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Our Community Focus

Saying Goodbye to The Community Focus

Saying Goodbye to The Community Focus

By Jeremy Carlson, Executive Director of the Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce

Growing up, I remember reading a newspaper my grandmother received by mail every week from her hometown of Cherokee, Oklahoma. Every week, we would be regaled with the latest news about local high school sports, local politics, and the occasional story of a cow getting loose and wandering into town. This was big news for a town with a population of less than 3,000.  My grandmother read this paper and then had the paper read to her until she died in 2012. Another paper she loved to read was The Community Focus, and I think I know why. She lived in Concord since 1954, when every town in the Diablo Valley was a small town, just like back home. She watched the farmland and orchards get replaced, little by little, by cookie cutter tract homes and strip malls, and all too soon the only delineation between one city and the next was a sign.

In 2009, a startup community paper was created to highlight our communities on a very local level. It included news about high school athletic successes, local civic events, regular letters from our mayors, book reviews, culinary/gardening tips from local citizens, local music scene news, and local advertisers – all things community. 

For eleven years, The Community Focus helped make our neck of the metropolitan Bay Area feel a little more small town and a little less urban sprawl. For eleven years, we happily submitted articles and ads, and at the delivery of each new edition, we immediately read it from cover to cover, never giving thought to what made it so special. Today, I sit writing an article for the Community Focus to say goodbye. We in the Diablo Valley are saying goodbye to a very special newspaper that is very uniquely us. Each page had articles submitted by our friends and neighbors. I will miss Small talk with Teri, mayors messages, music news from Paul Cotruvo, book reviews by Michael Harris, and of course, athletic news from our high schools and sports organizations (Go Falcons!). 

Today we lose a lifeline that helps make our region feel like a small town, and I hope in the future that something will come our way to replace the void created by the end of the run of The Community Focus -- and what a run it was! As a resident of Pleasant Hill, I want to say thank you to Elena, Jennifer, and Becky for giving all of us such a wonderful gift. Their labor of love spotlighted why living here in the Diablo Valley is so incredibly special, and with the right magic, anywhere can be a small town. It’s how you focus on your community.