April is an important month for me. My wife Debbie (love of my life, mother of my son Jefferson and Assistant Editor for The Corridor) has a birthday this month. As does my middle sister Jenifer. As does my father, Bob LaRouche, who will turn 82 this year on April 16. It is because of my Dad (and my Mom, of course, whom we lost 4 years ago on February 20), that I was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico – and not in some undisclosed location in Kentucky, where my Dad was working as a newspaper photographer and reporter in 1957 and where I was otherwise destined to be born.
On their way to California, determined to start their new family in a more liberal clime, my parents’ truck “broke down” in Santa Fe. Now in need of funds, my Dad found gainful employment with the Santa Fe New Mexican, under the watchful eye of the later-to-be-famous Tony Hillerman (Navajo mystery write and man-about-town), then the Managing Editor at the New Mexican.
Fast forward, as they say, to 2014. My career has ventured far and wide (at least a book of stories, and another day). Debbie is a teacher, archaeologist and phenomenal researcher. Jefferson, now 20 and living on his own, has grown up in the digital age and has actually studied graphic arts (unlike his old man, who has only been doing it as trial-by-fire his entire adult life). Thus The Corridor was born in March of 2015.
Prior to our first publication of The Corridor we began publishing the New Mexico Artists’ Studio Tour Guide in 2014. Obviously we needed to find a printer, and we were pleased to learn that The Santa Fe New Mexican would become our printing partner. (Story on page 3).
Our feature story this month, on page 4, gives a glimpse into the amazing process that our printer, The Santa Fe New Mexican, goes through every time they print The Corridor. As a young person growing up in St. Louis (as a 2 1/2 YO I was transplanted to St. Louis where my Dad became employed with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch) I remember visiting the gigantic printing presses and marvelling at the process that went into creating and printing a daily newspaper. While electronic technology has completely transformed the newspaper industry, it has also been able to take advantage of advances in printing technologies, the result of which is amazing speed, print quality and economy that has continued to make feasible the publication of magazines such as The Corridor – even in the face of a globally changing world of non-print technologies.
Editor and Publisher, The Corridor
“Serving The Communities of North Central New Mexico”
Why “The Corridor”
In our inaugural issue of The Corridor we talked about why we gave our new publication the name The Corridor, the kind of information we hoped to bring our readers, the communities that we served, and how we hoped to “modernize” the old-fashioned idea of the community newspaper.
Our intention with the name The Corridor referred to the many trails and “corridors” on which people in this part of the country have traveled and settled since there were humans inhabiting the West.
We began by identifying the Santa Fe Trail, Camino Real, Turquoise Trail and Route 66 as the major “corridors” that our paper served. Beginning with our June issue we added these trails to the masthead to help identify our distribution area.
Along the way, as we expanded into more of north central New Mexico, we identified the Old Spanish Trail, the Salt Missions Trail, even the Old Pecos Trail and Old Las Vegas Highway, as being a part of our readership area. Rather than add all of these additional byways to our masthead, we have simplified our coverage statement to “Serving the Communities of North Central New Mexico”.
Old School vs New Tech
we also talked about our hope to combine the convenience and convention of having a printed paper ro provide communication, share news and views, as well as providing a delivery vehicle for businesses and services to offer their wares to the public.
At the same time, we planned to keep the number of pages that we print each month to a small number, no more than 24 pages, in order to keep our costs down and keep waste to a minimum. In order to provide additional information, such as our calendar of events, more in-depth stories and to provide a repository for each edition of The Corridor as it was printed, we launched a concurrent online edition of The Corridor, www.thecorridornm.com.
After major building and re-building by our webmaster and graphics administrator, Jefferson LaRouche, we now have a dynamic web presence that allows us to bring the hope of converging the old school and the newest technologies.
Today you can view and read all of the past issues of The Corridor online, view our event calendar, business directory, find restaurants, find the closest place to pick up your copy of The Corridor (even if you visiting elsewhere in New Mexico).
You can also check out other pages, such as the Side Trips page, which now includes a map along with a reprint of each esition of Sude Trips to see where the trip would take you (an how to get there to make your own excursion).
In this issue our feature story talks a little about how far we have come since we started, some of our regular features and pages, and a visual review of some of our artwork and Side Trips.
Be sure to check out Jefferson’s page, “Blinded with Science”, where he recalls a trip to the Xprize cup in 2006 and explains what the prize is about and where it is going in the future.
Welcome to our second edition of The Corridor.
These first few weeks creating and launching a new community newspaper have been a mixture of exhiliration, exhuberance and exhaustion! I would like to thank each and every one of our readers for taking the time to pick up the first issue of our paper. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Readers have contacted us from across the depth and breadth of the corridor region.
Here are some examples:
We received a call from a reader in Estancia, New Mexico. He first thanked us for creating this publication. He said he likes the name “The Corridor” and he enjoyed reading it. He told us that he picked up the paper at Moriarty Foodstore, where he does his monthly shopping. He asked if we could distribute The Corridor in Estancia (Estancia is about 17 miles south of Moriarty). He told us that he spends time at the Senior Center (Torrance County Senior Center) and that the seniors who frequent the center have another paper that they look forward to reading every month. We are working on getting some help distributing The Corridor in Estancia, especially to the Senior Center there.
