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Head west, young woman

April E. ClarkCommunity Editor

It has been several weeks since I embarked on my role as community editor at the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. To be honest, I thought my days in the wild world of newspaper publishing were a thing of the past – until now.Before moving to Colorado, I followed a career path in the corporate pharmaceutical industry in Indianapolis, complete with a six-foot-by-six-foot cubicle and enough tedious training and three-hour meetings to throw a stick at. But now I’m here in Colorado, where climbing rocks and mountains cancels out climbing the competitive corporate ladder. My money-hungry mindset has been replaced by a more laid-back attitude featuring creative pursuits and a frightening lack of health insurance (don’t tell my mom).Honestly, it has not necessarily been a smooth transition for me coming from Indiana to this valley. Like anyone who moves into a completely different environment, I’ve had difficulty finding my niche. Female friends have been a little hard to come by, and there is that lack of camaraderie when it comes to watching the Indianapolis Colts and Purdue University football games that I miss.That is one reason I was eager to accept the community editor role. I knew that by meeting folks in the community, I would enjoy the valley more, instead of being incredibly homesick and wishing I was back home watching horseshoe tournaments and throwing back a few cold ones with my friends on a hazy Saturday afternoon.So far, my job has been challenging and reminiscent of working at different daily papers in Indiana in my early 20s. One of my duties is handling all the letters to the editor submitted daily. It just so happens that my timing coincided with one of the most controversial political elections of my lifetime. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and I have done my best to keep up with the influx of letters so the voices of the people could be heard. I appreciate the community’s interest in current events and anticipate even more public interest in politics after Nov. 2.I also process all the community-related postings promoting different activities taking place in the valley. I recently received a press release submitted by the Girl Scouts of Chipeta Council detailing an alumni bonfire. This sparked flashbacks of my Girl Scout days at summer camp when I tried horseback riding for the first time and my mare stepped on my tiny 10-year-old toes. And I recalled when my class clown personality surfaced, making other campers giggle by impersonating Superwoman with a beach towel for a cape and a tree stump for a pedestal. Silly, I know, but that’s what made Girl Scouts fun for me (not to mention the cool green uniform and all those fancy merit patches). I’m sure many of the alumni’s campfire stories were similar.Monitoring the paper’s Web site (www.postindependent.com) is also one of my job responsibilities. It is our goal to provide readers with an electronic avenue for reading the news. It’s great that people are opting to use this service and to e-mail articles to friends or family who may live across the country. It’s also a wonderful way for us to display all of our Cute Pet contestants online. The community’s enormous response has shown our staff how important pets are in people’s lives and how a doggie wearing a hooded sweatshirt or a kitty donning reading glasses can make a heart sink.Not only are pets important to many in the community, but the longstanding tradition of obituaries printed in the newspaper means much more to people than just ink on the paper. I know how painfully heartbreaking the passing of a family member or friend can be – I was recently home for a funeral in Indiana – and I will work with each of you in the community to celebrate that person’s life by documenting the little things that made them special. A soulful tribute is something I would want for my own family or friends and I can only wish the same for our readers and their loved ones. I am looking forward to making the most of the “community” in my community editor title and will do my best to a take an hands-on approach to this role. After all, I didn’t drive all this way to not make friends.I am looking forward to making the most of the “community” in my community editor title and will do my best to a take an hands-on approach to this role. After all, I didn’t drive all this way to not make friends.


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