Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Local Religious Reaction

On Friday, Federal agents foiled a terror plot that would have exploded a bomb during Portland's Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. The many they arrested in connection with the charges is a 19 year old former Oregon State student.

On Sunday, in Corvallis, a fire was set to a mosque. Authorities believe that fire is retaliation for the alleged bombing.

I spoke with local Muslim leaders about their reaction to both incidents.

Bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, if any man has a complaint against any; even as Christ forgave you, so you also do.
(Colossians 3:13)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

'Tis the Season

Newswatch 12's slogan is "Watching out for you." One of the first things the General Manager told me when I started work was our station really tries to live by that slogan. We want to serve the community as best as we can, with our reporting and our actions.

We wrapped up our Coats 4 Kids drive a month ago. That drive asked people to donate coats that would then be distributed to schools in need.

Now we're teaming up with Fred Meyer (a big box store with groceries) for a Food and Toy Drive. We kicked off the drive yesterday an I was sent out to Fred Meyer in Medford to do live updates, story introductions, and live interviews for all three shows.

This video is from the 6:00 show where we aired a package and talked with an employee from ACCESS (the organization that will distribute the food). While it might not be the smoothest live shot I've ever had, I tended to get and better each show.

Hopefully, the drive is successful and we're able to meet this year's greater need.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'm getting Potter-ized!

Friday at midnight something happened that captured millions of people's attention around the world -- and I was there.

It was the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. The theatre in Medford was showing film at midnight and they were expecting more than a thousand people. Any time that many people gather in one spot in Medford, it's a big deal. So we covered it on the news.

I was there early in the afternoon, again in the evening, and once more for the 11:00 show. In the 11, I had three live hits: a quick 10 second tease before the commercial break, a 2 minute live interview with fans and "talkback" with the anchor, and a 45 second live hit in the kicker (the last piece of news at the end of the show).

Here's the live interview.

The feeling was electric there. Everyone there shared something -- a love for Harry Potter, be it the story, the characters, or the idea of magic -- and were glad to spend a good portion of the evening braving the cold and rain. Some might call them crazy...and they agree!

When I got to the theatre for my live shot, a few co-workers were there chatting with the photog. They asked if I was going to the movie after the show. I said I hadn't been planning on it, I was on call and hadn't gotten much sleep that week. After I was informed that excuse was lame and they could buy my ticket while I was on tv.

And I'm so glad I went. It was fun to be there for midnight showing with all the (self-described) crazies. It was a very good film and a fitting second-to-last piece of the puzzle.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Follow Friday: Saturday Edition

It's been a long week, with a lot of hours of sleep missing. "Why?" you ask. That'll come later.

For now, enjoy these three web wonders as winter weather whips the West.

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A song that I was introduced to on the trip to Crater Lake got reincarnated to celebrate world champion torturers: The Giants

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Grants Pass High School's marching band won't be eating turkey at home this Thanksgiving. They'll be marching in the Big Apple. They were selected to participate in the famed Macy's Day Parade next week.
Some of this blog's readers are Pittsburg High alums or friends of the school and know how significant it can be to have local representation in the celebration. They also know that it's not cheap to travel. The same is true for GPHS.
The band members raised more than $300,000. Last month, Steven Sandberg covered the band's fundraising and preperations for the biggest musical stage of their lives.


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One of the first people I met at SMC became one of my first bosses at SMC, became one of my closest friends at SMC. Megan Grady, an alum of '08, loves many things: reading, coffee, SMC Orientation, helping people, and, maybe most of all, baking.
She started a blog called Baked By Buttercup, that I've been reading incessantly.

Her blog says, "Let me explain why I love to bake. I love to give what I bake away to friends and family. There is nothing that makes me happier than watching someone take that first bite of some delicious treat that I made. I love sharing something I created with other people. That is why I bake.
Since starting a bakery isn't exactly in the cards right now, I decided to finally start writing about the things I bake. (Writing is also something I love and happen to be pretty good at.) I have been posting pictures on Facebook and my friends seem to enjoy them (and want to eat them), so I thought it was time to put it all in one place."

If you want some great baking ideas for the holidays or just want to see another culinary artist do their thing, check it out!

Plus she's a great friend who's had a great impact on me.

And we liked to play with our food in college.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas Time is here

Just about that time of year again.

And while I'm sure I'll have an over proportionate amount of Christmas and Holiday related blog posts in the next five weeks, this is the start.

Wednesday I covered a preview of the Gingerbread Jubilee -- an annual gingerbread house creating competition.

Take a look for yourself...

Going door to door

Not me. I didn't go door to door.
Well, I guess I did, but I was tagging along with Medford city officials and police officers.

Those city employees were visiting an at-risk neighborhood to get a better idea about what problems the city may be able to help with.

In an age of social connectedness and multiple ways to get in touch with people (email, phone, snail mail, probably even Facebook), these public servants are going to people's homes and asking them face to face. Pretty cool.

I tagged along and packaged the story for the 11 on Tuesday. I was able to put a mic on one of the officers as they went to one young woman's home and asked her questions.

