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From the Editor – February 2009

“Wanna buy a magazine?”

It wasn’t the first time Ed Quillen approached me with the proposition.

“Can you show me some numbers, Ed?” I replied, also not for the first time.

“I’ll see what I can do,” was his tentative response.

Maybe he was reluctant because, deep down, he really didn’t want to sell the magazine – wasn’t quite ready to let go of his “special-needs child.”

This last time was different. He and Martha sounded like they were, in fact, inclined to move on, saw an opportunity to take a well-deserved break, do something different, spend more time writing, clean their house…

But being approached to purchase a business during one of the greatest economic downturns in the past eighty years certainly gave me pause. No – pause isn’t the word. The idea scared the compost out of me – what if, this? What if, that?

I’m certainly no longer a young man. I dare not peer at those current IRA statements sitting in a drawer, unopened. Also, it seems every time I venture a peek a the national media I am assaulted by another horror story about the dire economy. Yes, these are unprecedented times. That word says it all- there is no precedent. There is only the desire to cling to the safest route, the known road.

But, the print publishing business is not the known road it once was. By the time this is printed and in your hands, the Rocky Mountain News, first published in Denver in 1859, before Colorado even earned statehood, is on the verge of extinction – a victim of the internet, 24-hour cable news, rising cost of goods and fuel, the tightening of credit and the tanking of consumer confidence.

In Seattle, a city where I was fortunate enough to have lived for a few years, the Post-Intellegencer is against the ropes. The Chicago Tribune is bankrupt, The NY Times and the LA Times are deep in debt. My original newspaper employer, The Pueblo Chieftain, drastically reduced its staff only recently (See Hal Walter’s column from the February edition of CC).

So what the heck am I doing buying a magazine? Seriously?

I guess I can only look at these uncertain times as an opportunity – a chance to help move forward the idea of regional interdependence – our communities, our neighbors, ourselves. Community self-preservation, so to speak. That current favorite buzzword – sustainability.

Our region of the country offers truly unique possibilities to help move ourselves forward in difficult times. We have water. We have sun – lots of sun. We have fish, and we have game. We are surrounded by vast areas of public land. We have the highest peaks and the biggest valleys. We grow potatoes. And cows. Pastures of plenty, as Woody Guthrie sang. We have educated, extremely talented, hard working and cre

ative folks as neighbors. What a gift!

If a magazine could be a conduit, a way for people and communities to network and make connections for the common good, can it stand a chance for success? I believe the answer is yes.

You will undoubtedly notice that Colorado Central has a new look. We’ve changed the flow of the articles, hopefully making the content easier to read and navigate. As a photographer, I hope to bring more imagery to the pages without compromising the excellent work of our contributing writers.

You will also find, soon to be a regular addition to these pages, poetry. Poetry written by our neighbors, co-workers, our friends – whose eyes see the same vistas, who drive the same roads, shop the same grocery stores, but witness life with a unique poet’s vision.

Also new to these pages are; regional restaurant reviews (no bad reviews, only the toothsome gems in our midst), Q and A’s with some of our elected representatives, more recreational stories, the “final exposure”, survival tips for the new century, building sustainable community and, most of all, interesting stories you won’t read anywhere else, especially on the internet.

In following in Ed and Martha’s footsteps, I indeed have some large, mud-encrusted boots to fill. Against the odds, they managed to start and successfully publish a monthly magazine for 15 years. 180 issues! Bravo!

I confess to a certain awe of the task ahead of me – to maintain and satisfy the loyal readers who have faithfully followed Colorado Central into this new century, to find all new readers, and to continue providing the unique content you’ve enjoyed in these ink-stained pages. I don’t take that responsibility lightly.

I was keenly aware of the Quillens and this publication even before I moved to Salida from Durango eight years ago. I just never thought I’d end up taking over their magazine. They are a hard act to follow. But here we are. And I’d like your help. Please do let me know what you like and don’t like about the new publication. In fact, give me your thoughts on the old one as well. Sections you liked best or just sailed past when you read the magazine. I’m open to new ideas and will take all suggestions into consideration. It is, after all, about you – the readers. Not about me, not the advertisers. It’s about you.

So, with hope and optimism, against much of the prevailing attitudes, and with a new president with a funny name, calling upon us to make a difference in our own lives, in our own backyards, I am, with your assistance, taking on the task and, yes, responsibility, of continuing to provide a quality print publication against the odds.

Are you with me?

Mike Rosso

Salida, CO

February 2009