“The past is a foreign country,” author L.P. Hartley famously wrote in his book The Go-Between. Perhaps that’s why we hold on to the postcards…
The Topanga New Times is a new kind of publication, a virtual hybrid, launched during one of the most difficult times in living memory.
We came together to publish the Topanga New Times as a way to help Canyon residents to find resources and stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic, yet we are here for the long haul. Our name reflects the fact that we are truly living through something new and challenging. Topanga is part of a larger community of people who live in the Santa Monica Mountains and we all share in this current experience. As a mountain community we hold in common our reverence for the privilege of living in nature, the desire to keep this Wildland Urban Interface WUI (the “Wooeee“) as undisturbed as possible, while always seeking the best ways to share this space with our flora and fauna neighbors.
Topanga New Times, as a print publication, is supported by a large and growing media universe of websites, videos, social media channels and our newest endeavor, TNTV. Through this mediaverse we aim to give our neighbors knowledge and reassurance; bring people together through common cause; welcome and educate new families; support our local businesses, and give advertisers the reach they need; recognize the efforts made by many, and share a little canyon spirit.
We would love to hear from you, Topanga and all our friends in the Santa Monica Mountains. We are a community of communities tied together by these mountains we live in. Send us your thoughts, ideas, tips for learning and thriving through these times, personal experiences, and anything else you would like to see us share. We’ll be publishing a print edition every other week, constantly updating content online, and broadcasting our various shows on all of our social media channels.
Our longer term goal is to build a one-stop resource for living in the WUI. We all face the threat of wildfire, enjoy the proximity of wildlife and want to do our best to live ecologically and in balance with nature. Be with us as we address all these issues and more; we all want to be good stewards of the WUI. We are in this together, even if we are together apart, and we are going to get through it, together.
If you have suggestions, ideas, comments, or questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or individually at [firstname]@topanganewtimes.com
Bonnie Morgan, Publisher and Creative Director CEO of Design Like It Matters, Inc., and the former co-owner CFO, COO and CCO of the Messenger Mountain News. A 25+ year resident of Topanga Canyon, Bonnie brings a strong community-minded focus: she served on the boards of the Topanga Chamber of Commerce and the Topanga Community Center for several years, and comes from a rich academic and experiential background in research, marketing and technology.
Suzanne Guldimann, Editor Suzanne is a writer, artist, and musician who lives in Malibu and loves the Santa Monica Mountains. She has covered environment, arts, science, history and crime for the local media for nearly 15 years. Suzanne is also the author of nine books of music for the Celtic harp and most recently a book of history and natural history essays and photographs entitled “Life in Malibu,” available on Amazon.com. In addition to editing and contributing articles and photographs, Suzanne is TNT’s resident naturalist.
Saori Wall, Writer, Photographer, Social Media Producer After over 20 years in front of and behind the camera, Saori Wall finally landed in Topanga Canyon, where she explores different sides of storytelling as a multidisciplinary artist. She is a first-generation immigrant of Mexican and Japanese descent and a documentary film producer, researcher and writer for the Topanga New Times. Her poetry has been published in several anthologies in London including ‘Smear: Poems For Girls’, New River Press 2017 & 2019 Yearbooks.
Chloe Chapman, Writer, Film Critic, Social Media Producer Chloe Chapman is the author of several short stories, a handful of songs, and too many unfinished novels. After growing up in Topanga, Chloe now resides in Berkeley, and reviews unique films for Topanga New Times from afar. Her interests include writing (of all kinds), crafting, theatre, cool earrings, and sexuality education. You can reach Chloe at email@example.com or find her on Instagram at @brocchlo.e
Diana Mathur, Professional Writer Topanga New Times Novelist & MBA, is the author of The Ghastly Year, an historical fiction series set in World War II Latvia and The Linden Tree & the Legionnaire, a historical fiction series set in Latvia during WW II. As an editor, ghostwriter and content producer, Diana helps people pen their ideas and present them to the world. DianaMathur.com
Jimmy P. Morgan, Professional Writer, Columnist Topanga New Times contributor Jimmy P. Morgan is a retired US History teacher with a Master’s Degree in United States History from Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado. He lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with his beautiful and loving wife of 33 years, Jeanne. His Topanga roots begin with his lovely sister, Bonnie, whom you may know. Jimmy’s nascent liberalism is a product of history education – as teacher, student, and reader – and his column, Books & Such, is often written with this in mind; with an eye toward introducing readers to the fuller story of our nation’s past and the impact it has had on shaping the modern world and our perceptions of it.
Claire Chapman, Eco-Advocate, TNT Sustainability Advisor Claire is a Los Angeles native and long-time Canyon resident. With years of managerial experience, Claire excels at making connections and recognizing gifts in others, and has supported and fostered many community events. Being an artist and a fierce eco-advocate, she was originally drawn to this place by it’s rich artistic and eco-conscious community. She finds purpose in living artfully and mindfully in nature while highlighting the unique issues of life in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Brian Chapman, TNTV Producer Composer, producer, and musician who has, since the pandemic, stepped in front of the camera to host video content for TNTV. Beginning with a 4+ hours long Musical Community Event, live-streaming videos from local musicians in lieu of the beloved Topanga Days Festival, Brian’s show reached thousands of quarantined, music deprived citizens, and was hailed a huge success. Next, team TNTV presented the Magical Artists Tour, a series of 11 interviews with local artists of the Topanga Canyon Gallery, in lieu (again, thanks pandemic) of the annual Artists Studio Tour. Brian continues to compose music for television and film, maintaining that his TNTV host status is a “happy accident”, but he looks forward to producing more fun, educational and enlightening content for Topanga New Times.