In the Times: Two new columnists had one thing in common

These are interesting times in the news business. Not only are we expected to keep up with local news, national news, real news, fake news and social and interactive media, but now we’re being treated a bit like celebrities every time we’re in public.

At least that’s what I felt like last month when the local chapter of the Connecticut Authors & Publishers Association held its monthly meeting at Groton Regency, where more than 30 people showed up for a presentation on how to get published locally.

It was a great group of people with deep ties to the community, and they asked a lot of wonderful questions. When I mentioned a couple ideas I’ve had for new columns in the Times, several of them came up to me afterward to offer their expertise, and out of those conversations we have at least two new columnists: Sue Menhart, a local musician and technical writer at Pfizer, who will be hammering out monthly Out & About dispatches highlighting great local entertainment venues; and Jill Whitney, a local psychotherapist whose reader-inspired relationship column is titled Personal Connections.

This is where you come in. We cannot do this well without your enthusiasm and support, so please do write in with your ideas, questions, comments and suggestions. I am always available at or, and can send your messages along to Times writers.

And there is one other Times initiative that will launch this week: the new podcast Recorded History. We will also be putting it on our Facebook page.

The first episode, just in time for Veterans Day, is an interview with Groton town historian Jim Streeter, whose new book “Remembering Our Veterans” is a discussion of veteran and war memorials scattered throughout Groton.

When asked about which of these memorials deserves the most notice, Jim’s response was “To me, they all need attention.”

And that’s exactly what I am hoping for both of our new columnists as well as for the monthly podcasts about local history (email to submit ideas or to be on the show).

Just a note: some of our Times editions are bigger than others, so if you don’t find either of our new columnists — one debuted last week and another this week — go to The Day website and search for their name to check them out.

Relationship questions, history inquiries and your favorite hangouts; we’re working to be a meaningful part of your life every week. So let us know how we’re doing.

Lee Howard is community editor for the Times.


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