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Sometimes we need to hit the restart button: HPR’s Relaunch

Editorial | October 7th, 2020

By John Strand jas@hpr1.com

The Little Newspaper That Could is back after a six month hiatus due to the historic coronavirus pandemic. A lot has happened since March 19’s issue and there’s just not enough ink to duly share it all with you.

But we are starting, albeit differently.

So, to begin with, hello to all of you. Our Reader readers. Our advertisers and customers. Our core team, contributors, volunteers, delivery people. We’ve frankly missed you and our sense of community. We’ve worried and fretted along with many of you, anguished when some of you got hit hard, and celebrated when good news surfaced in this otherwise too dark and dismal 2020.

In newspapering we refer to the lede (often called lead by laypeople) as the hook into a story, the beginning, the introduction. Then, in the old days as well, we’d note the end of stories with -30-. There’s no doubt the Pandemic’s introduction or lede has been laid out for all to see. Yet, at this point, none of us know when and how it will end, when the -30- can be duly affixed to the story.

So bear with us as we begin months after it all started, with this issue of the High Plains Reader. Let’s all consider it a reset, okay?

The pandemic hit. Vital aspects of our economy were shut down. Virtually all our customers were impacted or shuttered at least temporarily. Arts, culture, food and entertainment were stopped in their tracks. And fear prevailed, accompanied by the unknown, and seasoned by multitudes of social media warriors trying to spin us like tops.

We’ve been through a lot but nothing like this. And we all have that thought in common, though our experiences are unique to our circumstances. The world in some ways seemed to slow to a standstill while in other ways it was spinning out of control. Simply surviving economically and spiritually is a huge accomplishment.

And not everyone made it through. And we have a long way to go.

So, that brings us to share our plan going forward. You’ll see lots of changes but underneath it all, it’s still HPR and its family and its community. We are in this together but needed to simply restart, somehow or other, despite the considerable non-stop risks.

Rather than a weekly newspaper, we are relaunching every other week. Our next issue will be October 22. Depending on how things go with our economy and health, we hope to someday again put out a weekly newspaper. The other end, however, would mean cutting back further to a monthly schedule.

All of this depends on our advertisers. Without them, you’d not have this or any issue of HPR in your hands or online. Please, please, thank them and support them. If and when you have a desire to shop or buy something, go to your community-building business partners first. Give them your business. Give them your support. Give them your appreciation for existing and being part of your world.

Another big change, at least for the moment, is that there is no calendar of events. We will do our level best to advance what we call Best Bets, to focus on moments in time and opportunities to connect artistically and culturally especially. But there will be no calendar until further notice.

Too, we are not sure when we can distribute HPR as we used to pre-pandemic. Delivering to hundreds upon hundreds of mom and pop (mom and mom, pop and pop) businesses just won’t work right now while COVID puts all of us at risk. We will be only in high volume outlets such as Hornbachers and Cash Wise, also until further notice. Our hopes are to step up to outdoor racks but that’s dependent on lots of things, particularly ad revenue.

Finally, HPR is working remotely for all the obvious reasons. Safety is our highest priority.

Again, while not belaboring how excited we are to relaunch HPR, we also don’t want to diminish what we’ve all been through and what is still to come. These are trying times. We are all called upon to find the high road, to instill kindness and goodness at every turn, and to be true to our better angels.

Don’t let the virus or the toxic underbelly of humanity distress you so much that you get pushed to your own limits, and if that happens, reach out and connect, get help, and be available to the good energies of others who truly care about you.

Lastly, thank you. HPR turned 26 years old September 8 primarily because of all of you! So thanks, stay well, sit down with us and resume the conversation; and look to connect again on October 22.

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