Sarasota News Leader

02/15/2013

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This was one of those weeks where a LOT was going on! So much happened, in fact, that you will see some carryover of reports into our next issue. Although I have been covering local government meetings for more than 30 years (I am not shy about my age), and Stan Zimmerman has been covering them even longer than that (I do not ask his age), I expect he joins me in finding a lot of tedium to go along with the excitement. A close friend has said she never would be able to sit through hours of discussion and distill it down to a good accounting of what happened. Of course, we are not as concise in our reporting for the News Leader as many publications are, but we obviously cannot include every word or a description of every gesture that helps convey a city or county commissioner���s thoughts about a certain topic and expect you to keep reading! That means we have to pick and choose among all the comments we hear and gestures we see to convey clearly what went on. Recently, I sat through several County Commission discussions on single topics that lasted more than an hour. Working for a weekly publication affords me more time to pore back over my notes and review recordings to make sure I understood statements clearly and wrote down accurate details. Nevertheless, I have to figure out what the most crucial elements of the story are and how best to help you understand what happened. I look upon that as a highly engaging game: When the pieces of the puzzle all come together smoothly, the accomplishment is like popping a chocolate truffle in my mouth. Of course, reader comments on our news coverage are always welcome. That is the only way we know if our puzzles fit together in as fine a fashion as we thought they did. Editor and Publisher

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