It has been a long time since my wife Karen and I drove into Nakusp to publish the Arrow Lakes News for the first time.
George Manning had just purchased it from the Stanleys and he had hired me as its publisher. Karen later joined in the creative department.
That was close to 20 years ago and it was a wonderful time in our lives. Our oldest daughter was born while we lived in Naksup and we both learned a lot about being a young family and running a small community paper.
Lots has changed for us. We now have three teenagers and have made several moves since leaving Nakusp.
The one thing that hasn’t changed is that we still love running community newspapers. Karen and I have owned all or part of four small papers in Keremeos, Okanagan Falls, Osoyoos and most recently Greenwood.
We also both work for the same company that now owns the Arrow Lakes News – Black Press. That is why we were able to return last week to once again publish the Arrow Lakes News.
We won’t be moving back to Nakusp. We live in Nelson, and will continue to do so. But Black Press has decided the Arrow Lakes News would fit better with its group of West Kootenay newspapers. Black Press owns papers in Trail, Rossland, Castlegar, Nelson, Grand Forks, Greenwood and Rossland. We will now start to publish the Arrow Lakes News with that group.
I will also be honest, like most small businesses in rural Canada community newspapers have had their challenges. The Arrow Lakes News is no exception. However, I can’t help but feel like sometimes we are our own worst enemies and too often we forget the critical things that we need to do.
The first thing we need to do is publish a great, interesting and engaged community newspaper that not only tells the story of the community but really cares about the health and welfare of that community.
You will start to see some changes at the Arrow Lakes in the next few weeks.
Our first change is that we are going to open the office, at least part-time so people can come in and let us know what is happening. Our new office hours are going to be 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday to Friday. I won’t say the office hours are effective immediately because we need to find someone to help us with that. If you know someone looking for part-time work and you think they would be a good fit then please let us know.
We are also looking for someone local to help us cover the community. You don’t have to have experience, but you do have to be engaged in the community and have a car that can get you around. This job will likely be about 20 hours per week and would really suit someone with some good writing skills who wants to help serve their community in a different and fun way. Again, if you know someone please pass it along.
I would be lying if I didn’t say I was excited about being able to be at the Arrow Lakes News and Nakusp. This is a great community and both Karen and I look forward to serving it once again.