Our colleagues at The Taunton Press sent out this message regarding the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and we feel moved to pass it along to our readers. Taunton, and specifically the folks at Fine Woodworking Magazine, are competitors but this initiative is the sort of thing that far transcends any sense of business competition.
We at the Journal offer our condolences to the staff at Taunton and the wider Newtown community. And if it is in your heart to help out with a donation (see link below), we offer our thanks to you for your kindhearted generosity.
Larry Stoiaken (publisher), Rob Johnstone (editor in chief) and the staff at Woodworker’s Journal magazine
A message from The Taunton Press
Last Friday’s tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, shocked the nation. Here at The Taunton Press, the events of December 14 were all too close. Newtown is not just a place on the news for us. It is our home.
The Taunton Press is a family-owned company located in Newtown since its start in 1975. We have deep roots here. Our founders, Paul and Jan Roman, raised their family in Newtown and live here along with two of their five children. Five of their grandchildren attend Newtown schools. Many of our 230 employees are Newtown residents; we have long been closely involved with our community as individuals and as a company.
Many of you have reached out to us, knowing our connection to the town, offering condolences and prayers to the community. We thank you for your concern in these dark days.
People across the nation are asking how they can help in the wake of this tragedy. The community is receiving generous help with immediate needs. But we also know the community will need help long after the news coverage has faded, so we want to focus on what comes next.
We have established a fund with the Fairfield County Community Foundation* with a clear purpose of helping with the ongoing needs of the Newtown community. The fund is called “The Taunton Press Newtown Children and Families Fund.” It is, in part, a memorial to the victims; it is also an affirmation of the importance of families in Newtown and the surrounding area.
The Roman family and The Taunton Press have made giftsto establish this fund. The fund will have an advisory committee that will consist of family, company, and community representatives, who will direct support where it will have the most lasting impact.
If you’d like to demonstrate your support for the Newtown community, you can make a tax-deductible donation by visiting here, or simply click the link below.If you would prefer to send a donation by mail,
please mail to:
Fairfield County Community Foundation
383 Main Ave.Norwalk, CT 06851
Attn: The Taunton Press Fund
On behalf of the entire Roman family, the employees of The Taunton Press, and our Newtown friends and neighbors, thank you for your support.
*The Fairfield County Community Foundation is one of over 700 community foundations throughout the country, which promote responsible and effective philanthropy. FCCF is a federally recognized public charity with over $150 million of permanent assets under its care and it is able to handle gifts other than cash, such as publicly traded securities. Please call them at (203) 750 3200, if you have questions.
Glitz and glamour is usually not part of a woodworking editor’s life — except for once a year, when the members of the MMPA (Minnesota Magazine and Publishing Association) gather for the annual Excellence Awards. Each year, in early November, we get duded up and go out on the town — and, we are proud to say, bring back some awards.
The holidays are not yet upon us, but the folks at IRWIN Tools have added another one to the calendar. This Friday, September 16 — the third Friday in September, in future years — they have declared “National Tradesmen Day.”
If you’re a regular follower of our blog, you have seen videos of our projects at the Craftsman Experience in Chicago and Rob’s video from last summer’s Guitars4Vets event (if not, you can view them here, here, and here).
We’re gearing up for another journey to the Craftsman Experience in the Windy City this week, but this event is a little bit different: we’ll be building a guitar in the span of three days. At the end of the build, the guitar will be presented to Guitars4Vets, who will then auction it off to benefit their organization.
Sounds like a daunting task, right? For such an undertaking, we’ve enlisted not one… not two… but THREE Woodworker’s Journal authors: editor in chief Rob Johnstone, field editor Chris Marshall, and regular contributor George Vondriska.
In late December, I had an opportunity to head to the Windy City to do a two-day project demonstration at Craftsman Experience. In case you are unfamiliar with it, Craftsman Experience is a fairly new venture for Sears. It’s a hand’s-on studio space in the heart of downtown Chicago for all sorts of DIY experiential learning (mechanics, woodworking, lawn and garden, garage projects, etc.). Guests like myself and Rob Johnstone are asked to come in, and the project construction is performed during a live-feed video broadcast over the internet. Then, after a healthy dose of editing to trim down the time and those inevitable flub-ups, the video segments are posted to YouTube.
