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“Hot” off the presses

Posted by on Sep 5th, 2009 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

What a week to launch a newspaper!

Welcome to the first edition of the Crescenta Valley Weekly. When it was decided by the “powers that be” to close our community newspaper in early July, Crescenta Valley businesses and residents were, to put it delicately, rather “ticked off.” And why shouldn’t they have been? We are a vibrant, vital community that values being connected to our news, our businesses, our schools, our clubs and, of course, to each other.

What better example of the need to be connected and informed about what is going on in our community than the fires that devoured our hillsides this past week?

It was an awful and incredible sight to stand on our porches and watch as the flames burned through the land above La Cañada, then La Crescenta and Tujunga. Living north of Foothill Boulevard, our house was on voluntary, then mandatory evacuation. It was a surreal experience deciding in a few minutes what things we felt were irreplaceable, then packing them quickly into shopping bags to take with us. I called my friend Jan whose own home burned to the ground several years ago in an electrical fire and asked her what she would have taken had she known that her house was going to burn that day.

In addition to the obvious – birth certificates, insurance papers and photos — she said sentimental jewelry or similar items. I immediately went to my jewelry box and grabbed my parents’ eyeglasses and medical alert bracelets and a lucky coin that my dad had always carried with him.

Both my parents died several years ago and I feel that these items are absolutely irreplaceable.

Thankfully, we were able to return to our home within 24 hours of the mandatory evac and our house was none the worse.

Keep in mind that all this started last week on Wednesday night. Every day after that we were busy working on this very first print edition of the paper plus sending our “blasts” via e-mail keeping our foothill neighbors up-todate about the fire and the progress being made by fire fighters.

We – reporter Mary O’Keefe, designer Luci Corona and I – worked from our dining room tables, first mine then Mary’s after I was evacuated, to gather information for the blasts as well as pulling stories together for this first edition. Certainly not the best of conditions, but we are confident that you all will be forgiving of any shortcomings.

Because this paper is for us, the Crescenta Valley community. It is in response to the desire of our community to have its own unique newspaper, full of the features that we want to know about and are of importance to us. In these pages you’ll find news on what is going on in the valley –  both good and bad – and learn of changes in our local schools, activities in our local clubs and sales and events hosted by our local businesses.

This last bit about our businesses is particularly pertinent. When talking to our friends and neighbors about starting a new venture, many didn’t realize the importance that our advertisers are to the viability of a newspaper. It’s their commitment to financially support the Crescenta Valley Weekly that we’re able to move forward and bring this paper to our community.

Equally important is the support of our readers. Our readers power the engine that drives the paper. They do this by offering comment via letters to the editor and by spending their dollars at the businesses that advertise with us.

So we are very proud to partner with our readers and advertisers to provide the Crescenta Valley Weekly to our community.

When going through these pages, you’ll find some new features and familiar faces. Reporter Mary O’Keefe is just one of these familiar faces and we’re privileged to have her. Columnist Jim Chase will bring you his thoughts – exactly – to the Viewpoints section every week.

The Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley under the direction of Mike Lawler will again show the different perspectives of living in the Crescenta Valley over the years with its Then & Now contribution in the Leisure section.

So, sit back, relax and take a look at what’s going on in our valley. And let us know what you think.

Robin Goldsworthy is the publisher of the Crescenta Valley Weekly. She welcomes your comments at cvweekly@gmail.com.

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