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Colorado’s new recreational use marijuana law, in place because voters last November said so and enacted earlier this week by government, is generating reams of news coverage and airtime.
Enough already. It’s as if you could dust off all of those old Cheech & Chong records that have been stowed in a moving box and cue them up on the turntable, if anyone still had a turntable. (For you youngsters, a turntable is also known as a “record player.”)
Almost 300 businesses have applied for retail growing and sales licenses, though there are less than 50 operating currently. Metro Denver — with seemingly endless pun-like references via CNN as the “Mile High City” — has the most stores, along with the ski towns. Politically and socially conservative counties opted out of the ballyhoo through county commissions and city councils, though in some instances, voters in that particular county were in the majority.
It’s pricey stuff: the pot ranges from $300 to $500 an ounce (so I’m told), and there’s a steep tax on top of that, paid to the state – 25 percent, which is deigned to pay for the law’s infrastructure and go toward remedying public school facilities which are mired in a long-neglected rot. One more reason why it’s good to live in Wyoming: we’ve got good school facilities and don’t need a marijuana law to finance renovations.
We were in Colorado over the holidays visiting children and grandchildren. One of this year’s “hot toys” was the Hot Wheels Car Maker. It’s pretty much like what the name implies and through research and luck, we were able to find the last one in Colorado, or so it seemed. Grandson Wilson Stephen put Santa on the spot with this request and Santa, as he often does, delivered. Granddaughter Stella Marie was less specific and wanted “princess” stuff, including an Elsa gown from the Disney film, “Frozen.” Grandma Susan complied, of course.
Earlier this week, the management of The Sheridan Press had its annual retreat at The Powder Horn to review what had transpired in 2013 and what’s ahead in 2014. It was a good meeting with the enthusiasm, the can-do initiative and the curiosity a tonic for a veteran publisher like myself. We’ve got a number of interesting projects ahead.
The managers — Phil Ashley, Kristen Czaban, Becky Martini, Mark Blumenshine — look after a variety of media (print, online, magazine, direct mail) under one roof. There’s news (breaking news, online, explanatory journalism, sports, features, photography, beat coverages, presentation, opinion), and advertising (retail, classified, online, pre-printed inserts, public notices), and circulation (home delivery, single copy, third party sponsored, mail, online), and production/printing (graphic arts, printing, commercial printing, mail) and accounting (accounts payable/receivable, payroll, government reporting, accounting, human resources.) There are inventories (ink, newsprint, office consumables) to be kept, routes to be delivered, clients (subscribers and advertisers) to be satisfied. It’s a busy place always.
If using a sports analogy, 2013 was a winning season. One of the best and most satisfying. We had more advertising than in recent years, more deliveries of the Press in print and online, and we expanded our Destination Sheridan magazine from two editions to three, up from one in 2012. We launched the FAB Women’s Conference, successfully delivered two holiday saturation newspapers to some 12,000 homes, redesigned our web site (thesheridanpress.com) and published three enterprise, explanatory journalism projects that dealt with the area’s energy history and outlook, the extension of the Capital Facilities Tax and the how the new Affordable Care Act will impact us locally.
It’s a terrific place to publish a good community newspaper.
Thank you staff, thank you readers.
Happy New Year!