Putting the ‘new’ in newspaper

It seems like only yesterday folks could pick up the CV Sun newspaper every Friday morning and peruse the pages to catch up on the happenings in this usually serene suburbia we call home. That ended when the Sun’s distant corporate owners (a major metropolitan newspaper whose subscriber base is in free fall, I might add), decided in their infinite wisdom that a popular paper written and produced by locals, for consumption by locals, whose focus is on local issues and events, just wasn’t something they wanted in their faltering portfolio.

Never mind that the Crescenta Valley has a long, proud tradition of enthusiastically supporting its local paper. The first newspaper I can remember reading, in fact, was the Ledger. I had many friends and even a sibling or two whose employment history included cruising neighborhood streets, canvas bags stuffed full of tightly folded Ledger newspapers hanging from their Stingray bicycles, launching rubber-banded missiles with varying degrees of accuracy onto front lawns and driveways (and shrubbery, rooftops and the occasional birdbath).

The Ledger, after many years of service to the community, became the Leader, still with local offices that one could walk into and submit a wedding announcement, post a notice of a lost or found dog, or a two-line ad for your upcoming garage sale.

Most recently, of course, our local paper was the Crescenta Valley Sun—where this very column could be found for the past year and a half. However, even before becoming a contributor, I had a strong bias toward the Sun’s outstanding coverage of life here on “the hill.”

And so, many Friday mornings in July and August I found myself at the end of our driveway, standing in my embarrassingly old slippers, staring down at empty asphalt. A sad, pathetic sight to be sure. Then again, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been called sad and pathetic.

Be that as it may, many former readers of my CV Sun column have asked why I chose not to write for the bigger paper that eclipsed the Sun. I had my reasons, not the least of which would have been a big disconnect for me in writing a “local” column for a paper whose very name features another city. I’m funny that way.

Having lived most of my life in La Crescenta, I’ve also come to depend on reading a smaller, more intimate hometown newspaper. And like many other locals, I’d rather get more interesting and in-depth news and features once a week than a little bit of this and a brief mention of that hidden amongst other cities’ news more often.

I think, too, there are some things that simply can’t be done well by the “big boys.” Covering local news is one of them. For example, too often I’ve watched a reporter for one of the all knowing, all-seeing eyewitless-mega-doppler-newsvan-networks report on “breaking news” from somewhere in the Foothills and yet, across the bottom of the screen is a line of type that locates the on-camera reporter in “Glendale.” Not hardly.

One last thought. During his considerable efforts to convince me to write a column in the newspaper-who-must-not-be-named, that publication’s editor would a-l-m-o-s-t have me lulled into submission. Then, in the course of the conversation, he’d call our area “Crescenta.” Not the Crescenta Valley. Not Montrose, Sunland, or even La Crescenta. Just “Crescenta.” Every time he’d say it, I’d cringe inside like a San Francisco local hearing some chucklehead tourist say, “Frisco.” Sorry, Charlie (or Dan). No sale.

All this is to say, welcome to the Crescenta Valley Weekly—your fresh new local source of news and views—mine included. Long may these pages report and reveal, enlighten and entertain, investigate and inspire. And to new readers of this column, whether you call this place CV, the Crescenta Valley, the Hill, the Rock, the Lock, the eight-one-eight, or simply “home”—hopefully—I’ll see you ’round town.