A few random bits…

Published 9:48 am Saturday, September 13, 2014

Most businesses have one, and you can tell a lot about a business from its sign. You can generally tell if a business is new, if it has been around for a while, and even if it might not be around much longer, by its sign. And the surest sign of all (yep, I meant to do that) about the state of a business — usually indicating that the business has gone kaput — is when its sign comes down.

However, that is not the case with The Tidewater News.

Some of you who have cruised by our offices in the last couple of days may have noticed that the lettering has come down from our sign out front and wondered if we were ready to check out. Well, in the words of the immortal Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friends.”

As it turns out, signs — like people —don’t always improve with age and consistent exposure to the elements, and we’re giving ours a little facelift. We expect our new and improved sign to be back and better than ever in about a week. So if you hear anyone in the next few days remark that something might be amiss at The Tidewater News, remind them of the words written by another immortal, Mark Twain, who said, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.”

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At our regular Friday meeting of the Franklin Rotary Club, members and guests were reminded by fellow club member and proud a American, Gaynelle Riddick, that Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, is the 200th birthday of America’s National Anthem, “The Star Spangle Banner.” Its author, Francis Scott Key, penned the famous words upon sight of a large American flag raised in celebration of victory after the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the war of 1812.

There are few moments in life that invoke such a feeling of pride and kinship as when we rise with fellow Americans and sing with reverence about the enduring symbol of perseverance, bravery and freedom that is our flag. The three verses we sang together as a club on Friday was one of those moments.

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Earlier this week, I received a phone call from a subscriber regarding a particular issue with our website. For those of you who do not read us on tidewaternews.com, some time ago we began asking readers to answer one or two brief consumer surveys in order to access our online content. The reason we did so was simple; we do not charge customers for the convenience of access to our website, and Google reimburses us when readers complete the surveys.

It is important for readers to know that completing these surveys does not compromise your identity or access to any of your personal information. We do not divulge any information regarding our readers to Google, other than the aggregate responses and the consumer preferences indicated by the marketing surveys themselves. We do not, and will not, provide Google with any information about our readers. We simply chose to let Google help us offset the cost of producing and publishing the content found on our website rather than pass it on to our subscribers and local advertisers. If any of our readers have any additional concerns, I welcome the opportunity to discuss them with you. Feel free to contact me by phone at 757-562-3187 or by email at tony.clark@tidewaternews.com.

Tony Clark is publisher of The Tidewater News. His email address is tony.clark@tidewaternews.com.