LETTER- from the Editor

Dear Readers,


One month ago today, I was sitting at my desk when I learned my career with the newspaper I co-founded 12 years earlier was coming to an end. It was a bitter pill, but I had to swallow it.

What a difference a month makes. From my new office on the Downtown Mall, I can't quite see the old office. But then, I don't have to. About half the staffers and almost all of the writers have come over to the new paper, the one in your hands, The Hook.

We hope this will soon be your favorite weekly. Born in strange circumstances but poised to be familiar, The Hook is the product of Charlottesville's top creative minds.

Reading a weekly shouldn't be a long strange trip. It's supposed to be a conversation. The best news stories are the ones that make the reader feel like he or she has just had a conversation with a good, well-informed friend.

Some of the well-informed friends you'll encounter in this issue or very shortly thereafter:

-Barbara Nordin aka "The Fearless Consumer"

-Bill Ramsey aka "DMBeat"

-the seven major weekly cultural writers in art, issues, music, books, film, family, and theater

-Don Berard with the editorial cartoon

-"Jonesin'"  the crossword puzzle

-Linda Sherman with her "Culture Vulture" cartoon

-John Allen's "Undissolved Mysteries" cartoon

-the lead photographer

-the party photographer

-the art director

-the graphic designer,

-and other freelance illustrators and writers

Then we had some cool sign-ons such as longtime freelancer-turned-staff-writer Lisa Provence, and former copy-editor Rosalind Warfield-Brown. Most importantly, the "glue" that held the old team together, Senior Editor Courteney Stuart, signed on early to take a lead role in creating an improved cultural calendar as well as rounding up interesting new features including the following:

-"Strange but True" column by Bill and Rich Sones

-"Savage Love" column by Dan Savage

-"Life in Hell" cartoon by Matt Groening, and

-movie listings that actually provide the theaters and showtimes.

So there you have it. A good paper by good people in a good town. Enjoy some time with your friends.–Hawes Spencer