Four months ago seems like an eternity.

The last time I wrote about the leadership institute and what the members were preparing to accomplish (including myself), I was part of a two-person family.

Now a few screams, messes and less sleep later (and I’m not the only one in the group to experience this phenomenon), I’m nearing the end of my leadership responsibility. I’m not saying I won’t attempt to be a leader; only that I won’t be obligated to go to meetings every Wednesday.

In late January, I reminisced about all the hard work that took place from when my colleagues and I started our leadership institute journey. Since then, the event went from the infancy stages to the tense moments that lie ahead.

We’ve incurred a few bumps along the way, but overall, for a group of people who had a little to a lot of experience putting together an event, I feel that it went well.

For me, one of the toughest parts included gathering sponsors. Asking for money is something I don’t do well, but it’s a necessary part of the plan to install mile markers along the bike trail and host an event along the river.

But I was able to learn a few things and understand that I shouldn’t trade my day job to become an advertising representative.

On Wednesday, our leadership group will meet for the last time. We’ll make the final touches for the River Wellness Fest and prepare for the weekend, ready to finally see the final product.

One of the best aspects of formulating an event is seeing it come together. The event seemed so far away in February and it was still in a visionary version. Now, concrete images are present, like registrations, sponsors and vendors, being committed to participate in something that’s been in planning for almost eight months (there’s still time to register for the June 12 event. Just call the Chamber of Commerce at 242-5702).

Everything is pretty much set and we’re ready to complete our project. The only thing we have left to worry about — Mother Nature.

Umpire snag

Wednesday’s regular season game pitting Detroit against Cleveland took an entirely different meaning for one major league umpire.

With two outs remaining in the ninth inning, Detroit hurler Armando Galarraga appeared to have a perfect game, before first-base umpire Jim Joyce mistakenly called the runner safe.

When I watched, I noticed the bang-bang play and then was shocked to see Joyce being the one in the middle of controversy. Despite being one of the favorite umpires by managers and players, he also is married to my mom’s cousin. Also, he worked with my dad while umpiring in Triple A in the mid-1980s. Eventually, Joyce became a major league umpire, while my dad left professional baseball to help take care of his kids at home.

So the move came as a surprise to me and I was happy to see the way he handled the situation. Players and coaches, and fans, notice the young umpires being defensive if anyone questions their call. Sometimes umpires are wrong, and admitting your mistake doesn’t lessen your ability as an umpire.

A day after Joyce admitted he missed the call, players and managers defended Joyce as being a top-flight umpire. Umpires in all levels of baseball should take notes on how Joyce handled himself, and be willing to follow his lead. 

Scott Levine is the Associate Editor at the Clinton Herald. He can be reached at

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