Last week, I sent off my entries in the annual Idaho Press Club awards contest. I submitted eight entries, in general excellence, agriculture reporting, business reporting, series, general column, health reporting, feature writing and general news.
This year, I’m not submitting a whole heck of a lot of entries. But what strikes me in looking through my stories for the past year is not so much a plethora of “barn-burners,” those stories that you know will win some sort of award, but a lot of “little” stories that may not be big enough for an award but still serve the community.
I’m thinking about the story of the little girl who is battling back from a brain tumor, or the Kuna man who wrote a book about his daughter and Laura Silsby in Haiti, or about the two Kuna boys who are happy to have their dad home from Iraq, or the 7-year-old girl who won the Small Fry division at the National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest in Weiser.
And then, as I look through, I see more “little” stories about the race for Kuna mayor, the Kuna Boys & Girls Club, the school district supplemental levy, the Snake River Birds of Prey Festival, the Kuna Farmers Market, urban renewal, property tax assessments, the Kuna taxicab ordinance. This list could fill this entire space.
This exercise makes me realize what we’ve accomplished over the past year. I think about all those stories that wouldn’t be shared with the community if we didn’t have this newspaper. Sure, a select group would know about the FFA nationals. Some people would hear about Boys & Girls Club progress. A few people would know the details of the taxicab ordinance.
But how many people would learn about the complexities of the school district’s request for a supplemental levy? Who would provide our readers with a detailed explanation of how tax incremental financing works? How would people find out that roundabouts are being proposed for Ten Mile Road?
If not for the Kuna Melba News, how would you know what decisions the Kuna City Council is making? Would you go online each week and pore over the City Council minutes, as has been suggested?
How would you know what provisions for a taxicab ordinance were left in and which were taken out? Would you take the word of someone who heard about it from someone else?
You can read the rest of this opinion in this week's Kuna Melba News.