Message was good, delivery wasn't

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By Jim Clark

So many things to write about, so little space. So let's go back to the headline format and cover a few topics:

STOP SMOKING: There was a presentation at the high school last week by a group that organizes Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT). You can find photos elsewhere in today's paper.

I went to the assembly to take pictures and, in all honesty, I was disappointed. There was a lot of loud music and a lot of yelling, most of which couldn't be understood.

No one on stage seemed to know what was coming next. I'm not sure the message, which was a good one, ever got through to the audience.

I admire the students who are willing to step up in public and advertise the fact that smoking is bad for teens - actually it's bad for everyone. But there has to be a better way to get that fact across to the students.

This assembly may have killed any chance this group has of getting back in the local schools again, and that's too bad.

STREET CLOSING: If you want to make a turn into the part of North Main Street that leads to City Hall, coming from Noble Avenue, good luck. Barricades have been put up to coincide with last week's opening of Walgreens.

Let me tell you, these barricades are worthy of Homeland Security. I've seen federal buildings that aren't as well protected.

All this seems destined to make access to the new store and to the city government a little tougher for the people. Shouldn't all this work wait until the fate of City Hall is determined?

STATE PARK FAMOUS:_My wife and I are fans of Jeopardy. Since one or both of us is rarely home when it airs, we record it and watch it later.

Earlier this week we watched a show from last week that had a category of State Parks. They would name the park, and the contestants had to stay what state it was in.

All of a sudden it popped up on the screen:_"Manatee Springs State Park." We both knew where that was. It's too bad they only had to name the state, which they did correctly. I could have even named the county.

OBITUARIES: Twice in the past couple of weeks we've had issues with obituaries and families. It's has caused us to reaffirm our rule, and we will be strict with it from now on.

Obituaries must come from a cremation service or funeral home - no exceptions.

To be honest, I am not trained to deal with grieving families. Funeral directors are, and many of them are good at it. Most of them also know what newspapers want and how to get it there, even if they are an out-of-town funeral home.

Another basic thing that people forget is that obituaries are not written for the family, they are not written for the deceased. They are news stories, written to inform the readers who died and, in the case of a picture, what they looked like when they died (not 50 years ago). We're glad to run pictures in the print edition only, but they must have been taken in the past five years. Pictures should show reality in all parts of the newspaper, and that goes for obituaries.

STYLE STUDIES: Someone got on to me recently for misspelling the name of a new local store. Feel free to take a look at the Web site, the ads, or the store itself. It's Walgreens, not Walgreen's. There is no apostrophe.

WEB SITE: The Web site for this week is one I might comment on in the near future. I just became aware of it recently. It's www.citytowninfo.com/places/florida/williston and it contains a lot of information.

Jim Clark is the editor of the Williston Pioneer Sun News. He can be reached at editor@willistonpioneer.com or at 528-3343.