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On September 4, Little Rock Bar in Italian Village played host to the official Launch Party for the new Columbus Free Press, one day in advance of our first issue hitting the news stands. Columbus's newest free weekly alternative newspaper could not have wished for nicer weather or a more enthusiastic turn out. Free Press supporters and other revellers enjoyed music by Zancudo, a Latin-pop trio, and kept two food trucks busy all evening. Mikey's Late Nite Slice kept churning out true New York style pizza that our guests raved about, while the Grub Gallery served up some excellent pulled pork and vegetarian items. The real gem from the Grub Gallery, though, was their outstanding home-made salsa. Inside Little Rock, the staff pulled taps on some locally produced brews provided by Four String Brewing Co. that had the beer-loving crowd talking. Most of the evening's conversations, however, centered around the paper itself. By all accounts, The Free Press is a welcome addition to the market. Many of our guests expressed a real need for an alternative voice in central Ohio. It was particularly evident when Free Press Editor in Chief Bob Fitrakis took the microphone midway through the celebration. “Our slogan is 'Now more than ever,'” Fitrakis told the exuberant crowd. “Because we live in a time when we have a secret government that goes after secret warrants against us in secret courts. And we can't trust them because it's a secret. At this point, now more than ever, we need alternative voices. Everyday you should get up and not fear the NSA, not fear your government. You should say, 'we're watching you.' You should look into your smart phones and computers and say 'be afraid.' We stand for the constitution, we stand for American values, we stand for real competition and hate monopolies. We will take on the power elite in this city and we'll bring you the muckraking that you deserve. All power to the people.” Managing Editor Michael Alwood also addressed the gathering at Little Rock. “I want to thank everyone I talked to tonight,” Alwood said. “I've gotten some really good feedback from people. People are really excited about The Free Press and having an alternative voice in Columbus, Ohio. I think it's what the people want, I think it's what the people deserve and I certainly hope everyone appreciates it and I hope everybody gets out there and reads it. And while they do, I'd like readers to know how important it is to support our advertisers.”