EDITOR’S DESK: That small-town feeling

       There it is again. That “small-town feeling.” Karon Downing Burch, our Meet-a-Westsider this week, has just responded similarly to 25 of her 40 predecessors in that column this year, in response to the question lead-in, “What I like most about the Westside is...”
       In browsing through past columns, I also found that Burch is the 14th to actually use the word "small" to describe what they liked, followed by such words as "feeling," "community," "atmosphere" or "town."
       I thought this issue of the Pioneer was an appropriate time to raise the subject because it contains a few articles reflecting the growth that is relentlessly coming our way - growth that is already chipping away at that "smallness" so many of us who live here treasure.
       It's not just mammoth things like Gold Hill Mesa's projected 1,000-some homes or a potentially six-lane Highway 24; it's also little things - perhaps a graceful old home that got torn down in your block because it had been neglected. Rest assured that lost dwelling has a brother or sister a few blocks away. And when a cold, modern structure (built with 2-by4s that aren't) takes its place, there goes just one more piece of that "small-town feeling."
       Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying this value of ours is hopelessly doomed, just that retaining it takes more these days... because in some ways it's more spirit than substance. The annual Coronado High parade through Old Town Oct. 9 was a good example. The only other area parade where kids take the effort to come to citizens that way is in Manitou Springs, which is, well... a small town.

- K.J.