One of the reasons TV is so successful as a medium is because it can transport the viewer to wherever the action is. And getting a microphone into the middle of these door to door visits, amplified it.

That piece of video became my favorite, and I think it held the story together.

Pretty happy with the way both of them turned out. The video and the surveys.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Let's Go Gaels

I've been meaning to write a blog about something I've been feeling pretty heavily the past few months. But now, at 1 am, I feel overwhelmed to the point of writing several hundred words. About "Nostalgia."

SMC Basketball was one of the best parts of being Saint Mary's. And I was a lucky chosen one who traveled with the team to the NCAA Tournament and the Sweet Sixteen in March. Most of my video production memories are in McKeon Pavillion.

The Gaels are playing on ESPN right now. I get home from work at 11:45 and it's just before halftime in Moraga. The HD view of the gym and the surround sound sound of the crazy fans bring me right back.

"S-M-C (CLAP!)"
"LET'S GO GAELS, (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap)!"
and that two syllable synonym for Fertilizer.

I'm overcome.

I miss the screaming, the cheering, seeing friends, yelling at refs, yelling at the other team, being with friends, and, most importantly, having an excuse to go nuts for a few hours and for a good reason.

There's just something about college basketball that makes it so great. It's my favorite. There are so many moments that the sports writing legend, Bill Simmons, calls, "Hrrrrr-aaaAAHHHHHH!" moments. It's when the crowd anticipates something about to happen, and explodes the split second it does. It could be crisp passes leading to a wide open three that arcs just right. It could a fast break leading to an undersized guy dunking when he really shouldn't. Whatever it is, every single person in the building knows what's going to happen, then goes bonkers when it does.

There's nothing better than college basketball in person.

I would love to go back. Hopefully, I can get back for a game in January or February and pretend I'm still in college for a weekend or two.

I hope this feeling continues for years, decades to come. I've always heard that SMC feels like community for an alum's lifetime. And if these current feelings persist, it should be for me too.

I think they will.

(note: These in-game photos are from November '07. At that point, my 'fro had not been cut in 8+ months. I miss that.)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Last weekend, great weekend

Last weekend (6th and 7th) meant watching football, eating delicious foods, and seeing some of my best friends.

Saturday started great. I went to a co-worker's house to watch football. In Oregon, there's one nearly unifying belief that stretches from Portland in the north, to the Siskiyou Summit leading to California: The U of O Ducks are the greatest football team ever assembled.

This particular co-worker is a native Oregonian and a huge Ducks fan. I've always sort of liked Oregon. Of course, they're still many steps below Stanford, but they are a fun, explosive team, especially this year. And in Medford probably one in three cars has an Oregon decal or flags attached. It would be like combining all of the shirts, jerseys, and hats of the Giants, A's, Niners, and Raiders fans in the Bay Area, and that's the amount of support the Ducks. It's unreal. Especially since they're currently #1 in the BCS polls.

Anywho, a handful of KDRVers went to Evan's house to watch the Ducks/Huskies game. We brought beer and Evan made delicious bean dip. Breakfast of champions.

Later that evening, I got to talk with my brother, Kevin, for a good hour and a half. Then spent another 90 minutes talking with former co-worker, still friend, and current MidWest resident: Emily Wood. Fantastic to catch up with both of them.

But the catching up was just starting...

One of my best friends from High School as in town. Lauren Lagano, a girl who has been like my sister and one of the people I see most often when I come back to Oakley, was in Southern Oregon for the weekend. She was at a conference at SOU in Ashland, and told me she'd be just a few miles from me. Of course, we made it a point to spend as much time as we could together. Saturday evening, she snuck out of one of her workshops early and we spent time driving around Ashland, eating Wendy's, and talking about everything going on in our lives. Sunday was the last day of the conference and she had a short break between the closing ceremonies and her flight out of Medford and back to San Diego. I picked her up and we went to lunch at delicious Ashland restaurant Standing Stone. It was cool outside, but I showed her around Lithia Park, a beautiful area in downtown. The tree-laden park was just past peak Autumn colors, but there were still many bright reds and yellows and burnt oranges on the trees.

Seeing Lauren was exactly what I needed. It was a nice reminder of all of the support from friends and family back home. It's tough not to be home in the Fall and only getting a handful of days to in the company of the people I love during the holidays, but spending a few hours with her gave me a nice boost that should carry me through the Christmas season. Either way, I'm glad to have seen her and shown her around my new home and very much looking forward to seeing family and friends during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Follow Friday


Was it cheating? Was it intuition? Was it good fortune?
This woman may have performed the best "Solve" on Wheel of Fortune.



Conan O'Brien returns to Late Night on. However, now he's on basic cable on TBS. After nearly two decades on network TV, Conan wants to relearn the boundaries of appropriateness.
I'd rate this one PG-13.



A fun music video from the British band.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Snow Season

It's officially Autumn here, and the mountains surrounding the Rogue Valleys are occasionally dusted with snow.

Tuesday saw a big storm blow through Southern Oregon, dropping rain in the valley and snow above 4000 feet. There were reports of several accidents on the Siskiyou Pass near the Oregon/California border. I got up there and saw the snow in full force. I've only spend a handful of days in the snow, so it was pretty novel and pretty awesome and pretty pretty.

