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From humble beginnings

Well, we made it through another issue, and I have to admit, even after working here for more than 2 years, it still amazes me how much work goes into creating the paper. The paper starts out as a blank slate. And with just words, pictures, a little elbow grease, some creativity and whole lot of perseverance, we create this thing we call On Common Ground News.

In just 2 weeks, we’ll be celebrating a very special anniversary around the office. The April 1st issue marks 13 years of Glenn and Valerie publishing On Common Ground News.  It still amazes me that Glenn and Valerie are not daunted by the task of creating a newspaper. Every 2 weeks, the Morgans tell us, “Hey team, we CAN make a newspaper” and we actually do it. When you really sit and think about it, it’s quite amazing.

I’m not sure if you know the history of our beloved community paper so let me share what I know.

The paper started as a newsletter that the Morgans distributed only around their subdivision. It had information about things to do on the weekend with family. It started building a following and by the second anniversary, the newsletter graduated to a magazine. The Morgans branched out and started delivering the magazine to surrounding neighborhoods. I still have people tell me they remember when Glenn used to get in his car and throw the paper in their front yards.

In 2003, with a new location outside the Mall At Stonecrest, On Common Ground News took on a new form – the paper that’s on news stands now.

It’s Friday, It’s Friday

I can’t believe it’s Friday. I can’t believe it’s Friday at 6 p.m. and I’m still at work. Well, there is work that needs to be done. I think I’ll scoop my babies up and head on out to the auction.  I haven’t been in a while and there might be some good finds. If I find anything exciting, I’ll let you know.

Kissi almost lost it

We’re still caught up in the excitement of this year’s race to the White House. I must say thank you to our readers who called, e-mailed or just stopped by to say they enjoyed the picture page we created in the last issue. We hit the streets to ask people whom they are supporting and we got great responses. Regardless of the candidate, supporters were very passionate about their choice for President.

While the page came out great, the road to that greatness was a very rocky one. You see laying out the paper is not like putting together a newsletter in a user-friendly program. There is no template with boxes that read, “put text here” or “click here to place photo.” We do this thing from scratch. Every word, column, graphic, line, and box is created by one of our designers. So to get 19 photos, the accompanying quotes and some text on the page in an easy-to-read and eye-pleasing format is no simple task.  I have to be honest: I thought this was going to be the thing that pushed Kissi over the edge. She had the page laid out one way, and then came Val. After the dust settled, we were left with what you got. If our lives were a movie, where the music would start playing to alert you of something to come, the soundtrack for that night would have been “don’t push me cause I’m close to the edge, I’m trying not to lose my head, ah huh huh huh!”

Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at On Common Ground News? To stay on top of what’s happening in the office and in the community, remember to check our web site often for breaking news, stories updates, contests, videos, photos and information you can only find at www.ocgnews.com.

It’s a new year!

Things picked up pretty quickly around On Common Ground News after the New Year. We’re all getting back into the swing of things and sticking with our resolutions. I read somewhere that people give up on their resolutions before the end of January. We are definitely trying to stay out of that category.

In the weight department, our editor, Valerie, has everyone beat. She has lost 25 pounds and has kept if off for about a year. Our goal is to catch up with her. I finally got Richard, our advertising manager, to take our “before” picture. 

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 Richard is taking charge of our walking routine. He said we’re going to start going over to the Mall at Stonecrest on our lunch break and walk. Our next-door neighbor Rita said she wants to join us. Glenn, our publisher, says he can’t wait. In the last six months, he has lost 25 pounds. The more people, the better to keep us motivated. Plus, multi-tasking is great. We can shop and get our workout on at the same time.

My secret weight loss weapon is Weight Watchers. I signed up last week and it hasn’t been as hard as I expected. I say that now, but the true test is when I weigh in on Saturday. Every time I even think about putting something in my mouth, Richard yells out “How many points is that?”  It’s all about sticking with it.

