Celebrating Our Newspaper’s First Year
By SCOTT WAGENSELLER
Owner and Publisher, Palisades News
Former Pacific Palisades resident and U.S. President Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same.”
It has been a year since we launched Palisades News, and I feel like we are succeeding in bringing genuine stories and a community forum that every Palisadian can be proud to support and share with family and friends.
The Southwest Room is our letter and editorial page and meant to empower every resident to chime in with perspective and civil discourse. This “room” in our newspaper is our commitment to empowering the community to contribute on issues that impact everyday life in our town. Because as my mom always used to comment, “But wait, I have a lot more to say!”
My children, Hunter (9), Kelly (7), Maverick (5) and Hayden (4), are close on my heels with questions and comments about everything going on around them. I can offer them examples of talented people doing remarkable things.
Every topic starts with a person who feels he or she must stand up for an issue, and then they bring it to the Palisades News, the Pacific Palisades Community Council or our City Councilman Mike Bonin. The discussion that follows usually involves several points of view as residents work together to come to a solution so that an action can be taken.
That give-and-take was in evidence in Thursday night’s meeting at Palisades High School, when citizens presented their views and concerns about Caruso Affiliated’s Palisades Project on Swarthmore. Rick Caruso heard them and made a promise to work together to find effective solutions.
Every time I watch a news channel, I am concerned about stories that detail freedoms that people are losing on a daily basis. I am also concerned by the use of traditional and social media to attack people and businesses.
A type of censorship is occurring by the very misuse of the media that is limiting the freedom for discussion and discourse that made our community the kind of place my parents fought to preserve and pass on.
I am proud of my continued service as a Lieutenant in the Navy Security Forces to protect our country. Every time I go for a week’s training in Washington or other faraway places, I reflect on Reagan’s words. When I return to the Palisades and Palisades Patrol, a business I started with the motto “Prepared to Protect,” I am reminded about our residents’ commitment to having one of the best communities in the Los Angeles area. I’m proud that our newspaper reflects their stories and efforts.
I am thankful that when I decided to financially support the launch of this community newspaper a year ago, so many businesses and individuals would come forward to help support this effort.
With today’s sensational political climate expressed in some media outlets, I am thankful for the thorough and thoughtful work of our entire staff. The people who help produce the paper are dedicated warriors and are truly appreciated for their superb service.
My fight for freedom over the years has taken me from a war zone in faraway lands back home to protect a country we call the United States and a community we call Pacific Palisades.
Reagan’s quote means much to me. I am inspired by the political and business activism of my parents and ancestors and blessed to be able to show my children the various ways to protect and preserve our liberty. The Palisades News has just completed its first year and will continue the fight to carry this beacon of freedom for years to come.
Click Here for Vol. 1, No.1 Palisades News November 5, 2014
Click Here for Vol. 2, No.1 Palisades News November 4, 2015
Bringing ‘Horse Sense’ to the Table
By SCOTT WAGENSELLER
Palisades News Publisher
Ronald Reagan once said, “All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” Or, in my case, in the Southwest Room at my humble childhood home on Old Ranch Road in Brentwood. We had a room there where discussions and debate helped form my perspective and values. My mom was a Texan, raised in Amarillo and the daughter of the largest cattle-feed operator in the region; she was a debutante. An accomplished athlete, an energetic volunteer and former buyer at Bullocks, she had style and class. Over the years, she yearned for some Southwest flavor in our California ranch-style home. Early in my teen years, my dad answered Mom’s request by adding a new room that had open beams, a large fireplace and a robust bar, big enough for them to sit and visit with the multitude of neighbors and friends who would stop by for drink and discussion on topics of the day. Our neighbors, Patty and Peter Choate, Ivan Weiner, Ann Dobkin and Sue Ann Converse, were up to the task of bringing a progressive liberal view on just about any topic, whether local or international, to mix up the evening and get everyone going. My mom and dad were conservative to the core. It was the ‘80s, and while Ronald Reagan was on the distant big-screen, rear-projection TV, I would sit to the side with a Coke and peanuts and listen to the discussions. My mom was always pleased when one of “the girls” would show up (Joan Mackey, Martha Owen, Maggie Edwards, Barbara Knutson and Doris Coleman, among others) because they were always grounded with good Texan values. Sometimes they were still there talking long after my mom had gone to bed.
You could say this was the local tavern of Sullivan Canyon. Everyone was welcome and even the horses knew it. In fact, one day a horse did show up, having escaped from his corral and no doubt realizing his owner was probably inside talking at the bar, poked his nose in looking to add his horse sense to the discussion. At family functions, my eldest brother Whitney would throw out a comment to get my mom’s blood boiling, only to be challenged by my aunt, Ann Triplett (mom’s younger sister and a Highlands resident). On occasion I would add some comment, only to be bolstered by my far more eloquent and more learned brother Laine, who has since become a business attorney and my attorney for all matters. He could articulate a more educated statement.
It was this classroom I appreciated most from my formative years, and it is this classroom I hope to replicate in Palisades News. In recognition of the forum and its value in bringing friends and neighbors closer in discussion, I asked my editor, Sue Pascoe, to add the banner “The Southwest Room” above our editorial page. Our hope is to replicate the free-wheeling discussions of that original Southwest Room. The room is open to everyone, the discussions are no-holds barred and even when we disagree, we’ll meet up the next week and do it again.
(Editor’s note: Wagenseller’s brother Whitney died in December 2012, his father Sherman in July 2013 and his mother Janet in February 2014. The house is still in the family, but is expected to go on the market, soon.)
See this editions “Southwest Room” Editorial in “Our Community” along with other “letters to our Editor” Click Here Palisades News November 5, 2014