A ski mountain, Mt. Ashland, is preparing for the winter and hiring seasonal jobs. I covered the job fair and when the mountain hopes to open.

I was happy to do this story because it included some cool visuals, I got to talk to a bunch of fun people, and the way I pieced the story together in my head worked out when I started writing and editing. Fantastic!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's like Skype...on steroids

The largest hospital in Medford, and all of Southern Oregon, is getting new technology that allows the greatest minds in healthcare to connect better than in the past.

It's called TeleMedicine.

It works a bit like the video-conference program for computers called Skype. Skype lets people to have video or audio conferences anywhere in the world.

TeleMedicine works a bit like that, but it's on a much more secure, confidential, and reliable network. The Oregon Health Network connects all medical centers in the state, and is now the base for TeleMedicine.

Local pediatricians will be able to use the new technology to seek specialists' expertise when they need it. They say sometimes a patient will show symptoms that require an expert's opinion. That's when TeleMedicine will come in to play.

The TeleMedicine machine has two cameras and two microphones and a monitor, giving the doctor the sense that they are actually "in the room" of the remote hospital.

Portland doctors say they've used TeleMedicine to assist in code scenarios when a child has needed resuscitation.

Local pediatricians anticipate using TeleMedicine several times a month, especially as the winter season can affect children severely.

I liked covering this story. It's a great piece of technology that will, hopefully, help many people.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fantasy Football

The highest scoring member of my Fantasy Football team had 28 points. The second highest scored 21.54

Why is this interesting? The highest scorer was the Packers Defense.

They had 4 sacks, 4 takeaways, scored 2 touchdowns, and only gave up 7 points.

Jets QB Mark Sanchez got second place prize.

Despite having five players score two points or less, I may still win this week.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Follow Friday...er, uh...Sunday


My favorite day of the workweek is Friday. Obviously.

But one of the biggest reasons it's my favorite is because Fridays I get to go out and shoot football. I love shooting sports. Football is especially fun. High school football is even more fun.

I saw this article today and wanted to pass it on. Maybe you've seen one of the better, fairy-tale football movies from the past fifteen years: "Remember the Titans."

The school represented in the film, T.C. Williams, actually does NOT participate in one of the sacred traditions of high school football: Playing underneath Friday Night Lights.

Well that changed recently. More here.

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My favorite band is Thriving Ivory. They're a piano rock band from Pleasanton.

About four years ago a friend turned me on to their music and I was hooked. Seeing and hearing them perform live is even better than their albums.

Two months ago, TI released a new album. It had a bit of a different sound and took a while to grow on me, but after two listens I was hooked.

My favorite song is called "On Your Side." To me, it's about keeping friends and having their backs and knowing they feel the same way.

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Tuesday was election day and the race for the biggest seat in the Beaver State was between (D) John Kitzhaber and (R) Chris Dudley.

Introducing the video I want to share requires giving a bit more information about the candidates Here's the shortest possible bio I can give on each candidate:

Kitzhaber was Oregon's governor for two terms ('95-'03).
Dudley played in the NBA for 16 years ('87-'03). Dudley set a record for most consecutive missed free throws (13) and one time missed five Free Throws on one trip to the foul line, also a record. (Darn! Lost track of "important" parts of the bio)

Anywho, Dudley played in the NBA and that brings you the onslaught of these videos we watched after Election Night.

Shaq v. Dudley

The Retaliation

The Election Result

Note: Dudley conceded the Gubernatorial race to Kitzhaber Wednesday evening. Kitz has only about 20,000 more votes.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

World Champions

The Giants are World Champions. Champions.

It still hasn't sunk in yet. It doesn't feel believable.

Maybe it's because I'm not in the Bay Area and am not surrounded by thousands of people wearing Orange and Black.
Maybe it's because I barely was able to see the end of Game 5.

I was working a story that took me to a Hotel's Conference Room in Shady Cove (about 20 minutes from Medford). The meeting finished, and I grabbed the interview I needed to grab. As I headed back to the car, I saw a TV through the lobby windows. There was baseball playing on the screen.

I walked into the lobby and checked in with the game. It was bottom of the ninth, two outs. The receptionist joined me in the lobby and we watched Brian Wilson strike out Nelson Cruz. Even though I was working, I got to see the last out. We cheered together for a few minutes and watched the team spill out onto the field. They jumped and screamed and hugged, and we cheered.

I didn't get to watch almost the entire game, but I did get to see the most important out.

And that made it all worth it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Southern Oregon Adventures VII: Pumpkin Patch

Saturday a few of us from the station wanted to take adventure of the beautiful Fall weather and do something that fit with the Autumn season. We went to a Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze.

Kerry-Ann, the morning show producer, and Chris Leone, the sports director, joined me on the adventure.

The drive took us about 45 minutes to the north, to Fort Vannoy Farms past Grants Pass.

The trees here are changing color and making for beautiful vistas.

At the Farm, we went through a muddy corn maze, walked through the mostly empty pumpkin patch, and petted alpacas.

It was a fantastical Autumnal adventure.