Passing Information

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - June 11, 2008
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I have to say that the staff here at MidWeek are some of the best people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. For everything that we do, the staff is phenomenally small. Still, we try to make the best of it, and the reward - besides being Hawaii’s best-read newspaper - is that we have fun working.

Newspapers can be pressure cookers when you’re faced with deadlines, production glitches and sometimes uncooperative story subjects. It all comes with the territory, and our relatively young staff, myself included, seems to handle the stress pretty well.

The MidWeek staff works out of our Kaneohe production plant. It’s where we print MidWeek and our cousin, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Our offices are literally next to the press room, so the sights, sounds and, yes, smells are an everyday experience for all who work here.

The other week on deadline day, we were gathered on the main floor where, besides MidWeek staff, the Star-Bulletin circulation staff share the multiple cubicles and everyone is within earshot of any conversation held on the floor.

About five of us were discussing the photo on the MidWeek cover. Minutes earlier, I noticed a strong chemical-like smell, which I silently dismissed as camera plate developing chemicals or press ink, both of which are non-hazardous.

Something was likely being cleaned, and the odor likely wafted in when the door to the press room was opened. Anyway, as we were having our discussion, one of our editors walked right up to the group and loudly asked, “What’s that stink ... Ron?”

Everyone suddenly burst into laughter as though I was being blamed as the cause of some noxious gas. I turned to her and said, “Of all the people standing here, you associate my name to the mysterious smell? Could you have said that any louder?” She turned beet red and explained, “Well, Ron, you’re the main boss around here, and I figured if anyone would know what that smell was, it would be you.”

With precision timing, the editor-in-chief threw in his two cents, “You mean, he’s the ‘big cheese?’”

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