Have you heard the one about the cheetah that walks into a bank? 

That might sound like the setup to a joke, but in Arcadia, it’s an actual story. Our neighborhood is known as a pet-loving area, with almost everyone seeming to have a cat or dog as an extra member of the family. 

But there are some among us with pets so unique that it would make almost everyone else do a triple-take. In our story on unique pets (page 40), we meet neighbors who take care of everything from zebras to camels, bearded dragons to mini-horses, and yes, even cheetahs. 

As we get ready to start the school year, the laundry list of to-dos can sometimes seem overwhelming. We’ve got you covered here, with a back-to-school checklist (page 52), ways to spice up breakfast on the weekdays (page 48), and coverage of backpack drives that help students and parents get what they need to start the semester (page 5). 

Our cover story highlights an organization that is teaching young girls how to skateboard like pros, all while helping them learn how to make a difference in their community (page 29). We’ve also got updates on Hopi’s remodeling (page 24) and on the 56th Street Transportation Project (page 38). 

Each September, the Arcadia News puts together a collection of summer vacation photos taken by readers during their June through August trips. It’s that time of the year already, and we want your photos. Show us where you went this summer and send your pictures to editor@arcadianews.com for a chance to be in our September issue. You may even make the cover! (Deadline is August 13). 

As always, I encourage you to reach out to me with any story ideas, suggestions or feedback. Many of our best neighborhood stories are made possible by readers who contact us. We hope you enjoy the August 2018 edition – and thank you for reading the Arcadia News! 

— Nick Smith