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Start the Presses: Showdown in La Cañada

What happens when your wife is your competition? Tread carefully, my friends.

September 03, 2011|By Dan Evans, dan.evans@latimes.com
(Dan Evans / Times…)

I noticed the long, tubular box first. Sitting in our living room, spread out among the mail, old newspapers and advertisements for Thai takeout, the brown cardboard looked out of place. Also, I tripped on it.

“What is this, babe?” I yelled to the other room to my wife, raising my voice to be heard over whatever interminable “Seinfield” rerun she was watching. Then again, it could have been an episode of “Hell's Kitchen,” “Intervention,” or any number of shows that the two of us are simultaneously attracted to and repulsed by.

“That's my new Patch banner,” Donna yelled back, muting the neurotic banter of Jerry, George or perhaps a heroin addict. “Remember the Music in the Park thing I'm going to today?”

Ah, yes. The Music in the Park thing.

Back up a moment. The Valley Sun is a major sponsor of the summer-long musical festival in La Cañada Flintridge's Memorial Park, which concluded last week. My wife, Donna, is the local editor for La Cañada Flintridge Patch, part of the nationwide hyperlocal news websites owned and operated by Arianna Huffington, er, AOL.

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Click here for Donna Evans' column on Patch. 
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Donna's plan is to take her large, bright green vinyl banner to the park, spreading it out on the grass as an invitation for people to come and ask her about the site. Two of our friends, Tom and Linda, are planning to go as well. Tom, a photographer, will be shooting the event for Donna's site.

“You don't have to go if you don't want to,” Donna says sweetly.

Though Donna and I are competitors, it almost never causes problems. Today, though, it's on. After all, this is one of the most important community events the paper does. Not only that, we just launched a new Pasadena paper and a combined Sunday edition.

“I want to put my papers out there too,” I say, and Donna's smile drops into a scowl.

Though we chase the same news, our jobs are quite different. I'm the editor of the Times Community News papers not only La Cañada and Pasadena, but in Glendale and Burbank as well. Outside of this column and running the editorial board, I do very little actual writing for the paper.

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