July 3, 2008 · Updated 12:31 PM
"You'll find several changes in your News-Times this week. Among them:The Outdoor Report. We were flooded with e-mails from outdoors people this winter after we discontinued J.D. Wade's column. Most said they hoped it wouldn't mean a reduction in our commitment to covering fishing, hunting, crabbing, clamming, shooting and other sports that don't get much coverage elsewhere.The island's abundant fishing, in particular, is a big reason why many of our readers live here in the first place.We heard you. That's why sports editor Bob Taylor has committed himself to produce an Outdoor Report'' every Wednesday, covering everything where the fish are biting to where the seasons are open, and why. You'll find this week's version on Page A6. Please let us know if you like it, or if there's anything we can add to make it better.And thanks for all the comments.High School voices. Every week during the school year, we run a feature called School Zone.'' It's produced in a man-on-the-street format by high school kids, who ask other kids for their opinions on questions of the day - everything from gun control to school rules. We've moved it to Saturday, where it will run throughout the school year. It will be replaced by our regular man-on-the-street feature, Sound Off,'' during the summer vacation months.Gardening. Every readership survey we've done over the years has shown us that gardening is far and away the most popular hobby among our readers. And we really didn't have to do a survey to find that out - a simple drive through island roads and streets reveals the tremendous care that islanders put into the earth, and the beautiful results they yield.For more than five years, Island County/WSU Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Bill Stipe has given our readers invaluable advice and information on a wide variety of plants, pests and gardening opportunities in his weekly In Good Thyme'' column in our Island Living section. Bill is, understandably, tired of writing. So he has handed over his pen to fellow Master Gardener Mariana Graham, whose first column on lilacs runs in the Island Living section today.Our thanks go out to Bill for many years of good service, and many, many bits of good advice. We'll look forward to gleaning some of Mariana's wisdom.Mostly, though, we'll look forward to viewing the results when you do the same thing, too.David Fisher is editor of the News-Times."