The topic this week of this space of your favorite weekly newspapers is what’s in your favorite weekly newspaper this week:
Time to make the Donuts: It had to have been quite a sight at Dunkin’ Donuts early Friday, as workers scrambled to prepare more than 400 dozen doughnuts — eight times the usual Friday volume — to fill the Boots and Badges orders as far away as Fennimore. The fundraiser went much better than projected, which shows not just Platteville residents’ commitment to charitable causes and civic improvements, but also the popularity of the product.
City Recreation Coordinator Luke Peters pointed out that the doughnut orders totaled 1.5 million calories. Good thing work on lighting and paving the Rountree Branch Trail is moving ahead, and that the pool may open this year if the temperature ever exceeds 50 and it ever stops raining.
1, 2, 3, 4: I spent most of Saturday at the state Solo & Ensemble Festival at UW–Platteville, as you know from SouthWest this week.
Covering Solo & Ensemble is a challenge because you have participants spread out over a bunch of rooms in three buildings, with, of course, several people you’re interested in performing at the exact same time. Well, sort of, since some rooms run fast, and some rooms run behind, and some rooms rearrange schedules without advance warning. (Someone needs to come up with a Solo & Ensemble smartphone schedule app.) It’s comparable to covering the state track meet, except that, at least in field events, most competitors will be jumping more than once; Solo & Ensemble participants play each particular selection only once.
Those not musically inclined could think of Solo & Ensemble as like “American Idol,” though there is one judge, not three, per room. Solo & Ensemble was something I didn’t participate in in high school, perhaps due to having insufficient talent for anything beyond being buried in a band. The participants learn, I observe, how much time it really takes to know a piece well enough to play with confidence in front of family, friends and strangers. (There’s a theory that getting really good at something requires 10,000 hours of work at it.) They also learn that, with schedule changes — accompanists are sometimes double-booked, or someone left music at home — you have to be adaptable to perform on short notice, or learn the Army concept of hurry-up-and-wait.
It’s about time (get it?): On page 10B of your favorite weekly newspaper is the start of something I’ve wanted to do here for a long time. Most weekly newspapers (that may be an understatement) have a column that includes snippets of its old newspapers, from, usually, milestone anniversaries — 25, 50, 100 or whatever years ago. That was something we weren’t able to do here because former publisher Dick Brockman gave his old Journals to the Rollo Jamison and Mining Museum when he sold The Journal in 2003. Our old Journals date back only to 2005.
The next best thing is to do what we’re doing on page 10B each week, assuming it works — photos of old pages of The Journal, from, starting this week, 1914, 1939 and 1949, to show you what was news — and, some weeks, who was advertising — in The Journal. The feature is called “I See by The Journal,” because, back in those days, The Journal had a regular feature, sometimes multiple pages long, of local news called “I See by the Journal.” It seemed an appropriate name.
And if you thought last weekend was packed: It seemed to me that everyone who had an event scheduled their event for last Saturday, including the Eat Local on a Budget workshop (two words: fresh spinach), Solo & Ensemble, Relay for Life, and the Elks Lodge 1460 banquet. I now conclude from this coming Saturday’s schedule that anyone who didn’t have an event last Saturday is having one this Saturday, including the return of the outdoor Platteville Farmers’ Market, Livingston and Rewey village cleanup days, the inaugural Kick Start Tourism event, the Habitat for Humanity benefit concert, and the Platteville High School prom. The Platteville Jaycees are supposed to deliver sandbox sand starting at 8 a.m., but will anyone be at home to take it?
Polling place: The latest SWNews4U.com poll asks which respondents prefer of the five options the Platteville School District is considering for its school buildings. The direct site for the poll is www.swnews4u.com/polls/detail/104/. It doesn’t exactly fit in our poll template because a description of most of the options is rather lengthy.
It’s interesting and ironic that the status-quo option — improve all four buildings and keep all the grades where they are — is the most expensive option, and the option with the most student-moving — move seventh and eighth grades to Platteville High School, and move Westview students to what now is Platteville Middle School — costs the least of the three most expensive options.
The school district is holding forums May 6, 7 and 14. The feedback from those should be revealing as to how people feel about the buildings in a well-regarded school district.