Tim Gallagher, the retired Pulitzer Prize-winning editor and publisher of The Albuquerque Tribune and the Ventura County Star, wrote a column in 2014 about what he would do differently if he returned to the news industry.

“I’d be far more transparent about how we do things,” he wrote, highlighting our industry’s news-gathering process.

For nearly 55 years, the Sedona Red Rock News has been a small-town community newspaper, so we cover issues that directly affect our residents. Arts events, musical performances, nonprofit fundraisers and activities, school events, contests open to the public, awards and achievements earned by residents, and stories that affect children, the elderly or the less fortunate make for great news items. The more people the story affects, the more likely it’s a good story for us to cover.

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Three four-year council seats and the mayor’s seat — a two-year term — are all up for election in 2018.

The three seats occupied by Councilmen Scott Jablow, Jon “J.T.” Thompson and Tom Lamkin — who was appointed to replace Councilwoman Angela LeFevre after she resigned in January 2016 — are up for grabs.

With the way Sedona’s council is structured, the top three vote-getters could be elected in August, provided they reach a threshold determined by complex equation: The number of total votes cast divided by the number of seats available, divided by half, then plus one vote. If two candidates reach this threshold, they are elected while the top two candidates among the rest continue to a runoff election for the third seat in November.


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This week we experienced something we have not had for quite some time: Rain.

This week’s storm was not unusual for this time of year. Depending on the fluctuations in weekly temperature, December and January storms can be either rain or snow. It’s snow more often than not, but this year has been warmer than normal so snow only fell at higher elevations. Reporter Makenna Lepowsky shot some photos of the snow that did fall in Oak Creek Canyon and at the overlook to remind us what the white stuff looks like.

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On Friday, Jan. 5, a shooting incident involving a U.S. Forest Service officer and 51-year-old Tyler W. Miller from Kansas closed Oak Creek Canyon for more than five hours.

FBI agents, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Sedona Police Department officers, Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers and Sedona Fire District crews all responded to the scene, making the incident a confusing soup of jurisdictions.

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Late last month, we reported that the city of Sedona had collected nearly a quarter-million dollars in the first six months since parking meters were installed in the summer.

The city is on pace to collect a half-million by the end of the first year, well above the initial estimates.

Despite the revulsion of some people on social media, that the city aims to gouge all our tourists everywhere they want to park, there are still at least eight free parking lots throughout Uptown, and side streets off State Route 89A remain free, accommodating 415 cars, hundreds more than those in the 101 paid spots on main street.

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The Sedona Northern Lights show will be presenting the largest 3-D mapping ever on a natural landscape in the U.S. on the side of Camelhead Rock at the top of the hour at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. from Thursday, Dec. 14, through Sunday, Dec. 17.

The show is a joint presentation by the city of Sedona, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau and the Sedona Arts Center, which chose to co-host the show to kick off its 60th anniver­sary beginning in 2018.

We encourage all our residents to go see the show sometime over this weekend. The presentation is a rare chance to see a dramatic light show on the side of a cliff that overlooks Uptown.

For longtime and new residents alike, the show offers a rare opportunity to see the familiar rock formation come alive at night in a whole new light, literally.

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