Kudos for the paper

I frequently say to myself and other people:

Thank God I live in a town with a daily newspaper that believes
in local news and tells me what I need to know to raise my
family.

Dear Editor,

I frequently say to myself and other people: “Thank God I live in a town with a daily newspaper that believes in local news and tells me what I need to know to raise my family.”

I became a subscriber to the Free Lance when I moved to Hollister in July 2001. Over and over, you have publicized the positive achievements of Hollister’s young people, particularly in the arts (sports are important, but not everyone can excel in them). I’ve been thrilled to see stories on the front page about San Benito High School students winning state-wide art contests, getting their artwork published in a calendar and book of an international youth environmental art and poetry contest (River of Words), or offering a classic work of theater like “Tartuffe.”

A daily newspaper is helpful for timely reminders and coverage of community events – take the San Benito High School’s homecoming game and parade as an example. You published stories the day before as well as the day of the parade. Then the next day, you told us what happened. Surely Nick Lovejoy’s memorable photo of the cheerleader 10 feet in the air will win an award.

Your consistent coverage of Hollister School District board of trustee meetings is vital for the parents of the 6,000 children affected by the Board’s decisions.

I appreciate your articles and photos about special events like Read Across America Day, International Walk to School Day and the visit of two notable children’s book authors to Ladd Lane School in January.

Thanks for printing the Honor Rolls and Principal’s Lists at our schools. Bob Hammond, principal of Ladd Lane School, told me that parents and grandparents of today’s students have proudly shown him Free Lance clippings from years ago of their achievement in a spelling bee or Honor Society. So, the positive impact of a Free Lance story lasts for years to come (and today’s online versions make it easy to e-mail to friends and relatives all over).

I’m also grateful to you for describing community needs in a constructive way by highlighting numerous opportunities to volunteer or contribute. Wednesday’s front page photo of baby Enrique’s angel face and the joy of his guardian angel, Rev. Ardys Golden, was a wonderful way to showcase the need for more foster homes in San Benito County.

When I was out of the country for three weeks this summer, I made our house sitter save up the local newspapers. When I checked the back issues of the Free Lance, I found out things I needed to know: my daughter’s church youth group director’s house burned to the ground, a quilt made by one of my favorite local quilters was being raffled off to raise money for book acquisition at the SBHS library (I then got tickets and won the quilt at the drawing in September) and the Hollister Downtown Association was inviting artists to exhibit during the Downtown Street Festival in August (so I told an artist friend who set up a booth).

So, please accept my thanks to all of the Free Lance News staff (and advertisers) that make the paper possible.

P.S. Congratulations for landing Elizabeth Gage as a columnist. I feel like Hollister has its own Ellen Goodman/Irma Bombeck participating in and commenting on our community.

Jennifer Coile, Hollister

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