Citizens For A Better Norwood

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The new “The Norwood Times” - Ted Hooks, editor

Since not all of us have had the first issue of this paper delivered to our front porches yet, we’ve had to share. Assuming some of our readers haven’t received it yet, either, here’s a short description:

This is a 12-page publication full of ads, both large and small, placed by mostly local businesses. Many have discount coupons. Sadly, one ad announces the owners of Bogle Jewelers are retiring and selling all merchandise at 25% off. There are also interesting bio’s about several of the business owners. From the looks of it, Mr. Hooks’ advertising sales have gotten off to an excellent start.

Now for the primary content. Although this first issue is tagged, “Special Norwood Days Edition,” a more apt tag might have been “Special Edition - The Dark Side of Norwood Knothole.” The front page does carry an article about this week’s citywide events, but there are three pieces about two incidents at separate ball games that resulted in criminal charges. One is a front page story entitled “Norwood Umpire Charged” that recounts how an umpire allegedly threw a face mask at a teen whose younger brother was playing in a game on June 13. The mother filed charges, then took her son to the hospital where x-rays showed a severe bruise. Then Mr. Hooks, a longtime baseball coach, writes an editorial about an injury he received last year at the hands of a father whose son was playing on his team. He, too, followed up with a charge. The third piece is a letter to the editor by the parent who charged the umpire last month. And, yes, names are named, and no detail is spared, seemingly.

In both instances, the aggrieved parties and their supporters are displeased with how the Norwood Knothole supervisors responded to the two episodes and are circulating a petition to have two officers removed. Charles Russ is spearheading the effort. So far, 300 signatures have been collected.

We’re a little suprised by the sheer volume of words devoted to the Knothole stories. Obviously, Mr. Hooks’ wanted them told, and that's his call. But after all that ugliness, it was refreshing to see Debra Simpson’s three book reviews in her column “Summer Reading…With Touch of Norwood.”

The paper doesn't state whether it's a weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly publication, and we don't see any contact information for Mr. Hooks. Presumably, we'll come home one day and find a second issue on our front porches.

7/23/07 ADDENDUM: We’ve just been alerted to this 1/29/04 Peter Bronson column about Norwood Knothole, entitled “Adult battles could ruin kids’ games.” With similar issues over 3 years ago, it makes the current uproar seem like déjà vu. Bronson ends the piece with, “After all, it's not the kids who are wrecking baseball - it's the alleged adults.” Isn’t that the truth?