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It’s been a crazy few weeks here at the Tucson Local Media offices, with tight holiday deadlines and family celebrations keeping everyone busy as we ramble into the new year. Though the last week or two proved a bit chaotic, I think we all learned a valuable lesson: The news goes on, and no deadline is too short when we work together—so a big thank you is due to our writing and web staff for an impressive performance to round out 2018.

Despite the chaos, we’ve made it to the other side with an editorial team that’s excited for the endless possibilities that 2019 offers all of us.

I spent the turn of the year thinking about all of those possibilities and couldn’t help but make a few New Year’s resolutions that I’d like to share with you.

Last year was an outstanding one in terms of the stories we were able to tell, my first resolution is to find even more news to report to the readers and to embed ourselves even deeper into the varied communities covered by our six publications, but in particular those of Tucson’s north side. Tucson Local Media reporters and editors can already be found at town council meetings, public forums, ribbon cuttings and open houses (to name a few), but I am resolved this year to extend our reach even further—primarily to include the happenings of the Pima County Board of Supervisors, school district governing boards and the local business community.

To make that resolution a reality, we’ll also need some help from our readers, which brings me to my second resolution: I want to create a more open flow of dialogue between myself and those who sit down every week to read The Explorer and Marana News.

So what’s the easiest way to get in touch with me? Send an email to logan@tucsonlocalmedia.com with your questions, concerns and news tips. Never think you’re wasting our time by reaching out, as community input more often than not helps put the news in our newspaper.

As for the newspapers, the reader photos are one of my favorite features each week and I am hoping to improve that beloved section in 2019 by expanding the scope of accepted photos. While we all love the beautiful shots of Southern Arizona’s fauna and flora, I want the reader photos to also function as a window into your world. If you’re at a youth sports game and you snap a good picture, send it in! Did you snap a shot of your community group or organization’s recent meeting? Send it in! Were you at a recent food drive and take a photo? Send it in!

Not only will we all get to know what’s going on around town, but your group or organization has a chance to receive some of the limelight.

With a little bit of community input, I think those resolutions are well within our grasp this year. Good luck with your own goals in 2019.

It’s a busy news week now that the holiday madness is in the rear view, with local governments back to business with full town council agendas.

Over in Marana, the council will meet Tuesday, Jan. 8, before this edition hits the streets, for a study session. At that meeting, the council will take a look at an updated building and fire code; learn about the framework for next fiscal year’s budget and how it plays into the strategic planning process; and discuss changes to community facilities district policy. 

The following afternoon, at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, the Marana Town Council is participating in one of its “Council Connections” events at Home Plate Marana, 8573 N. Silverbell Road. Members of council will be available to the public to discuss various issues related to the town.

The Oro Valley Town Council is also meeting Jan. 9, but at 6 p.m. at its chambers (11000 N. La Cañada Drive). The agenda currently calls for the council to discuss the rezoning of 15 acres along Rancho Vistoso Boulevard near North Oracle Road from industrial to medium-high density residential; a master sign program for the Placita de Oro Shopping Center; and the establishment of a volunteer Budget and Finance Committee.

With plenty on our plate between the two municipalities, keep an eye out over the coming editions to stay updated on the latest news in the region.

In this week’s edition, we’re finally back to the regular news cycle after the holiday rush. Staff reporters Kathleen Kunz and Christopher Boan share the cover this week, with the former providing an update on the Town of Marana’s ongoing work on its water infrastructure, while the latter lets us know about all of the community-minded and health-conscious events being hosted by BEYOND this weekend. Elsewhere, Kunz took some time recently to chat with the co-chairs of this year’s Tucson Heart and Stroke Ball before the big event, while Boan updates us on the current state of affairs of the Golf Club at Vistoso, and reports back on the exciting weekend for the University of Arizona men’s basketball team. 

That’s not all this week, thanks to Associate Editor Jeff Gardner, who was kind enough to brave last week’s bitter cold and snow to capture some mesmerizing photos. Aside from his outdoor adventure, Gardner also clues us in on a new, environmentally-conscious way to construct roads and the Town of Marana’s informative podcast.

We’ve packed the paper full of other interesting stories this week, so take a look. We’ll see you next edition!

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