Set aside bad, fo­cus on good

The Taos News - - FAVOR Y CONTRA -

Like most years, 2018 had its share of tri­umphs and tragedies.

We should re­mem­ber the bad things that hap­pened dur­ing the year, but not dwell on them, us­ing them in­stead as calls to ac­tion or re­minders of how pre­cious is each day of life.

On the down side, the Ute Park Fire tested the met­tle of Ci­mar­ron res­i­dents, lit­tle Dixon was rocked by a triple homi­cide, the re­gion suf­fered un­der drought and a raid on a com­pound near Amalia where a lit­tle boy had died brought un­wel­come na­tional and in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion to the area.

One Taos daugh­ter lost both her mom and dad in sep­a­rate tragedies within six months of each other. That same tragedy though re­minded Taos County res­i­dents of just how giv­ing we can be. The com­mu­nity came to­gether from near and far to sur­round this girl and her brother with love and sup­port.

Among the year’s tri­umphs, the Taos Tigers won their first-ever 4A foot­ball cham­pi­onship, and showed their class both on and off the field. Other stu­dent ath­letes from around the re­gion proved them­selves in the class­room, on the court and in the com­mu­nity. Stu­dents from around the re­gion have gone about launch­ing ra­dio shows, de­sign­ing com­puter apps, win­ning sci­ence awards and gen­er­ally prov­ing that they can ex­cel.

On an­other good news front, our re­gional hospi­tal re­mains open, de­spite its fi­nan­cial strug­gles. Some 84 com­mu­ni­ties have lost their hos­pi­tals in the last few years, so we’re grate­ful to still have one.

The end of the year is also a good time to thank those who con­tinue to sup­port their fam­ily-owned com­mu­nity news­pa­per. Since 2004, more than 600 news­pa­pers have folded and an­other 900 have been merged into larger cor­po­ra­tions, which of­ten re­duce cov­er­age at the lo­cal level.

Ac­cord­ing to re­cent stud­ies pub­lished in so­cial sci­ence, po­lit­i­cal and elec­tion jour­nals, the loss of lo­cal news cov­er­age leads to less com­mu­nity en­gage­ment in elec­tions and higher bor­row­ing costs for mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, ap­par­ently be­cause lenders worry when no one is a watch­dog over govern­ment. We be­lieve, as did Thomas Jef­fer­son, that news­pa­pers serve an es­sen­tial func­tion in democ­ra­cies.

It takes re­sources for a com­mu­nity news­pa­per like ours to keep boots on the ground, dig up data, ver­ify facts, track down sources, take gor­geous pho­tos, cre­ate com­pelling videos and keep you in­formed as news hap­pens.

We ap­pre­ci­ate the ad­ver­tis­ers who in­vest in their com­mu­nity news­pa­per and see it as a valu­able way to reach cus­tomers. We value the staff at the press in Santa Fe who work ev­ery sin­gle day of the year en­sur­ing the re­gions’ news­pa­pers are printed and the driv­ers who get the news­pa­pers to towns. We thank the street ven­dors who stand out in all kinds of weather to sell The Taos News.

We are deeply grate­ful to the many read­ers who make the time to ex­press their opin­ions by send­ing let­ters to the ed­i­tor (yes, some of them still hand­writ­ten and re­quir­ing us to type them) or post­ing com­ments on our web­site and in so­cial me­dia. We love to see the com­mu­nity engage and even de­bate each other over the is­sues that are im­por­tant to their lives.

We can’t get to ev­ery story we would like as quickly as we want to with our small staff. But we will con­tinue to bust our tails try­ing to do so. We ap­pre­ci­ate peo­ple who send us tips, give us the heads up about events and keep us on our toes by ques­tion­ing our cov­er­age. Feel free to share your ideas, tips and com­plaints with ed­i­[email protected] taos­news.com.

In short, Taos News grate­ful for all of you.

Happy New Year. read­ers, we are ever so

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