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Santa Paws 5k Report

December 16th, 2017

 The Sixth Annual Santa Paws 5k Run/Walk/Stroll/Crawl

The annual Santa Paws 5k event, sponsored by our local Lions Club, benefits Guide Dogs of the Desert. Registered contestants are provided with Santa Claus suits (jacket, pants, cap, beard, black belt and a white t-shirt), lots of upcoming race literature and a little candy cane. The route started at 9 am in the Temple Isaiah parking lot, and proceeded to follow a winding route north to Stevens (a block short of Vista Chino) where there’s an official mid-route water stop, before returning to the Finish Line at the starting point. There’s a separate event later in the morning for small kids on the nearby O’Donnell golf course.

I wore my Santa suit and was accompanied by Tessa who walked and jogged the route au natural. Most of those doing the event wore all or part of their Santa costume and many doggies wore Santa apparel. Men, women and children contestants included marathon runners, other runners, joggers, baby strollers, and lots of well-behaved doggies on leash. I don’t run or jog so Tessa had to pull me for much of the route, for her pace was quite a bit faster than my own.

We started the day at 6 am with our usual 4 mile walk. Managed a nice photo of the sky as dawn was breaking in the east. Clouds were noticeable but appeared to be clearing in the west. Later, around 8:30 am while seeking a parking spot, a few rain drop sprinkles hit the car, but it lasted less than 10 minutes. The significant cloud cover made the morning appear rather gloomy. That, however, made the 55 degree air temperature excellent for running and other physical activities. Like several others, I was dressed almost too warmly, but cooled off on the downhill section. As for rain, we didn’t encounter and during or after the event.

Since the event is an official timed race, RaceWire recorded all the finisher times. They captured the embarrassing finishing numbers for Tessa (and me). Overall we were 361 out of 489 finishers, 189 out of 229 male finishers, and 6th out of 6 in our age group. If I had followed Tessa’s urging to pick up the pace, we would have done better.

Photos of the race/walk also include the one from the early dawn morning walk.

This was our third annual Santa Paws 5k event and we plan on another repeat next year.

Bond & Tessa

Bond Shands
December 15, 2017
My Notebook blog – www.BondShands.com
Personal Facebook page – www.Facebook.com/Bond.Shands
Desert Political Opinion blog – www.Facebook.com/DesertObserver
Twitter – @BondShands

The Desert Sun’s 90th Birthday Celebration

December 7th, 2017

The Desert Sun’s Executive Editor and staff hosted a 90th Birthday Open House celebration Wednesday, December 6th from 5 to 6:30 pm (90 minutes).

Executive Editor Greg Burton welcomed the crowd of guests reporters and staff members in the newspaper’s Community Room. Many were drinking Apple Cider or munching on cookies, crackers plus cheese and/or turkey. After he had finished speaking Burton cut the celebratory birthday cake.

Burton’s comments included a history of the publication since its 1927 founding in the Coachella Valley. More about that history appear’s in his December article at https://www.desertsun.com/staff/24193/greg-burton/. He also covered a list of FAQs including many of those listed in “The Desert Sun Turns 90” summary page.

Following Burton’s report those present were divided into groups of ten with each headed by a Desert Sun staff member. Each group was led on a planned tour of the newspapers multi-floor facilities. Staff members were waiting at each of the sections to describe the function and answer questions. Among the areas visited were the Studio Room, Advertising, Editorial, Reporting and Printing Press.

I found both the Editorial section and the Printing Press among the most fascinating and informative. The large TV screen in the Editorial Section utilizes computer software to continually monitor online statistics from the digital version of the paper. Updating statistics included numbers of viewers, number reading an article, how long, and much more. The Printing Press was in operation during our visit and we observed papers moving along to the end of the automated ramp and being bundled.

I enjoyed The Desert Sun’s 90 minutes 90th Anniversary celebration. The opportunity to learn more about behind the scenes workings of our local newspaper, to meet so many from the staff, including reporters, and to visit areas where the newspaper work is actually performed was both informative and enjoyable.

Photos here include the Summary Page FAQs, the Printing Press room and those in our 10-member group.

Bond Shands
December 7, 2017
My Notebook blog – www.BondShands.com
Personal Facebook page – www.Facebook.com/Bond.Shands
Desert Political Opinion blog – www.Facebook.com/DesertObserver
Twitter – @BondShands