In the Times: Nature Notes column makes its debut this week

As we launch ourselves head first into the second month of the year after a brutal and drawn-out January, it’s nice to think that spring and the renewal of plant and animal activity is only a few weeks away.

It’s also a good time to introduce a new columnist dedicated to covering the natural habitat around us. Bill Hobbs, a semi-retired sales executive and former journalist who just moved to Stonington from the Midwest, will pen the occasional Nature Notes column that debuts in some editions today and also can be found on our Facebook page or on The Day's website. Please check it out.

In his first column, Hobbs talks about the white-throated sparrow that frequents Connecticut in winter and interacts with other local birds in interesting ways.

We’re also still getting great submissions from people who are doing good work in the community. This week, we have a Kindness in Real Life column about Rose Gerber, a cancer survivor and patient advocate whom I’ve known since our kids went to elementary school together in East Lyme.

I found Rose’s story about being named Breast Cancer Leader of the Year on Facebook, and as with several other pieces we have published I asked her to share her story in the Times.

I’d love to find other stories like Rose’s but need people to send me the information. So don’t be shy; you can just email me a little story about someone you know who is doing good work in the community, or perhaps write about a community group with which you’re involved. And don’t forget to attach photos!

On another note, the Times continues to invite potential guests to appear with us on The Day’s podcast Recorded History that explores events and people from the past.

Starting Feb. 2, Recorded History, found under the Podcasts section on The Day website, features an interview with New London city historian Sally Ryan, who tells a fascinating first-person story of witnessing the 1938 hurricane; email recordedhistory@theday.com to suggest folks to interview.

As we like to say at the Times, our best news comes from you, so please share your stories. We have a limited staff but in some editions now have significantly increased space to be able to feature many of your good works.

As we start a new year, we are offering a new commitment to improve local coverage that already has been expanded in the past year with new columns focusing on teens, personal advice, entertainment, traffic issues and health issues, among others.

We like the fact our Times papers have many different community voices. Let me know if you’d like to join the fray!

Lee Howard, the Times community editor, can be reached at l.howard@theday.com

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