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EDITORíS DESK: The woes of filling a newspaper

       Wouldn't you know that the second to last Westside Pioneer print edition would be the slowest news week in the entire 10 years of this publication? If this had happened in previous months or years, I would have been in a state of hair-tearing panic. Luckily, we have the book we wrote and the timing was good to write up a chronology on how we've published this crazy paper all these years. I hope you enjoy those long reads, by the way.
       I blame the slowdown on the bitter cold and the coincidence of no continuing or breaking Westside matters of urgency.
       I try to be prepared for such possibilities with "enterprise stories" that aren't time-sensitive - for instance, in 2011 we researched Charles Adams of the legendary Adams Crossing in "No Man's Land" - but things went rogue this time. One story I've started on is an update on the drainage rills that perenially mar the face of the one-time tailings dam at Gold Hill Mesa (visible from Highway 24 and which I know the project's owners have seeded like crazy). But in the midst of arranging an on-site get-together, the snow started falling. Another is City Parks' plan to fund two more park rangers for the Garden of the Gods. Normally, by now the city budget would be finalized. But the ranger plan, namely how to fund it, is caught up in the budget debate between the mayor and City Council.
       I have to note at this point that starting in January, when we're online only, such spikes in news quantity (down or up) will not be such a crisis. There will either be less or more stories in a given period of days.
       Still, it was historically educational to check our archives to see if there were "breaking stories" in mid-December of past years. Actually, there were: 2012 - District 11 considers school closures; city pursues panhandling laws. 2011 - Springs chosen again for international cycling race; plans advance to upgrade Fillmore. 2010 - city mulls medical marijuana zoning. 2009 - "Save Rock Ledge Ranch" effort in full swing (in response to major city budget cuts). 2008 - grant proposal for No Man's Land. 2007 - work starts on new Coronado auditorium. 2006 - public process milestone on state's Highway 24 long-range plans. 2005 - D-11 initiates Westside bond work. 2004 - meeting on plan to reopen Gold Camp Road (it didn't).

- K.J.

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