Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Columbus Pioneer - from my point of view.

Whew - I have to say that had to be one of the better Memorial Day weekends weather-wize that I can remember.

I played The Bull at Pinehurst Farms in Sheboygan Falls on Saturday on my annual Memorial Day golf event. Seems every year I play one REAL course. Two years ago we were at The Irish Course at Whistling Straits (a Whistling Straits clone) and last year we played Lawsonia (Wisconsin 2008 Golf Course of the Year) and this year the Jack Niculas designed The Bull (normally $189 a round - but we get specials on Holidays).

Before the round I went into the practice bunker and sunk up to my ankles in sands. Then preceded skull my first ball out of the bunker which went 60 yards and the next 6 balls I could not get out of the bunker at all, the farthest going maybe 3 feet.

SO - climbing out I told Craig - "my goal is to NEVER get in a bunker today, no matter what my shot is - bunker placement will be the deciding factor on every shot".

I was good to my word and ended up having the best score of the foursome and I only hit 1 bunker and stroked a 102 on a very hard course. Watching others I think the sand cost an average of 3 strokes per beach incident. I was happy and I hope they noticed I did not rub my score in their face. I Was like the Brewers in a run off win. I just ran into my little brain clubhouse and celebrated behind the scenes.

This whole Columbus Pioneer stuff - my view.

I met Joe the Editor and a couple times and he seemed like a very nice guy that was working probably about 20 hours a day (seriously). His wife was/is pregnant and he was taking a big chance pulling up stakes and trying to move to Columbus. I met some of his staff at The Kurth and really liked them.

However, things were not working out. The building he wanted to move into was not vacated on time and as promised and he was forced to set up shop somewhere in a different town. Then because he was forced to have their office 20 miles away The Joe family put off finding a home in Columbus. They LOVED Columbus.

So they started to print the paper in Watertown and it seemed to be a huge hit. They were selling many MANY copies but no one wanted to advertise. The Hospital was one of the many examples. They refused to give the CP one dime even when they were having special events. And advertising is how a newspaper makes ends meet. I was told (I was bias) that they had a fantastic newspaper but no one wanted to advertise in it.

I feel one of the problems was the Paul Factor. Everyone likes Paul Scharf the head dude at The Columbus Journal and no one wanted to put Paul out of business. I like Paul and I felt a certain guilt every time I wrote an article (which I never got paid for).

Adding to the problems was their best sales woman left for a much better job in Madison and their were a few more turnovers plus the default person to take over being the salesperson was NOT a sale person he was a writer. A newspaper office in chaos, forced to have an office in a different town then the town you are writing and printing in yet another town with a very pregnant wife working 20 hours a day and losing money hand over foot. Sounds like a recipe for disaster.

What I DIDN'T know was that Joe the Editor had no tolerance for risk. The week they gave EVERYBODY a free issue they had a LOT of companies advertising but the next week, back to normal. Very very few repeat advertisers.

This seemed to be the final yet in my mind premature blow.

I wrote an article and sent it in and just like the rest of you never heard from them again.

What they did was wrong, no two ways around it. I don't know how much of the Columbus money they kept. However, I am REAL certain that while they did keep advertisers money and subscribers money it was not their original plan. I feel it was more do to ineptness in their business plan.

While you guys lost money I can assure you that Joe Moray lost way way more in his 6 week newspaper venture. Did he steal your money? Not really, I feel he only KEPT it.

With all the problems, no advertising, not being able to move into a permanent building when promised, printing in one city, publishing in another city, writing about yet another city, 40% office turnover and a very pregnant wife, working 20 hours a day and not being able to withstand more then 6 weeks of having money run through your fingers like a sieve. The Columbus Pioneer was doomed.

So yes - you can get angry that he kept you money. But I figure maybe cut him a little slack, it was just not meant to be. The people that met him he as a very nice guy that had a company that was in Titanic mode from the git go.

Udey Dam - are we keeping/repairing it now? Too bad - poor for Columbus and it will cost more to repair it in the long run AND I feel is poor for future business.

Perhaps when it's fixed we could raise tax's a little so when it freezes up again we will have the money to fix it AGAIN in 50 years. Who is in charge of repairing it? Who are we paying to be in charge of opening/closing the gates and who can we blame when said gates are not open/closed at the correct time? Who will be our designated scapegoat. How many more cans of worms can we open in the next 200 years of this horrible looking piece of ancient cement that has been collecting toxins for the last 100 years - I HOPE no one eats any fish out from behind that cesspool of waste that it creates.

Think how a navigational river would help Columbus - you could have canoeists floating down the river, stopping at Mullins to get food, do a little shopping. Maybe have a canoe rental place open somewhere. Now? You go over to the dam and it looks like a crap filled garbage dump. Last time I looked there was a severed deer/dog head next to it. Nice tourist attraction there. .

BUT - we are keeping it why? Beauty? Because it's always been there? Historic? Property values actually go UP when you remove the dam.

Oh well. Just my view.

PECOTA has the Brewers 0.9 games behind the Cards. Reds in 3rd, Cubs in 4th with 77 wins.

Have a nice Tuesday - ALREADY WHOO HOO!


  1. Glad you had a good golf weekend! I agree with you about the paper- just a doomed project.
    The dam- get rid of it! It is not necessary anymore, not useful, and a navigable river is MUCH more attractive and useful...

  2. 9 sand shots, 6 penalties...

  3. I particularly liked the double hit - we all laughed on the inside on that one.

    In fact I'm laughing at this moment!

  4. "Who will be our designated scapegoat."

    OH NO!!! NOT AGAIN!!!

  5. Great Blog!

    Glad you had a good time golfing!

    Wish the paper would have taken off.

    I hope everyone had a safe and fun weekend..
    Keep Warm!

  6. But Robbi, the paper DID take off. :p

    Great blogging! Thanks for the inside scoop-it's too bad the cards didn't fall right for the newspaper. :(

  7. **But Robbi, the paper DID take off. :p

    Great blogging! Thanks for the inside scoop-it's too bad the cards didn't fall right for the newspaper. :(

    Suz, That is what I mean.
    Wish it would still be around. It may have taken off, but it never landed on solid ground.

  8. The Columbus Pioneer - from my point of view.