Giving thanks to those who make us count


Posted: Thursday, November 24, 2005

Today is the day we tend to reflect on the past year, and sometimes our lives, and give thanks to those who have been so instrumental in shaping what we do and who we are. The other 364 days of the year we indulge in that traditional all-American pastime of whining, no matter how good we have it, but for 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 very 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 the reality that is our day-to-day lives. But today we say thanks for all that we have. And, we’ll remember, at least for a moment or two, those who don’t have it as good as we do.

At the Clarion, we have much for which we are grateful, and it’s become our tradition to share those blessings with 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, whose award-winning “Of Moose and Men” column appears every Sunday.

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

· Shana Loshbaugh, who diligently produces a book review each week on Thursdays.

· 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 employees throughout the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District who keep us posted about everything going on in peninsula classrooms.

· Suzie Kendrick, who keeps us well-informed about the happenings at Kenai Peninsula College on Wednesdays.

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

· Our Neighbors columnists. Even though you’ve not heard from them since summer, these writers in our scattered, diverse communities have kept busy telling us what’s going on in their neck of the woods. Some of these writers have been helping us since the idea for our “Neighbors” pages was conceived almost a decade ago. Our sincere appreciation to Vicky and Abigail Daniels of Ninilchik, Joyce Cox of Soldotna, Joan Hansen of Kenai, Beth Jones of Nikiski, Mona Painter of Cooper Landing, Lois Pillifant of Sterling and Shawna Wolk of Kasilof 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.

Happy holidays!

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