Metro Celebrates 20th Anniversary

by Sheila D'Amico

The first issue of the Metro, April 1989. The Metro, April 2009.

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Metro Celebrates 20th Anniversary

### We are 20! I know in the big picture, 20 years is not all that much. A recent trip to Rome reminded me of that. Standing in the midst of ancient ruins does give one perspective on the passage of time. Everything in Rome isn't ancient, though. What was part of an Imperial building may be a side wall of a medieval church. Ancient aquaducts provide a backdrop for Renaissance fountains, Renaissance buildings, in turn, house modern shops. The city gives the appearance of being static, but like everything on earth, it's all in movement, all constantly changing.

So it is in our own small spot on earth. Over the past 20 years, the Metro readership area has changed. A year before the Metro came into being, local activists created the Laurel Reporter. A few months later, it became the Dimond Reporter, then the Reporter. A year later, the MacArthur Metro. Look on the masthead at the top of page one to see which neighborhoods the Metro covers now: roughly, the Laurel, the Dimond, Sausal Creek, Maxwell Park, Redwood Heights, Leona Heights, High St.-Fairfax-Melrose, Allendale, and a part of Millsmont neighborhood. Those neighborhoods are where most of our print copies are distributed, where most of our staff, board, donors, and readers live or work.

On our Web site,, you can read past stories going back to 1994. You can see the changes in the neighborhoods. The Boulevard in the Laurel and Dimond, and even the streets of the surrounding neighborhoods, already home to many vibrant veteran merchants, are venues for new shops and restaurants and a farmers' market. But neither the business districts nor the resurging residential areas have changed automatically. All of it, all the new life from daffodils to fresh bread, from school gardens to community policing, has come from organization, from hard work by merchants, residents, public employees and officials, artists, architects, in short, from a community.

The Metro is proud to be part of that community, proud to be a voice for members of the community, proud to have been telling stories of ordinary people, some known, many not, who have made their part of the world a better place.

After we celebrate, we'll be looking to the community as we ask: What next? Can we survive another 20 years? Even another five? Should we remain a print publication or be strictly Web-based? How do we raise sufficient funds to remain in business? We have wonderful advertisers, but, as with all nonprofits, we rely on donations to help us survive. If you can, we hope that you will join our list of donors as a Money Honey or Friend and make a contribution.

Also, please join us at the anniversary party on April 25. The invitation is on page one. You'll have a chance to meet some of the Metro staff and board members from over the years. We'll have a list of everyone (we hope) who has worked on the Metro, and, if you care to, you'll be able to sign up to volunteer, too.

Mostly it's a chance to celebrate your neighbors and your community.

Thanks for your readership and your support for 20 years. See you on April 25.