When a group of men from The Men’s Breakfast (which normally meets every Thursday at the Senior Center) and I crossed paths, it was all good. They spoke of needing a paper in which they could get articles published that were not getting into the Pahrump Valley Times. The articles they had in mind were about local issues.
Apparently thoughts of such a paper had been brewing among them for quite a while, yet nothing was being done about it. Shortly after I started attending their meetings (the breakfast may bring us all together, but it’s the meeting, the discussion, that is the heart and soul of the get-together), I felt we should just get going on starting up that paper.
We had no money and no staff, but we had dedication and conviction. I volunteered because I believed in the project and had plenty of editing experience. So armed with our desire to create such a paper, we attracted a small, yet pretty ongoing group of those who would like to be part of the team, serving—in a way—as our Board of Directors, idea-generators, article-writers, critics, and critiquers. We started our meetings by deciding on a name. We all seemed to like Voices in the Desert because it reflected who we are and what we were going to do. (Speak up and speak out!)
At the time, the plan and the intention was to provide a venue for articles about the issues we in Pahrump face from day to day and the issues that bother us most. When I attended those Men’s Breakfast meetings, I was keeping track of all those issues. There were many.
Unfortunately, while issues abound, writers do not. Whether or not the attendees at those meetings are capable of writing is not the issue; their finding the time and just getting it done is.
So we started out with a handful of writers who addressed some of those issues: we had ongoing columns about Water Matters, Dissecting the Constitution, Household Safety and the mess with the directors and management team at Valley Electric. We covered such issues as Suicide, Garbage, Big Pharma, and Angela Evans and the VEA controversy, with the hope and promise of more to come; but as time went by, writers dropped away and some of the issues seemed to fizzle out before we could even find someone to write about them.
The whole idea, which has not disappeared from our agenda but has not come to fruition yet, is to get this town involved in solving its own problems; to offer up solutions for a better way to do things where such a better way may be possible; to expose corruption and abuse and bring it to light, naming names; to educate people on things that may not ever have crossed their minds or their paths; to help the younger generation learn how to think; to help the older generation learn how to stay involved and maybe feel younger in so doing; and to generally help Pahrump become the kind of town that can be held up as a “role model” for other towns: a happy, well-run town, free of the corruption that has plagued its image for years. (“Corruption” may be an umbrella term for everything those who live here find wrong with the town, but if someone doesn’t call it out, how will it ever get better? And how better to “call it out” than by people who care enough to fix it, to make it better, even to help?
We are far away from our goal, but in the meantime, we are doing what we can to not only keep our paper alive, but to educate our readers on whatever differing viewpoints come our way.
We do not consider our publication a newspaper and never did. We are an issues paper. We are certainly not in any way competition for the PVT and never will be. As a group, we believe in God and are not afraid to talk about our beliefs. And we are always open to your comments and opinions about what matters to you. Since our small band (group) of idea-generators get to discuss possibilities for our paper every week, taking into consideration the writers we can count on, we often bring up the subjects of such things as life after death, the believability of the Bible, and things of that nature. So while waiting for those “out there” who will get to write those local commentary columns about issues that are plaguing Pahrump, we may be writing a lot of commentary on devils and angels, heaven and hell, being saved vs. the alternative, and such.
The good news is that this is not a religious publication and no one is claiming to have the whole truth, but let’s just say that we all care about what happens to us after we die. If that is not an important ISSUE, then I don’t know what is. Hopefully this issue will bring us some comments, pro or con or any kind. We’re open to it all!
We’re still looking for someone to volunteer to help with our website. In other words, we’re not afraid to admit that we need lots of help. At least I’m not, so Help! Help! Help!
Maybe this current situation that has us all more or less confined to home more will reap some benefits for us in unexpected ways. Consider your creativity during this crazy time of being concerned about COVID-19 and send us an email with your thoughts. Send all comments, questions or concerns to email@example.com.