Press Talk: Of the elderly, awards and speaking

By Lou Brancaccio, Columbian Editor



Lou Brancaccio and Pat Greear, 75, dance Thursday at the Luepke Senior Center to help raise awareness of senior abuse.

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I sneaked into a World Elder Abuse Awareness Dance this week to — well — to try to get someone to dance with me.

My high school days were filled with dance rejections, so I figured I’d see if anything had changed.

It hadn’t.

I thought I had a pretty good shot when someone tipped me that Luella Quatier was an avid reader of The Columbian and even looked at my column once in awhile. So I politely asked her to dance.

“No, thank you, I don’t dance, but I’d love to talk to you about your column.”

Now, I was happy to talk about my column, but come on! Dance fever was on my mind. I saw moonwalking in my future. So, I tried to trick Luella by asking if we could talk on the dance floor. She would have none of it.

Finally, I got down on one knee and begged.

It was no again.

Life is tough for a geek like me. So, when I worked my way up off my knee, I pulled a last, desperate move. I slowly put my arms around her as we discussed column writing.

It worked! And despite her insistence that she couldn’t dance, she was a great dancer.

Dianna Kretzschmar — a local doer of all things good — organized the dance and worked tirelessly to turn Clark County purple, the color symbolizing elder abuse awareness.

She managed to get real dignitaries like Sheriff Garry Lucas, Mayor Tim Leavitt and Commissioner David Madore to attend.

Nicely done, Dianna!

The winners are …

Some of you might have noticed a few print ads making note of how The Columbian fared in the Society of Professional Journalists awards contest. It involved a five-state region of daily newspapers about our size. And it’s fair to say we did very well.

As the ad notes, we don’t write stories, take photos and make the newspaper inviting with attractive layouts and catchy headlines to win awards. But if we do those things well, the awards will come. And, fortunately, the awards have come for several years now.

In fact, this year we won more first-place awards and more overall awards than any other newspaper our size in our region.

The real winners — in my view — are our readers who stay informed and — we hope — entertained.

So, thank you, readers, for sticking with us!

The Lions Club

I absolutely love the enthusiasm I feel when I step into a group like the Lions Club.

I spoke to them Friday over at Bill’s Chicken and Steak House on Northeast St. Johns Boulevard.

It was mostly a Q&A. Here are some of the answers:

• The Columbia River Crossing could be the most divisive topic I’ve seen here. More heat may have come from the M&M boys (Commissioners David Madore and Tom Mielke) sneaking state Sen. Don Benton through the back door and into the county’s $100,000-a-year environmental services director’s job. But for sustained divisiveness, it’s the CRC.

• I don’t think printed newspapers will ever go away, but in the future you might see more newspapers printing fewer days a week.

• Columbian Web users will soon begin to see a pay model for the website.

Quite the week. Now, who wants to dance?

Lou Brancaccio is The Columbian’s editor. Reach him at 360-735-4505,

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