Several years ago, Mary Lou Moore, a resident of Garden Lakes in East Manatee, met David Klement at one of the Bradenton Herald’s reader advisory board meetings. The personable Moore, a former school principal, shook David’s hand and told him, “You know, you’re a good-looking man.”
Klement just smiled that slightly embarrassed, wry grin of his.
David has since moved on from the editorial board room, to be replaced by the talented Chris Wille.
Legendary for a gazillion years of distinguished editorials, David discovered that there was life after journalism, and went on to become director of the Institute for Public Policy and Leadership at USF Sarasota-Manatee.
Well, hello, Mary Lou, you’ll be happy to know that David is still a good-looking man, and maybe more importantly, is looking good, especially to Gov. Charlie Crist.
Last week, Crist gave David a hurry-up call to take his seat on the Public Service Commission, which lately has been struggling with an image problem after some commissioners and staff seemed to be too cozy with the utilities they are suppose to be regulating.
He can be counted on to rigorously do his homework and come prepared to those PSC meetings.
Recently, after a Soul of the Community meeting at USF, I found myself standing next to Klement and Bradenton’s Mayor Wayne Poston, former executive editor of the Herald, who has flourished in politics since leaving the print world.
Bradenton ranks first among about 30 cities nationwide for resident attachment to their community, according to the Soul survey. Journalists are frequently known as crusty, cynical types, but what I saw in those two former print war-horses was a true love of and pride for their community, as well as pleasure in the No. 1 ranking.
Jim Smith, former managing editor of the Herald, who readers sometime confused with me — Jim Smith, Jim Jones, get it? — has found work in his native Wisconsin, but maybe more importantly, has created a wonderfully insightful and entertaining blog on American music, where he weighs in on everything from Chuck Berry to Les Paul, and from Eric Clapton to Cyndi Lauper.
He is a deft story teller with a light touch and a sure way with humor. Check it out at http://sixstringsanctuary.blogspot.com.
Incidentally, one way you could tell me from Jim Smith is he’s the one who always had the cheese curds.
One other note on Herald alumni. Jessica Klipa, now public information coordinator for State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota, is the Florida Farm Bureau’s state winner for agricultural writing. She won in part for her coverage of the salmonella scare that devastated local tomato growers.
Jessica’s reporting showed that local growers and packers had actually set the bar high to ensure food safety, but that didn’t save them from being hurt by lax practices in a field in Mexico, where the salmonella originated that sickened hundreds of Americans.
The series of reports focused on problems in tracking and pinpointing food safety issues in this country, and opened a window on the question of safety of products imported from overseas.
Just a few weeks after the salmonella issue was resolved, the problem of tainted drywall from China became a huge story.
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We were talking about handshakes in the newsroom the other day, and agreed that we like a really firm shake, though with the swine flu menace, maybe we’d rather just bump elbows.
I had the opportunity to shake the hand of Bishop Frank Dewane on Thursday. His hand applies the pressure of a vice grip.
Mentioned it to another priest, and he said, “That’s the Green Bay coming out in him.” The religious leader of the Catholic Diocese of Venice is another Wisconsin native, and a Packers fan.
James A. Jones Jr., editor, can be contacted at 745-7021.