Editor’s Notebook:

What matters here to you?

March 05, 2010|By John Canalis

On a recent weekend, my little family unit of three took a drive down Coast Highway.

Traffic was light, the skies clear. We sailed past Huntington Harbour, Main Street, West Newport and toward our destination: Lido Isle.

There’s a small waterfront playground on the island that is just perfect for little ones to play. We got out of the car and my 3-year-old daughter, Natalie, charged the swings, jungle gym and slides. Then it was off to the balance beam, with some hand-holding from Mom and Dad to keep her steady.


Not being the shy type, Natalie approached a couple of sisters. One of the girls was her age, the other a bit older. They asked her to take a spin on the merry-go-round. I could see Natalie’s bright smile flash with every revolution.

Robin and I got to talking to the girls’ parents, and they made us feel welcome. They gave us some tips about what to see on Lido.

I was taken a bit off-guard by the hospitality, knowing Lido is one of the more exclusive enclaves in Newport Beach. Though it can be hard to connect with strangers in Southern California, I am not sure why I was surprised. Everyone has been welcoming since I became editor of three great newspapers, the Huntington Beach Independent, Daily Pilot and Coastline Pilot, and a couple of growing websites, O.C. Now and Game on OC, on Feb. 22.

I feel honored to be given the opportunity to edit three papers that are nothing short of community treasures in their respective markets. And, I’ve noticed, quite to my delight, that the readers here are especially protective of their papers. I can assure them that I will be, too.

Though I live just over the county line in Long Beach, I am not entirely new to the Orange Coast.

As a contract reporter in the 1990s, I covered Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley and other cities for the Los Angeles Times Orange County edition, and before that I wrote for the Daily Pilot. For some of that time, I lived on the Balboa Peninsula and spent a good deal of my free time enjoying the restaurants in Costa Mesa, the arts in Laguna, the surfing in Huntington and the night life in Newport Beach.

Some time has passed, and I am going to need a bit of a refresher on what is going on around here these days.

That’s where our readers come in. I want to hear what they think are the most important issues, feature and sports stories in this area. I want to hear about schools and churches, businesses and nonprofits, city halls and homeowners associations.

In short, take a cue from the family I met on Lido and talk to a stranger.

JOHN CANALIS is editorial director for the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot, Huntington Beach Independent and Daily Pilot. He can be reached at (714) 966-4607 and

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