By now you've surely seen the cover of this week's issue and may have wondered just what we at the Free Press are up to with our mask of Andy Ginther. Many of you are probably asking yourselves if we are ripping off Columbus's former independent weekly newspaper, The Other Paper. The answer is, yes. And no. Actually we are paying tribute to The Other Paper, an homage if you will. For many years TOP graced its Halloween issue with a mask of someone in the news, either locally or nationally. While TOP was owned by Max Brown and his company, CM Media, they did a good job putting forth an informative and often entertaining paper. We respect those efforts even now. A number of us at the Free Press (including myself, Richard Ades and John Petric) worked for CM Media for many years, and have fond memories of our working lives on Sinclair Ave. in Columbus. In a way The Free Press saw its genesis with the demise of TOP. After the Columbus Dispatch bought out the former CM Media, and TOP was quickly killed and buried, it left Columbus without an independent newspaper, a situation many in the community thought intolerable. Hopefully you'll agree that The Free Press is filling that void. And so with our Halloween issue we tip our hats to those who went before us. CM Media's former employees are scattered across central Ohio now, doing who knows what. We would like those individuals to know that we are honoring them with this issue. We'd like also to recognize our talented contributing artist, Glenn Brewer, for his marvelous rendition of Columbus City Council President Andy Ginther, which graces this week's cover. To our knowledge no one ever actually cut out one of the masks from TOP, and we doubt anyone will clip ours this week. That is unless we give them a good reason, and we think we have one. If you know anyone with kids in Columbus City Schools and who is a steady reader of The Free Press (and therefore knows what a frightening mess our schools are in), clip that puppy out and scare the bejesus out of them.

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