I’m back —and boy, do I know it. More than three-and-a-half years ago, I “retired” from this job and pursued a few other projects.

But nothing called to me as much as the TC where I spent 23-plus years. So when the opportunity to purchase it arose, Jack and I hardly hesitated. All the support we’ve received touches me and I’m having fun being back.

You know you’re back when an Idyllwild Fire commissioner calls up to give you a tongue lashing for running a letter to the editor offending his standards.

You know you’re back when rival advertisers want you to police their licensing requirements.

You know you’re back when equipment breaks down on deadline.

You know you’re back when the printer creates major challenges on a holiday paper’s deadline.

We managed to move our office, continue publishing this little paper Idyllwild depends upon and then throw a grand opening that hundreds of you celebrated on the Fourth of July.

So, in honor of Independence Day, I pick up the cause once again of open government and transparency, something so lacking in small towns such as ours. And so the Ralph M. Brown Act was created specifically for local governments.

Our job in the press is to be public watchdogs for government agencies. Our job is not to be cops or therapists. So, if you are a public official and you receive criticism published in this little paper, my job is not to mediate between you and the critic.

Criticism is a mainstay of freedom of the press.

I’m not going to stop doing my job any more than national newspapers did when the Nixons and the Reagans called publishers furious with opinions critical of their behavior.

Our little town needs to hold local government accountable. That won’t change. Other things with the TC will. I will keep you informed …

Becky Clark