Events often drive our choices of what to cover in each issue of U.S. 1. The profile of an intriguing person gets even more interesting when you, the reader, have the opportunity to see that individual at a meeting, a concert, or a bookstore event.

Sometimes event-related stories turn into cover subjects. For instance, several months ago we noticed a confluence of national pharmaceutical meetings in central New Jersey, five of them in a two-week period. Articles on meetings like this would normally appear in our Survival Guide section. One of the speakers at a September 25 meeting is Lynn Benzing, the CEO of a Forrestal Village-based firm, Patient Marketing Group, and her profile on page 41 is a cover-worthy account of direct to consumer healthcare educational marketing.

A “New in Town” company, Commodicast, also does consumer educational marketing, but on the back end. Using analytical methods familiar to the financial industry, it takes the huge amount of information available to the pharmaceutical industry and uses it to help pharmas help patients.

It’s an exciting concept, but not a cover story, at least not at this time, partly because the company is so new it has just one full-time employee in Princeton.

Actually, Commodicast would have liked us to hold the story until its new name was ready. Its current name sounds too much like a financial broadcasting network, but the new name, which is supposed to sound like a pharmaceutical service firm, has not yet cleared legal hurdles. We decided to run the story anyway because it offers another aspect of direct to consumer marketing that relates to the pharma conferences taking place (page 43).

Our Survival Guide story on a biomedical ethics course could easily have been expanded into a timely cover story. Nancy Duff, an ordained minister and professor of Christian ethics, begins her 13-week continuing education course at Princeton Theological Seminary on Monday, September 25 (see page 7). It would have made a particularly timely cover this week, when animal activists are being sent to prison for terrorizing pharmaceutical researchers and their families (page 47).

Where else could we have gone for our cover this time? The launching of a new community bank in Princeton would have been a worthy subject, as part of an overall story on small banks versus big banks. But it came in on Thursday, too late to make the cover for this week (page 46).

Craig Terry’s colorful photo you see on page 1 of this issue helped determine our cover “winner.” The subject: the proprietors of the Bent Spoon, an ice cream store and bakery on Palmer Square that uses all-natural and organic ingredients. As a rule, retailers do not fall into our editorial coverage area, but these store owners are participants in an event that we want readers to know about — the Epicurean Palette, a gourmet charity feast at Rat’s Restaurant on Sunday, September 24, to benefit Grounds for Sculpture (page 28).

Moreover, the story of how Gabrielle Carbone and her husband, Matt Errico, started — and stayed — in business in an already-busy ice cream town is a compelling one. In the news business, some rules are made to be broken.

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