This is coming a bit late, but I'm happy to say it's now been 1 year since I took over as editor at the Hudson Hub-Times.
Well, 13 months... but who's counting, anyway?
It's been a lot of fun learning more about this community, meeting readers and city leaders, and seeing what makes the city of Hudson tick.
One of my jobs is to learn about what people care about, so I know my priorities on what to cover.
And apparently, after 13 months, the thing people here in Hudson care about most is... graffiti.
Yes, this took me by surprise, too.
In the short time I've been here, we've had a city manager "mutually agree to separate" with the city, an election with several city Council and Board of Education spots on the line, a pastor imprisoned in the Philippines and a tragic car accident costing the life of a recent Hudson High School graduate.
But none of these topics, or any other story, has prompted more letters to the editor and Facebook discussion than the '#Seniors 2014' graffiti on the train bridge over West Streetsobor Road/Route 303 in downtown Hudson.
Half of you don't seem to mind the bright orange declaration by the senior class. Just let it go and let them have some fun.
Half of you point out that even if it is teenagers doing it, and there is nothing insulting involved, in the end, it's illegal.
Here's my perspective, as someone who doesn't live in Hudson, but is now invested into the community.
I got to see the graffiti two weekends ago in person on the way back from a track meet at Western Reserve Academy. As we headed under the bridge and I looked up, my first thought was, "Wow, this reminds me of my collegiate days at Akron, when we used to run through the not-so-nice parts of the city."
Is that the perception the people of Hudson want when people visit? If you, the readers, are OK with it, I guess I can be. But really?
To me, graffiti is graffiti. I wouldn't be proud of any part of my city being cased in the stuff.
"But the seniors do this every year," I've seen people say. OK, last year's was white-colored, and didn't stand out like this year's orange-colored signage does. We can all thank neon for that, being the "in" thing right now. Placement of it also grabbed more people's attention.
"But it's not on anyone's personal property," I've seen people say. OK, so if the class of 2015 decides to put "Seniors 2015" on the Hudson Clocktower, that's cool, right? I mean that's no one's personal property.
There are better alternatives. Get a spirit rock at Hudson High School, put it out front, and let students paint all over that thing.
Or be creative. One of the best and funniest stories I've heard in the past 13 months was about Quincy Manfred Schumann, a "person" a group of Hudson High School students made up in the 1970s and for four years made "him" an ongoing prank at the school, ending with him even walking across the stage at graduation and receiving a diploma.
Originality is usually remembered, and a great life skill to have no matter what you grow up to be.
Copycatting something illegal, on the other hand, is probably not the best thing to learn in high school.
Let's see some creativity with the senior prank. But, please, keep it legal.
Graffiti in downtown Hudson brings out colorful reader reaction – April 9
City waiting on railroad's response to latest track of graffiti - April 2
Letter: People missing the point about graffiti – April 13
Letter: Graffiti breaks the law, plain and simple – April 13
Letter: Yearly graffiti 'seniors' sign brings smile to resident's face – April 13
Letter: Railroad graffiti prank goes too far - April 6
Letter: Response to letter on graffiti overpass - April 2
Letter: Reader defends parents in response to graffiti letter – April 2
Letter: Resident wants graffiti erased off bridge on West Streetsboro Road – March 23