Newsletter Editor Needed

LRG seeks new editor for “The Main Gate” newsletter.

The March issue of LRG’s “The Main Gate” will be the last for our current editor, Joyce Wolff. We are urgently looking for someone to carry on with editing of the newsletter. Ideally, a prospective editor would be alert to subjects of interest to retirees, and be interested in pursuing these topics with interviews, photos, etc. Also ideally, they would enjoy writing, and have reasonable familiarity with word processing software on a pc or Mac.

How the Main Gate is prepared

The Main Gate is published three times a year, in March, July and November.

A typical issue has ten pages, though some recent issues have had 12 pages, with articles on particularly interesting topics.

In addition to topical articles of interest to retirees, each issue includes two mainstay features: a Benefits Column, and a Memoriam page. The Benefits Column is written by LRG’s Benefits Committee: Norm Delamater, Patricia Wing, and Leigh House. The column has timely information about retiree benefits. In some issues, the column has described the annual Open Enrollment for retirees; in other issues it has included information to answer questions from LRG members. The Memoriam page lists the names of LANL retirees who have passed away within the previous four months (since the previous issue of The Main Gate). This list is compiled by Jack Clifford and Fran Talley, who comb through local media, and also includes names from a list periodically provided by UC.

The last two pages include information about LRG and an application for membership. The last page folds over to form the address page.

Once the editor has decided the topics to include, they gather the material they need, and compose and format it into final newsletter. This includes deciding where particular features should be placed on pages, and how the pages should be arranged within the newsletter.

When the newsletter is finished, the editor works with the LRG Secretary to get a current set of member mailing labels. The editor then takes the newsletter and mailing labels to the newsletter printer, Aspen Copies, in Los Alamos. After checking a copy of the newsletter at the printer, the editor has the final copies printed. The printer collates the copies, folds and seals them, and attaches mailing labels to them.

When the printing is finished, the newsletters go to the Chamber of Commerce for mailing using the Chamber’s bulk mail permit.

To get issues mailed within the first weeks of March, July or November, the editor starts work on the newsletter by about the middle of the previous month. Once an issue is prepared, it takes about a week to print and another week to get it in the mail.

Currently, the Main Gate is laid out using Microsoft Publisher Software. However, contemporary word processing programs, such as Microsoft Word (pc or Mac) or Apple Pages (Mac), should be able to handle the tasks of laying out the Main Gate. Specialized publishing software, such as Affinity Publisher (pc or Mac) or Microsoft Publisher (pc only), may make some tasks of laying the newsletter out a bit easier, though it is not essential. If needed, the LRG Board will provide any reasonable software that the editor might prefer to work with.

The procedure isn’t as complicated as it sounds and we urge anyone with interest in communicating with fellow retirees and who has some creative juices to consider becoming editor of the Main Gate. The current editor spends about a day or two of focused time preparing a newsletter issue.

If you are interested, we encourage you to contact Dale Thompson, President of the Laboratory Retiree Group, via email at:, or phone at: (505) 660-2144.