Louisiana Press Journal

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The Buck Stops Here

Posted on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Too many thoughts and not enough time, so let’s do some three-dot journalism.

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I finally went swimming in the new pool at the Twin Pike Family YMCA in Louisiana last week and came away thoroughly impressed.
The water was perfect, not too hot, not too cold and the chlorine didn’t burn my eyes.
I don’t jump into pools and lakes like I used to, so it was great to just walk into the pool on the long ramp they have installed for the disabled and old people like me who have to think twice before they leap.
Because I was there in the middle of the day, I was the only person in the pool. That was fine with me because I didn’t want anyone to see the huge bruise I got from dropping an 11×17 Pyrex dish on my foot the week before.
The new wet locker rooms are great too, with lockers spacious enough for street clothes so that they don’t wrinkle.
A lot of accolades have been handed out over the new aquatic center. It turns out they are justified in my not- so-humble opinion. All those involved who are too numerous to mention should be proud of themselves.
The best thing the community can do now is use the pool and support the Y. In a town that doesn’t have a huge amount of things to do, the new pool is a real jewel.

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As I’ve said before, one of the great things about being a journalist is getting to do things that most people don’t get to do.
I found myself in that situation last Wednesday when MoDOT held a press conference in the middle of the Champ Clark Bridge.
I’ve been to a lot of press conferences, but never one with a better view.
The importance of the bridge to area residents is well known. If it were ever to close, it would be a 77-mile trip from Louisiana to the Two Rivers Marina on the Illinois side going through Hannibal.
If you wanted to cross to the south, you would have to go to over the bridge at Alton for a 183 mile trip.
As Louisiana Mayor Bart Niedner said, the bridge is not just important for commerce and transportation. It is a major link in the social fabric of those who use it to see family, friends and loved ones.
Here’s hoping the legislature can come up with a low tax scheme of some kind to get the Champ Clark Bridge rebuilt. I shudder to think what would happen if they can’t.

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With the kids coming back to school this week, fall sports coverage will return to the Press-Journal.
Sports takes about one-third of my time, but I’m not complaining because it’s fun. It’s also harder to do than some people think.
Sports writing demands attention to detail and shooting sports photos is no easy task. You learn early on to focus on a spot and let the action come into the frame. Otherwise, it’s blur city.
I’ve met a lot of great people at the Louisiana and Clopton games, which is another perk of covering sports. In between pitches or downs, you get to gossip.