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    Local Columns
    Wednesday, May 22, 2024

    Whether to write about the weather

    “It’s summertime, duh.”

    We chuckled at reader John Russell’s comment on our weather story earlier this week, because it reminded us of Night News Editor Joe Wojtas’ typical response to articles involving weather forecasts.

    Unless there’s a blizzard, hurricane or other obviously dangerous storm on the way, Wojtas’ response to writing about the weather is likely to be, “It’s July. It’s hot out.” Or, “It’s winter. We live in New England. It snows.”

    We understand there are more pressing matters to report on than the fact that the seasons are season-ing.

    Yet, when we do write about the weather, the so-called metrics are good. This week’s weather story, “Oppressive heat and humidity on tap for Eastern Connecticut,” was one of the most read stories on theday.com for more than 24 hours.

    We thought you might like to know how the story came together.

    Gov. Ned Lamont’s office sent a press release Wednesday indicating the state was “activating its extreme weather protocol” to ensure that the most vulnerable populations receive protection from the heat and humidity.

    Lamont sends out a lot of press releases, and we don’t always write them up. But “extreme weather” in the subject line did catch our attention. We asked reporter John Penney to localize the story with information about how this part of the state would be handling the heat.

    Staff Writers Kimberly Drelich and Elizabeth Regan contributed information from their beats. Photographer Dana Jensen came back to the newsroom with great photos of people cooling off at Billings Lake in North Stonington.

    Voila, a weather story was born.

    Fortunately for those who live along the shoreline, the weather this week has been muggy and buggy, but not extreme. It’s hotter inland, and we hope everyone finds a way to stay cool and hydrated.

    Yes, it’s summer, duh!

    But don’t worry, we’ve also been attending to the so-called “hard news” stories, too.

    Newsroom updates

    Intern Julia Walker, a Syracuse University student from East Lyme who wrote stories for our Housing Solutions Lab last summer about mold and lead issues in housing, is back on the project this summer gathering information for a story about the region’s housing development trends to run later this summer. We’ll have amazing visuals to accompany her reporting.

    We continue to follow the region’s big stories, including the boom at Electric Boat, the wind industry development at State Pier and construction of the National Coast Guard Museum in New London, data center proposals, the future of Crystal Mall, the CMEEC utilities corruption cases, Norwich school budget and superintendent issues and more.

    In case you notice a new name in some of our photo credits, let us introduce Peyton McKenzie, a summer intern and Quinnipiac University student who is taking photos for us and contributing new social media content.

    Mitchell College intern Mamadou Kaba is assisting Business Editor Lee Howard in compiling business briefs.

    On Sunday, we’re publishing a More than a Month edition on disabilities that most of the newsroom worked on. We predict you’ll find it informative and engaging.

    The sports department has been busy with coverage of all-area athletes, and Peter Huoppi and the GameDay team are gearing up for the upcoming football season.

    Kristy Dorsey and Rick Koster continue to be the region’s authorities on all things entertaining. Did you check out the story they produced Friday based on our reader selection of the area’s best outdoor dining locations?

    Assistant Managing Editor Carlos Virgen is producing new episodes of our Cost of Silence podcast as we follow the Norwich Catholic Diocese’s bankruptcy case, stemming from clergy sexual abuse cases. All our podcasts can be found at https://www.theday.com/section/podcasts/.

    Whatever the weather, we’ll keep reporting on local news, sports and entertainment.

    This is the opinion of Karen Florin, managing editor. Reach her at k.florin@theday.com or (860) 701-4217.

    Comment threads are monitored for 48 hours after publication and then closed.