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Nothing ventured, nothing gained

by | Apr 4, 2021

Here we go. The long and winding trail of life has put another crossroad before me and I’m deking down the path less traveled. Again.

As if life in a pandemic wasn’t exciting enough.

The redesign of the Small Town Times website, turning my hobby platform into a collective for story tellers, is part of a bigger dream that’s been growing inside me for decades. The upcoming launch of Back in the Bay Magazine, following an 11-edition dry run under the A Bit of the Bay banner, is one big piece of the puzzle with more plans on the horizon. You know I’m serious, I keep quitting paid work to get things moving in the right direction.

Obviously, charting a course and actually following the stars is easier said than done. There’s always going to be some bumps in the road and deep potholes along the way.

But I’m sure things will work out if I keep plowing forward with good intentions.

I hope more story tellers jump aboard as the cumulative readership shared by all turns this site into an oasis of creativity. Not everybody wants to manage their own platforms and social media, while a mainstay for many, has its downside. I know a lot of people who refuse to join the fray and this website is partially for those who are missing the positive collaborations being shared on Facebook and other apps.

Eventually, I’ll add a storefront so the wordsmiths and craftsman have another place to sell their wares.

Sign up for the EZ Read Sunday Newsletter emailed once a week offering a snapshot of the latest posts and editorial plans. There will be prizes for subscribers once the hats and T-shirts are printed.

I’m marketing it as a weekly gathering place as opposed to the 24/7 hum of the daily news sites. Don’t come here for breaking news, although some of my Sunday Soapbox missives might break some news while putting a twist on the political spin.

I’ve missed writing columns so much. This past winter with BayToday as the Local Journalism Initiative reporter would have been a lot more gratifying if I was allowed to opine as well as cover news.

Some people think opinion writers, columnists and pundits should be separated by a high wall from reporters. I’m not convinced. Everybody has bias and it’s a worthy exercise to see a reporter balance a news story and follow up with a distinct piece that adds perspective and colour.

If nothing else, the duality is more reflective of reality and writing a balanced and objective news piece expands their knowledge so they can better form an opinion. Like a reader is supposed to do by researching multiple report before coming to a conclusion.

As an example, it was hard to cover the West Nipissing fiascos with council split down the middle by both numbers and philosophy. The mayor and councillors can’t be proud of their inability to come to compromise and fill the Verner seat that’s been vacant since July.

Most of the blame should go to Municipal Affairs, though, for not stepping in to protect the rights of citizens to have elected representation. There’s a 60-day deadline for council to figure out if they’re going to hold a bye-election or appoint someone. But if there’s no ultimatum, what’s the point of having a deadline?

Not being able to voice those thoughts, and having to watch their marathon meetings with that elephant in the room, put waterboarding to shame as a form of torture.

It sure is going to be great writing columns again. I’ll get to explain what went wrong at The Nugget and share my thoughts on the social downside of anonymous comment platforms, such as those found on BayToday’s Village Media site.

Everybody is welcome to share their opinion with Small Town Times readers. You just need to put your name to it and I’ll filter out the vulgarity, rudeness and defamation before it’s posted.

Email your thoughts to: editor@smalltowntimes.ca

READER FEEDBACK:

I’m so pleased to see you back in the column-writing, opinion business.  Many of us have always valued your balanced, thoughtful and thought-provoking opinions.

Awesome website and Small Town EZ read newsletter.  I’m going to look forward to it every week.

I really like the design work. Very clean. Simple. Devoid of clutter.  I even looked at the advertisers page, and like what you did there.  I’ve been wanting to revamp my websites and may give James Savard a call.

Have a great Easter Monday, Dave.

Bob Goulais

………

“Great stuff Dave, easy to find one’s way around, all good.”

Pam Handley

………

I have known Dave Dale for many years and have always enjoyed his news reporting and his opinion pieces.

Great local Journalism is now more important than ever and we are indeed fortunate that Dave remains committed to his goal of informing and entertaining.

Good luck Dave with your new ventures and I continue to look forward to your next article or post.

Brian Baker

…….

Good News from a Good Source: glad you’re covering news Dave.

For a topic, I think many social, work, business & personal changes we’re experiencing through the virus will become permanent. I’d be interested in knowing what others think

Best wishes Dave

Stuart Kidd
Good luck with this platform Dave. I hope you spread nothing but warmth, hope and sunshine to the most secretive of places…our own North Bay City Hall.
Stay safe,
Ephrem Gallant

Add your thoughts: editor@smalltowntimes.ca

Dave Dale
Dave Dale

Writer, photographer and proud father. My mom’s family is from the Soo with its Algoma Highlands, dad hailed from Cobden in the Ottawa Valley and I spent my teen years in Capreol. Summers were at the beach on the Vermillion River and winters at ‘The Rink.’ Born in East York but Toronto never was my thing. Ever since a kid looking out the window on long trips, I imagined living on the highway in a little house with a big yard and trees growing all around me.

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