By Laura Keil

On June 8th one year ago I woke up at 7 a.m. after a few hours of sleep. I still remember the moment, when the cloud of sleep gave way to the adrenaline in my gut: our first issue was here.

I couldn’t remember the last time I felt so fired. It must have been in childhood. Before a big trip, maybe. The energy felt totally foreign, like something I was not allowed to feel as an adult.

I came to Valemount knowing no one, but that hardly lasted a day. I met Joe and his parents, his friends, our neighbours, and as I began doing stories I felt suddenly like I had a network – a community, one might say.

Our first paper was 12 pages. The front page stories were on Vavenby’s successful struggle to get rid of the train whistle and TransAlta starting work on the Bone Creek Hydro Project. It’s wonderful that we run another story about them this week, the project now completed. So much has passed in one year.

Each week we have worked gruelling hours to try to inform our readers about happenings in the Valley. We especially try to bring to light issues concerning new industry, such as the Bone Creek hydro project, community achievements like new businesses, as well as looming funding cuts, as last week’s story on the daycare.

I think, at its best, a newspaper builds community. It enlightens us on other people’s opinions that can build on our own and tells us about changes that affect our lives. Newspapers are a place where we can call on public officials, a place we can learn about behind-the-scenes action, a place to see people’s hard work validated through stories and photos.

These are essential aspects in any community.

The reason I’m committed to this newspaper is because I am committed to this community, and I think a fresh, bold newspaper is one way to serve people here.

I am so thankful for all the support I’ve received so far, including all the feedback about the newspaper, both good and bad. We cannot grow without good feedback, and I feel I have grown in a dozen ways.
So I invite you to fill out all or some of the survey to the left and mail it or drop it off to us. As a community newspaper, we strive to serve you the reader as best we can, but we need your feedback to do so. Thank you for your support.