Happy first birthday to us!
First off, thank you for your encouraging words and interest in our newspaper. And thank you to our advertisers, for without those advertising dollars, there would be no paper.
In putting together a paper that comes out once a month, we have to figure out what you will want to read in a few weeks’ time. Much as we’d like to, we can’t be on top of breaking news, because our cycle is too long.
This could be solved with more frequent papers, but all of us involved have other things we enjoy doing – so don’t look for a weekly version of Leaside Life with our names on it.
We really would like to include more sports stories, and have more news from schools, especially if written by students. So far, that’s not happening, but if someone comes along with skills and time…
One of what we thought was an interesting idea that went nowhere was the offer to place a free ad for a garage sale. On the other hand, our free event listing section has usually been at least a column long. Thank you to everyone who contributes to bring that local information to your neighbours.
I was surprised at how few letters we’ve received. We have actually printed most that have come in. We welcome constructive criticism, comments on the most recent issue, and ideas for future stories.
We also know that you read the paper carefully. We have at least three sets of eyes proofing each issue, and still we miss something. Sometimes, it’s a typo, and sometimes the facts are wrong. The goof I best re-member is one of mine, where I had trees giving off carbon dioxide. And of course, last month, we had a perfectly good word, but the wrong one, in the first sentence on page 1.
As some of you know, our distribution is split between Accurate Distribution for houses, and Canada Post for apartments, condos and businesses. After a somewhat rocky start with Canada Post, we got agreement that as a community newspaper there was an obligation to deliver to all addresses we requested because we are not to be considered as junk mail.
I know it’s difficult to report something that hasn’t happened, but if you haven’t received Leaside Life by the start of a month, please let us know so we can follow up for the next run. The only place we drop multiple copies is at the Leaside Library.
We hope you appreciate that we now have the paper printed on a higher-quality, whiter paper than when we started.
The web version of the paper is coming along. Our aim is to have the web version up at the same time, or maybe even a bit before, the print edition is being delivered. That would mean you could get a sneak peak, or even let friends out of the neighbourhood know how to keep up with Leaside. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting there.
I mentioned our advertisers at the start of this column. To complete the circle, we hope that you will patronize our advertisers, and let them know you saw their ad in Leaside Life.
To write to us: firstname.lastname@example.org
A number of you have asked how Leaside Life got going, and why.
The how part is fairly simple when you realize that Ruth and Harry Goldhar have many years of newspaper experience in their backgrounds, partly as the original owners of the Town Crier chain of newspapers.
Before last summer, Ruth and I had a conversation about whether there would be a place for a very local newspaper. That conversation percolated over the summer, and by the end of September, we had hauled in my neighbour, Andrea Villiers too. And thus, it began.
And the why? In some ways, that is harder to answer.
Ruth, Harry, Andrea and I have lived in Leaside for more than 100 years altogether. We know that Leaside is a very special community within the big city.
It’s really hard to know how to inculcate that sense of neighbourliness with the changes that have happened since we were a sleepy little inner suburb. And that’s what we’re hoping you’ll feel when you read this paper – that you are a part of a community – and that, as such, you have a part to play in its overall life.
We hope you will realize that it’s more than okay to smile at someone you don’t know as you pass on the sidewalk. And it’s really okay to check on your neighbour whom you haven’t seen for a bit.