On Thursday, readers in La Crescenta and Montrose will see a zoned print edition focused on their neighborhoods. That edition, titled "The News-Press" will be delivered to homes and businesses each week.
It, frankly, has been a long time coming. When we shuttered the Crescenta Valley Sun in 2009, many people in the area expressed dismay and concern. Dismay regarding the loss of a voice that catered to them, and concern that the Glendale News-Press would not be willing or able to provide the same level or depth in its coverage.
As I said at the time, and I still believe, this was an issue of perception. The Sun had a total of eight news and sports stories each week. That number was matched — or even exceeded — by the News-Press' coverage of the area in any given week, even before the Sun set.
Despite this, the concerns continued unabated. And despite our efforts, the perception remained that we had given up on the area, and that we had failed to acknowledge the specialness and uniqueness of these communities. As a result, our reputation suffered.
I am extraordinarily proud of the way our reporters have covered the biggest issue in Montrose in perhaps decades: the John Drayman matter. But there was something missing. The alleged misdeeds by the former mayor — set to stand trial on embezzlement charges this spring — and our work in helping to uncover them, made it clear the News-Press was worth its salt.
Salt, though, can get bitter if there is too much of it. That means there needs to be a better mix of the good news. There is a long-standing history of volunteerism and public work for the public good in the Crescenta Valley, perhaps more than in any other part of Glendale — or of Southern California for that matter. Those stories, along with profiles of the fascinating people and businesses that make up this wonderful part of the Foothills need to be told as well.
This new zoned edition — which will be delivered to people and businesses in the Montrose and La Crescenta ZIP Codes — is a move to put that balance back, and to provide a better mix of stories of all types. My goal, as it has always been, is this: to be a true mirror of the community.
This means we need to report on its trials, controversies and failures. But it also means we need to tout its successes, beauty and goodness. Here's how we're going to do that:
The left rail, or the top-left column, will be filled each week with brief, positive stories about the community, as well as a listing of local events and volunteer opportunities. The centerpiece will generally be a news feature about one of the bigger issues in town, and the right rail will contain a column, an opinion piece focused on local people and issues.
The rest of the paper will contain issues of import to the larger community, written in a way that puts the Crescenta Valley at the forefront. Additionally, as some in the community have requested, if a La Cañada story or feature is of particular interest, we will include that article as well.
As the News-Press is a daily paper, breaking news will continue to be published in real-time and not necessarily in the Thursday edition. All stories, however, will continue to be available both on the main paper's website, GlendaleNewsPress.com and our award-winning breaking news blog, The818Now.
com. A Crescenta Valley section of the website is in development and should be live soon.
I'll be in the Montrose area much of the day tomorrow. If you're having trouble finding a copy, shoot me an email, or follow my whereabouts on Twitter: www.twitter.com/editordanevans. I'll be handing out copies at local coffee shops and restaurants.
DAN EVANS is the editor. Reach him at (818) 637-3234 or firstname.lastname@example.org