REPORTERS NOTEBOOK: Clyde graffiti artist a quick snag when school IDs his tag

CLYDE At a recent meeting, Clyde City Council members complained about the graffiti that has started
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



At a recent meeting, Clyde City Council members complained about the graffiti that has started showing up with regularity in their rural community.

"It makes the city look bad," said councilman Ken Dick. "This isn't New York City or Toledo or Cleveland. This is Clyde, and we need to treat our home like the one we sleep in at night."

Even if Dick's finger wagging doesn't resonate with Clyde youths, they might start thinking twice about tagging public park facilities and buildings with urban artwork.

A Clyde police officer recently took pictures of some fresh graffiti to Clyde High School and showed it to art teachers and students. The culprit was quickly identified -- by his artful style.

Indeed, Clyde isn't metropolitan -- and that makes it much easier to figure out who is at fault.

-- Sarah Weber

Calling on our sources

Every reporter can tell stories about trying to get an interview with someone who doesn't want to talk to you.

The other day, I wrote a story about Erie County's beekeeping inspector. I was fascinated by his odd job, and I had been trying on and off to do a story about it for about a year, but he wouldn't return my calls. A county official finally interceded for me and explained that I wasn't a telemarketer trying to sell him a newspaper subscription, I was just a reporter seeking an interview.

That's not a bad story, but John Soeder, a pop music critic for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, has a much better one.

Soeder was working on a story a few weeks ago about a singer-songwriter named Bill Fox, who shuns media attention but allegedly makes brilliant albums. This is the "search for Prester John" story that rock critics love, the search for the new Dylan or new Kurt Cobain who will transform music as we know it.

One problem: Bill Fox wasn't talking. After weeks of phone calls and e-mails, Soeder finally got a break. He found out where his elusive quarry works.

He works for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

A confrontation ensued outside the newspaper building, where the two talked awkwardly about "the newspaper cafeteria and vending-machine coffee."

I like Soeder's writing, but I'm jealous he has the ultimate "bad source" story. If he ever wants to talk to me, I'm not sure I'll cooperate. As former Cleveland rock musician Joe Walsh says, just leave a message, maybe I'll call.

-- Tom Jackson

Students, bus driver go extra mile

Some Perkins School students were late getting home last week. It was the price of doing a good deed.

Randy Manuella was driving in a rural part of his route March 3 when he saw an elderly woman lying on the ground, waving her hand in the air.

Manuella stopped the bus and asked the students if someone would check on the woman.

High school students Jessica Rule and Bradley Dickman, along with middle school students Justin Galloway and Christina Wassem, volunteered.

The woman, who turned 81 the day before, had fallen while checking her mail and couldn't get up. Manuella called an ambulance, and the students stayed with the woman, who cracked her pelvic bone, until help arrived.

"If it had not been for the alertness of the driver and assistance from the students, she could have laid there until 5:30 (p.m.) when her daughter gets home from work," Karen Fox, schools transportation supervisor, said in an e-mail.

-- Susan McMillan

20/20 has eye on Erie

Port Clinton has received a great deal of media attention following the Feb. 7 rescue of more than 100 anglers off a Lake Erie ice floe.

And they're about to get even more.

The city and Ottawa County Sheriff Bob Bratton will be featured in an upcoming episode of 20/20, which airs nationally at 10 p.m. Fridays on ABC.

It's not clear when the show featuring the aftermath of the local rescue efforts will air, but it will likely be within the next four to six weeks.

-- Sarah Weber