An anniversary, a welcome and a mea culpa (whew)

I have been on the West Coast a year. Woot!

I came last summer, happy to be back on the Island and near to my family, my birthplace and my roots. I wasn’t sure what reception I would find here. I’d lived in Texas for 22 years, and I had a remnant twang that escapes when I’m tired or in the company of Southerners. Sorry about that, y’all.

To my delight, I discovered what I had hoped for – that the West Coast was as interesting and diverse and warm and beautiful as I remembered. I found it to be a place where I could buy a house, bring my family, walk my dog, write a few songs, tell some stories and even let my twang out once in a while.

I discovered a warm reception for the Westerly News. I found readers who enjoyed an intensely local paper, full to the brim with news and the stories of Andrew Bailey. And faces.

And advertising. That’s right, advertising. Without the support of advertisers who realize the benefit of creating the space for the news, there’s no place to put the pictures and the stories, even in a product with fantastic “market saturation.” (That’s what Texans might call a “high-fallutin” word for a paper people like to pick up, pick through, reread, hand to a neighbour and then ask for it back. Politely, first.)

So thank you to everyone who brings an idea or a picture or a letter to our pages.

Thank you to the advertisers whose savvy decision to make their business, event or organization more successful by advertising with us. That in turn makes the space for the articles for the readers to read, who see the ads, shop local and support business on the West Coast. It’s a very supportive circle. Help us welcome Geoff

At the Westerly News, we welcome Tofino’s Geoff Johnson as our new advertising representative. Geoff is well known to the West Coast for his work in radio and other media, and for the great amount of assistance he has provided to organizations and festivals doing emcee, ambassador and musical work – as well as the writing he has done for the Westerly News.

A Tofino resident, he and his talented wife Tara are a familiar and welcome sight at West Coast events.

“I look forward to helping West Coast businesses grow and flourish,” Geoff said.

Please welcome Geoff at 250-266-2400 or gajohnson@westerlynews. ca. And if you send a welcome message to Geoff to us at office@westerlynews. ca, we will give you an additional 10% off a display ad within the next month, and we may just run your note in the paper.

Ultimate collector’s item P.S. There’s that awkward place where social media meets print. It led to a bit of amusement over a front-page typo, along with Kourtney

Yeske’s fun offer to sell a signed mistaken piece about a “cougarwhisperer” to the highest bidder. My apologies to Karl Funk (seen holding tarts at far left) for getting your first name wrong -but my thanks to Kourtney (seen holding paper, near left) for helping pull together an impromptu happening and donation to a most worthy cause since, after I got over the crimson flush of shame, my husband cheerfully ponied up $100 for Fishes and Loaves community lunch program and a dozen of my homemade blueberry tarts.

Jackie Carmichael is the (very human) editor of the Westerly News and a grudging good sport. She recently started Year 2 of life on the Edge.