Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bakersfield to Tucson

It is hard to believe I was only in Bakersfield one year. I met so many wonderful people while I worked and lived in Kern County. It is truly a place I'll never forget. One of the last stories I did while with KGET-TV was one of my favorite. A friend told me about an art show centered around mental illness going up at Cal State Bakersfield. Mental illness is a topic I believe doesn't get enough coverage, and it is one of my goals as a journalist to help reduce the stigma surrounding it by offering more stories on the topic. Upon more research into the art show, I discovered it was actually about substance abuse. Three wonderful ladies were putting on the show, and each had a very personal story to tell in relation to their work. It is a story I will never forget. Please watch, if you have the time:

From the Central Valley to the Southwest, I am beyond happy to call Tucson, AZ my new home. After a little more than two months here, I am completely in love with the city, specifically the food, people, mountains and my new job as a multimedia journalist at KOLD News 13.

This is the view from my back deck. I feel spoiled everyday! 
My job is a bit different here than it was in Bakersfield. At KOLD, I am a "one-man-band" and shoot, write, and edit all my own work. I can even set up my own live shot using our "mini live cars." I recently did my own live shot for a breaking news story. There was a shooting in Midtown, and we got word of it about an hour before our 10 o'clock newscast. Here's the story: 

I have also had more light-hearted assignments. Tucson has a huge "4th Avenue Street Fair" twice a year and I got to cover the Winter Fair with our chief meteorologist, Chuck George. We had too much fun during our live shots! 

I think the most interesting story I've covered so far was last week, when a series of meetings and press conferences were held throughout the city, all surrounding the possible closure of Tucson's mail distribution and processing center, the Cherrybell Post Office. USPS is attempting to save money by closing about 250 facilities nationwide, but people in Tucson are worried about how the closure will impact the city's ability to recruit new businesses to town, and of course how jobs will be impacted. Here's one of my live shots: 

A typical "holiday travel" story turned into much more when I met some interesting people at Tucson's airport. I also caught the one "glitch" of the day on camera. This is a fun favorite:

This weekend is the one-year anniversary of the tragic January 8th shootings that happened here last year. It is surreal to now live in a city I learned so much about because of that horrific day. I drive by the Safeway where the shooting happened every day, and have even been inside a couple times. I never pass it without thinking about what happened there and how it has forever changed this community. 

Please "Like" my professional Facebook Page for more updates and stories from Tucson: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Paige-Hansen/303892782970391?sk=info  

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Aglio e Olio

There is not much else I enjoy more than experimentation cooking.  It's a challenge, a surprise, and hopefully a success.  I was organizing old photos last night and came across some of my pictures from when I studied abroad in Florence, Italy.  That was midday.  Shortly after, I headed to the grocery store in preparation to make a meal, reminiscent of my time in Italia. 

Every good dish begins with a healthy amount of garlic and onion.  That's three cloves, minced. Half a yellow onion. And EVOO. 
Low heat.  Coat in the olive oil, and let them sweat, simmer and start to smell.  
I halved a pint or so of organic cherry tomatoes. 
Perfect for light summer pasta. 
I recently grew some basil, and other herbs, in my backyard. Basil was a must for this dish. 
For added color and texture, I diced one small yellow squash. 
I added tomatoes first, and waited until the centers became soft, and the skin began to separate from the core. Onions were translucent when I added the tomatoes. 
Diced yellow squash. I added sea salt at this stage, too. 
A little dry white wine never hurt anything. 
Whole wheat, organic fusilli. 
Finely chopped fresh basil. 
The ever-important "tester" bite. 
Freshly grated pecorino cheese. Very salty sheep's milk cheese, compared with parmesan reggiano, which is more "peppery."  
Before I drained the pasta (when it was al dente), I took a few ladles of the starchy pasta water and added it to my sauce.
The result: healthy, organic pasta with hearty vegetables and yummy cheese, plus fresh basil. The best part: leftovers, and tasty Italy memories. 

"Food is the most primitive form of comfort." - Sheilah Graham

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Night Vision Goggles: Flying High With Kern County Fire

I was up way past my bedtime Tuesday night. But it was worth it.  Admittedly, my 6:30pm bedtime is a bit strange, but when you wake up at 2am, the timing is about right!
Some the Kern County Fire Department Helicopter team and me. 

On Tuesday, just as the sun went down, I took off in a helicopter with the Kern County Fire Department to find out about their unique night vision goggles.  Few fire agencies in the state have the technology; it's expensive and controversial.  The goggles amplify available light 5,000 times, turning night into day for firefighters.  But, while wearing the goggles, you lose depth perception and are staring out of a 40 degree field of view.  It's tricky, but the pilots commandeering helicopter 407 have extensive training.  Both learned night vision techniques while serving in the military.

Here is my story:

Monday, January 31, 2011

Live from Bakersfield

It's been months since I last wrote, and I miss blogging!  After a whirlwind summer--graduating from Mizzou, walking down the aisle (well, as a bridesmaid in my stepsister's wedding!) and traveling to Africa with my family, I am happy to say I've settled into my new, very "real-world" life.

I am a reporter at the NBC affiliate in Bakersfield, KGET-TV.  Every day I wake up well before the sun even shows signs of rising (2AM) and head to the job I pinch myself each day for even having.  As the morning live reporter, my stories are different from those of a dayside reporter.  I plan them in advance, which means I'm always digging for unique angles to stories impacting people in Kern County.  At the grocery store, gym or wherever I am, I talk to people and ask them for ideas.  News is what people are talking about so how would I know what to cover unless I talked to the people I'm hoping to inform?

This weekend I updated my website with some of my new work.  I can't believe I've already been in Bakersfield four months!  Time is flying by.  Here's a little montage of some recent live shots and stand-ups:

I've already done some stories I am proud of, but recently I looked into a team called "MET" or the Mobile Evaluation Team.  The MET team responds to "5150" code calls, a call from law enforcement indicating a person is suicidal.  The MET team works to bring that person from their lowest point to a place where they can turn their life around, simply with words.  I interviewed a woman who says she was saved by MET four years ago.  She opened up to me and I hope the piece sheds light on the impact of mental illness and the need for it to be addressed regularly in our society.   Here's the story:

I am certainly keeping busy, learning something every day and can feel myself improving.  As always, I love to hear feedback about my work, so please send your thoughts my way!