Clarion’s role in community appreciated

Posted: Thursday, November 23, 2006

It stands to reason that each year on this day we tend to reflect on the past year — and sometimes our lives — and give thanks for those who have been so instrumental in shaping what we do and who we are. For the remaining 364 days of the year we indulge in that traditional all-American pastime of whining, no matter how good we have it. However, for this one day — Thanksgiving — we do our best to remember what’s important — even if our situation is less than ideal.

It’s a time to say thanks for our families, our friends, the abundance of food that crowds our tables and the other blessings we enjoy. We slow down and enjoy each other’s company. We savor the flavors of recipes that likely have been in our families for generations. While we may indulge in too much turkey and pumpkin pie, at least our focus is on our abundance, not our lack.

Tomorrow we’ll return to our normal routines — unless you’re one of the millions who rises incredibly early to hit the stores in search of the first Christmas bargains. However, today we say thanks for all that we have.

Hopefully, we’ll remember, at least for a moment or two, those who don’t have it as good as we do. In today’s world, the numbers of those less fortunate seem to be increasing, yes, even on the Kenai Peninsula. There are those with no job, no home and little food, but there also are those who have made it their passion to step in and help.

We may appear to be a small community, but we have a huge heart. We are good at reaching out to those in need through the many groups and organizations we are lucky to have in our neighborhood.

In addition to those who work so hard to help, we are grateful to all of you who work. Nothing holds a people together like a strong sense of community and worth, and going to work each day is a big part of that equation.

As your community newspaper, the Clarion has much for which we are grateful, and it’s become our tradition to express those blessings to you on this day.

Chief among the things for which we give thanks, of course, are the readers and advertisers who keep us in business. Without you, we wouldn’t exist.

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, and we are grateful for their many and varied contributions. Among our blessings:

· A.E. Poynor, Virginia Walters, Nick Varney and Jacki Michels, who contribute columns that appear on Sundays.

· Les Palmer of Sterling, who writes “An Outdoor View,” which appears every Friday.

· Chris Jenness, who diligently produces a movie review each week on Thursdays.

· Fans, coaches and players spread throughout the 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 law enforcement and emergency service agencies, who work with us to let you know what’s going on in your neighborhood — the good and bad.

· The employees throughout the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, the students and parents who keep us well-informed about the happenings in our schools.

· The people at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge who write the “Refuge Notebook,” which appears every Friday.

· Our Neighbors columnists. Our sincere appreciation to Debbie Clonan, Vicky and Abigail Daniels, Joan Hansen, Sara Hardan-Smith, Brent Johnson and Barbara Waters for their help this year.

· 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. You provide thousands of people with food for thought with your insights.

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 new ideas and others’ viewpoints.

Our heartfelt thanks to all of you who make the Clarion happen.

This Thanksgiving Day we hope you have much for which to be grateful.

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