Hi, I'm Linda (Warner) Hanf McIntosh
Owner/Publisher of Around Here Magazine

I grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, when it was a very small town surrounded by open space and clusters of citrus groves. Camelback Mountain was the closest natural monument. Looking back, I loved growing up there. I loved the annual Parada Del Sol sponsored by the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce each year. Since I had four siblings and because our mother was a very busy piano teacher, our family met and knew a lot of the other residents in Scottsdale. This played a part in why I started a local magazine. I like the feel of a small and active town. I'm fascinated by what makes up a great community.

I dreamt up Around Here Magazine in 1994. It simmered in my mind for a couple years. In 1990, I had started WestWord, performing writing, editing and graphic design services. But a recessionary economy soon caused many of my clients, one by one, to fold their publications or take them in house. I decided it was time to launch my own publication.

It was a lot of fun deciding on its focus, the content, and the look. And it was some work getting it going and keeping it going. But I like to compare it to raising children: some work, forever interesting, a lot of fun, and full of love and worry.

To make a long story longer, II couldn't decide what the market would bear: should it be a publication focused on Community? Adventure? Outdoors? Events and Activities? Indecision made me blend them all to see where it would go. Since my background was rooted strongly in community news at weekly newspapers, a blended general-interest magazine reflecting the foothills of Western El Dorado County seemed doable.

I had always loved the Saturday Evening Post (good articles, interesting aspects, cartoons), National Geographic (the natural beauty and wonder), The Farmers' Almanac (the weather, the gardening), and Readers' Digest (the jokes, quotes, short features). If I could somehow roll elements of those into what I knew (community news), I think El Dorado County residents would love it. Plus, the addition of local history and local people would be dynamite.

My daughter Shareen Baker helped me with the magazine once it started (administrative organization, ideas), and she came up with the content of the Kids' page - that ran in the beginning - and illustrated it.

My daughter Christy Fletcher is the From the Kitchen editor. She followed after a couple other food editors but has now been serving for at least 14 years as the key person to come up with the recipes for each seasonal issue.

My husband Paul (former husband) helped with distribution for the first couple years. Then served as sometimes technical adviser (with emergency bailout help) and sometimes sounding board (along with my sisters via cell). When I needed to name the magazine, I wanted it to be something like Around Town to give it a real local feel. As I was expressing this to him I had said that I liked Around Town but that wouldn't work, since distribution would cover several towns and several communities in the unincorporated area. Paul said: "How about Around Here"? and I said: "That's it!"

Many, many people - advertisers, community, friends, and family - have helped to make the magazine a success, often even helping with distribution. One indefatigable soul was Marge Dreyer, who even at the age of 90 made a point of taking the latest issue to key businesses when she was out on errands.

My background:

An editor for Highlander Publications (weekly community newspapers in Southern California); editor and reporter/writer for the Folsom Telegraph (writer) and The Orangevale News (editor); editor of several trade and business journals including the California Computer News, the Sacramento Builders' Exchange Weekly Bulletin, California Wildlife, Women Construction Owners & Executives (National & California chapter publications), and the California Glass Association publication. I have free-lanced for the Business Journal, Sacramento; Comstock's Magazine; and Entrepreneur Magazine, and other publications.

At Around Here Magazine, I wear several hats: founder, editor, business manager, graphic designer, and janitor. Then I fill in for whatever's urgently needed. Isn't this the way of all small business owners?

I hope you find the magazine to be what is intended: truly local, down to earth, interactive, grass-roots informative, interesting and fun. I hope it reflects our beautiful foothills area. Let me know if that's been achieved or how we can make it better! I hope to meet you Around Here!

Linda McIntosh