2011.08.24 K'ping short; sav'n ink

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

My brother, Dannyboy, has struck again. He loves to look through the Observer and pick on me for any oddities he encounters.

For years he’s joked about “dog complaint” reports in the police news, wondering what the dog was complaining about. I even changed it to “complaint about a dog” for a few months, but that didn’t hold. Dogs were soon calling the police department again to lodge complaints about...who knows? You’d have to go in and read the police log.

This time Dan had something to say about the odd headline in last week’s paper: “Fayette k’garten enrollment takes a leap upward.”

I played around with that a long time, but working the words “kindergarten” and “enrollment” into a one-column headline is a challenge. I finally just gave an internal “oh well” and went with “k’garten.” Deadline loomed.

“Deadline loomed” is a pretty good reason for a lot of what you see in the Observer from week to week. There’s only so much that can be accomplished before it’s 3 p.m. Tuesday once again.

Why did we use that big Observer filler ad instead of writing about your event? Maybe deadline loomed.

Anyway, Dan asked who gave me permission to write “k’garten” for “kindergarten.” Who said that was an appropriate shortening of the word? Certainly not the Associated Press Stylebook, he said.

I doubt if the AP Stylebook addresses the possibility of abbreviating that word. I don’t consult the AP book all that often, which is probably obvious. We use the unwritten SLO Stylebook that changes from time to time based on what I think looks good and maybe on what I had for breakfast.

For example, I suppose we’ll use “e-mail” instead of “email” for a few more years. We’ll continue to use a lower case “i” in internet. The same with “website” instead of “Website” or “Web site.” I don’t know what AP says about this.

You’ll never see “backyard” in the Observer just like you’ll never see “frontyard” or “sideyard.” I shouldn’t say never; something might slip past my gaze. When you send in news about your “fundraiser,” you might as well save me the two seconds needed to change it to fund raiser.

Dan accused me of hating German words such as “kindergarten,” of being a hater in general, of serving as a word butcher, of causing my k’garten teacher Miss Gillen to do the proverbial turning over in her grave.

“Moaning. Pushing up the dirt. Heading for your house late at night with a word cleaver in her skeletal fingers. ‘D’green boy...’ she whispers. ‘Lil k’garten boy now a n’paper man.’”

And so forth. Dan does carry on with his Observer fun.

DO I dare mention the Observer wall? It’s the newest ugliest thing in Morenci. Someone suggested that it gives a ghetto look to the neighborhood. I’m now working in the ghetto.

For those of you who are distant readers, I’m referring to what’s remaining of the former car dealership after it was demolished. There’s a photo on the Observer website (an Aug. 10 entry).

The absence of a north wall in the old building was a demolition surprise. The builders just used the Observer wall and attached plaster to it. Now portions of the plaster remain.

I suppose it would eventually disappear as it’s exposed to the weather if you didn’t mind looking at it for a few years. The demolition company pounded away at it with a hammer (and damaged my brick). The workers had already tried to knock it off with their heavy equipment (and damaged my brick). Their specialty is demolition.

I’m not sure what’s going to happen. It’s part of the building that the city bought. In other words, it’s not my plaster and I would like it to be removed without damage to the Observer. I like the old bricks.

Any ideas from readers? Don’t tell me to cover it over with metal. Stucco? The plaster probably has to come off first. A lot of people are talking about a mural, but a city official cautioned me about investing in something that might later be blocked by construction of a new building.

I don’t know what lies ah’d for the w’ll, but I’m going to c’tinue to save cash by lim’tin’ ink usage at every op’tunity. That’s why I did it, D’boy.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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