Getting up to speed (with the Kuna police and others)

12:01 am July 3rd, 2012

Laura Colvin, KMN editor
-Out Loud- 

Changes. I whipped out what I thought was a snappy blurb for the front page to explain what’s going on with your Kuna Melba News.

It’s change. Not the kind of big drastic change that will send readers running in the opposite direction—we’re still printing it in English, after all, with most of the same features and submissions you’ve grown accustomed to seeing in these pages every week, and, judging by the surveys that come back with your subscription renewals, most of the things you enjoy.

The big change this week was something we’ve been talking about for months here in the office – something Scott was looking forward to, something that makes me want to jump for joy.

As of today, we’ve turned layout of the paper over to our folks up in Washington.

This is a good, good, thing in my book, but it’s a huge change in the process. We kept the paper deliberately small at 16 pages this week so we could focus on getting the new procedure down.

I wouldn’t say it was smooth sailing, exactly, we had a few hiccups, and it needs some tweaking for sure, but it’s going to work out great in the long run.

Personally, I love the fresh look that Shannon, our new paginator, created for the pages. The look and feel will evolve over the next couple of weeks, I’m sure, but as far as I’m concerned Shannon has earned her spot as a bona-fide member of the Kuna Melba News team, and we appreciate her efforts (and most definitely her patience for our nit-picking). What do you think? Let us know.

While the last few weeks have been crazy, it’s been a fun learning experience, for me, as well. I’ve gleaned a little more about Kuna every day, and I’m so grateful for all the people who stopped in to say hello, or congratulations, or to offer up a story idea.

And the help I’ve received from so many people around town has been great. (Most) everyone has patiently answered one question after another – from residents and business owners to local officials, fire and police.

Speaking of police, ours here in Kuna do qualify for the following tangent, because, while I’ve found them helpful and responsive to my questions, I’ve also noticed they’re attentive enough to ask a few questions of their own.

For example: “Can I see your license and registration, please?”

Three times. In three months. Until I came to Kuna, I’d been pulled over maybe—maybe—three times in my entire 25-year-long driving career. Thanks, guys. You doubled my number in just three months.

But fair’s fair: all three times I saw those lights in my rearview mirror I knew it was my own doing.

The first time, on my way around the curve headed north out of town, I was probably, more than likely, almost certainly, going a little too fast.

The officer, I’ll call him Officer One, was professional in his approach, but friendly, too, which is more than I can say for the guy who slapped me with a $90 ticket on my inaugural pull-over back around 1993.

Officer One, here in Kuna, didn’t give me a ticket, but instead asked me to do him “a big favor” and slow down until I got around the curve and saw the 65 m.p.h. sign. Or is it 60?

Either way, how’s that for polite? Do him a favor? Really?

Well, sure! No problem. Absolutely. A little kindness makes a big impression and goes a long way in my book. These days, I  check my speed just about every time I go through that stretch. It’s a good reminder about the results we get based on the way we treat people.

The second time, and the third, were because the Idaho license plate intended for the front of my made-and-sold-in-Michigan Ford Fusion was stashed—where else?—in my trunk.

Michigan doesn’t require a plate on the front bumper, just the rear, and I therefore had no bolts, no brackets, no nothing on the front of my car to attach a license plate to.

I was planning to figure it out, as soon as I found myself with some spare time on my hands.

I explained all of this to Officer Two, who, incidentally, was just as polite and friendly as Officer One, and who advised me to check one of the auto parts stores in town for a remedy.

“I’ll do it today,” I said, grateful, again, to escape without a ticket, and naive enough to expect it to be that easy.  Today?

No luck at the first store. No offer of help, either.

At Napa, the young man behind the counter was, at first, befuddled. He seemed to doubt my story about a car with no bolts, no brackets, no nothing with which to attach a licence plate to the front bumper. So he came out and looked for himself.

I told you, I thought as loud as I could. But I have to say, it was this experience that will make Napa  my first stop for auto parts (should I ever find occasion to purchase auto parts) in Kuna.

He seemed genuinely interested in helping find a solution to the no bolts, no brackets, no nothing problem, and spent a  good chunk of his time on it.

Finally, after consulting with one of the other guys at the store,  he recommended I go to the dealership, where they’d do it right, with the right tools.

He even promised to vouch for my efforts if Officer Two happened to notice my still-unplated front bumper. Which, of course,  Officer Two did, about two weeks later, when – I swear – I was finally on my way to the dealership. I’m not sure he believed my story, but he was nice enough to give me another shot and an hour later I had a plate bolted to the front of my car and $60 gone (poof) from my pocket. Bolts, brackets and someone to hold the big drill  apparently don’t come cheap.

But it’s done.  I’m Idaho official. It’s amazing how getting something like that crossed off your to-do list can lighten the load.

OK, back to business: the website, the eversion, the blog and the Facebook updates (Oh, and Twitter, even though I’m a tweeting holdout. I have an account and, I don’t know, maybe three or four people following me? Where, I don’t know because I just never got into tweeting).

But kudos, Kuna. Everyone’s been remarkably polite about not mentioning the absence of our electronic presence the last couple of weeks. Not to fear, it’s all coming back, soon.

We’re changing our web hosting service provider — next week, I’m told — and we’ll be back in the ball game. The current site looks great, but it is not the easiest or fastest to maintain or load content.

We want to make things as efficient as possible so we’re directing our time and energy to the right places — like reporting and writing the news.


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Posted by on July 3, 2012. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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