For the purposes of this column, I'm referencing the last 365 days — since I left my job at the Union-Sun & Journal to report the news here for East Niagara Post.
In that time, we've posted nearly 4,000 news stories, been to countless events, responded to literally hundreds of Facebook messages and emails — often in the middle of the night. We've tried to be everywhere and know everything. Of course, no one can be everywhere or know everything ... but we sure do try.
In the last 12 months, East Niagara Post has grown exponentially in terms of our reach and readership. We've added columnists, features, and readers. And with the exception of a minor hiccup in February, every single month has been our best month ever in terms of growth.
And we're not done.
In the days to come, you'll read about another staff addition here at ENP. We anticipate more stories about new staff in the future, as well. And Heather and I are constantly talking about adding new features. Well, mostly I think it's me talking and her trying to calm me down like I'm a six-month old chihuahua who just will not shut up.
It took an absolute leap of faith a year ago for me to decide to no longer receive regular paychecks and instead go to work with my partner ... in hopes that it would all work out. A year later, I have no regrets. Not about work, at least.
It was nice to see the rest of the media finally acknowledge the cancellation of the 55L bus route. The Buffalo News, Union-Sun, Niagara Gazette, Time Warner Cable news, WIVB (channel 4) and WKBW (channel 7) all ran stories about the route's demise either Monday or Tuesday — after it was already done. To be fair, the Buffalo News had written a very small blurb about it on June 5. But only ENP actually treated the route's cancellation like it affected anyone.
One of the great things about publishing online is the ability to benchmark and quantify. Thanks to the power of the Internet, I can tell you that one of the top search queries that brought people to East Niagara Post this month has been "55L." It's not nearly as high as "East Niagara Post" — "Eastern Niagara Post," for that matter — but it's a lot higher than "Rob Ortt."
Oh, right ... Rob Ortt.
Just so you know, our state senator has yet to return my calls or emails on the topic of the 55L. Based on the two most-likely scenarios being he didn't get the messages or he decided to ignore them, I'm going to lean towards he didn't get them.
I gave (semi) serious consideration towards not allowing his name to grace this website again until I heard from him. I do have the power to do that, of course. But then I remembered I have ethics and whatnot. So instead I'm just going to ask for your help. Yeah, you. If you see Sen. Ortt, tell him to give me a call. And then tell me you told him. Then I'll know for sure that he knows I'm looking for him.
So to be clear, I'm still going to publish news about Sen. Ortt (like the press release I got at 12:26 a.m., which I'll post later today). But I'm not happy with him ... or his staff. Or the rest of the media. Or the weather.
One last thing this week: If you're one of those people that likes to complain that there's never anything to do around here, check Lockport150.com. For the next nine days, there's a ton to do around here. If you look at that list and don't see anything to do, the problem's on your end.
+Scott Leffler will be partaking in many of the city's birthday events but is particularly looking forward to 7 p.m. Wednesday when Team East Niagara Post takes on Team City Hall in kickball at Outwater Park. Come watch. Also follow Scott on Twitter @scottleffler ... and make sure to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org when you get ahold of Sen. Ortt.
This column was originally published on East Niagara Post.