PUBLISHED: 5:59 PM on Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Goodbyes are never easy
Is there a better place in the universe than Southeast Alaska on a sunny May day?

Especially when it's a week of sun, as we enjoyed last week, beaming down on calm seas, lush spring vegetation and flowers.

Maybe this isn't paradise. But you can see it from here!

Our family tried to cram a whole summer of fun into last week. Our son and daughter, both headed to new jobs in new towns, were up from Texas for their only visit of the summer.

So we hunted and shot bears, caught Dollies on a fly rod, trolled up a white king, filled a cooler with rockfish and the first halibut of the year.

And we left more undone.

It's hard to think about work on days when the kings are running and the sun is shining.

These observations have nothing to do with the newspaper business, except that, despite all the distractions, over the past three years we've found time to work hard at improving the newspaper you're reading now.

The Capital City Weekly has come a long way from the first scary days after Morris Communications purchased the paper in 2004.

In those early days three or four of us worked late into the evening to just get something on the press.

It's grown from 12 to 80 pages.

It's now a true regional newspaper.

It's now the basis for a strong website that's updated 24/7 with breaking news, with about as many readers online as in print.

It's now a blend of a whole series of special products dedicated to real estate, the outdoors, tourism and business.

It now is home to a larger, skilled and dedicated staff.

We have strong support from contributors, advertisers, and dozens of people throughout the Southeast who deliver the Weekly to you.

The Weekly has gained in every dimension by which our industry measures success - and the one that really matters, your commitment as our readers.

It's both exciting and humbling each week to hear from you, our readers, what you've noticed, what you like or what you'd like to see in the Weekly. After all, it is your newspaper, not ours.

We're not done yet.

These are just the first in what we hope are a progress of great things yet to come.

And hopefully it has and will continue to make a difference for you, your community and your life.

I have to offer one footnote to this column.

This will be the last column you'll be reading from me in the Capital City Weekly. I've accepted a new job starting Monday as the vice president of advertising for the Anchorage Daily News and this is my last week as general manager of the Weekly.

Leaving Juneau is hard.

Leaving in June is a bit crazy, after enduring a long winter, and with a whole summer of opportunity stretching ahead.

But if we've learned anything about Alaska, it is that this is really one big, glorious, sometimes disgruntled, but always fun extended family.

So I expect we'll be talking again. So instead of saying adios, let's just say we'll see you down the road or on the water.

Lee Leschper this week ends his tenure as general manager of the Capital City Weekly and advertising director of the Juneau Empire. Email him at