Letters to the Editor
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A Birthday Memory from The Watertower
Dear Bay Weekly:
Happy 15th anniversary. Your issue (Vol. xvi, No 16: April 17) reminded me of so many contributions Bay Weekly has made to the quality of life in our counties.
However, in reviewing those 15 busy years, you overlooked an important contribution made by the paper and its staff. That is your transformative role in the publication of Southern High School’s newspaper, The Watertower.
Beginning in 1994, Alex Knoll, the general manager of Bay Weekly, then known as New Bay Times, adopted a floundering journalism club advisor and her eager students. You invited these high school journalists to use Bay Weekly’s office and computers to design and lay out the school’s paper on weekends, under Knoll’s patient guidance. Alex taught us how to do the layout, how to organize the paper, how to write decent stories, take interesting photos and sell advertising to fund our school paper. Once a month, Saturday and sometimes Sunday were devoted to putting the Watertower galleys together at the Bay Weekly office.
When The Watertower’s galleys were ready, Bay Weekly sent them right along with your own weekly issue. The only cost to the school paper was the price of the newsprint.
Southern High School’s student paper developed into a sought-after periodical among the teen set and their parents. Eventually, publication of the school’s newspaper graduated from a club to two journalism classes. Student-journalists grew more confident, more logical, more organized, becoming better researchers and writers.
Thank you, Bay Weekly, and particularly Alex, for quietly donating your time and resources to Southern High School’s teens. This is a story that needs to be reported.
Janice Booth, Annapolis:
Retired Southern High School teacher
Muskegon Eighth Grader Wants to Hear from You
Dear Bay Weekly:
Hello, my name is Brandon Roberts. I am an eighth grader at Orchard View Middle School. We have 650 students in our school. We are well known for our football team that won the state championship.
I have blonde hair and my eyes change color from blue, brown and green. I am your normal teenager. I hang out with my friends all the time, and when I am not hanging out with my friends I am on the computer. I love to play Paintball and Airsoft. I play Paintball almost every weekend and Airsoft on the weekends I don’t play Paintball. I love music I listen to it almost all the time. I like all different types of music. I don’t like to do anything around the house much. I don’t like homework.
I live with my dad, soon-to-be step-mom and five-year-old soon-to-be stepsister in Muskegon, Michigan. We have a brand new high school that was built last year. We live about 10 minutes from Lake Michigan.
Our record snowfall is 174 inches in 1981-’82. We have a lot of parks in Muskegon.
I am writing to you to request that you put my letter in your newspaper. We are practicing writing letters in Mrs. Dirkse’s language arts class. I hope your readers will send me postcards. We are writing to all different locations across the country and will be keeping track of the responses we get on a giant map. I plan on visiting your city in the future, so please help me find out more about your state.
Thank you in advance for putting my letter in your paper.
Orchard View Middle School,
35 South Sheridan, Muskegon, MI 49442
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