By the end of the week, the holiday season will be in full swing -- a blur of holiday shopping, parties and too much to do in too little time.
The next couple of days, however, have a different flavor.
There's something relaxing about Thanksgiving. Our priorities are in order: family, friends, food, a little football and fun. We indulge in too much turkey and pumpkin pie -- for which we are grateful -- but at least our focus is on our abundance, not our lack. We trade the traditional all-American pastime of whining for counting our blessings.
At the Clarion, we also have much for which we are grateful. Chief among our blessings, of course, are the readers and advertisers who keep us in business. Without you, we cease to be.
Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an entire community to produce a newspaper. There are countless people who help us in the task; we are grateful for their many and varied contributions. Among our blessings:
Our Neighbors columnists, the writers in our scattered, diverse communities who tell us what's going on in their neck of the woods every Tuesday. Some of these writers have been helping us since the idea for our "Neighbors" pages was conceived a decade ago. Our sincere appreciation to Mavis Blazy-Lancaster and Kelly Griebel of Soldotna, Marlene Blough of Ninilchik, Barbara Caswell of Sterling, Joan Hansen of Kenai, Beth Jones of Nikiski, Mona Painter of Cooper Landing and Shawna Wolk of Kasilof.
Les Palmer of Sterling, who writes "An Outdoor View," which appears every Friday.
A.E. Poynor of Kenai, whose award-winning "Of Moose and Men" column appears every Sunday.
Fans, coaches and players spread throughout the Kenai Peninsula and the rest of Alaska who help us keep track of all that's going on in the world of sports
The elected officials -- and employees -- at all levels of government who understand an informed community is in everyone's best interest.
The people in our schools who keep us posted about everything that's going on in peninsula classrooms.
Linda Athons, who writes "The Home File" which appears every Sunday, and the rest of the folks at the Alaska Cooperative Extension office who provide us with a wealth of information.
The people at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge who write "Refuge Note Book" which appears every Friday.
Those in nonprofit groups who help us get the word out on what they are doing.
Those who call with tips -- or complaints. Your calls are appreciated. They help us re-examine our idea of what "news" is and what readers want.
Those who write letters to the editor. Your insights provide thousands of people with food for thought.
Last, but certainly not least, on our list of blessings: We are grateful we live in a society where a free press exists. Not everyone will always like the message, but far better to disagree with ideas and information and the way they are presented than to never have the opportunity to read other viewpoints.
Our heartfelt thanks to all of you who make the Clarion happen.
This Thanksgiving week we hope you also find much for which be grateful.
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