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Ch-ch-ch-changes! 

Congratulations are in order for Independent co-founder and editor Kathryn Eastburn for garnering two journalism fellowships -- one from the University of Maryland School of Journalism Center on Child and Family Policy and another from the University of Washington's Dart Center on Journalism and Trauma. The University of Maryland fellowship is for journalists covering child and family policy issues, while the Dart fellowship supports responsible coverage of violent and traumatic events.

In order to devote time to these fellowships, Kathryn will step down as editor, effective our next issue. We are pleased to report that Kathryn will continue to play an important ongoing role with the Independent. Her initial "new" assignment will be to oversee arts, entertainment and cultural coverage until a permanent A&E editor is in place. (Readers interested in learning more on this opening should check out the employment section of this week's classifieds or visit www.csindy.com.)

In addition, Kathryn's popular weekly column "Domestic Bliss," winner of the 2001 Colorado Society of Professional Journalists First Place award for best personal column, will return to the Independent with next week's edition.

We are delighted to announce that Cara DeGette will step up as our new editor. Cara has the experience and dedication to fill Kathryn's shoes. For the past eight years Cara's coverage of local politics has enraged and enlightened citizens and elected officials alike, and her coverage of difficult community issues always uncovers angles you won't see elsewhere in Colorado Springs.

Cara has won numerous awards for her courageous reporting, and this year alone, she was honored with a first place in investigative journalism from the national Education Writers Association, as well as four statewide awards from the Society of Professional Journalists.

My all-time favorite Cara expos? Her 1994 report on anti-tax, anti-government crusader Doug Bruce's sordid past in Southern California, where he ran for the California Legislature as a Democrat! Among many other interesting details, we learned Bruce unsuccessfully sued the IRS and had to pay hefty fines for, among other things, attempting to deduct as a business expense the cost of boarding his girlfriend's dog

To pick up some of Cara's reporting duties, Andrew Hood will join our news staff in a few weeks. Andy, a seasoned reporter, is a past editor of the Vail Daily and has written for a wide variety of publications, including the Dallas Morning News, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Denver Post, and Outside and SKI magazines.

These are not the best of times in the nation or the world. Locally, the Sept. 11 terrorist attack has impacted our city directly and indirectly, from families who have lost loved ones, to others who have had their sons and daughters, husbands and wives sent far from the Pikes Peak region to protect our nation. Other Springs residents have suffered from misdirected racial hatred and ignorance, or felt the impact of severe economic disruption. In the months and years ahead, America will overcome this tragedy, just as our nation has overcome and become stronger after surviving other atrocities.

While we will continue to report on the national and international situation, the Independent's focus will return to what we do best: covering the Pikes Peak region. In just two weeks, citizens will have the opportunity to vote by mail-in ballot on a bewildering array of ballot initiatives and candidates. The choices we make will decide where our limited resources should be invested and who should be entrusted to shape our schools and lead our communities.

Our forthcoming October editions will be devoted to providing our 100,000 regular readers with information on their upcoming electoral choices. In addition, we are pleased that once again Citizens Project will insert their Voters' Guide into our Oct. 11 issue. The Independent is also proud to be a sponsor, along with a host of other civic organizations, of the following forums where voters can directly meet and question candidates for office:

Monday, Oct. 15, 7 p.m.: Manitou Mayoral Forum, Business of Arts Center, 513 Manitou Ave.

Tuesday, Oct. 16, 7 p.m.: Harrison School District #2 Candidate Forum, Sierra High School, 2250 Jetwing Drive

Thursday, Oct. 18, 7 p.m.: School District #11 Candidate Forum, Helen Hunt Elementary School, 917 E. Moreno Ave.

  • More changes afoot at the paper

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