A veteran newspaper reporter, Jackie Majerus covers the goings on in Bristol, Connecticut for The Bristol Press. She's been on the job there since June 1993.
She's an award-winning pro who loves investigative work, but daily demands leave little time for much of that.
She believes strongly in the role that a good newspaper can and should play in shaping a community for the better.
With her husband and favorite co-worker, Steve Collins, she founded Youth Journalism International, an educational non-profit organization connects teen writers, artists and photographers with peers around the globe, teaches journalism, fosters cross-cultural understanding, and promotes and defends a free youth press. Check it out at www.youthjournalism.org.
The couple also founded The Tattoo, an independent online teen newspaper (www.ReadTheTattoo.com)
I toured an interesting Bristol business last week with Congressman John Larson, Dupont Business Archives.
This company stores paper and electronic records, manages archival storage and delivery of wanted documents and more. They've got a snazzy climate-controlled, fireproof vault and about three stories of nothing but shelving units with boxes and boxes and boxes.
Larson, whose First District includes Bristol, was riveted.
The congressman is a former history teacher, so naturally he has an appreciation for archives, records and all that. But this went beyond an appreciation. He was truly fascinated by the materials and methods Dupont uses (double walled cardboard boxes are the key in that place) and it didn't take long before Larson had decided he wanted these professionals to take care of his own records.
As someone with a long career in public service -- I think it goes back to his local school board in East Hartford -- Larson has good reason to want to keep his records organized and available.
It's a feather in Dupont's cap if he brings them his business, and I think he will. They do work for many municipalities in Connecticut, including Bristol, East Hartford and Waterbury, to name a few. They store records for law offices, medial professionals and other businesses.
They also sell the materials for the people who want to keep their own records on site. I wrote about all of this for The Bristol Press. I think you can see the story online at http://www.bristolpress.com/.
The reason Larson toured Dupont in the first place is becuase the Bristol business, which got a city grant when it moved to town a couple years ago, also is a beneficiary of the federal stimulus program.
Dupont got a loan through Farmington Bank that was backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration using funds from the Recovery Act.
Larson told me that one of his frustrations is that a lot of Americans don't see the results of the Recovery Act. His stop at Dupont was a way to highlight the stimulus program in Bristol, but I think he was more excited by the arhive possibilities.
As my husband Steve Collins is a former history major at the Univerity of Virginia, and as someone who also loves the written word and keepsakes of all sorts myself, I totally get why the congressman felt he'd struck gold.