Calendar can cut down on overload

Every once in a while I’ll launch forth with a complaint about how there should be more coordination between public events in our area.

This usually comes when we have a weekend in which one organization might be holding a barbecue, another a show, another an auction, etc. etc.

My beef is that we have weekends when nothing is happening (no news) and others when everything is happening (too many events, not enough staff). You get the picture.

I’ll tell our longsuffering reporter Sean Morgan, and any others who would listen, how other communities I’ve lived in had coordinating councils €“ groups of representatives from the chambers of commerce, schools, cities, churches, service clubs, etc. €“ which met and worked out the year’s schedule so that there wouldn’t be conflicts for the public’s attention.

Sweet Home is a little smaller than some of those communities €“ though not much €“ but we have occasional problems in this area.

Recently, from a totally unexpected source, I realized there is an easy solution.

It happened when I was loading an event onto our new newspaper Web site. If you’ve been on the site, you’ll know that though it’s still in the working-out-the-bugs stage, it has a lot of features that our old one didn’t. And there are more to come.

However, the Calendar is already there and it has incredible potential if everyone starts using it.

Here’s how it works: When you log on to and scroll down, you’ll see the Calendar at the lower right of the page. Near the bottom of that section is an “Upcoming Events” bar with a little button marked “Add yours.”

When you click on that button, you will get a form that you need to fill out, which collects the basic information: Who, What, When, Where, Why, How Much, etc. There’s a space for a more detailed summary of what your event is all about. You can also add a photo, if pertinent, and when you put in the address for where your event will be, the site will add a map showing its exact location.

When you get done, you hit the “Submit” button and an e-mail goes to us here at The New Era telling us that someone has submitted an event. Then one of the editorial staff will check it out and edit, if necessary. When all looks well, we’ll post it to the site.

Pretty cool, no? And it’s free.

Now, here’s how it can help with community coordination: If local event organizers take advantage of this free opportunity and post their events to this site as early in the year as possible, not only would The New Era staffers be able to look at the Calendar to see what was coming up, but so could other event organizers. So if XYZ Club announces that it is going to hold a bottle drive on a particular Saturday, the local Scouts would know that they might want to wait to do theirs. If an organization is planning an auction two months from now, ABC Club organizers would be able to take that into consideration when deciding when to hold their barbecue and dance.

Of course, we news staffers here at The New Era have a selfish interest in seeing fewer events held simultaneously: It’s easier to provide news coverage if too many things are not going on at once. But I’d suggest that spacing the calendar out benefits everyone. If there are too many activities for us to cover in one weekend, I suppose the crowd at each one might be diminished as well.

So if you have a concert, film, class, seminar, meeting, sporting event (or sign-ups), benefit auction, dinner, benefit sale, fund-raiser, or other public event announcement to make, even for an event many moons away, submit it to the Calendar. And before you schedule something, pay us a visit and see what the competition looks like on the date you’re thinking about.