This week’s Local is a bit of a double feature. At the back, we collected a bit of the paper’s history at the end of what has been its 60th year. In our 16-page section on those 60 years, you’ll find reprinted stories that detail the paper’s sometimes tumultuous early history and the recollections of its prior editors, including the paper’s first editor, Ellen Wells.

The story of the Local is a unique one that deserves that often overused adjective. It was a paper founded and designed to belong to the community. Rather than the purview of a single owner or publisher, it was a paper governed very much in the public sphere with its policies debated at community meetings.

The rest of the paper you hold is the result of a considerable amount of work on behalf of everyone on its staff to look forward. How might we best make sure the Local is around for at least another 60 years?

To that end, we’ve taken a lot of what we think we do best – reporting on local politics, people, schools, artists and businesses – and organized it in a way that is more useful to you, the reader.

This week, you’ll find new sections. There is Community on page 7, a section that will highlight and celebrate the many great local institutions and leaders we have in the neighborhood. You’ll notice we’ve also found a home for the old Local banner originally drawn by Rosalind Sturges and published for the first time on May 11, 1967 (See page 4 of the 60th Anniversary section).

Behind that is Chill Local, which we hope to turn into an indispensable guide to what is going on in Northwest Philadelphia in the coming week. From Woodmere exhibits to Stagecrafters shows, we’ll tell you what the best ways to spend your free time.

Finally, we’ve also launched a new real estate section titled Homes & Home. This week’s issue doubles as a home and design special section with a number of articles on home decorating and gardening. It also houses a short section on local businesses, including a debut column from Philip Dawson, Executive Director of the Chestnut Hill Business District.

While this redesign and reorganization has been significant, it’s not a finished product. This is a new beginning – a starting point from which to further improve and add to the Local to continue making it useful to our readers.

In the end, this paper continues to be what it was at its founding, a publication owned by the community. It’s a charge we all take seriously here at the paper. We ultimately want the paper to reflect the best of the community and be a servant to it.

We hope, as our new page one motto says, to be always illuminating.

Thanks for reading.

Pete Mazzaccaro

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