Chowan Round-up: Baker, politics and buzzards

Chowan Round-up breakfast.JPG

Help the Lions help the blind! Edenton Lions Club's Breakfast for the Blind takes place between 6:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Edenton Baptist Church. Tickets are $7 -- that's a bargain. See Edenton Lions Club members for tickets or call 482-7906 for more information.


By Miles Layton

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A round-up of all things Chowan County...

First, Eugene Baker, a retired educator from D.F. Walker Elementary, was back in the classroom recently as a substitute teacher. Kids like him. Too young to retire.

A large, very large tree recently was cut down in Frances Inglis’ yard on East Water Street. The stump is as big as a dining room table. I haven't counted the rings yet, but reliable sources tell me that there is way more than a hundred rings, so imagine the stories that this tree could tell if it could talk.

Speaking of tall trees, there is a dead buzzard hanging by a fishing line from one of the top branches of an ancient tree at St. Paul's. Maybe the black bird hangs over Gov. Eden's grave because as local lore has it, the buzzards followed Eden's remains when his very small body (folks were shorter back then) was moved from across the river to the church's graveyard.

As to birds, the Eagles' song “Take It Easy” was part of Sunday's sermon as it relates to Lent. Loved it.

Edenton Lions Club's Breakfast for the Blind takes place between 6:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Edenton Baptist Church. Tickets are $7 and the food is excellent. For information or tickets, see Edenton Lions Club members for tickets or call 482-7906.

There are 26 candidates running for Walter Jones Jr's congressional seat. One idiot candidate offered this asinine quote, “Somebody asked me if I was running for Congress. I am not running for Congress, I am running for eastern North Carolina.”

What does that even mean!? Dumbest quote of the week and we're just beginning silly season. Please God, please, spare us. Hate politicians who can't just talk straight.

Per our policy, we are not endorsing anyone in the primary. As to letters to the editor endorsing candidates, our longstanding letter policy is no more than 300 words. Even if a candidate totally deserves being called out for being an idiot, we do not condone personal attacks on other candidates. The last edition that endorsement letters will be published is April 10 — about two weeks before the April 30 primary — remember we are a weekly newspaper.

Worth noting, if Bob Steinburg had thrown his hat in the ring, his name would have led the order on the ballot for the list of Republican candidates by virtue of elections' folk doing the alphabet backward as to the pecking order on the ballot. If no candidate receives more than 30 percent of the votes necessary to win the April 30 primary, there will be a second primary. Long sigh, if this happens, the state elections board will hold a second primary between the top two vote-getters of each party on July 9 and the general election will be moved to Sept. 10.

If you want to buy advertising, please contact Bev Alexander at 252-426-5728 for rates. Candidates, a little advice: Folks in Chowan County vote. We had a record turnout in 2018. If you dismiss Chowan and Perquimans counties because of our size or population, don't come crying to us when you lose by 200 votes because some campaign consultant/moron advised you to spend all your ad dollars in the big cities.

Strategically, the vote will be so split between the 26 candidates. Those who court voters in small towns across the district will do much better than those candidates who focus on a narrow slice of the pie in Greenville or New Bern, places where most likely these candidates are known entities — loved or despised by voters. The Chowan Herald can be a part of your electoral equation, so give us a call. Our paper circulates to voters in Chowan and Perquimans counties with a growing presence in Washington and Tyrrell counties.

And worth noting, two of eastern North Carolina's most influential legislators who are also longtime loyal readers of the Chowan Herald — Sen. Steinburg and Rep. Ed Goodwin — live in our neck of the woods, so it would be smart to pay Chowan County a visit. Moreover, if you think about it, some of the people who read our paper are among the most prominent in eastern NC. I could name names, but I'd be afraid of leaving someone out.

On a related note, a story published within the Chowan Herald details the struggles of newspapers and corporate ownership as it relates to Gatehouse Media. Though I've seen firsthand that company's mismanaged business and editorial model, I won't offer more comment on that sinking ship. Not every media company is managed the same way, which is why newspapers continue to survive and thrive in diverse places from Edenton to Honolulu.

I will say that if people invest in their local newspaper, and that publication reflects the community that it serves — not be fake news or slander Trump voters (half the country) — then it will make money and succeed, be it a print or digital format.

Recently, I was part of a conversation among management (from another company) about how it's so important to spend time courting big advertisers more than small mom-and-pop places. WRONG. I kept my counsel to myself; every ad dollars counts not only for the bottom line, but to extend the reach of the newspaper by virtue of good will in the business community. If I didn't know about Layden's Country Store in Belvidere or what was playing at Taylor Theater, I'd be worse off today. And I can't wait to get to the Hertford Bay Tap House. On that note, Edenton — any word on the alleged brew pub?

Anyway, if you invest in good people who can create a solid product, the rest will take care of itself.

Last note, we are reaching out to you Washington and Tyrrell counties, even Hyde County because I love it there too. Someday, I'd like to see Chowan Herald boxes in places from Columbia to the Alligator River Shell Station to Engelhard, maybe even Belhaven in Beaufort County. I was able to run newspapers from Kinston to New Bern to Havelock, so I can certainly build coverage in our own backyard where it really matters, places I care about. If you have news tips, want to buy a subscription or advertising, send me a quick note at mlayton@ncweeklies.com.