EDITORíS DESK: News can be surprising!

       One of the interesting things about publishing a newspaper is that, if you're doing it the way I've always believed you're supposed to, you can be surprised at any moment. A story you thought was rife with possibilities goes nowhere. A story you thought would be humdrum suddenly takes off on you like the runaway freight car in Mel McFarland's column below.
       A good example of a "runaway" article this time is City Council's proposed budget changes helping two hard-working Westside volunteer entities (the Old Colorado City Historical Society and Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site). Every year around this time, as council wraps up its budget, one of my self-assigned chores is to look for items that affect the Westside in one way or another. In recent years, this has usually been a negative thing, highlighted by the near-shuttering of Rock Ledge Ranch and the Westside Community Center as part of council's budget-cutting surgical strike on the Parks Department going into 2010.
       This year, apparently, revenues are in better shape, leading to the proposed benevolence to the Historical Society and Rock Ledge. But the big surprise for this edition of the Westside Pioneer was yet to come. That was when I called Sharon Swint, the society's president, for a comment and learned that she had no idea what I was talking about. It turns out that Lisa Czelatdko, the councilmember whose district includes the older Westside, had decided on her own that the Historical Society was such a marvelous hive of volunteer productivity that she was going to procure city funds for it... without asking anyone there for specifics on how they might be used. Now, I can relate to the passion leading her to such an act, but you'd think that afterward she'd have called Sharon to say "Guess what I just did." But no. Even after I contacted Lisa this week, she expressed no intention that way. How do you think the mayor might react to such a lack of preparation with his veto pen? Surprise!

- K.J.