The last year in review

Well, its officially been a year since I took my post here with Denton Publications, and what a year its been. There have been catastrophes, celebrations and seemingly everything in between. Then again, thats just another day in news. Some people have asked me why I dont write a regular editorial each week, why I dont inject my opinion on current events and the like on a regular basis. My philosophy is, dont speak unless youve got something really important to say. And, Id rather you read the pure, unbiased report of the news. Thats what you deserve, not one guys opinion on what is and isnt right with the issue du jour. The one-year anniversary of my time here didnt really dawn on me until last Sunday, when I covered the annual Buddy Walk in Plattsburgh, which raises money for Down syndrome research and promotes awareness of the genetic disorder. As I stood in the crowd taking photographs and jotting down notes, I suddenly got my first feeling here of job-related deja vu. I had been there before. In fact, last years Buddy Walk was the first story I covered for Denton. While in this business you tend to get burned out from covering the same events year after year, I dont think that will be the case here. When I listened to 11-year-old Brett Rotz, the son of organizers Tracy and Cindy Rotz who himself has Down Syndrome, give his first speech at a Buddy Walk, I couldnt help but be impressed. Here is a young man who faces adversity on a daily basis because of his disorder, yet he remains positive and upbeat. When Brett said, I have Down syndrome, but I am cool, that said it all. Its stories like these that keep me writing. Theres so many negative forces in the world, and though its imperative we bring you that news, its nice to know there are stories out there like Bretts that can help bring a sort of balance to things. This past year has taken me many other places and introduced me to some pretty amazing people. I guess, as an outsider looking in, Ive been mesmerized by all the great things this area has to offer sometimes what many people are so immersed in, they dont realize what theyve got. Youve got a lot going for you, North Country; dont ever think for a second that you dont. The people here are warm and inviting, and seem to truly care for one another. It was that fact that was a major decision in my moving here and deciding to raise my family here. Sure, having close proximity to Canada, Vermont and even a direct route to New York City are impressive, but if you dont have a place to live where you can feel safe and welcome, then chances are you wont stay long. I intend to stay for as long as youll have me, North Country. I look forward to building even more relationships with the communities I serve over the course of the next year. I want to know you on a first name basis; I want to help you tell your story. If its news to you, its news to me. Heres to one year and, hopefully, many more to come. Jeremiah Papineau is the editor of the Clinton County Free Trader Today and the North Countryman. He may be reached at 561-9680, ext. 102, or via e-mail at jeremiah@denpubs.com.

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