Inside the Newsroom

News, commentary, insight on local happenings and fun from the staff of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Help pick our cover

The Saline Area Historical Society graciously provided us with some beautiful photos for our 2010 community guide. I have submitted them to our production department and asked our designer to choose the best shot(s) for our cover. Which one do you think fits the bill?

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kudos to Chef Musto

I went over to Saline High School last week and had the chance to meet Chef Sam Musto who heads the culinary arts program there.

I don't know what all of you remember from home economics class, but I seem to recall the pinnacle of my experience being browning some hamburger meat for tacos.

Let's just say what Musto has done with the culinary arts program at SHS makes that stuff look archaically remedial.

Musto essentially runs a professional kitchen, moving between $1,000 and $2,000 a week in fresh food ingredients through the doors.

There's a full service restaurant actually in the school (!) in which students work the spectrum of food service jobs, from waiting tables to working as line cooks.

They cater to groups of up to 400, and have coffee and take out services as well.

Walking through Musto's kitchen, I was amazed to see teenagers eagerly performing their assigned tasks, all working like a well-oiled machine to collaborate on remarkable looking dishes.
(I'm sure it tasted just as good as it looked!)

But beyond their good manners and seemingly unending attention to their tasks, these kids just seemed to be genuinely compelled by what they were doing.

They seemed passionate!

As an educator, what more could you hope for but to have engaged students who love what they're learning about?

So, Kudos Chef Musto for your great work.

I have to say, I was a bit jealous of the students as I though back on my own taco meat scenario.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Results of Recent Online Polls

Here are the results from our online poll featured on our Editorial page.

Where do you spend most of your time on the weekends?
At home with family: 67 percent
A mixture of work and home: 24 percent
Out on the town frequenting restaurants and businesses: 9 percent
Out of town with friends or family: 0 percent
*46 votes cast (this poll went online late in the week)

How often do you check Facebook

Once a day or more: 47 percent
I don't have a Facebook account: 36 percent
Once every few weeks or so: 9 percent
Once every few days: 8 percent
*156 votes cast

Is the recession over?

It won't ever end: 44 percent
No, but within a year or so: 36 percent
Too soon to tell: 15 percent
Yes: 5 percent
*125 votes cast

What were your feelings about the Tiger Woods press conference

Tired of it: 57 percent
Predictable: 19 percent
Well done: 13 percent
Disappointing: 11 percent
*116 votes cast

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Saline and Milan history articles

I'm considering starting to look at Walter Stimpson, the scale inventor from Milan who went on to fame and fortune because he came up with a method to weigh grocery items and price them simultaneously, according to what I've read.

His hotel is still there on Main Street, but is not occupied at the moment. If you haven't seen photos of it with its original portico, you should take a look. It was quite impressive.

Martha Churchill has several in her 'Images of America' book 'Milan.'

If anyone knows about Walter, his family, his hotel, or perhaps has a scale of his, please let me know.

Also, the Saline District Library will host Matt Lee, Director of the Michigan Firehouse Museum, this Sunday the 21st starting at 2 p.m.

Lee will be talking about common terms derived from the fire fighting profession as well as a bit about his museum and fire safety.

The event is free and is put on by the Saline Area Historical Society, so check it out!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Missing Milan Sports Section

Dear Milan Readers,

I apologize for an absence of a Milan sports section in today's newspaper. As a result of human error and a tight deadline with the press, all of the Milan sports stories produced for this edition did not make it on the pages in time for our press deadline and Saline sports stories were used instead. I know how disappointing this will be to our readers. We regret the error and assure you this will not happen in the future, as we will be putting into place better checks and balances.

You can read all of our Milan sports section online at and by clicking on "sports." We will publish those stories in our March 18 edition. Please contact Don Richter, sports reporter, at or Sports Editor Terry Jacoby at with any concerns or questions.

I assure you Milan sports coverage is very important to us and a vital part of The Milan News-Leader. We appreciate all of your support over the years and ask for your continued support.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Visiting EMU, remembering my student years

I went back to Eastern Michigan University Tuesday to cover a story about several literature professors who started a rock band back in 2008, and are now playing shows to raise money for textbook scholarships.
I went to EMU for both undergraduate and graduate school, and had the chance to learn under, and work with, many of the faculty members in the English Department.
Needless to say, I was able to catch up with a lot of people there I hadn't seen in quite some time.
Anyway, I met with Joe Csicsila who is a member of the band, called the Ypsi Mayflys, and a Mark Twain scholar by profession.
It was interesting to hear from Joe how the band just sort of evolved out of a common musical interest shared by these guys.
My story on their music and fundraising activities will be on soon, but the visit also prompted me to start thinking how fortunate we are in this area to have access to all of these institutes of higher learning nestled so closely together.
I'm curious by nature, so I get a profound feeling of contentment walking into places like these, dedicated to musing on, researching and documenting various aspects of life and the human condition.
It seems we're prompted to follow patterns so often in our society that these educational institutions stand out as something of a last refuge for the person seeking enlightenment.
Sure, some would argue current educational policies are based on financial figures and not the betterment of the mind. However, talking with teachers like Joe Csicsila, it is easy to reaffirm one's faith in the stability of contemporary scholastics.
Perhaps too expensive, perhaps jaded by political pandering, higher learning certainly faces challenges.
However, it seems we'll all be better in the end if we keep chasing after learning for learning's sake, even if it means facing some intimidating road blocks.

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