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A lot to be thankful for locally

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There is a lot to be thankful for this holiday season for those of us living in Petaluma.

As the smoke begins to clear over the region from the deadliest and most destructive fire in state history, just one year after the second worst fire in state history, we can be thankful that Petaluma was again spared damage from wildfires that are ominously becoming more frequent and intense. The best way to help victims of the Butte County and Southern California wildfires is by donating through www.redcross.org.

We can also be thankful for the recent election, in which voters sent a wave of lawmakers to Washington that promise to provide a check on the reckless Trump administration. After two years of unfettered policymaking under the Republican-controlled Congress, the new House majority will at least provide some oversight to rein in Trump’s most dangerous impulses.

There is still cause for concern, however, especially for those of us in the media as the president continues his Orwellian attacks on the free press. After two years of disparaging the news media with derisive name calling in an attempt to erode public trust in this vital institution of democracy, Trump’s latest move was to ban a CNN reporter he doesn’t like from covering the White House. These attacks must stop, though unfortunately we see no sign that they will.

Fortunately, local journalism is somewhat insulated from the attacks aimed at the national press corps, although we all suffer when the public loses faith in the media writ large. At the Argus-Courier, we will continue to do what we have done for 163 years: Deliver fair, accurate reporting of news and events in Petaluma.

This year, members of our editorial staff once again earned statewide recognition for editorial excellence. Our advertising staffers capably served the needs of local businesses by developing effective, results-based advertising programs.

Playing an equally critical role are the Argus-Courier’s advertising partners, without whom we simply would not exist. Advertising messages by local businesses subsidize this enterprise, and our readers’ response to those advertisements helps support these businesses whose financial success guarantees a strong local economy.

The dedication of our staff and the patronage of local businesses would mean nothing were it not for you, the thousands Petaluma Argus-Courier readers who wish to stay well informed about their community. Communication is a two-way street, and what we write about often flows from suggestions provided to us by our readers.

Readers also make us aware of a great number of community celebrations and happenings, making it possible for us to share that news with everyone, whether by spotlighting outstanding student academic achievements, recognizing the volunteers who orchestrated a successful community fundraiser or how you could pitch in to help a neighbor in need.

We know that many who read the print newspaper every Thursday also go to our website, Petaluma360.com.

To better serve you, our team is planning to launch a redesigned and responsive homepage for desktop, tablet and smartphone. With the modernized design, we will be able to showcase more of the many photo galleries and videos our staff produces while giving you easier access to breaking news. Unlimited access to Petaluma360.com content remains free to all home delivery subscribers of the Argus-Courier.

The Petaluma Argus-Courier is very much a community partnership, and we want to thank all our employees for their hard work and dedication to excellence, our advertisers for utilizing the newspaper to grow their businesses and our readers for their desire to be well-informed on how to make their community the best it can be.

Together, we’re preserving a rich and vital tradition of America’s community newspapers.