I've long valued small weekly community newspapers for their service quotient, but generally speaking, have rarely found the prose therein to be particularly compelling. Then I happened across the Northern Kittitas County Tribunewhile on a little getaway last week in Roslyn/Salmon la Sac. The writing -- especially that of yeomanlike reporter Jim Fossett -- was consistently vivid and enjoyable, moreso than much of what I read in the Times or P.I. Consider this passage from Fossett's story on a tragic blaze which claimed the only restaurant-store in artsy, rural Thorp:
"DeFaccio looked exhausted. The crow's feet around his eyes and the wrinkles on his forehead were ingrained with black soot, and he stood hunched forward, like it would be nice to have something to lean on. His face mirrored the looks on every other firefighters face -- a depleted look -- a marriage of physical and emotional strain. Perhaps they looked that way because they'd been fighting all night. And this time, what they were fighting was more than just a fire hungry for combustibles. They were fighting a blaze that was consuming one of the heart beats of the small town of Thorp."
For my money, that's right up there with the L.A. Times, which -- despite rampant rumors of demise -- is still the best writers' daily in the country.