Almanac

Viewpoint - January 13, 2010

Letter: Thanks for Peninsula's 'Hometown Newspaper'

At the beginning of a new year, I want to sincerely thank and congratulate the owners and staff of The Almanac for another year of giving very valuable and virtually unduplicated editorial service. You truly are a "hometown newspaper," and the four communities you are dedicated to serve are the beneficiaries: Atherton, Menlo Park, Portola Valley and Woodside.

That is a real tribute in my book. Yet, each has a different early history and pace of development later into very distinct suburban communities, school districts, and local governments. I greatly admire that commitment to serve a mixed but common readership, given my background of serving a very special readership for Sunset Magazine.

At the same time, the four communities overlap with many common interests, including a close attachment to Stanford University.

Your excellent 2010 edition of Our Neighborhoods is proof of that blend of commonality in many ways — but with qualities that make us each very different. The Town of Portola Valley, being the latest community, is the "new kid on the block" and where The Country Almanac was founded to help bring a very rural area together to support our incorporation in 1964. In the subsequent early growth period, The Almanac has made an invaluable contribution to my "home town."

But, each of the four communities you serve is distinctive and requires an editorial sensitivity to the unique history and subsequent development — and, importantly, our frequent common interests in county and state politics, overlapping interests in bond issues, many political candidates, and so on. My guess is, we are only beginning to become aware of our common interests in environmental issues with climate change regarding water and wild fires, cooperation for earthquakes and public transportation

Also, the "Shop Local" campaign headed up by Clark Kepler and others is good for the local economy."

A very Happy New Year to The Almanac ownership and staff and thanks for your unduplicated good editorial services for readers — including "public service" with your annual Holiday Fund — and, as published in your Dec. 30 issue, two full pages featuring local nonprofit organizations.

Bill Lane

Portola Valley

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