EDITORíS DESK: Out with the old, but first...

       With the year ahead offering a range of uncertainties, it was invigorating in some ways for this issue of the Westside Pioneer to look back on 2012 and try to make sense of what happened in our part of town. I'm not going to say the writing is the easy part for our annual Westside Stories of the Year (it's not), but it's certainly true that, before starting to shape the verbiage (or "wordage," as Welling Clark likes to say), some labor must be devoted to sifting through past articles, notes and photos and even making occasional late phone calls to get caught up on those topics that have ways of continually changing.
       Then there's the brain-twisting effort to rank the stories. Obviously, that's totally subjective; all I can say is, we don't have any "favorites" we're trying to push for any reason. One of the conundrums this time was that the previous year we had made Coronado High's 2011 wrestlers the number-one story when they won the school's first state team title in that sport. So did that mean we should do the same when the 2012 Cougar boys cross-country contingent pulled off the same feat? True, the Waldo Canyon Fire would have been the top story any year, but what about the Fillmore/Chestnut project and the impacts it's having, and will have, on area transportation? Plus, I can't deny a special admiration for the wrestlers, who in 2011 insisted on competing (still do) against the biggest schools in the state, even though the attrition in Coronado's enrollment would have allowed them to drop to 4-A and possibly have an easier time. So that's how cross-country wound up #3. And that was even my sport in high school!
       Other thoughts, looking back: A number of transportation projects make up the 2012 story list. I think this reflects laudable creativity by certain government officials, finding ways around administrative obstacles. On the other hand, It's sad that some stories were prompted by the shamelessness of certain elements of modern society - such as the brazen metal thieves. Speaking of which, streetlights are still out on almost a mile of Highway 24. Time to start making calls for the stories of 2013.

- K.J.