By Will Grandbois
Sopris Sun Editor
This isn’t my paper; it’s yours.
For five months now, I’ve served as the sole full-time employee of Carbondale’s community newspaper, which could have left me feeling a bit like Will Kane in “High Noon.” If you haven’t seen the classic 1952 western film — and I strongly recommend that you do — it’s about a town marshal who, on the day of his wedding and retirement, finds himself without the support of his community when he needs it the most. That has not been my experience.
This is, after all, the town that came together to form this nonprofit newspaper when the Valley Journal was shut down. Despite the national rhetoric, plenty of people here clearly value local news and features. We’ve been blessed with support in the form of advertising and donations, which make it possible for us to employ an array of part-time staff, without whom I’d be the editor of a one-page newsletter or maybe a blog. In turn, the staff are backed by a posse of freelancers, volunteer columnists and others who bring diversity and depth to our pages.
I have been particularly delighted lately to receive a number of letters and even a column from local students. I see the education beat as one of the most important facets of our coverage, and it’s great to see some interest in return. We also had a column address the complex issue of school choice, which I hope will continue to inspire discussion in and out of the paper.
In fact, I’d love to see a bunch of new voices with opinions and passions to share. We’ve been looking for someone from the immigrant community to write a column, and we could use more conservative voices as well. It doesn’t have to be an ongoing commitment — we have an array of formats from Scuttlebutt to the Covert Critique for you to share your ideas and experiences.
Most of all, we hope that you’ll continue to help us keep folks informed by sharing your news tips and story ideas. We can’t cover everything, but I hate hearing about a good story after the fact.
Luckily, plenty of people also take the opportunity to bend my ear when I’m out and about, including a gentlemen who asked for more columns from me. Well, he got his wish, though I think he was mostly hoping I would unleash my inner-naturalist nerd. I have some other ideas rattling around in the back of my head that you may be reading in the next few months.
Folks are also welcome to shoot us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, send a letter to PO Box 399, call 510-3003 or drop by our office in Suite 32 of the Third Street Center — although there’s no guarantee we’ll always be there and we can be pretty busy when we are.
With that in mind, I’ll be at the Pour House at high noon on Thursdays. One of our board members might join me from time to time, and they’ve graciously offered to cover for me if for any reason I can’t attend. I’m not looking for trouble, mind you, but I’m open to complaints and suggestions in addition to compliments and questions.
With any luck, I’ll have more company than a plush horse and Midge’s famous chocolate sheet cake, or I might end up feeling like Will Kane after all. Hope to see y’all there.