Hesperia Star Editor Peter Day is on a well-deserved vacation this week, so while he's away, I'm going to let you in on a little secret: He's not really my boss.


Nor is Peter's boss, Daily Press Editor Don Holland, my boss, either. Not even Don's boss, Freedom High Desert Publisher Stephan Wingert, is my boss. (Hopefully none of the three will read this piece.)


My real boss is you, the reader. Every decision I make -- even when you might not agree with those decisions -- is informed by one simple question: If I were one of the tens of thousands of Hesperians who commute down the Cajon Pass every day, on the road before sun-up and coming home after sundown, and thus unable to attend school board meetings or city council meetings, and counting myself lucky if I got to see my kids before they were asleep, what sort of information would I want to know about what was going on in Hesperia? What sort of information would I need to know?


We have a good sort of problem here at the Hesperia Star: With very few exceptions, we go to press every weekend wishing we had a few more pages and maybe another reporter or two to cover the stories we know are out there. I've worked at other papers, both weekly and daily, and I can assure you that's not always the case. A lot is happening here in Hesperia, and we have to make judgment calls about what to include in the Star.


Sometimes we get it right, according to our readers. Three of the four members of the Hesperia Star staff live in Hesperia, and we hear from our readers in the grocery store, at restaurants and in church. And Star readers tend to be a pretty generous bunch when it comes to giving praise when praise is due. (We know we're lucky on that score, too.)


But sometimes we get it wrong. Usually not on the facts: We run our corrections on the front page of our Web site, and archive them there, just to keep us honest and to try and earn your trust each day.


When we get it wrong, it's sometimes because we made a bad judgment call as to which story to pursue, and which could wait.


But more often, it's because we simply didn't know about the newsworthy event.


Hesperia often feels like a small town, especially to the non-commuters who see a much smaller pool of residents in the city each day. But we're nipping at the heels of cities like Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Berkeley, California. There's a lot happening here that we don't know about, and we'd like to know it, whether it's good news, bad news or somewhere in between.


In the very first issue of the Hesperia Star, published on April 11, 2000, the Star's first editor, Hans Meyer, wrote the following in a piece on page A1, introducing the brand new newspaper to the community:


"In order for this to really be a community newspaper, we'll need as much input from the community as we can. ... Please send us your letters to the editor so we can hear your opinions. Inform us of your charitable events, weekend gatherings and family reunions. Keep us apprised of your business enterprises and successes.


"More importantly, tell us what makes you and your neighbors unique. ... We can't guarantee we'll print everything we receive, but we won't know what to print without your help."


Almost eight years later, that hasn't changed. Let us know what you want to see in the paper. Call us with the sports scores for your kid's soccer team. Let us know about the neighbor with the amazing stories from the Korean War. And if disaster strikes, let us know about that, too.


We want to hear from you. After all, you're the boss.