Much can be learned just by asking questions

Posted: Sunday, July 01, 2007

People like to talk, and these days there’s plenty to talk about — war, politics, global warming, Paris Hilton.

Even in our neck of the woods, there’s plenty of topics — horsepower on the Kenai River, the Caribou Hills fire, bears, fishing.

The issue, though, isn’t all the talking, rather it’s who’s listening.

While these topics may be in the newspaper, on TV or the Internet 24-7, they aren’t necessarily what everyone is interested in. Everyone has different interests, the hard part is putting information out there that appeals to the majority.

That’s what we do at the Clarion. Our mission is to tell you what you want and need to know. It isn’t always easy to find out what that may be, but in many cases we’ve found great stories because you led us there with a phone call or e-mail.

And sometimes it’s as simple as asking.

Starting Monday we’re going to make a few changes in our format in an effort to give you, the readers, what you have told us you want.

The Clarion’s Community page, which publishes every Monday, is going to have some company. On Monday, Community will now include our Neighbors columnists in an effort to give you more coverage on what’s happening in your neighborhood.

There’s more.

Many of you said you miss the old Neighbors format, but you also like the newer one-on-one interviews. We’re going to give you both.

Our columnists will have their ears to the ground looking for all the information that made them so fun and endearing — births, events, visitors, anniversaries, kids, all the comings and goings — and we still will continue to introduce you to your neighbors.

Even better, everything that’s happening in your area will be under one heading. All news pertaining to Kasilof will be in one place, all of Kenai, Nikiski, Ninilchik, Soldotna and Sterling, they’ll all be found in one place. Call it Community with a twist.

In addition, when students return to the classroom in August, our Schools section will move from Wednesday to Tuesday. That will allow us to get information on school activities out to you earlier in the week.

That leaves Wednesday open, but we have an idea we hope will leave your mouth watering. Starting this Wednesday, the Clarion will print a Food section. We’ll do our best to include local content, and that’s where we need your help. We know Kenai Peninsula residents know a thing or two about cooking, and we’d like you to share your recipes with our readers.

There aren’t too many places where moose is on the table or fireweed jelly or fresh halibut or salmon. Alaskans do know their way around the kitchen and we’re asking you to give us a tour. Getting your recipe to us will be as easy as e-mailing, mailing or logging onto the Clarion Web site.

These changes may bump our Opinion page around from time to time, but it will always be here as a sounding board for our readers.

The Clarion is dedicated to keeping you informed, whether it’s in your neighborhood, the schools, the kitchen, or by telling you what your neighbors think about the issues. We hope you like the changes. We also hope you’ll continue to let us know what you think — one way or another.

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