Sometimes It Just Happens

I was working on a story today about the Saco River, a story that I’d been trying for several days to pull together, and then this evening it just happened.

The gist of the story is this: a landowner on one side of the river wants to build protection systems into his embankment because he is losing land to erosion, but the landowner downstream is concerned that will push the erosion problem onto his property. The first landowner discovered the problem after a landowner upstream from them did just what they are now proposing to do. This is a simplified version, but you get the idea — every individual wants to protect their property, and as a result everyone else has to protect theirs.

About half an hour before deadline, with nothing really yet on paper, the story exploded. First I got a call from the head of a local conservation commission, who I’d been waiting to hear from for two days. Then I got a call from a longtime selectman and state rep. Then the Attorney General’s office sent out a press release about a $66,000 penalty for someone local who went ahead and protected his property without getting the proper permits. Then an attorney in that case called to explain their side of things.

All the sudden there was more of a story sitting in my lap then I had time to process. My deadline was blown, but my story was in my lap. It’s amazing how two days worth of work can flip in a moment from connecting the dots to holding back the floodgates. I still have a few calls to make to get the whole thing on paper (so to speak), but regardless it’s cool to know everything converged. Sometimes, I guess, it just happens.

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