Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Perks of Being Older

Checked the mail today.

Promotional Credit Card.
Weekly Newspaper.
Promotional Checks.

I toss most of them, keep the bill. Open it and look it over.
It's for auto insurance.
Looking closely I see something's different this month.
I'm paying less.

"Rates have been changed. Change in operator age."

My monthly premium has gone down $4.62 a month because I had a birthday.

Getting old is awesome.

Leap Day

TV teaches me a lot. Like if I yell and don't listen to other people, I can have a talk show on a 24-hour news channel. Also, if I'm the offspring a famous lawyer, I, too, will become famous. It's also taught me about Leap Day.

Fall all of you who didn't grow up in a town that celebrated Leap Day, here's a little history lesson: Celebrated every four years on Feb. 29th, Leap Day is a magical extra day for you to take chances. And if you're lucky, Leap Day William visits. He's from the Mariana Trench, and every four years he emerges to trade children's tears for candy. Oh, and you have to wear yellow and blue or you'll get poked in the eye, have your hair pulled, or worse.

How did I learn this? 30 Rock.

The major moral taken from the episode is that Leap Day is the one day to do something you've always wanted to do, but never did. Do something crazy. "Real life is for March."
So do that.
Today is a free day, and you only get one every four years.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Oregon in the New York Times

Klamath Falls is a city of about 20,000. To get there from Medford you've got to drive about an hour and a half over a highway that's at once beautiful and treacherous. Ice pack covers the pavement most of the winter. The small shoulders of the two-lane highway drop off into deep ravines lined with countless evergreens.

That long drive is one of the reasons why we don't make the trip to Klamath Falls that often. I've been making it more frequently on Friday nights to cover basketball, and a few months ago to cover football. In fact, sports coverage accounts for probably half of my journeys over ice and through forests to Klamath.

A writer from the perhaps the most respected newspaper in America made the trip, also covering sports in the city. The New York Times released a story about the coach who, for 41 years, has held the position of head coach of the basketball program at Oregon Institute of Technology. And as the article tells you, it's not the only lasting achienvement he's made in Klamath Falls.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Grand Juries

A few weeks was the unofficial week of Grand Juries.

In January there were two deadly officer-involved shootings. One with the U.S. Marshals and another with Medford Police. Somehow the hands of fate placed both of those cases in the Grand Juries' laps in back to back days.

But first, what in the heck is a Grand Jury? I think all of us have seen video or pictures or some sort of image of what a courtroom looks like. Think "Law and Order" or "A Few Good Men." But what about a Grand Jury? Is it held in some bigger, gilded courtroom? No.
Here's a beginner's guide to Grand Juries:

It just so happened that that day was the day that one of the officer shooting cases was in Grand Jury. Elias Ruiz, an 18 year old, was shot and killed when he ran after police. Two officers were cleared of any wrongdoing in that case. The news came down in a press conference after 4:30. At 5, I had a live report from that room. It wasn't my best. But I had another hour to prepare and this was my report at 6:

The very next day the U.S. Marshals were ruled justified in shooting 20 year old Jimmy Georgeson, a federal fugitive. That news came down real late in the evening and we had full coverage the following day. My story used surveillance tape, 911 tapes, and an animated mock-up. I'm really happy with it.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fires in February!?

For a few days in the last few weeks, smoke could be seen coming from the forest above Ashland. A prescribed burn to clear out thin fuels and brush was lit about two weeks prior. Little rain and snow, lots of sun, and a bit of wind kept the fire going for a bit longer than planned.

Last Tuesday, I drove an hour and a half on Forest Service roads and went inside the firelines where the burning was happening.

Usually, it's June, July, or August when I have to put on the bright yellow fire gear (which I love), but I got to get a taste of summer in early February.

If the weather keeps this course, could be a dry summer and an active fire season. And those clothes will be getting a lot more use.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What Journalists Do

School Sex Abuse in Medford

Sex Abuse scandals in schools have been popping up across the country over the past few months. Teachers and volunteers acting inappropriately towards students.

Wednesday night we got a press release from Medford Police saying the Rogue Valley had been hit, too.

Working the nightshift, I was on duty. I grabbed my camera, phone list of school officials, and headed to McLoughlin Middle School, where the abuse is suspected to have happened.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Last Saturday was my 24th birthday. I'm not one of those people who love big celebrations with the spotlight on me and my increasing age. I don't like the attention, I don't like the big show, I don't like feeling as though I have to entertain everyone. If a birthday is the day where you get to do what you want-- I want to spend time with my close friends, do something fun, and enjoy the day. I got to do that last weekend.

Jessica, Sarah, and I snowshoed Crater Lake. We drove up in the morning and went on a guided hike in some of the backcountry, leading up to the rim of the lake. From there we overlooked the deep, blue, beautiful water.

In the winter, there's a 50-50 chance that clouds form inside the caldera and block any view of the lake, but it was a clear, sunny, and somewhat warm day. Perfection.

The whole shoeing trip was about two hours, a bit tough, but beautiful and serene. The best part: it was free! Thanks Teddy Roosevelt for creating National Parks.

Later in the night, the same friends came over for pizza and beer and we watched "Super 8." It was a quiet evening. And it was just what I wanted for my birthday.

Friday, February 3, 2012


One of the reasons I love my jobs that everyday brings something new, something unexpected, or at least something different.

This week, I've covered a smattering of topics: from pesticide use in schools, to a murder trial. From a hotel joining Holiday Inn, to a crashed car stuck since Christmas.

What will Friday bring? I'm not sure. But I bet I'll like it.