Is it too soon to ask you to vote again?
No, not that election. It’s over, and Biden won.
Moving on then, to another voting opportunity, one we are offering once again: to help us select the Methow Valley’s top local news stories of the year.
No candidates to assess, no issues to contemplate, no conflicting information to sort out, no debates to endure, no Russians or QAnon lunatics trying to corrupt your vote. But we do need your opinion, and we’ve made it easy for you to opinionate.
For the past several years, we’ve offered an end-of-the-year ballot listing a couple of dozen of the year’s most noteworthy local stories, and solicited readers’ input to rank them by their impact. We winnowed the choices down from a long list of possibilities, and we may have omitted something you believe was important. If so, you can comment when you vote.
The first ballot for the top stories of 2020 appears in this week’s issue, on page A5. Over there to your right. We will continue to print the ballot for the next several weeks, so you can vote at your leisure after proper consideration of the choices.
Clearly, it’s arrogant and disingenuous to think you can predict, promise or dictate the outcome of balloting (see 2020, the year itself). That said, of all the local stories that appear on this year’s Methow Valley News ballot, one stands out not only as the likely top story of the year, but also as one of the biggest stories in this nation’s history.
While the coronavirus pandemic is a global phenomenon, its affects and long-term implications are distinctly local as well. Coverage of the state and local impacts dominated our headlines throughout the year.
We included all things coronavirus-related under one heading: “COVID pandemic, all local affects.” That includes public health issues. The economy, including all sectors. Schools. Government services. Community events. The political divide over counter-measures.
It’s a wide range of story topics that could arguably deserve their own separate ballot spots. But that would crowd out some of the other important happenings of the past year, all of which have relevance for life in the valley.
There are several ways to vote (see the ballot for directions) and we hope you will take a few minutes to add your thoughts. The more participation we have, the more broadly representative the results will be as to what the valley’s residents and friends think is important to this community.
We will publish the ballot for the next several weeks (please limit yourself to one — ballot stuffing is discouraged).
We promise a rigorously honest vote-counting process. No sirree, we are not going to let a dead South American dictator steal or alter your vote.
Results will be included in the Dec. 30, 2020, “Year in Review” issue of the Methow Valley News. In that issue, we will also be looking at noteworthy business and sports stories, and will include the annual list of births, deaths and letter-to-the-editor writers.
Of course, this being 2020, there is still plenty of time for other things to happen. New events may still supersede the ones we have already are aware of. Not much to be done about that except acknowledge them as they occur.
Thanks in advance for your help. It’s always interesting to see how readers prioritize the issues and events that we all followed during the year.
This year has been disruptive in a lot of ways, for everyone who lives, works or plays in the valley. The constant uncertainty, and the impact of a substantial loss of advertising revenue, have affected how the Methow Valley News operated most of the year. The papers are smaller, and our resources are stretched.
Still, we have continued to find a way to produce our annual special publications, if a bit later than usual. Such is the case with the Methow Valley Winter 2020-21 magazine, which is included in this week’s paper — a few weeks later than it would appear in most years.
Because we wanted to make sure the magazine was available for Thanksgiving week and the usual influx of visitors, we have already started distributing Methow Valley Winter around the valley rather than waiting for it to appear in the newspaper, and will continue distribution this week. If you would like copies for your establishment and we haven’t gotten to you yet, let us know and we will respond as quickly as possible.
Have a safe and happy holiday, and remember to be thankful for all the things that are good about this valley, this life, this planet.