How do you measure a year?
Happy New Year and welcome to 2020.
Whether you're a longtime subscriber, a new subscriber or an intermittent reader, we're grateful that you've taken this journey with us. The year 2019 has come to an end and was a very eventful year in Oregon and Yamhill County. It marks the end of the 2010s, a decade that had no shortage of drama.
As has been well documented within the pages of this newspaper, there was plenty of news to reveal over the past 12 months in Newberg and the surrounding area. There have been highs, such as two state championships for a core group of girls at St. Paul High School. There have been lows, like the continuing legal troubles at the city of Newberg.
Some news was very personal for us as well. The Newberg Graphic suffered a number of cutbacks over the past year, particularly to our news department, making it more difficult to cover three towns and nearly 30,000 people.
Any recap of 2019, though, is incomplete by nature. It's not possible to condense a full year's worth of news into a single article or editorial. It's certainly not possible to encapsulate what 2019 meant to you — a rhetorical question we like to pose to our readers at the end of each year.
We said goodbye to some well-known community members this year. Among them was Ken Austin Jr., the co-founder of Newberg dental manufacturing giant A-dec, who died in May.
But for every "local celebrity" we lost, hundreds of people we didn't know personally died in 2019, too — and some of them may have been very dear to you.
And conversely, as people we grew to know over the years died, surely many people were born in 2019 whom the writers, editors and salespeople of the Newberg Graphic will come to know in the future.
That's how it is with the passage of time: Things change, sometimes gradually and sometimes suddenly.
There are many more stories of 2019 we don't have room to recount in this editorial, from the uncertain future of the former Westrock mill site to a rousing housing market that continues seemingly unabated in the area. From new businesses sprouting up around town to fundamental changes underway at George Fox University; from positive steps toward inclusion and diversity at Newberg High School to the search for yet another city manager in Newberg and the election of a new member to the Yamhill County commission that has served to shift the balance of county government in a direction it hasn't seen in many decades.
We've seen a local legislator threaten colleagues and state troopers in Salem, sports teams exceed even their most devout fans' expectations and individuals follow their better angels and strive to help their fellow man.
We published lots of diverse opinions on this page this year, too, if only we had the space to repeat them all. We've editorialized on the troubles in Newberg city hall, the Legislature's failings in the last session and the need for people to get involved with the many local nonprofits that make the Newberg area unique.
Most recently, we've focused on ways for community members to give back through our "Give Local" campaign, as well as on the importance of subscribing to your local newspaper to support the work we do.
2020 has begun and with that comes inevitable change, but we will be here covering the news in the greater Newberg area with as much vigor as we can muster. Sure, sometimes, we will fall short, mostly for a lack of resources. But we are determined to continue a 132-year tradition of small-town journalism that we think is as important now as it was in the 1880s when this newspaper was founded.
Of course, to that end, we will continue to need your help. Call us, email us, Facebook us, send up smoke signals – whatever it takes to let us know what is going on and what you'd like to see covered in the newspaper.
God willing and the Creek don't rise, we'll get right on it.
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.