Well, they did it again. That lisp of a leaflet just 11 miles west of us as the crow flies, but worlds away using any measurement of ethics, lifted our work again.
It took a paragraph from the story we ran last week about the Ridgway School Board hiring a new superintendent. That would be our story, our work.
You'll recall just a few months ago they used the collective work of our reporting on local court cases involving sexual abuse as the basis for one of their probing, in-depth rehashed looks into Ouray County.
Never mind that not a soul from that pilfering periodical set foot in court for any of the local, high-profile cases. Somehow the background and history of those cases just flowed from their pages like a prison break when the warden wasn't looking.
They don't need to be here to impress our work upon its readers.
And what better way to do it than to sit back and let the real pros do all the legwork, then just step in and ply your trade, picking the parts that have the fewest syllables and are easier to comprehend.
In this case, the writer didn't know how to say -30-, the journalistic way of ending a story. So, he just used our ending. See how easy that can be? When I write my great American novel, I'm just going to copy the last chapter of "Moby Dick." If it worked out well for Melville, I'm sure it'll work for me.
But by all means, don't let this influence your decision on whether or not to support these poachers. Aside from pillaging our proprietary work, they've also been known to come down our side of the pass and swipe your patronage, only to run for the hills and divide the purse with an owner who counts his blessings somewhere other than in Colorado.
And, even though we have been known to ask, "if it's free, how good can it be?" we know that with each issue it's getting better and better, because it looks more and more like the Plaindealer every week.
Alan Todd is co-publisher of the Ouray County Plaindealer. He can be reached at email@example.com.