Hometown newspapers

Headlines sell papers, content brings them back

Often, we are stirred to emotional response by the headlines of a “news” article, opinion page, and yes, even a blog headline.

A current article in today’s Gazette makes us chuckle a bit: “How Liquor Stores Stack Up in Gaston County”.

At first glance, without reading the article, one would think (even the simpletons who edit these pages), that we have stacks of ABC stores in our backwoods lovin’ neighborhoods.

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You could have a stack of books, a stack of boxes, or a stack of pallets, but stacking up liquor stores?

Of course it made us look — you did too if you clicked on the link or read it in the paper.

The content of the story is trying to make a case to combine all the community’s ABC boards into one (Re: Gastonia), and to point out that the smaller towns don’t know how to market their local operations. And of course, the Gastonia ABC general manager points out that people want to shop at larger, well lit stores. (Re: Gastonia –Cox Road or Long Avenue).

Well, we haven’t seen either dirty or poorly lit stores in either Cramerton or Mt. Holly. Yes, the selection of product is smaller, and as most retail outlets will demonstrate, product offerings tend to follow local consumer demand. Certain items that sell well at Cox Road might not do well or even be offered at Mt. Holly. We get a kick out of the fact that a Harris Teeter is nearby the Cox Road store, and “Always Low Prices” Food Lion is next to the Cramerton and Mt. Holly stores.

Hmmm…

Mt. Holly and Cramerton have Belmont’s business depending on which side of town you are coming from. It certainly is more convenient most of the time to shop locally.

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Good for the Gazette trying to imply that the yokels outside of Gastonia don’t know what they are doing. It certainly sold a couple of papers.

HOORAY !!! BannerNews Online Fulltime !!

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Congratulations to our local hometown paper the BannerNews on their launch of an online version of the weekly paper. The Belmont Front Porch has added your link under our column of “websites of interest” (below).

We sincerely welcome Republic Newspapers and the reporters and editors of the Belmont Banner and Mt. Holly News to the 21st century and wish them well.

As we have noted before, as subscribers and neighbors, we DO appreciate your efforts to report on the “Good News”, as former editor Dwight Frady would often comment. Your commitment to the communities is evident by this upgrade to your service.  

This particular development, after a few trial and error “semi-launches”, is particularly welcome after the Observer announced continued cutbacks to its service in Gaston County. Recently, the Observer announced that it would only publish the Gaston/Lincoln Neighbors section on Sundays.

The BannerNews, by adding the online edition will fill a small part of the weekly good news void for those people who use the internet on a regular basis. It is a great resource for our children,  former neighbors, and grandchildren who have moved away from the area.

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Belmont Abbey making area headlines lately

Maybe this blogsite has tweaked area media outlets a bit. Maybe they didn’t like being upstaged a few times. We don’t care either way, Belmont seems to be getting better coverage across the board for everything from the Abbey’s personnel policies and the monastic community lifestyle to our Belmont politics and school functions.

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Even the local paper, the BannerNews has dramatically cleaned its lense (well, except for the sports reporting) and scope.

The Abbey has made news with sports – doing well; With the faculty/staff personnel policies — opportunity to debate faith adherence practices versus having a job — or not. And, what it is like to become a member of a religious order.  

An explanation of a Monk’s Life —from Mount Angel Abbey, a Bendictine community in Oregon:

Locally, the more vocal religious fundamentalists certainly support the Abbey’s stance on taking away women’s health choices. Those supporters, both Catholic and Protestant appear to have a public viewpoint and a completely different set of values in their private lives. But hey, why would we call a spade, a spade, just for the heck of it?

The Catholic Church’s stance has been unwavering for 1500 years in their view towards women. Most Protestant denominations are closer in philosophy to the Universal Church than they think.

Unfortunately, the shrinking numbers of the priestly vocation, even in the developing world, contributes the crisis of faith by many Catholic-born. 

Local dioceses are ordaining fewer and fewer young and middle-aged men into the priesthood. Those who are entering are more fervently “conservative” and sometimes downright misogynistic in their practice of faith leadership to the faithful and seekers.

The local bishop, Peter Jugis of Charlotte, has a Belmont connection. He served as pastor of Queen of the Apostles a few years ago. Rarely did he venture out into the community unless heavily prompted by a few notable citizens. Upon appointment as leader of one of the fastest growing dioceses in the US, he issued a politically inspired letter threatening excommunication toward any Catholic who would vote for pro-choice political candidates.

Is it any wonder that the largest parish in Gaston County, St Michael in Gastonia, has had at least 4 pastors in the past 6 years?

In this ramble of an entry, it is good that the Abbey, its practices and operations, are becoming more transparent to the larger community. As the “driver” of the second or third largest land tracts in the area, it is a smart move to keep an outreach going with the traditional media outlets, many of whom like to think that they can guide debate along their own agenda pathways.

We prefer to be a bit more skeptical.

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Link to Gazette video of  celebration of vows of two newest brothers:

http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1155201824/bclid1155106715/bctid1410389962