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For years, the Independent has sent questionnaires to candidates in local and state race to help us make endorsements. And every year we remark how candid and thoughtful many of those responses are, and what a service it would be if readers could see them.

Now you can. We've posted all the questionnaires candidates sent us (more than 50) in the Elections section of our Web site.

They're part of our growing effort to use the Web for things we can't do in print. For instance, check out photographer Derek Anderson's audio slideshow about Halloween preparations in the Photo Galleries section. While you're there, click on his photo essay about Derrick Steele, whom we profiled in our Aug. 2, 2006, edition, as Steele reads his poem "Me against me." It's one of the most moving online productions I've ever seen.

This month, a familiar Independent voice takes on a different role: Film writer David Fellerath is our new arts and enterainment editor. Fellerath, 36, grew up in Asheville and is a graduate of Columbia University, where he majored in history and wrote his first film pieces for the Columbia Daily Spectator. After college, David was a waiter, bartender and long-distance truck driver. He wrote his first film piece for the Indy in 2001--a review of Britney Spears' movie Crossroads. Since then, he's reviewed hundreds of movies for us and developed one of the finest--and most optimistic--voices on film in the country.

"Doom and gloom is the default refrain by observers of contemporary cinema," he says, "but what I've seen in the Triangle in the last five years is an expanding enthusiasm for interesting new movies and an ever-developing local filmmaking scene."

He brings that excitement about film to coverage of the larger arts community.

"I want the arts section to be a comprehensive guide to the important things that are happening in the Triangle," he says, "and a forum that serves as a starting point for critical discussion and a means for developing audiences." Ideas? Contact him at dfellerath@indyweek.com.

The deadline is Oct. 27 for nominations for the Indy's 2006 Citizen Awards, given to people and groups who have made remarkable contributions toward making the Triangle a better place to live. Send nominations to fmorgan@indyweek.com (put Citizen Awards in the header) or mail them to Citizen Awards, P.O. Box 2690, Durham, N.C. 27715. The awards will be announced in our Nov. 22 edition.

Finally, as we've sadly noted in ads recently, there will be no Independent Holiday Bash this year since we're busy getting ready to move to new offices. But look in January for announcements about our luncheon to honor 2006 Indy Arts and Citizen Award winners, and later for news about a housewarming party in our new digs. We can't wait (especially, these days, for the warming part).

More by Richard Hart

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