EDITORíS DESK: A short/long eight years

       Eight years ago at this time, we were on the verge of printing our very first edition of the Westside Pioneer. In some ways that seems like not very long ago. Our office still looks a lot the same, with the relief map of Colorado that seems to draw attention, the same desk (at least mine is), piles of papers begging to be filed, computer discs trying to get misplaced, and books that any self-respecting journalist ought to have (the AP style book, Strunk and White's "Elements of Style," and a collection of Mike Royko columns). Over time we've added a few things - a painting here and there from Westside artists; a couple of lost feathers from a red-tailed hawk; the shooting sheriff sculpture by the late Westside sculptor, Rick Lewis; and a copy of Michael Garman's sculpture of a street newspaper seller.
       The latter item evokes even earlier memories. I got in on the tail-end of the old printing world, when competing big-city papers published several editions a day, and guys looking like the Garman sculpture would be out hawking them to passersby on street corners. It's hard to imagine that now. The passersby already have the breaking news in their tablets or notepads; they'd just laugh at such a sight (if they weren't too busy texting).
       That's why, when I think eight years, it also seems like a real long time. Because technology has put on a jet pack. When we started, most Westside events weren't being covered. We changed that. Today, other media still don't cover them much, but figure they don't have to. Why? Supporters send them batches of photos to post on their web or Facebook sites. Craig's List took away a lot of classified customers. E-mail blasts and blogs are new, free advertising methods.
       But that's life, hey? One door closes and another opens. We even have a website ourselves. In the meantime, thanks for reading, best of the season and we'll be back next year (but not paperless).

- K.J.