I received a call from Carla Ward, who lives in Sandia Crest. She had picked up a copy of The Corridor and wished to advertise her business. Ms. Ward is the owner of Tinkertown, now celebrating their 32nd season as a folk art museum and tourist destination. Carla’s husband Ross, who passed away in 2002 from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, spent over 40 years hand-crafting the exhibits in this one-of-a-kind folk art museum. You can find out more about Tinkertown by reading the story on page 6.
We have also had several calls from readers in Las Vegas, New Mexico. The general consensus from everyone who has contacted us is that they love the paper, enjoy reading it and look forward to the next issue. Wow! It is this kind of response that makes all the hard work worthwhile.
Finally, I received our first “Letter to the Editor” from a reader who was happy with the new paper but had a concern that we did not have a “Letters to the Editor” section. We have remedied that concern by providiing this “Feedback” page. We hereby invite readers to submit their comments and suggestions for our review and to be reprinted for the consideration of the readers in our community. You can see the entire text of this reader’s letter, as well as my reply, in the right column on this page.
We have also created a Feedback Forums page on our online edition – http://thecorridornm.com/feedback/. To use these forums, just go to this page (you’ll find the link at the top of the home page) and register. You will receive a confirmation email, after which you can log in and post your comments and suggestions to the forums. Our editorial staff will monitor the forums throughout the month. We will then bring highlights from these forums to the Feedback page when we print the next issue.
Of course, you can always send us your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by snail mail at The Corridor, 7 Avenida Vista Grande #252, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87508. You can also call our office at 505-438-9600.
We hope you enjoy our April issue as well. We were fortunate to bring home a great picture story about the Living History Civil War Weekend which took place on March 28th and 29th on the grounds of the Pecos National Historical Park in Pecos, New Mexico. This event marked the 153rd Anniversary of the famed “Battle of Glorieta Pass”, which was a decisive battle in the Civil War and a turning point in the outcome of the war, as well as the history of the United States of America. You can read the entire story on pages 4 and 5 of this issue.
Thanks for reading The Corridor. We invite you to send us comments and suggestions any time. We are dedicated to making this paper about the people, the history and the culture that makes our piece of the West unique. We are always looking for great story ideas, and welcome your input.
Editor and Publisher
The Corridor – Community News, Views & More
March, 2015 – the inaugural issue of The Corridor
Old School and New Tech Converge on The Corridor
The newspaper your are holding is a part of a coordinated effort to share the news, the views, the history and the excitement of living in this beautiful and diverse corner of The Land of Enchantment. Newspapers have been a part of American culture and communication since the days of Benjamin Franklin. For more than two centuries now we have come to rely on newspapers to keep us informed, to keep us entertained and to provide a means of selling our goods and services. Ultimately, they have also become bird-cage liners, fire starters, or landfill fodder. Fortunately we are all much more aware of the importance of recycling, and today’s newsprint (at least in this publication) is 100% recycled (and recyclable) and uses environmentally friendly soy inks for printing.
Communication today is much more complicated than it was in old Ben’s time. We live in a world that expects instant gratification and immediate feedback. Today many people expect to find everything they need in digital form, and the media world has worked hard to meet that expectation. But there are many of us, especially if you were brought up in the world before cell phones and iPads, who would prefer picking up a newspaper or magazine to squinting and tapping on a portable device.
With the introduction of The Corridor we are attempting to close the gap and meet the expectations of both worlds. Concurrent with the publication of a full-color, 100% recycled and recyclable newspaper, we have launched a mobile-device friendly website, thecorridornm.com.
Over the past several years legacy newspapers have scurried to catch up with the “digital age” by building an online presence that reflect what is printed in their print publications. As a rule these papers bring a portion of their news to their online version, utilizing the web version as a tool to garner more ad revenue, then want to charge the online visitor to use the online version. Really?
With The Corridor things will be different. We started The Eldorado Daily (eldoradodaily.com) three years ago as an experiment, thinking that it was much more economical to produce an online news “paper” than to print and distribute a paper version. The Eldorado Daily has over 100 pages of information. It costs very little to add more and more pages to an online publication, versus the exorbitant cost of adding pages to a print publication.
But we learned something. Many folks, again those not born into the ‘tap and go” generation, still wanted to be able to pick up a paper. Hence, The Corridor. From the beginning, all the news and information that appears in the print version of The Corridor will appear on the online version. Going forward, news and information will be added to the online version of The Corridor on a daily basis. Each month, we will distribute The Corridor in paper form, bringing you the highlights from the news and information that have been added to the online version each day, plus a wealth of stories, opinions, reviews, etc. that we have gathered and written especially for The Corridor newspaper.
So now we hope to provide the best of both worlds. We keep pace with the TNGs (“Tap and Gos”) and at the same time provide a tactile, full-color paper that you can hold in your hands and read at your leisure (until you need to start your fire, of course – or swat a fly – try doing that with an iPhone…).
Throughout this monthly newspaper you will find those curious square blocks known as QR codes. For the un-initiated the QR code is an abbreviation for Quick Response Code. This peculiar but amazing matrix of information can tell portable devices how to find things, such as websites and other online resources.
OK. Enough tech, already. Wherever you see a QR code printed in this paper you can use it to let your mobile device do the walking (so to speak) and find a corresponding website or web link.
But, there’s a catch. You need an APP to read the code. Of course your teenager already has the app on his/her phone, but JUST IN CASE you don’t have the APP, you can use this link in a browser to download the APP for your mobile device: http://thecorridornm.com/qr-code-apps/
If this is too complicated, maybe you can ask a teenager to help.
Best of luck and thanks for reading,
Editor and Publisher