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Start the Presses: Putting stress on the community

The bomb threat at R.D. White Elementary School on Monday set thousands of sets of teeth on edge, including mine. News it was a hoax brought relief, and anger at the knucklehead who would do such a thing.

But it quickly evolved into something else: a cloying fear and feeling of helplessness. Potential tragedies of the level seen in Newtown seem like an earthquake: a force matched in destructive force only by its ability to elude prediction and prevention. All we can do is keep a bottle of Sparkletts in the garage.

At R.D. White, Glendale showed its true colors. Teachers, administrators, parents and even workers at the nearby Whole Foods acted swiftly, making sure the children were safe and kept as comfortable as possible.

This community is clearly better than anyone who would attempt to destroy it. It was a great thing to see, especially since the last few weeks have seen more than their share of death, terror and pain.


In Pasadena, three people died on Christmas Day, one of them a civilian employee of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Three people have been charged in the murder of Victor McClinton, shot in an apparent drive-by gone wrong.

Later that day, more died after a car, which police say were attempting to escape capture, slammed into a minivan. Two dead, two more awaiting a murder trial.

Burbank has seen a bar fight, the theft of thousands of dollars’ worth of gas, $60,000 in tools and a man attacked with a metal pipe — all since Jan. 1. Even sleepy La Cañada is looking into putting bars on the windows of its school to deter madmen.

Perhaps it’s just a spike. That happens from time to time, and while it’s uncomfortable to see, it fades as fast as it came.


But it should make us all step back a moment and reflect on the things that actually matter: family, friends and community. We cannot shut out the larger world, but we can recover from the pain if it’s clear we’re in it together. That’s a resolution worth keeping.


On a slightly less kumbaya note, a number of readers have called to say they’re having a hard time finding a print copy of the paper. We’ve heard you, and will be increasing the number of free papers available at news racks around town. Each of the papers’ websites has a link with a map showing individual rack locations, which also should make the papers easier to find.

As a reminder, our papers can be found in two ways: either in the news racks or via a Los Angeles Times subscription. They are no longer in single-copy Times sales, either in pay news racks or in stores.


Finally, I want to give an update on our long-delayed Community Editorial Boards. In fact, it’s been so long, many people may have even forgotten what we were trying to do.

To recap, groups of no more than 15 will meet on a quarterly basis, providing us feedback on a number of areas: news judgment, concerns of bias, design and layout, as well as our websites. In return, we will provide food, and the space in our pages to tell the world how well — or how poorly — we’re doing.

We want to have a group for each of our papers, so if you’re interested in participating please drop me a note. We will be launching the first group next month, if only because I do not function well without a deadline.


The goal of this group is to make sure our readers, our most important — and sole — stakeholders have a voice in what hits their driveways.

Thank you, as always, for reading.


DAN EVANS is the editor. He can be reached at (818) 637-3234 or