Publisher’s Letter: How Did We Get So Lucky?

By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

When we referred to the Covid-19 pandemic as “unprecedented” we thought we’d seen one of the most shocking developments of our time — how wrong we were!

In these past few days across the country, there have been over 100 violent attacks by the police on news crews at mass protests including on an Australian news team in our nation’s capital.

Here in Fort Collins in recent days there have been several peaceful demonstrations, the largest of which (at least when this newspaper went to print), was on June 2 when thousands of people peacefully marched from the CSU Oval to City Hall and then on to Old Town Square where anyone who wanted to comment could line up on the stage and take the mike.

When I refer to “luck” in the title of this piece I refer to the fact that for the most part, the people of the City of Fort Collins show themselves to be tolerant and respectful. And certainly our police personnel are exemplary in the respectful manner in which they show up at mass gatherings. Recently, I read the Facebook posts of Fort Collins Police Chief Jeff Swoboda from May 28 to June 3 — two statements from his May 28 postings stood out and explained a lot about why Fort Collins is a great place to live:

“Building a professional, compassionate law enforcement agency starts with who we hire. We hire for character and (we) teach skills.”

When I refer to luck, I also refer to the hundreds of thousands of people in our coverage area who listened to State recommendations, stayed safer-at-home, practiced social distancing when going out, wore a mask when entering stores or being in close proximity to others and with a little luck added into the mix, stayed healthy.

Now we can benefit from a slow return to life closer to what we knew only a few months ago. Businesses are cautiously reopening with new rules of operation in place, kids are starting to participate in activities with other kids. And people armed with their masks, are once again feeling safe enough to show up and voice their opinion in public — even if that is to say how sad and angry they feel about recent events.

In our last edition we dedicated 8 pages to the Essential Workers who made all this progress possible. And again, I say: Thank You!

When I consider how amazingly beautiful Northern Colorado is along with its residents who help maintain and conserve its beauty, I remind myself that living here:

We are lucky. We are strong. We will persevere.

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Blaine Howerton