Ulrika Gerth and the Newburyport Current

I’m feeling cranky.

Ulrika Gerth is no longer the editor of the Newburyport Current and believe you me, it’s already showing big time.

(I know, I know, I’m deliriously happy, seriously, that Ulrika Gerth is the brand new mother of one gorgeous baby girl… but still, I’m cranky.)

There are 2 big stories out there this week. Will the Newburyport Current, under the new regime, have any interesting coverage of them, or any coverage at all, or even know that they are stories?? Doubtful. (See how cranky I am?)

The first story is the fact that Mayor John Moak (finally) has a new administrative assistant (Newburyport Daily News, August 23, 2007).

The story is A) finally, that the mayor has a new assistant. We (the city of Newburyport, MA) could have used this fellow a while ago. If the mayor does not get reelected (which seems unlikely at this point, but you never know), getting an administrative assistant at the 11th, Ok, the 10th hour, seems a little late. (It’s still a little late.)

However, on paper, this guy, Ari Herzog, sounds great. He has a master’s degree in public administration–yeh! (thank goodness, whew).

Mr. Herzog worked as a journalist and then on Beacon Hill, according to the Newburyport Daily News article by Stephen Tait (August 23, 2007). And Mr. Herzog’s main emphasis as Mayor John Moak’s assistant chief administrative officer would be “budgeting, generating funding, human resources/labor relations and constituent services.”

All of this works for me.

“Herzog said there are challenges he knows he will face, among them getting to know the community” … Yes, is this a vast understatement or what? But at least Ari Herzog appears to know that this would be a “challenge.” (Thank goodness.)

I would imagine it would take anyone a good year, even going to all the board and committee meetings with a group of guides, to begin to understand how this small New England city works.

But from the article, Mr. Herzog sounds “hungry.” So honey, “chow down.”

The second story is the fact that the Undertoad has sold to a gentleman from Salisbury called Steve Nichols.

A) Mr. Nichols is from Salisbury, not Newburyport and B) Mr. Nichols has worked for 26 years as an “arborist, or tree-surgeon” and eventually plans to expand the Undertoad to 10-12 communities (Newburyport Daily News, August 24, 2007).

Believe me, as editor of the Newburyport Current, Ulrika Gerth would have been all over these 2 stories in a major and significant way.

Good grief I miss her.

Who knows whether the new regime is even remotely capable of the same “editorial savvy” that Ms Gerth so aptly demonstrated and brought to our homes every Friday morning.

And at least Mr. Herzog appears to be “hungry.” Who knows whether the “new regime” at the Newburyport Current has an “appetite,” much less whether they are actually “starved” or not.

From the first few issues, it appears that they have no appetite at all.

Mary Eaton