EDITOR’S DESK: Sleeping through the ‘real’ news

       In this here newspaper business, we use headlines to try to convey how important we think a story is. Big headline, big news. Little headline, etc. But it's just starting to dawn on me - and believe it or not, it's taken this long - that there are times when stories that seem minor actually have farther-reaching implications than some blammo event. A spectacular house fire, for example, may have terrible impacts on its occupants and grab Page 1, but at the same time, down the block, in a quiet little office building, with no fanfare whatsoever, some earnest planners and engineers could be taking public comments on the future of transportation in the Pikes Peak region. That's actually what happened Sept. 20. I don't mean there was a fire. But there was that innocuous little public meeting. It was at the building of the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments - the Westside-based regional planning agency that seems to be boring on purpose. Not that they try to hide what they do. Papers like ours get press releases that start like this: “PPACG, the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Colorado Springs metro area, is launching the development of the 2007-2035 Regional Transportation Plan with a series of public meetings in September.” Excited already, aren't you? But here's the thing. I went to PPACG's meeting Sept. 20, and halfway through its alloted three-hour time, I discovered I was only the second Westsider (based on dots attendees could put on a city map) to have shown up. Earlier this year, PPACG planners took public comments on specific projects and the sole input was from someone who loved the state's expansion plans for Highway 24. Happily, our friends at the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) found out and sent in opposite sentiments. But you get the idea. The long and short of it is that at this paper we'll try to do a better job letting you know about such far-reaching stuff in the future. We just need to stay awake to do it!

- K.J.