Speaking of sticking with something, the award goes to Valerie. She has been a real trooper. Her little toe has been bothering her, so she went to see her podiatrist, Dr. Naim Shaheed, at Ankle and Foot. Dr. Shaheed said she’s going to have to get different shoes—wider and flatter. It couldn’t have happened to a worse person because Valerie loves shoes. She loves heels, pumps and boots and owns about 100 pairs.

 

But being the hard worker that she is, after she hobbled back to the office with a shoe on one foot and a brown paper bag on the other, Valerie headed to the City of Lithonia to cover the new mayor’s installation. At least the bag matched her outfit.

This month, we celebrated another birthday around here. Our photograph, David, is one year wiser. We’ll wish Val a happy birthday on Jan. 29. It has become the office tradition to get a card and a cake for the honoree’s special day. So we all got a piece of cheesecake for David’s birthday. It was one of the variety pack cheesecakes. It had strawberry, New York style, chocolate swirl and turtle crunch. It was delicious. I know, I know, “How many points was that?”

      

All I want for Christmas

In the spirit of the season, I asked everyone in the office what things top their wish lists this year. Here’ what they said.

 The Pig PinkValerie wants her whole family to ride the Pig Pink at Lenox Mall. She’s still trying to convince her son, who is 6 feet 2 inches tall, to sit in the seat with her.

iPodGlenn would like to unwrap an iPod on Christmas morning.

playstation3.jpgEmmanuel would be happy with a PS3 until the tree

 stella-tokyo-jk-white.jpgKissi wants a leather motorcycle outfit to wear when she’s riding her bike.

 paris.jpgSharlene wishes for a trip to Paris

 chateau_elan_pedicure_room.jpgDebra wants to spend a day at Chateau Elan being pampered

 hawaii.jpgFran would enjoy a trip to Hawaii.

 bag.jpg Me, I would like a big purse in burnt orange leather. I got a red one last year and if you ever see me around the Mall At Stonecrest or out covering an event, you know I wear it with everything. It’s a little pop of color that makes me happy.

U.S. President Cynthia McKinney?

DeKalb County’s Cynthia McKinney is trying to make a political comeback since losing to Congressman Hank Johnson in 2006. The six-term Congresswoman now wants to be President of the United States. She has officially announced her candidacy and is running under the Green Party.On her website, www.runcynthiarun.org, McKinney has a seven-minute video outlining her bid for the office. McKinney makes the second African American running for the position.In recent months, McKinney has been traveling across the nation to muster up the support needed to get her name on the ballot. She must raise $5,000 in at least 20 states to meet the threshold requirements to run.McKinney will face candidates Jared Ball, Jesse Johnson, Kent Mesplay, and Kat Swift and draft candidates Elaine Brown and Ralph Nader for the Green Party nomination. Share your thoughts.

Obama being sued?

A politician in Georgia is suing the Obama campaign for defamtion. Angela Moore planned a fundraiser for Obama that was going to be held on Dec. 21.  She said she was in constant contact with the campaign this whole time. She’s spent $25,000 planning the event.  At some point, the campaign decided they didn’t want to have anything to do with the event. Apparently, Moore and her partner could be considered a PAC, and Obama doesn’t accept contributions from PACs. So they shut her down.

This is where the story makes a turn. Instead of the Atlanta campaign washing their hands of the situation, one member took it upon herself to call other people involved with the fundraising event, telling them that Moore is a fraud and is engaging in illegal activities (this according to Moore). The problem is that Moore is herself a politician. So now, her reputation has been changed from community activist to crook. Personally, I think she’s been wronged, but hey I’m no lawyer.

It’s funny that this situation has happened and it’s being kept on the hush, and this morning I read on the wire Clinton apologized to Obama about comments made from her camp. Huh! sounds like the same situation to me.

Now, if Moore wasn’t following the rules, then yes, shut her down. But to start making calls and comments, that crossed the line. Even Obama knows how important a politician’s reputation is. Especially in local elections.