I am tucking the front page of today's Democrat & Chronicle into that box in the back of my closet - the one with clippings of birth announcements, kindergarten art work, and dance recital programs. The box that will one day be handed down to my children, and then their children. The box that will remind them how far they have come, and what they have left behind.
I've never considered myself much of a scientist.
So I consider it a stroke of luck when a grant application calling for a "hypothesis" crossed my desk -- just one day after I helped my daughter put together a middle school science fair project. I actually knew how to phrase a hypothesis, and WXXI was awarded money to conduct experiments to test my hypothesis.
So what is a broadcast news director doing in the laboratory?
That is a big part of my job -- making a connection between you and what's going on in the community around you.
It's particularly challenging for me at election time. Research, and my experience with Voice of the Voter, shows most people feel disconnected from politics, government, and community. My sense from the Voice of the Voter participants is a lot of folks have lost faith in ANY politician's ability to affect positive change within the "system." Even the "good" politicians don't stand a chance when they get into the legislative chambers. (If they can get there in the first place.)
But if enough people care, the "system" can't stop progress.
Whether Barack Obama wins the Presidency or not, he has already made history.
On February 10th of 2007, Barack Obama announced his campaign for the Presidency. He was speaking before a crowd in Springfield, Illinois. But thanks to 21st Century technology, the entire nation can watch the full speech - unfiltered by the news media or pundits - simply by logging on to Obama's Web site. This includes citizens who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, since the speech is closed-captioned.
Obama was the first Presidential candidate to caption videos on his Web site.
Iowa. New Hampshire. Right now, Election 2008 seems to be all about The Presidency and voters in other places.
That's not true, however, if you live in the Rochester region. Putting the Presidential race aside for a minute, let's talk about Congress.
As they did in 2006, voters in this area of the country could play a key role in November because of our Congressional delegation: Randy Kuhl, Tom Reynolds, Louise Slaughter, and James Walsh.
If we take Rep. Slaughter out of the mix, we are left with three Republicans who are on the national Democrats' radar. Close races in 2006 mean the Democrats are considering pouring even more money into these districts in hopes of ousting the established incumbents.