Tricounty News

From the Heart: A busy, important week ahead

As usual, I'm up to my ears in work. But this week is a little different: more work, and important work.  You know by now that elections are very important to me. The right to vote is a hard-fought and hard-won right, no matter your race or gender or nationality. Squandering that right is something I have no patience for (and I'm normally an overlypatient person). One of the things that really bugs me when I go to vote is discovering that I'm unfamiliar with half of what's on the ballot. That's why I printed a copy of the sample ballot for Kimball. There wouldn't be room in a single newspaper to print sample ballots for every community and every voting situation, though. So I created a simple Web page with links to information on the elections. You can find your polling place, see who is going to be on your ballot, and even link to your favorite candidate's e-mail or Web page. There are also links to the State of Minnesota Secretary of State (who oversees elections in Minnesota), and to the political parties. The page is at www.tri-county-news.com/vote (be sure to include the hyphens and the "/vote" at the end). You can access this from any computer anywhere. If by chance you don't have access to a computer, and don't know where you need to go to vote, you can call us here in the Tri-County News office and we'll look up your address on-line and tell you where you can vote. (Yes, it's that important to me.) We've got several other things cooking for next week too. (That's what's so much fun about a weekly newspaper - there's always something new and different coming up.) We're doing a special issue next week on cancer. Cancer has touched everyone I know in some way or another. And it seems that we learn every week of someone else we know who is diagnosed with this horrible disease. Although experts assure us that the incidence of cancer is not necessarily higher, some weeks it sure seems that it is ... at least here. So we're doing a special issue - a newspaper inside the regular newspaper - dedicated to this subject. It's important enough that we've decided to send it out to everyone in the area (every address in Kimball, Watkins and South Haven). And rather than asking lots of local advertisers to buy ads in it, we've asked key sponsors to be involved. What we do have for local businesses and individuals, though, is a two-page spread of cancer ribbons. Eighteen different colors, if you can imagine. (Actually, we found even more than 18 colors of cancer awareness ribbons; we just limited it to 18.) If you or someone close to you has been touched by cancer, you may want to sponsor one of the ribbons. If so, please call us by the end of Friday, Oct. 31, to sign up. (We go to press over the weekend, so Monday is too late.) Next week we also have scheduled a real estate section. A full-color, pull-out portion of the Tri-County News next week dedicated to real estate ads. With such a big audience, we thought this was a perfect time to advertise properties that are available.  We'll also have a tribute to Veterans' Day. (See Natalie's story at right.) As if that's not enough, we'll run the first week of our Turkey Dinner-in-a-Box coupons for local businesses. (Can you believe Thanksgiving is so close?) Local businesses run the coupons for our readers to clip and bring into each individual office or shop. We collect the coupons after two weeks and draw for several Thanksgiving dinner packages (frozen turkey, potatoes, and "the works") to be given away after Nov. 17 - just in time for Thanksgiving. (Call us if you'd like to be included in this giveaway this year - it should be especially welcome to the winners!) So why, when the economy appears shaky at best, would we be doing so many "extra" projects? Because we must. If we crawl into a cave, pull back our feelers and try to play it safe, then we all lose. As a leader in the community, we need to truly lead the way. Those who succeed in a "slow" economy will not be those who lay low and wait for it to pass. We're doing this for our readers and, indeed for our communities. And we hope you'll join us in this exciting ride! And please, do take advantage of our free services: free classified ads to subscribers (page 20), free cards of thanks, and birth announcements and obituaries are still free (even with photos).