GUEST COLUMN:
Thank you, Pioneer
By David Rasmussen

       Ten years! For the past decade, through fire and flood, endings and beginnings, history made and in the making, the Westside Pioneer has documented our lives, events and all that makes the Westside so unique. How can we begin to thank the publishers of this singular journal for their dedication?
       In this day, when communities seem to be failing and society is at such odds, where do we begin to find a common ground? When personal opinion and self-interest often guide decision- making rather than informed study of the issues, where do we look for the facts? When individuals begin to watch out only for themselves because they lack a sense of neighbors and mutual concern, where do they look for a local identity?
       For 10 years, the Westside Pioneer has been that common ground, that source of information, that local report of who we are and what we hope to become.
       Just one example: Thanks to a series of articles the Pioneer did on the Old Colorado City Carnegie Library renovation, most of its readers know as much as staff about all the recent improvements and much of the building's history. (And I wouldn't be surprised if those same readers know more about the building's history than some newer employees.)
       Apply that same formula to all the other organizations, schools, businesses, government agencies and individuals the Pioneer has covered in the last 10 years, and think what a wealth of knowledge, discernment and understanding this community has gleaned from its pages. What revelations, promotion and recognition - to be had nowhere else - we have read in its weekly editions! How ignorant we would all be of what happened literally in our own backyards, except for what we've read for the last 10 years in the Westside Pioneer!
       We all owe the Westside Pioneer a rousing thanks. You can contact them directly at their office, by phone or e-mail. Also, the Old Colorado City Library will be serving cake and ice cream in their honor Saturday, Dec. 14, from 1 to 3 p.m.
       But most important of all, keep reading the Westside Pioneer, even after it goes online in January at westsidepioneer.com. It's an important part of who we are; it keeps us connected as a community. And the best way we can repay them for their dedication is by staying connected and being all we can be.

David Rasmussen has been an information specialist at the Old Colorado City Library for all but three years since 2001.