Nelson’s Nelson Star
For a luscious meal at Itza Ristorante & Pizzeria, we sat down for a bottle of an Argentinan malbec, lasagna and some random fettuccine dish. The best part? Two separate issues of the Nelson Star, the local news that Nelson residents trust the most? There’s no way of knowing. They don’t have a slogan. Besides that minor detail, we enjoyed the 24-page issue with its front page dedicated to Canada Day. The feature article, “What Canada Means to Me.” Jacqueline Van Horne wrote, “Canada is a country where I feel safe and secure. Canada is a beautiful country where I can make my own decisions.” What would an American child say when asked, “What does America mean to you?”
A Sunday morning trip up Hall Street brought us to the beacon of light, the home of the Nelson Star. It was a Sunday afternoon. Not a soul in sight. Closed. Not even a lone scanner lit up the dark room through the window. In fact, it was only one room. (That we could tell). The Nelson Star houses 11-staff members. Only two of them are reporters. My new professional crush may be “Greg Nesteroff”. Not only does he write the public safety beat, but he also writes art features regarding Silver King Dry Ginger Ale. To be fair, he refers to it as an investigation. The staff photo of him is of him sporting a fedora and magnifying glass. But wait, there’s more. He covers the city beat with stories like, “Baldface Rolls out Expansion Plans.” In a single issue he wrote five stories. I’m a fan. He probably does more for the paper that isn’t mentioned in a by-line.
When I see the flexibility in story topics, I feel very confident in my abilities to switch from a police blotter story to highlights of a city council meeting to something extremely weird in passing in downtown Spokane. In shoe-string budget publications, you have to be flexible like that to provide the least amount and variety of content expected. Did I mention that Nesteroff is his own photographer?
As we walked away from the Nelson Star, we passed the former building for the Nelson Daily News. The Daily News published from 1902 to 2010. It was bought by Black Press and then shut down. Black Press also owns the Nelson Star which switched from a weekly, to a bi-weekly publication. To fulfill the lack of news from the 2010 closure, the Nelson Star is now picking up that slack.
Unlike the Spokane metropolitan media market, which feeds on breaking news, Nelson does not have such a feed. We saw only one police vehicle in town during our entire stay. The front page of the Star’s latest issue featured an article called, “Snagged jacket saved Nelson man from drowning.” An article like that would be shoved to the Northwest section of the Spokesman Review, but would receive the 5 & 6 p.m. breaking news treatment from television stations.
In a moment of emotions as we walked down the alleyways away from the Nelson Star, we said, “let’s buy it”. Our only motive: to move to Nelson.