Friday, April 30, 2010


A little of this, a little of that:

*Fastest way to get breaking news about Kingston, Ulster County and the surrounding area? Follow the Daily Freeman on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook. Our editors are updating our website throughout the day and night.

*You'll excuse the wet blanket, but it will take a few more months of baseball before I'm convinced the Mets are pennant contenders and the Yanks' Robinson Cano is going to win the MVP award. In case you haven't heard, the baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint.

*If the voters of this state aren't finally prepared in November to make wholesale changes in the makeup of an increasingly worse Assembly and Senate, it never will happen.

*Early reports out of Washington are that New Yorkers are lagging in filing Census information. If you didn't mail your forms, answer the questions when Census takers knock on your door. (Disclosure: My wife is working for the Census bureau.) If New Yorkers wind up being under-counted, it will result in fewer congressional representatives and less federal funding for the state.

*I see where Meatloaf's daughter is performing in Kingston tonight. Our story says she was born here. You suppose it was in the back of the old Schneller's Market?

*Plenty of interesting stuff coming from the Freeman's growing list of community and staff bloggers, but if you read nobody else, you have to follow the wit and wisdom of our own Ivan Lajara.

*RNN failed, but Time Warner's YNN has finally given the Hudson Valley a respectable TV news-gathering outlet.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Shortly after the tumultuous period when Steve Poskanzer was plucked from SUNY Central to become president at SUNY New Paltz (replacing Roger Bowen, who had been forced out by the Gov. Pataki administration after a controversial women's studies conference drew scorn in the New York Post), there was talk that it wouldn't be long before Poskanzer returned to Albany, maybe even as chancellor.

Poskanzer was young, smart and energetic, and many of us saw bigger and better things for him in SUNY.

Nearly a decade later, Poskanzer is indeed moving on, but in a different direction. We learned today that he's accepted the presidency at a small college in Minnesota.

In the days ahead, we'll get a better sense of what Poskanzer's depature means to him personally and New Paltz as an institution.

But the initial reaction from this New Paltz alum, who also once sat on the College Council (the board of trustees, if you will) prior to his arrival, is that Poskanzer served New Paltz well, both on campus and in the Hudson Valley community.

Poskanzer had a vision for the college and succeeded in many initiatives. And he was limber enough to manage the often difficult balancing act of serving the faculty, staff and study body.

Poskanzer won't be irreplaceable; nobody is. But he's leaving behind big shoes to fill.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Exciting times at the Freeman

So much is happening so quickly around our shop and on our website that it's worth my stepping back a moment to point them out, in the unlikely event you haven't taken note.

It really hit me last week from the perspective of reading the Freeman on-line (on my new iPad) while visiting family in Los Angeles.

For example:

*Video, video, video. Public officials. Artists. Community activists. Live action (from cars dodging potholes to youngsters competing in a one-mile run). Stories are coming to life on our website.

*Speaking of potholes, there's the already popular See, Click, Fix feature, in which you tell us, your neighbors and the powers that be what's going on in your community. Great introductory piece, with videos, can be found here.

*Blogs. If you've found this one, you probably are aware that our roster has expanded dramatically. Not only are we providing offerings from Freeman people, but we're adding links to community bloggers, too. Your search for local blogs should begin at our site.

*Breaking news, updates, weather alerts, same-day local sports scores and more, all the time. News doesn't stop, nor does our coverage of it. If you're not constantly checking back at our website, you're missing out.

*Advertising opportunities. Plenty of advertisers and their customers have realized the value of the audience our site brings them. And we can offer a variety of ways, including creative animation and, yes, videos, to spread your message. (Ask the Hurley Mountain Inn, for one prime example, how Freeman videos are working out of them.)

Our page views have tripled in recent weeks. More people than ever are reading the Freeman in print and on-line.

And we're just starting. We're even in the midst of getting our reporters and editors new computers and software to make their busy lives easier.

Who said the newspaper business isn't fun anymore?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The world of iPad

I've used my brand new iPad for only a couple of hours, so I've only scratched the surface (figuratively speaking, of course). But already I can tell you, it's quite something. Very impressive, indeed. (And this is from someone whose Apple computing has been limited to "paginating" Freeman pages on my office Mac. Otherwise, I'm PC-centric.)

I do have an iPod, so since the first step out of the box with the iPad is to register at the iTunes Store, it was liking hooking up with an old friend when my iPod ID put me on a first-name basis with the iPad.

If you're interested in the iPad, which went on sale last weekend to much acclaim and countless media stories, you already know the basics: It's lightweight, offers brilliant screen resolution and the ability to get on the Internet and handle e-mail (via Wi-Fi), video, audio, e-books and what's promised to be an increasing number of "apps".

For a test run, I downloaded a free e-book, title unknown. My granddaughter will be pleased to find out it was "Winnie the Pooh". I'd have preferred something more substantial, but hey, it was free. I also loaded free apps from The Weather Channel, Tweet Deck and Pandora (Internet radio). I had accounts for the latter two on my PC and they worked like a charm on the iPad. So far I've stumbled on the weather app, which did nothing after I entered my ZIP code. Maybe a bug, maybe I screwed it up; we'll see.

What I'm primarily interested in is how publications like the Freeman and others will fit into the iPad world. Some in our industry believe computer tablets like iPad and those to come will be the salvation of newspapers, particularly when consumers start buying their apps. Perhaps. For now I can tell you that reading the Freeman and New York Times Website on the iPad is a pleasant experience.

I'm leaving on a jet plane tomorrow morning and I'm bringing my new best friend the iPad (and my wife). The airline offers free Wi-Fi, so I'll have plenty of time to fiddle around. We'll see if even at my age, an old dog can learn new tricks. (I mean me, not my wife.)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Internet anonymity

This week on the Media Project on WAMC Northeast Public Radio, we're talking about anonymity on the Internet, among other topics.

Listen to it here.