Hello Vail!

Recently, Lucretia Free, publisher and owner of The Vail Voice, met and chatted it up about the newspaper/journalism business. We are looking to continue to take the publication in an even more content-driven direction in 2024.

What I bring to the publication is a journalism career spanning over 20 years. In high school and college, I worked for the Arizona Republic/Phoenix Gazette, the now-defunct Cat Tracks magazine, and the Greek Review monthly magazine – a collegiate Greek system magazine I and three other students ran very well. While everyone else in journalism school was getting A’s, I was working.

I took time off to fulfill other endeavors and coached hoops, volleyball, and tennis at the high school and lower collegiate levels for about a decade to some success in mostly my home state of Illinois – I moved to Arizona in late grade school – and some here in the Southwest. I still am involved with sports. Ultimately, I burned out and returned to the newspaper profession and found it to be a mess. I have worked for almost the last 16 years in the Northwest, Texas, and Missouri before coming home to Tucson which I have also loved dearly.

I look forward to covering the local news of southeast Pima County. Over the next few months, I will focus on Vail School District events and news. Last month, I whipped up a sports roundup that was very bare bones – but got some help from school athletic directors which I am very grateful for.

The idea is to have at least one feature a month on each school’s athletic program and additionally short recaps of how things have gone and if there is anything else to look forward to. I encourage parents to help with this by asking your kids, coaches, etc. to contribute where we need each month – usually the last week before the deadline.

I need the coaches and athletic directors to help get your kids and their accomplishments in the paper so they can have a scrapbook full of our stories to one day show their grandkids. If your teams aren’t in the paper, trust me when I say, I probably did everything in my power to do so. If you have cool photos of kids’ events at school or in and around Vail, let me know.

I’ll also want help from various areas of the community – Chamber of Commerce, new businesses, and local artists. I look forward to getting to know more of you and for sure doing the work you expect from your local newspaper.

Happy New Year to all of you,

Alan Dale


Alan Dale is a long-time journalist, having written on all topics including sports, entertainment, politics, education, new business, and human-interest pieces. Dale also has coached multiple sports at the collegiate and high school levels while enjoying reading, music, and movies.

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