Aug 01, 2020 07:24AM
By Elena Hutslar
Reflecting on Then and Now
By Elena Hutslar
As we put together the 11- year anniversary issue, I reflect on what inspired us to create a monthly community newspaper more than a decade ago. It was 2009 and we had endured the Great Recession - the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble and the global financial crisis. We knew people who lost their jobs or lost their homes. Some friends and neighbors were forced to start over and find new careers and places to live. Despite the doom and gloom of the state of our country’s affairs in the media, we saw the resiliency of our community and were inspired to highlight the many organizations, individuals, and businesses that supported each other.
2020 has hurled us into uncharted waters with unimaginable challenges, and we find ourselves in a situation of doom and gloom again. The negative stories continue to dominate our media sources and it’s a struggle to avoid them. But we all know of stories taking place in our community of support and resiliency yet again. We just have to work to hear and see them.
As COVID struck and Shelter in Place was enacted, we saw inspirational messages and illustrations in chalk throughout the community. Citizens made masks for friends, neighbors, and strangers. Meals were purchased for essential workers. Members of the community were anxious to support local restaurants that were forced to close their dining rooms but stood in line for take out instead. Our local musicians performed on Facebook Live to lift our spirits. People created GoFundMe sites to raise money for business owners. Our police and fire departments granted birthday parade wishes. Everyone has suffered from the pandemic in different ways and levels of severity, but the community has demonstrated its compassion by supporting others as best they can.
We have watched the sad and emotional stories unfold in the media on social injustices. But collectively, our community has demonstrated its support for one another through parades, marches for justice, and compassion to officers with messages and meals. Sadly, the negative few garner more media attention than the collective good.
The Community Focus looks forward to a future when we can promote local community events in the Make Some Plans Calendar, highlight our school athletes, and list live music venues, but until then, we will focus on the vibrancy of our local businesses, residents, and community organizations.
We are beyond grateful to our writers, advertisers, and readers, and we cherish Trish Heaney and Alison Clary for their dedication to the paper. We are proud and honored to focus on the strengths of our community.