MOVING WEEK COMING
The Daily Times office Monday will begin its final week before we wave goodbye to the building the newspaper has called home since the early 1900s.
The new location will be at 218 S. First St., and while it's only a couple blocks from the current location, it will be miles away in looks and convenience.
The biggest change will be the lack of steps for not only our employees but also for the public, which is the most important of all.
The new building, formerly the home of Dr. Joseph Marceil, a clinical psychologist, is all on one floor. That's a far cry from the second floor of the Daily Times office on Main Street which was the location of the news, production and display advertising departments.
Not that we have ever counted, but there are 21 steps from the first to the second floor and we'd hate to know how many times we went up and down them over the many years we were here at the paper. Years ago we'd bound up the steps two at a time, thinking nothing of it, and now when we make that move it's one at a time, just to be safe and secure. My how time changes things.
Being on one floor in the newly remodeled building will be a great improvement for our customers who bring in news stories in person or who need to see the display advertising department or the production staff in person.
Our team has always been accommodating for those who have trouble navigating the steps. A staff member would come to the front office on the main floor and work with the individual, but in the new location that won't be necessary.
The new building is much smaller than our location on West Main Street, but that makes a lot of sense. When the newspaper ceased operating its own printing press some years ago, huge areas of the building were left empty, the most striking of which is the basement. The entire Main Street property has a basement under it and for decades on end, that's where the rolls of newsprint were stored until they were needed on the press.
It was not unusual to have a couple hundred rolls of newsprint stored in the basement.
Since being acquired by Adams Publishing Group in December of last year, there have been some consolidations and efficiencies put into place and that also means less work stations are needed.
Even had the city of Watertown not wanted to use the Daily Times block on Main Street for redevelopment purposes, a move to a new and smaller location, all on one floor, would have become a priority for the paper.
So, while there will be some mixed emotions when the doors to the paper on West Main Street are closed, there will be some excitement as we move into a new location, completely redecorated and just a couple blocks off of Main Street.
It will take a little getting used to but we're confident everyone will adapt quickly.
Quite a task lies ahead because once we get the Friday, Sept. 6, paper out, the moving begins in earnest. By Sunday afternoon, Sept. 8, all the computers, etc., have to be hooked up to the servers, the internet and have to be ready for the Monday morning edition.
The transition will happen in just a couple of days.
CARP CLASSIC FISHING
A couple weeks ago the annual Carp Classic was held in conjunction with Watertown Riverfest. That annual event on Saturday morning drew a nice crowd again this year, but what we found especially interesting was the results.
This year the number of carp caught was down to its lowest level in memory. And, at the same time the number of game fish caught was up substantially.
That is yet another sign that the quality of water in the Rock River is getting better all the time. Some of the game fish that have been introduced to the river in Watertown have been busy dining on carp eggs, further reducing the carp population.
This year's Carp Classic underscored the progress that is being made to bring the Rock River back to its quality back in the 1800s.
There's more to do but we're headed in the right direction.
The carp classic was one of the many activities at Watertown Riverfest that turned out really well this year. Perfect weather was a big positive factor as was the great selection of musical entertainment.