There's a lot going on at the Daily Pilot, and I want to let our readers in on some positive changes we're making.
Longtime columnist Greer Wylder, who left in January, has decided to return. Many readers likely recall "Greer's Best Buys," which featured tips on new store openings, sales and restaurant news.
Wylder has also built quite an empire around her popular website, Greer's OC, which focuses on fashion, dining, trends, events and philanthropy.
She has a countywide audience but is based right here in Costa Mesa. We're glad to have her back at the Pilot.
Her new column, which will be named after her website, will launch on Thursday in our sister publication, the Huntington Beach Independent, and then appear on Friday in the Daily Pilot and Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot. Look for her in the Happenings sections of each paper and, of course, online.
Speaking of high-caliber writers, Amy Senk, who publishes a fine online newspaper, Corona del Mar Today, will soon be featured with a prominent link on the Daily Pilot website. She will begin contributing the content for a new Corona del Mar Today page that will appear in the Pilot's Sunday print edition. Look for her first column June 13.
Corona del Mar is one of our most important districts, and no one knows it — or covers it — as well as Senk.
New TCN websites This brings me to the new Daily Pilot website, which is cleaner, sharper and easier to navigate than what we had. But I'm also not in the dark about the complaints dozens of readers have made about missing features, namely the comments feature, archives and calendars.
Things are going to get better. The site is still under construction, and we are working hard with the Los Angeles Times and Tribune Co. to restore the comments and story archives and create software for a great calendar. This is going to take a while, as we transfer data from the old site, which was run by a third party, to the new one, which is on a platform created by our parent company.
There is, however, a temporary fix available for those who want to comment and view at least recent archives. Much of the news copy from the Pilot, Independent and Coastline Pilot and Los Angeles Times Orange County appears on our news blog, TheOCNow.com. This site accepts comments and has archives of many of our stories. I encourage readers to bookmark OCNow and leave feedback there. We also encourage anyone who wants to comment to e-mail me a letter to the editor at email@example.com.
In the meantime, pardon our dust as we continue to build DailyPilot.com and the other Los Angeles Times Community News sites.
Open House To kick off the new websites, I'd like to invite you to an open house from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Members of our staff, columnists and regular freelancers plan to attend and interact with our readers. We'll be giving tours of the newsroom and walking readers through our new websites.
There is, however, a little matter of the NBA Finals taking place the same night.
Not to worry. We'll have the Lakers-Celtics game on in the newsroom.
The event will take place at The Times Orange County newsroom, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa. Appetizers and drinks will be provided. To RSVP, contact Vilma Saenz at (714) 966-4616 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pilot Cup If you can't make the open house, I hope to see you out at the Pilot Cup, our annual youth soccer tournament, this weekend at The Farm in Costa Mesa.
The full schedule of games is available via tinyurl.com/pilotcup2010. New photographer You've likely seen some great new photos in our newspapers. That's because we have a new staff photographer, Scott Smeltzer, who joins us from our sister publications in Glendale and Burbank. Scott has plenty of photojournalism awards under his belt and is an old colleague of mine from the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Look for his work — you can't miss it.