A look back at a memorable year
Proposed Oz development tops list of notable 2000 stories
Whenever someone opens a new business, people talk about "hanging out the shingle." It's a peculiar saying, particularly since not many folks are very good at hanging, and I don't know of a run on shingles in the last year.
Still, it's the first thought that came to mind when reflecting on the last 43 issues since we first "hung out our shingle." I wonder some weeks how that shingle is still hanging, and then there are weeks that we can point proudly to that figurative shingle. Some weeks, we've been a pretty good newspaper. Some weeks, we've fallen short of our goal.
We've told a lot of interesting stories this year, and some are re-told in this week's issue of the Explorer. We've tried to select the big stories of the year, and in some cases, the big story was easy to choose.
Clearly, The Wonderful World of Oz theme park and resort would have to be the biggest issue/non-issue in town the last year. Anytime you've got a nearly $1 billion development being planned in your backyard, it's a big story. Still, the biggest story about Oz is that it's a non-story, at least for now. We added a link on our web site for our Oz stories, and looking back, we devoted a lot of time and energy to this issue. We hope you feel like we've given you the information you need on what's happening just across the road. For some of you, we probably gave you far more than you wanted to know.
Another big issue we've closely followed has been the separation of the district into two high schools. Without getting into the politics of the matter, I will say it's been an intriguing issue to follow. Looking back, we did the best we could, and have learned a lot from the community's feelings on the issue.
In sports, the division of the two schools made our athletic successes in the spring more cherished, and the work ethic of our fall teams made us look forward to the future. Having the softball team make it to state and the girls track team's Kaw Valley League title were sources of pride for DeSoto High. But the effort and heart shown by the football team in the fall is equal cause for pride. At this level, the wins and losses aren't that important. What matters is conducting yourself in a manner in which you can wear the "Green Pride" shirt and live up to the slogan.
As a paper, we had an interesting year as well. Now, as Pat Sangimino rides off into the Olathe sunset, we welcome the return of Jackie Hosey. She's got big shoes to fill, as Pat's value to this paper was his passion for what he did. Jackie will be fine, as she's gotten a taste of editor life in Bonner Springs and brings a renewed energy to this community. I encourage you to stop in the office and say hi to her sometime. A community newspaper has to be exactly that: for the community. Let Jackie know what you want from your community paper. I'm sure she's interested to hear, and I bet she's got a pretty good idea of how she's going to deliver a paper you'll enjoy reading every week. Happy holidays. We thank you for inviting us into your home every week, and look forward to another great year in 2001.