Thank you to everyone who joined our fabulous December Fun-Raiser! One thing we learned about staying afloat in the local news business is that money is the secret sauce. Our goal was $10K and the checks postmarked in December are still rolling in. If we haven’t met our goal, we are close.
Next month, The Questa Del Rio News turns four, woo hoo! We grow and evolve by finding ways to be more relevant to you, our readers. Thanks to local writers, we often have too many wonderful articles for our humble 32 pages. Please look on our website QuestaNews.com for “Online Only” to find stories and photos that aren’t in our print edition.
Of all we did in 2021, we are most proud of our website, launched in August. We owe our full initiation into the digital age to generous grants from the LOR Foundation and the New Mexico Local News Fund. Groups like these help small towns survive and thrive, which is not possible without local newsrooms. The vitality of small communities depends on trustworthy independent media. Local news is researched and proven to be essential for healthy, successful communities.
With the 20th-century exodus to urban centers and with it a way of life that made this country great, the health of our society spiraled downward. Life expectancy in the US is declining from previous generations, even though American spending on health care exceeds that of other wealthy nations. One reason people are leaving cities and returning to places like Questa is that life in the slow lane has its benefits.
Individuals can make a difference in a small town. Love of place gives both youth and adults healthy doses of self-esteem, optimism, and sense of purpose. We need to feel like we belong and have something to offer. The pandemic taught us that we need connection, be it spiritual, to others, or to nature. The COVID-19 years are seeing record numbers of people quitting unfulfilling jobs to pursue more meaningful work.
The 1900s were stacked in favor of big business, urban growth, and a system that left rural America behind, a trend that continues. With international corporations exporting jobs overseas, the US imports far too many products from countries like China. Consumers and policymakers should understand the connection between our ports being clogged with Chinese goods, the weakening of the US dollar, an unmanageable waste system, and empty shelves. Buying cheap, plastic stuff does not bolster our local economy, except to bring gross-receipts tax. Giant corporations and the wealthy should pay equitable portions of taxes to take the burden off average consumers.
Think globally, act locally. We can help solve big problems like these right here at home. Support your local paper and read it every month, shop in Questa and Taos County and build a flourishing microcosm. Questa Farmers Market, Repurposing Plastic Project, Northern New Mexico Artists, and a growing recreation and tourism economy celebrate our scenic beauty, encourage entrepreneurship, and grow local agriculture (pun intended).
Speaking of growing local, this month we proudly offer our first advertorial insert, Cultivating Tomorrow: Conversations with New Mexico Agricultural Changemakers. A project of Roots & Wings Community School in Lama, mid-school students share the fruits of their fall semester. Why is this paper so fat? Look in the center for eight pages about the changing face of agriculture in our area.
We have plans for 2022 and we hope you do, too. Please set a resolution, goal, or intention to make life more joyful and purposeful for yourself, our community, and our humble planet.
Lou and the Crew,
Questa Del Rio News