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Editor's view: Pulling back the veil of the newspaper biz

By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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I’ve heard some in the business say we need to pull back the veil from time to time to show what it’s like working in the ink-slinging industry. Let’s look at Feb. 9 as an example. At 7 a.m., I was at the El Dorado Hills Rotary Club meeting to cover five students from Oak Ridge High School competing in a speech contest (see their photo on page B1 of the Folsom Telegraph and page A6 of the El Dorado Hills Telegraph this week). A few phone calls later found me in the 7100 block of Hearst Drive in Serrano to provide team coverage of the standoff with an apparently suicidal man and sheriff’s deputies. On the way back to the Telegraph office, I stopped at the Mormon Island Relocation Cemetery on Shadowfax Lane where a teacher from Folsom Lake College was holding a field trip for her sociology class. Before noon reporter Laura Newell and I were at the Folsom History Museum to cover their new Sutter Street artifacts exhibit. Finally, that afternoon, I spoke to a group of Tiger Scouts, Den 3, Pack 134 of Folsom, about the news gathering process. Sometime during that day, I also squeezed in writing a story on the Amgen announcement and updated our website with breaking news items and worked on this column. I never know what a day will bring. I could be at a police standoff in the morning, talking to school kids in the afternoon and everything in between. That’s probably why I love what I do. Talkin’ about kids Speaking of speech contests, I actually attended two last week. On the evening of Feb. 8, I was at the Folsom Veterans Hall for the American Legion Oratorical Contest. While not just an observer, I was also a judge. Two young ladies competed in the contest, which focused on the U.S. Constitution. Bianco Guzman is 17 and attends Vista del Lago High School in Folsom while Sukriti Bagchi, 14, attends Mira Loma in Sacramento. Guzman took first place and moves on to compete Feb. 16 in Carmichael. Reader feedback I received a call from a reader named Doug (he didn’t give me his last name) who was upset over a Telegraph Feb. 9 letter to the editor (“Science is behind discharge permit,” by Michael Boccadoro of the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta). Doug said there is no possible way Sacramento County’s wastewater treatment plant can be responsible for 99 percent of the ammonia discharged into the Delta. “I don’t believe that is factually true,” he said, citing a background in science and mathematics. He said the Delta receives discharged wastewater from all over the valley, not just Sacramento. Doug also disapproved of the letter writer’s negative remarks regarding Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan. But, what really upset him was my use of the writer’s remarks as a highlighted quote. “That was reprehensible and does nothing to further civil discourse,” he said. I’m glad Doug read the paper and was passionate enough to call. I didn’t write the letter, but I chose to highlight those remarks for a reason. MacGlashan, in the previous week’s paper, wrote an op/ed piece in which she alleged political motivations were behind some of those targeting the county’s wastewater treatment plant. “In recent years, our district has become a political target for those seeking to deflect blame for various environmental issues in the Delta,” MacGlashan wrote Feb. 2. Boccadoro opined in his letter how he found it “hard to believe that MacGlashan could sit through 14 hours of testimony and still not understand the facts, but then again, she is an elected official.” That statement, in my opinion, strengthened MacGlashan’s claim and deserved to be highlighted. Thank you for your call, Doug. John Chapman, of Folsom, sent a note pondering the reasons behind the name of the Palladio Lifestyle Center in Folsom. “Where did the name Palladio come from? I read about a notable architect or is there some other meaning?” he asked. Good question, John. According to Palladio’s PR folks, the mall is named after the famous 1500s-era architect Andrea Palladio. Don Chaddock is the managing editor of the Telegraph. He can be reached at donc@goldcountrymedia.com.