Wordsmith, gaming, art exhibit

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Joe Sullivan, the role-model newspaper man, is a wordsmith. He's traveled throughout the U.S. in his capacities as reporter, editor, columnist and publisher.

Few editors have the broadening experience of being a publisher, which brings the additional responsibilities and insights of paying the bills, watching the circulation by mail or carrier and paying attention to profit and loss, which provides the cash flow for salaries, equipment, maintenance and upgrades.

Joe's done it all, and if anyone is well-qualified for the Missouri Newspaper Hall of Fame, it's Joe Sullivan.

The joy of working with Joe has been in his broad understanding of both sides of an issue, his ability to talk to and calm an irate reader who is upset with one of our news stories, his dry sense of humor, his fiscal responsibility and his leadership and mentoring skills.

His leadership skills have been recognized by his editor peers who elected him chairman of the Mid-America Press Institute. His mentoring has benefited so many reporters, both in his 16 years here at the Southeast Missourian and including his other newspaper involvements.

Joe is retiring this week but will continue with his Friday columns. Stay in touch, Joe. You've helped mold a good news department of which this community should be proud.

A reception for Joe is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the Southeast Missourian, 301 Broadway.

One hundred and sixty people attended the Missouri Gaming Commission hearing Monday in Cape Girardeau. Chairman Jim Mathewson displayed his more than 30 years of legislative experience by conducting one of the finest proponent/opponent hearings I've ever witnessed.

Both sides -- for the proposed casino here and those opposed -- had their views well-represented.

The proponents made a strong case for the economic impact of a casino: jobs, entertainment, tourism, increased revenue for area improvements and the projected destination traffic of people who would benefit local businesses.

The opponents focused on the moral issues that they felt would override the economic benefits.

Matthewson complimented both sides on their civil presentations, the audience's demeanor and the respect for disagreeing positions. He said he hoped the next hearings would proceed as well.

James V. "Jim" Parker, one of this area's most outstanding artists, will have a showing of some of his framed original stitchery during October at the Hunter Valley Winery located near Trail of Tears State Park at 762 Route V. Take Highway 177 north from Cape Girardeau and go to Route V near the state park entrance. If you get lost, call 573-332-0879. Or better yet go to semoevents.com and see the map after you search for Hunter Valley Winery.

The winery will have special First Friday events starting with appetizers at 5 p.m. Friday.

Parker went to Central High School, served in combat in Italy during World War II and was the assistant director of the Heard Museum in Phoenix before returning to Cape Girardeau to be director of the Southeast Missouri State University Museum before his retirement.

My wife, Wendy, and I are proud to have numerous Parker paintings, stitchery and greeting cards.

The exhibit closes Oct. 31.

"Vision is a picture of the future that produces passion."

-- Bill Hybels, Willow Creek Church

Gary Rust is chairman of Rust Communications.

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