No discouraging words heard

       Well, here we are with the second issue of the Westside Pioneer. We had a great response to our first issue Jan. 5.
       Most of the feedback was verbal – phone calls, or when we took copies of the paper around to our distribution sites. I was also gratified to find that people I knew from a dozen years or so ago with the old newsprint-style Westside Story didn’t throw me out on my ear.
       We received two encouraging e-mail letters. One of them appears below, in part. The rest of Jan Sovinksy’s letter consisted of two story suggestions. One them regarded the new King Soopers being built at Centennial and Fillmore – which, as it happens, we were already working on and appears on page 1 of this issue. The other suggestion was, ahem... confidential, at the moment, as I don’t wish to give our competition any ideas.
       Competition? Let me get back to that in a moment.
       The other e-mail was from someone calling himself “Rusty,” who wrote: “congrats on the new project. picked mine up at 31st st. safeway. love stuff about this side of town...good job.” After I e-mailed him to thank him for his kind words, he e-mailed back with an idea he has to enhance Old Colorado City’s appeal. (He must have noticed the “Idea Exchange” heading on this page.) This is what he wrote: “I would like to start the process to get a clock tower placed in old town – a turn-of-the-century, old style. stone and iron clock tower.” He went on to say he was a stone mason who would do the rock work. Unfortunately, he did not respond to my return e- mail by press deadline – plus, I need a full name to run any letters, let alone write a complete story. Maybe he’ll give us an update sometime in the weeks ahead.
       There have been a number of questions about the Westside Pioneer. Here are some answers. We’ll be coming out every Thursday from this point on. We came out on a Monday for our first issue, allowing ourselves a week and a half till Volume 2, Issue 2, so we’d have time to work out printing kinks and get the paper around (and believe me, we needed every second of that time).
        Our list of distribution places appears on the facing page. We plan to be a free paper indefinitely (although paid subscriptions are welcome) and to support our business through advertising . By the way, thanks to you advertisers who have already come on board, either in the Classified section or as a display ad. (And thank you especially to my wife and assistant publisher, Therese, who has been singlehandedly handling the advertising side of the business while we continue our search for another salesperson).
       One of the answers to people’s questions relates back to that subject of competition. Aware that both Manitou Springs and the Cheyenne area have weekly newspapers, we have deliberately excluded those realms from our coverage area. We are defining the Westside, which till now had no weekly of its own, as basically the area north of Rio Grande Street, east of Manitou, south of Garden of the Gods Road and west of I-25. That being said, I am fully aware that various stories “cross boundaries,” as it were, and of course there are the city-wide Gazette and Independent, running around with their own agendas. So what are we newsies competing about (other than money)? To be the first to break stories, of course. It’s like a tradition in the business, and I have to admit I like it when I can do it. For instance, the King Soopers and Gold Hill Mesa stories in this issue contain information you probably haven’t seen elsewhere. But ours is just a little paper, and no doubt, if one of the “big boys” decided to turn the heat on, they could outgun us worse than Custer at Little Bighorn.
       In the end, our goal is to have a paper people feel they can trust to consistently provide usable information about topical current items on their side of town. I’d rather get the news right than get it first. In fact, there are a couple of enticing items I’ve held back from this issue, because I’m missing a phone call here and there. But I am working on them.
       So stay tuned. And please, as they say, keep those cards and letters coming.

- K.J.