I don’t want to be overly critical.

I know that newspapers are going through tough times.

The Northwest Herald, for instance, doesn’t have a second news section every day. It puts ads on the front page of its second news section.

Even this dominant newspaper in McHenry County has too few reporters to adequately cover stories that ought to be written about local happenings and the impact of outside events on our area.

The Chicago Tribune has dumped its second news section on Saturday and has announced that it will start putting ads on its front page. There is no longer any attempt to cover McHenry County comprehensively.

Elgin’s Daily Courier is a shadow of the former self that used to have a news bureau in the Crystal Lake Plaza.

In a county as big as McHenry, there just isn’t enough time in the day to do the stories that ought to be written. I had five ideas Tuesday morning, for instance. Maybe I’ll get to two or three. (I didn’t even get that far.)

And there are more than several more sitting in a pile in three inch pile of story ideas front above my keyboard that really ought to be written and which will not be written by anyone else.

I don’t find it strange that the NW Herald would write an article about 2005 Prairie Ridge High School graduate Tim Wilderson’s winning $10,000 for his comic video in iLaugh Shortfest. (You can see it on

Certainly this is newsworthy.

But so was 1998 Prairie Ridge High School graduate Nathan Smith’s co-authorship of the cover article in Science magazine last week. The University of Chicago Ph.D. candidate and his colleagues discovered a pre-dinosaur in New Mexico that made news nationwide.

I found the story online at the Daily Herald, a paper that is not delivered in and does not pretend to cover Crystal Lake.

When I searched for “Nathan Smith” on the NW Herald’s web site, I found nothing.


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The stills are from Tim Wilderson’s prize winning video, “Level One.” After the title shot, you can see part of how to go to sleep. Next is the person wearing a garbage bag and holding a fork. This is not a way to “open a door.”

Finally, a frame introducing “how to cook a chicken.”

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