Dear friends

  • FOND FAREWELL: Linda B during a river trip in Utah

    Jeff Widen photo

Goodbye, Linda

For a decade, Associate Publisher Linda Bacigalupi - often called Linda B, for obvious reasons - has been the administrative heart of High Country News, ensuring that we operated in ways that were orderly, efficient and, most of all, humane. Nonprofits tend to chew up their staffs, and Linda did her best to keep that from happening. She oversaw circulation and business, ran the Research Fund, and dealt with the thousand and one necessary challenges that even a small organization like High Country News generates.

HCN's 3,600-square-foot building could not have been built without Linda. She worked with the architect to design it, and then rode herd on the contractors to keep the job on schedule and on budget. After that, it was she who hooked up the computer network, decided what telephone system would best serve the paper, and made sure that staff members didn't dump their household garbage in the paper's garbage cans.

Linda saw that the paper needed to go beyond newsprint, and it was she who created and then kept up HCN's Web site, which now has five years of back issues. It was also Linda who published and kept current the paper's Water Reader, which now contains more than a decade's worth of HCN's water articles. In her spare time, Linda organized 30 High Country Foundation board meetings in different towns and cities across the West, including the potlucks that always accompanied them.

Linda's last day here was Jan. 29, and it is accurate to say that, emotionally, the building shook. We will miss her.

Thank you

Our thanks go to an anonymous (at least to us) subscriber in Eureka, Mont., who brought HCN's Writers on the Range op-ed syndicate to the attention of the editor of the Tobacco Valley News. The editor liked what he saw and subscribed. Now 38 newspapers with 1.8 million readers subscribe to the three-columns-a-week project edited by Paul Larmer. If you have a local newspaper that needs to broaden its opinion page, please call Paul for a packet of past op-ed pieces and a brochure.

Dishing dirt

Every working day, Utah State University professor Ted Pease sends 700 people around the world a few lines of wisdom about journalism. His Feb. 16 offering was:

"If it were within my power to enforce a uniform news standard for the papers of this country, I would forbid the publication of all scandals ...; of all brutal exhibitions; of all harrowing details. ... The pace is set by the dailies of the Eastern cities, which excite the public appetite for the racy and the shocking, leaving the small fellows powerless."

 - Guy Flenner, managing editor, the Boise (Idaho) Daily Statesman, 1911.

Flenner's almost 90-year-old observation made the staff of High Country News realize how fortunate we are to work for a newspaper whose readers do not expect the latest dirt, unless it is dirt about prairie dogs and strip mines.

If you would like to get the daily word from Ted, send "SUBSCRIBE WORD" to [email protected] If it's not to your taste, send "UNSUBSCRIBE WORD" to the same address.


Subscriber Mark Wilson, a farmer and rancher from Yellow Jacket, Colo., stopped by to say hello. He and his brother raise cows and alfalfa. The latter, which he describes as "hot," or high in protein, goes to dairies in Texas.

Mark was in town for the funeral of Denise Marie Kossler, 47, a music and art teacher at the Paonia elementary school, who died of hantavirus contracted on the family ranch. Our condolences go to the Kossler family and to Denise's parents, Clint and Dorothy Roeber.

Subscriber Jim Ruch tells us that the Web address in the Feb. 15 book review of Water in the West doesn't work. He suggests trying instead.

* Ed Marston for the staff

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