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A memorable three years overseeing the paper

This issue marks my three-year anniversary as editor of the Boulder City Review. It has been such an honor and a privilege to be the editor of the newspaper as it has tried to find its footing in your community.

I’m sure I’ve made some mistakes, but for the most part I believe we have done the best job we could covering this not-so-sleepy town on the hill.

I was working at the Las Vegas Review-Journal in October 2009 when the owners of the Boulder City News made the surprise announcement it was “suspending publication” of the News. I remember reading the press release in the context of the falling fortunes of the Greenspun Media Group, and the larger Greenspun family interests, which included casinos and real estate.

I had no thought at that time of leaving the Review-Journal, where I was entrenched covering the casino industry, and going to Boulder City. Not that it mattered what my thoughts were, because no one was asking me to go, either.

But through a series events, nine months after the newspaper launched I found myself editor of the newest newspaper in the country.

I had always been a writer, not an editor. I was brought in because the company leadership at the time wanted the Review to be a hard-news paper. I came from a newsroom, not a community paper, and I had a vision of what I wanted to do.

Fortunately, the company shared that vision. In the first three years I added Chuck Muth as a weekly conservative columnist, Chuck N. Baker as a monthly veterans affairs columnist, and added former city public information officer and council candidate Rose Ann Miele as a reporter and columnist. I have also expanded the number of bylines in the paper to included six interns from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas journalism program during the past three years.

This summer, 2012 Boulder City graduate Taylor Nunley joined our freelance staff, and has contributed greatly to the paper’s ability to mine interesting local stories we’d probably otherwise miss. Today’s story about 1983 Boulder City graduate Mike Upchurch is an example of a story Nunley reported that we may have otherwise missed.

Another move I made toward better coverage was bringing in sports writer Pedro F. Fonteboa during the 2011-12 high school sports season. With experience in the sports sections of large Florida newspapers, Fonteboa has probably brought the best coverage of the Eagles’ programs the city has ever had.

I have never struggled to find news to fill the pages during my first 156 issues. From the opening of the Boulder City bypass bridge, to the ensuing traffic snares, to the current push for a city bypass, traffic has been an overriding theme.

We also had the city manager car registration flare-up and later retirement, the firing of a police chief and a pair of fatal plane crashes.

The city has lost some people during this time who were part of the fabric of the community including Bill Ferrence, Ralph Denton, Goldie Begley and Gene Segerblom (sorry if I left anyone out).

It was an honor to have been recognized by the Nevada Press Association last year with the general excellence award for community newspapers.

The award pales in comparison from any compliments I and reporter Jack Johnson receive from you.

We also appreciate any constructive criticism, because we sure don’t have all the answers.

Here’s hoping I am fortunate enough to be here for a while.

Smoking ban defeated without a vote

There may not have been a vote on the proposed smoking ban by the City Council on Tuesday night, but the defeat for the bill’s supporters was no less resounding.

Dotty’s purchase of Hacienda good for BC

It’s all about connectivity and deep player databases in the casino world, and the Hacienda did not have much of either as a stand-alone property.

All the praise and scorn could be yours

Call this a help-wanted ad; I would prefer to call it an opportunity. An opportunity for your voice to be heard beyond the loud continued noise of discourse.

Protecting businesses when bypass opens

State transportation officials told the City Council on Tuesday that the Boulder City bypass could open by late 2017.

Maybe drones could pay for new high school

I’ve got an idea to get the kids of Boulder City a new high school that’s crazy enough it might just be feasible.

Smoke ’em while you can because ban looms

A smoking ban ordinance that would prohibit lighting up in Boulder City’s “enclosed spaces” businesses was reintroduced at Tuesday’s City Council meeting with little discussion.

Criticism of police response surprising

A police response Friday that drew six squad cars to McDonald’s on Nevada Highway drew surprising, to me anyway, mean-spirited attacked on the boys in blue on this newspaper’s Facebook page.

BC schools by the numbers, not the hype

Boulder City residents like to pride themselves on the quality of the four public schools compared with the rest of the Clark County School District. You might say considering all the problems with the district, bragging about how good the schools are here comparatively is like bragging about having the tallest building in Topeka, Kan. Not really a strong pool to compare with.