Maybe you didn’t get a chance to catch my appearances during the pre-holiday frenzy, but they are viewable now by clicking below. Even though we’re past the holidays at this point, it sure couldn’t hurt to build the Safety Sign I demonstrated in one segment, or watch me build Luminarias in the other and put that on your project list for the 2011 holidays. My wife likes the Luminarias I made for her so much that she’s threatening to leave them up and burning all year. So, I guess that’s a true testimonial for you.
Anyway, hope you enjoy the video coverage! Rob and I will be headed back to Craftsman Experience in the coming months for future appearances, and we’ll be sure to keep you posted about those live-broadcast dates.
In a limited engagement, Woodworker’s Journal Field Editor Chris Marshall will be appearing live at the “Craftsman Experience” tonight and tomorrow (Dec. 9th and 10th), doing woodworking demonstrations. No tickets required, but if you’d like to watch from home, you will be able to view a live video feed via Facebook: Go to http://facebook.com/craftsman and click on the “Experience” tab. After “Like”-ing Craftsman and being asked to accept some Facebook-required permission prompts, you’ll be able to enter the Experience app and watch the demonstration live from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Central time (same time, both days) — all from the comfort of your own computer. There will also be an opportunity to send in questions through the Experience app, so make sure to have some ready to ask Chris!
Of course, if you’re in Chicago, you can attend the event in person by stopping by the “Craftsman Experience” from 5 to 9 p.m. to meet Chris and watch the demos firsthand. Click here for the map of how to get there.
Are you ready for some holiday entertainment? Well, you are in luck! On November 12th and 13th I was in Chicago to do a couple of demonstrations at the Craftsman’s Experiential space. I was asked to demonstrate some examples of woodturning – which I was more than pleased to do. One fun aspect of the event was that both sessions were streamed live on the Internet … with people asking questions in real time. (I even answered some of them!) Another fun detail is that those live feeds were then converted into Internet quality video … and you can see them here and now. (Okay, or you could view them later, but why wait?)
The folks at Craftsman were great to work with and the resulting video is not bad as well.
So take a look and let us know what you think of it.
As mentioned in a recent blog post, Editor in Chief Rob Johnstone is going to be doing woodworking demonstrations at the “Craftsman Experience” in downtown Chicago tonight and tomorrow (November 12 & 13).
As it turns out, you don’t have to be a resident or visitor to the Windy City to see the demo. Anyone with an internet connection and a Facebook account can join in the fun as well. You’ll be able to view the video live as it’s happening by visiting http://facebook.com/craftsman and clicking on the “Experience” tab. After being asked to “Like” Craftsman and accepting some Facebook-required permission prompts, you’ll be able to enter the Experience app and watch the demonstration live from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm Central time (on either day) – all from the comfort of your own computer. Of course, if you’re in Chicago, you can stop by the “Craftsman Experience” from 5 pm – 9 pm to meet Rob in person and watch the demos first-hand. Click here for the map.
You heard it here first — my advancing career on stage (well, maybe not an actual stage) and screen (the really small ones you find on the Internet) will take a huge step forward this Friday. I will be teaching and demonstrating some woodworking techniques at the Craftsman Experience, right in downtown Chicago (map and location, click here) on November 12th and 13th.
As a person who has been fond of every camera and crowd I have ever gone in front of (no, I am not a politician; there is not much call for the Quirky Woodworking Party), I am really looking forward to this event. And, of course, I am inviting any of you who live in the Chicagoland area to come on down to see me.
Last weekend, I visited the woodworking school of our contributing editor, George Vondriska. He was hosting an interesting event to help veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In World War I, they called it “shell shock”; in World War II, the vets came home with “battle fatigue.” Whatever name it goes by, the veterans who live with it call it awful.
As a Navy hospital corpsman in 1974, I saw otherwise healthy men and women returning from Vietnam who were clearly suffering from the trauma they had experienced. Sadly, it was not nearly as well understood then as it is now. According to several reliable sources, nearly 20 percent of the military personnel who have and will serve in Afghanistan and Iraq (and that number stands at about 300,000 people right now …) will develop the symptoms of PTSD. Untreated, it can lead to all sorts of problems, in the vet’s family life as well as professional life.
So what was this interesting event that I visited? (I even helped out just a little bit.) It’s called Build a Vet a Guitar (in conjunction with Guitars For Vets) … but the best idea is to click on the video below and let George tell you about it.