It’s been eight months since I had the great opportunity to join the Ahwatukee Foothills News. Since that time we have not made radical changes to the paper or wild editorial changes to the product. What I wanted to do was listen to our readers and take note of any changes that would aid this great community.
From that I learned a few things. People enjoy the paper. It’s a great way to get a story told in a community that is well connected. They like the “localness” of what we do. Many others had coverage of a recent Valley murder trial, only we had the story of confusion over the sales tax at the new outlets, or continuing coverage of the closure of The Lakes Golf Course. Our editorial team is well known in the community with local contacts and a solid Rolodex of community leaders to work with.
Two themes have come out of the discussions with readers since I started. They wanted more things to do and wanted to see the police blotter back in the paper. Working with our managing editor we have added “Get Out” twice a week (Friday and Sunday) to the publication. Get Out is put together though a collaborative effort between the AFN and our partners at the East Valley Tribune. The primary goal is to inform you about upcoming events and things to do in the East Valley, or bigger items that would be worth the drive in the region. This will continue as we want to keep you informed and entertained.
Some of you may have noticed the police blotter has been back in the Wednesday edition over the past three weeks. We have been able to create that partnership again with the local city of Phoenix police. The goal will be to keep the Ahwatukee Foothills community informed of local crime events that could affect you, and to aid the police department if a trend is taking place or catching a suspect from an event. Keeping your neighborhood safe is a top priority.
As we approach the daily heat of summer we have some unique items coming. This includes additional coverage of the proposed Loop 202 freeway extension since the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) has been released. Specifically: what the study means, continued updates from Gila River Indian Community, information from Protecting Arizona’s Resources and Children (PARC), Friends of the Highway and the Arizona Department of Transportation.
We also have a local election coming in August. An introduction to the candidates, interviews and general information will be covered. We will be partnering with the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce this year (as in past years) to invite the candidates to a general debate in July. Our job will be to give you as much information about the candidates ensuring you can make an informed decision that is best for the Ahwatukee Foothills and Arizona.
It is our No. 1 goal to serve our local community well. If you have ideas, thoughts or input I look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Kent Johnson is publisher of the AFN. Contact him at (480) 898-7901 or email@example.com.