From the editor: Continuing the community conversation at a new time |

From the editor: Continuing the community conversation at a new time

After more than four years of hosting Coffee and a Newspaper events, the Steamboat Pilot & Today has decided to change things up a bit.

The monthly get-togethers, which are held at the Steamboat Pilot & Today office, will continue but we are going to experiment with offering them at different times. Coffee and a Newspaper will still be held the first Wednesday of every month, but for our next scheduled event on April 1, we’ll be hosting a brown bag lunch from noon to 1:30 p.m., instead of the usual 7:30 to 9 a.m. time slot.

The venue will remain the same — we’ll meet in the newspaper’s large conference room — and we’ll still be encouraging an open dialogue with our readers on a variety of topics.

For the April event, city of Steamboat Springs Planning Director Tyler Gibbs has been invited to share the city’s vision for a more vibrant, visitor-friendly downtown. He’ll be offering information on the downtown improvement plan, similar to the recent presentation he made to Steamboat Springs City Council, which received council approval. This topic is also a timely follow-up to Scott Franz’s Sunday feature that offered an indepth look at the city’s plans for downtown, which have been more than 30 years in the making.

I hope readers will join me next Wednesday at the new time. Bring your lunch; we’ll supply the drinks. I will also order box lunches for anyone who would like one. Just email me at by 5 p.m. Monday and I’ll have a lunch waiting for you when you arrive at a nominal cost.

Our motivation for changing the time of the monthly Coffee and a Newspaper is to reach additional readers who can’t make an early morning meeting. We aren’t 100 percent sure more people will be able to attend a noon event, but we thought we’d give it a try. We also plan to hold an after-work Coffee and a Newspaper in May, and then go back to the morning time in June, and then rotate times throughout the end of the year.

After being named editor of the Steamboat Pilot & Today in July 2013, one of my first introductions to the community and to our readers was at an early morning Coffee and a Newspaper. I was a bit intimidated at first but I quickly realized the immense value of this type of community dialogue.

Since then, I’ve looked forward to our monthly Coffee and a Newspaper events, and I continue to been impressed with the number of readers who get up early and spend an hour and a half with me and other members of the newspaper staff to discuss current events, learn about important community programs and debate various topics.

As the editor, I believe it is vitally important that I listen to readers and receive their input — both positive and negative. Many times, reader feedback offered at Coffee and a Newspaper has made me rethink how we cover an issue and has sparked a number of story ideas.

At our last Coffee and a Newspaper, our series on marijuana was the topic of discussion, and as expected, we drew a large crowd, and the discussion was lively. As a result of that interaction, we extended our series one more week to add an article discussing the health risks of marijuana and how its legalization has impacted healthcare providers. That is just one example of how reader input impacts how we approach community news.

I truly appreciate everyone who marks our Coffee and a Newspaper events on their calendars and works them into their busy schedules. And I truly value your input. So next Wednesday at noon, I hope to see some new faces but I also encourage those early morning regulars to join us for lunch and a newspaper this time around.

To reach Lisa Schlichtman, call 970-871-4221, email or follow her on Twitter @LSchlichtman

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