It’s still springtime, but wildfire season is already here. Fires broke out in Agoura Hills and Thousand Oaks last week but quick response limited both to just a few acres. Beach season arrived early, too, as temperatures soared into the 80s. Beaches and trails were packed over the weekend, as Angelenos sought a respite from coronavirus crisis monotony. 

Movie theaters, theme parks and events like concerts may soon offer another welcome escape from coronavirus isolation. Los Angeles County is reportedly just days away from entering the Yellow Tier, the least restrictive coronavirus crisis classification. The daily number of new COVID-19 cases continues to decline, bringing the county another major step closer to full reopening. The good news is tempered with the warning that the numbers could rise again. Masks and social distancing remain essential indoors, even for the fully vaccinated.

Many of us still aren’t ready to travel, but in this issue of TNT we invite you to join us for a trip back in time on Malibu’s legendary Rindge family railroad (page 10). We also check out the community’s Little Free Libraries (page 16); and visit with Topanga musician Preston Smith (page 15).

It’s Mother’s Day on May 9, and in a welcome return to Canyon tradition, Theatricum Botanicum is once again hosting MOMentum, Lexie Pearl’s fabulous Mothers Day aerial performance. The event is Zoom only this year, but promises to be just as spectacular as ever. Details on page 14.

The coronavirus crisis has meant that many of us have been unable to be with our mothers, and grandmothers and mother figures over the past year. COVID-19 has robbed so many of their loved ones, especially our elders. For those who have had their vaccines and are finally able to reunite with family, this Mother’s Day has special poignancy. It’s a reminder to cherish the people we love, whether they are with us in person or only in spirit. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and all of the female mentors who helped to make us the people we are.

May marks the first anniversary of the Topanga New Times. In the editorial for issue No. 1, we wrote: the Topanga New Times is meant as a lifeline during one of the most difficult times in living memory. We hope it will be a way to bridge the gap and provide essential community information, a calendar of online events, and coronavirus emergency resources. This is a way to give our neighbors reassurance, support our local businesses, give advertisers the reach they need, recognize the efforts made by many, and share a little canyon spirit to help all of us cope with the fallout of this global disaster.”

The TNT crew has worked to meet those goals, and as an end to the coronavirus crisis began to be in reach, we developed a new mission statement. Today, the Topanga New Times is a hybrid print and online news magazine and lifestyle and arts publication. We are committed to service journalism, and our mission is to provide information, inspiration, and sustainable and essential resources for Topanga and all residents of the Santa Monica Mountains. We cover a wide range of subjects, with the unifying theme of life in the WUI—wildland urban interface. 

That’s a lot to live up to for a small, homegrown, community publication, but we are inspired and encouraged daily by the kindness, generosity and support of our friends, neighbors, and community. As we finally begin to move out of coronavirus crisis mode, TNT will continue to evolve, but we are here because of you and for you, our readers.

We hope the next 12 months will be a time of renewal and coming together again in person, a time for new stories and new directions. We welcome ideas, submissions, and comments. Let us know how we are doing. Send us an email at hello@topanganewtimes.com or post a comment on social media @TopangaNewTimes. Thank you for joining us on this adventure. We wouldn’t be here without you!

Stay safe, be well.