This is the Orange County Register’s front page from this morning, June 4, 2013.

I love it when our stories fill three basic buckets: Serve, Save and Serendipity. This front page hits many of those beats with a great mix of images and stories.

It begins with a business story that was teased above the flag – a great read totally aimed at cutting through all the confusion of the cost of going to a theme park in Southern California. Disneyland. Knott’s Berry Farm. Legoland. Sea World. Six Flags. Universal Studios. Single-day ticket prices that range from $59 to $99, and season passes that range from $65 to $669. This story does a heckuva job of helping you understand all the options.

Then there’s a really well-done centerpiece from Roxana Kopetman on what community involvement really feels like on an issue as divisive as immigration reform. She knocked it out of the park with this story on so many levels. And I really like Rod Veal’s photo that went with the package.

After having looked at audience numbers a hundred different ways, I can promise you that our local take on the recently released FBI crime stats was well read across the county. Look, if you have a chance to write this story, do it. I can mathematically prove that people are interested in it. πŸ™‚

I love it when a newspaper makes you feel something. I learned that at one of my first newspaper gigs.

When I was young reporter at The Topeka Capital-Journal, I wrote a story that I had hard time getting done because I was tearing up as I was trying to type. The next morning I asked our Managing Editor – the amazing Anita Miller, who was a huge influence on me – how the story was. She said everyone who read it absolutely cried in their Cheerios. I asked her if that was good thing and she said whenever you write something that makes someone feel real emotion and learn something at the same time, then you’ve done all that you can as a journalist. She said it’s the stories that make people feel connected that are the stories that they talk about all day at work and share with others.

Well, that’s the type of story that Jaimee Lynn Fletcher wrote for this morning’s newspaper. When you read her story about a disabled member of the Edison High track team, you’ll feel something. You’ll also be glad that you know his story and that he’s a member of our community. I know I feel those things.

And in the right rail of the page, there was a late-breaking story about ex-Ram Deacon Jones dying (the Rams used to actually play in Anaheim), as well as a great key to the full-page graphical story by the Register’s Scott Brown. You should see that page … it is amazing!

I don’t always know why I like certain things, but I’m not shy about saying when I do like something … and Register A1 editor Marcia Prouse and A1 designer Scott Albert made us proud today.

I really like this front page for a couple of reasons:

* the surfer story is very Orange County, and running huge photos above the fold – hell, above the flag – makes me happy.

* my vote is that a local weather story should be on the front page at least every 10 days or so. πŸ™‚ And if you live in Kansas, I’d say more like every 5-7 days.

* very good follow story on a serious teen car accident that killed five local high schoolers earlier in the week.

* a fascinating and fun “morning read” story tied to the Newport Beach Jazz Festival from one of my favorite writers in the world, Ron Sylvester, who also is the best dressed, non-TV journalist in the nation.