Editors Note 

Welcome, dear readers, to the improved, always-striving-to-be-better Independent.

Beginning this week, we are pleased to offer a slightly new look, as well as a host of new features to help broaden our coverage, double our circulation and bolster us in our march toward total world domination.

Our regular features and columns, including the Outsider, Public Eye and Domestic Bliss, will continue to appear weekly. In addition, we'll still focus heavily on delivering hard-hitting news, as well as irreverent arts coverage, guest opinions and the best events listings around.

Without further ado, let's take a walk through the paper, front to back, and I'll introduce you to all the new stuff.

Personal Space:

This week, meet Frank Casserino -- we like to call him the Fourth Tenor -- who belts out opera at unsuspecting guests as they enter the North Academy Sam's Club. In this page 3 photographic feature, we'll introduce you to the local characters who enrich our lives. And, we're thrilled that photographer Jane McBee, who previously contributed a similar feature for the Independent, is back to help out. If you know of someone who would make a terrific profile, forward your suggestion to


Brownie Points:

If you really want to affect change, you've got to show up. Brownie Points (page 8 this week) is where you'll find events and lectures that will make you more knowledgeable about our world, and where you'll find opportunities to make a difference, whether it be agitating for social justice or mentoring children. Submit ideas to


The Dish:

This new food feature is designed to be an unexpected taste thrill, a cool refreshing beverage, a tangy zip of flavor. Everything from food news and trends to interviews with local chefs will appear in this weekly offering, on page 30 this week. It's the creation of Independent food writers Kathryn Eastburn and Nancy Harley (though you can expect other contributors as well). Submit food news and possible ideas to


Culture Vulture:

Springs native and A&E Editor Noel Black has nothing if not opinions, and this is where he gets to air them in his column about arts-related happenings (see page 39 this issue). In the past, Colorado Springs has been -- how should we say it? -- a cultural challenge. With a burgeoning population, our community is at a cultural juncture and the road ahead will be paved with victories and mistakes. Expect Noel to weigh in on many of them. If you have tidbits for the column, which will appear twice monthly, e-mail him at



Beginning this issue, we've got a regular comics page, which marks the end of the Arts & Entertainment section of the paper, or the beginning of Classifieds, depending on how you look at it. (This week the comics can be found on page 43.)

For your chuckling pleasure, we proudly offer:

The Boondocks: The strip everyone is talking about (including the Independent, which devoted last week's cover story to the comic and its creator, 27-year-old Aaron McGruder).

The City: Always witty. By Derf.

The Quigmans: A longtime favorite, created by Buddy Hickerson.

Ripley's Believe It or Not: Strange but true facts about the world.

Red Meat: Long an Independent staple, Red Meat has been moved from the food section to the comics page.

Limerick of the Week: Locally- generated original limericks.

Your Move: A weekly quiz for chess aficionados.

Plus, additional comics will occasionally appear in the Classified section.


OK, this isn't really a new feature, but we'll take this opportunity to remind you to keep 'em coming! We love letters to the editor, but please, please, keep them brief (350 words or less). All letters should include the author's full name and the city where he or she lives (please include a daytime telephone number for confirmation).

They can be submitted by e-mail to letters@csindy.com, by fax at 719-577-4107 or by U.S. mail to: Letters, The Colorado Springs Independent, 121 E. Pikes Peak, Suite 455, Colorado Springs, CO 80903.

We welcome your comments on the Independent's new features. E-mail me directly at degette@csindy.com.

Happy reading!


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