EDITORíS DESK: Tooting our horn

       Some of you may recall a house ad we run occasionally that lists a few stories you wouldn't know about it if you didn't read the Westside Pioneer. This was brought to mind last week, while reviewing the (briefly) breathless citywide media coverage of the mysterious illness at Holmes Middle School April 22. In fact, the breathlessness was so brief - based on comments from District 11 people at a special parent forum about the incident the night of April 27 - that the story soon sank below other breaking TV/radio stories on the very afternoon that it happened. Not enough kids passing out, apparently. Or maybe those folks were disappointed that it wasn't the swine flu outbreak they'd been rooting for all winter. In any case, in the midst of the uncertainty that day, when Holmes administrators found they were cut off from their offices (which are located in the main building - the one that fire and health investigators initially were most suspicious about), they realized two things: 1, that they would not be able to contact parents about what was happening, and 2, they could not count on the local media to do the job for them. Thus, as the afternoon stretched on and the kids were forced to stay at school (or later get taken to the Masonic Lodge) many parents were left in the dark about where their kids were and what was happening.
       The forum itself left no doubt that local Big Media had already put the story behind them. The only media there was... us. But so what. It just seemed like it would be good to know, and I think most readers would like to know too, what efforts are being taken to ensure healthy school buildings.
       All this brings me back to my original point. In fact, that was one of the reasons Therese and I started this newspaper some 6 1/2 years ago - a belief that there were lots of neighborhood happenings that just simply weren't being reported. Another big story for the Westside this issue is the first out-front presentation by Woodmen Valley Chapel on its plans to operate the Westside Community Center. No one else has covered this - other than to raise sticky questions about possible church evangelizing (and then not following up). And, if we can toot our horn some more, you know about the library checkout change... because of us. You know that Gold Hill Mesa is more than gold tailings... because of us. The Fountain Creek restoration project? Us again. Rock Ledge Ranch staying open? The progress at West Elementary? Westside work projects? Keep reading us, folks, and we'll keep digging. After all, we live here too.

- K.J.