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We're looking at selecting our Amazing Neighbor in early July, so please tell us if you would like to nominate someone

It can be hard to be thankful during these times, to acknowledge the many positives in life, to appreciate the many wonderful people surrounding us.

Whether we are watching Fox News or CNN or something else, the theme is largely the same: fear. Whether nearly screamed or calmly stated, we're told to fear the future, fear the economy, fear foreigners, fear your own government, fear anyone that doesn't look, talk or think like you. It's easy to understand why appreciation can take a back seat.

Sure, these are crazy times, and there are many elements of life that, indeed, should scare us to our cores — but probably not much more than at any time before. A key difference in this modern age, though, is that information (and misinformation) is hitting us in logarithm-driven waves designed to shrink our perspectives and to make us less rational and less open to those who don't exactly share our mindset or worldview.

Our country has been split into maybe three groups: red, blue and those who don't want anything to do with either side, those yearning to jump off the fear train. They are too often disengaged, and that's dangerous too. As we near our nation's Independence Day, we are becoming ever-more fractured as a country. In a smaller scale, our communities also struggle to remain united.

Living in this constant, subtle turmoil can make it easy to forget that the majority of people out there are decent and good-hearted. Tragically, it can lead to us forgetting that some people — as some have been since the dawn of time — are near miraculous in the positive impact they create. It's these people that remind us that life is much larger than our petty differences, or our social media "likes" and Twitter followings. Sadly, the efforts of these people, vastly importantly as they are, get swamped and overlooked by our modern electronic and isolated lives.

Join us in taking a small step toward fighting back.

The Central Oregonian and Pamplin Media are consistently looking to put forth the positive elements of our communities — and there are many. In this hyper-partisan, fear-driven media climate, our newspapers have remained focused on bringing our readers positive news on our citizens and community. Sure, we don't shy away from the important news on the negative side, but our bread and butter is presenting the best of our communities, celebrating achievement and success, showcasing positive intention.

In recent years, our company has produced several special annual publications honoring one unique resident from each of our newspapers' regions. For years, our publications have honored amazing veterans, amazing kids and amazing educators. These large, 80-plus page publications are among our most popular projects. They become celebrations of inspiring people, young and old, who not only make a difference but remind us that we all can be and do better.

In August, our newspaper group will be producing Amazing Neighbors, and we're looking for our readers to help us select an outstanding person. No, nominations don't actually have to be your next-door neighbor, but anyone in the Crook County community who can be defined as an everyday hero, maybe a tremendous volunteer, or even someone who does small things with such care and conviction that their story needs told.

We're looking at selecting our Amazing Neighbor in early July, so please, if you would like to nominate someone, email that nomination to Managing Editor Jason Chaney at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Help us put fear in its place and showcase the best of our communities, our Amazing Neighbors. We hope to hear from you.


You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.


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