.
And who among us hasn’t walked back to his or her car only to discover an unwelcome item tucked under their windshield wipers? The DREADED parking ticket!
The city of Troy recently installed new meters downtown, and the effort is causing a bit of a stir. We want to find out how you feel about the city’s effort to generate new revenue and manage parking space availability. What do you think of the city’s plan? Has it worked for you? Have you gotten a ticket? Are the meters causing a problem for your business? Will the meters stop you from coming to downtown Troy? Reporters Cecelia Martinez (cmartinez@troyrecord.com) and Jessica Pasko (jpasko@troyrecord.com) want to hear from you.
Our sports department is also taking part in “The Ben Franklin Project” with a few stories that we hope will pique your interest.
Sport reporter Ed Weaver, who covers the Tri-City ValleyCats for us, is a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan and he is planning to do a story on Major League Baseball memories. Ed is looking for readers who have been to major league ballparks to share their experiences with him. You can contact Ed at eweaver@troyrecord.com. Photos are welcome, too.
College sports reporter Andrew Santillo (asantillo@troyrecord.com) and high school sports reporter Will Montgomery (wmontgomery@troyrecord.com) are doing a story on the high cost of summer athletics and are looking for parents to share their experiences and thoughts on the value of these programs and camps for the young athlete, especially in today’s difficult economy.
I hope you have a terrific Fourth of July and I hope you’ll join us in this historic endeavor.

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