Jan. 16, 2014:
Viva La Charleston!
We greatly appreciate the amazing number of calls and emails from concerned individuals checking on the staff during this water crisis. Water at the office has been flushed, but that has done little to eliminate the fears. Three of four employees still have no “safe” water at their homes.
We thank everyone for the concern.
A couple of calls stand out.
Joe Riggs of Customware Inc., the firm that provides the WVPA advertising software, offered to bring a truck of water from Kentucky. That’s customer service.
Giles Snyder of NPR — a good friend and former Charleston resident and reporter, who we met while living in Martinsburg — emailed to check on us. I have bragged to Giles about how much we love living in Charleston. Giles couldn’t help asking, “How do you like Charleston now?” That’s a friend and I had to laugh.
I thanked Joe and joked with Giles: “Right now, Charleston is like a vacation in Paris. The people don’t bathe, you can’t drink the water and you expect riots in the streets at any moment. Very European.”
A female staff member added, “And the women haven’t shaved their legs in a week.”
That about sums it up here in the state Capitol.
Our newspapers are doing an excellent job of following the story and keeping the public informed. If you haven’t followed the stories, visit the news section of wvpress.org and look at the work from our reporters.
Perhaps the only positive from this situation is the training-under-fire that an entire generation of news reporters is getting during this crisis. As you read the stories about the crisis, note the bylines. This experience (hopefully) is a once-in-a-lifetime event for many reporters. Lessons learned this week will show up in their reporting in the future.