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Vogt's Notes: Read your community newspaper to be an informed citizen

Portion of the Thursday, March 15, 2018 Echo Journal front page.

"No lies. Know truth. Subscribe to newspapers."

"Stronger the press, stronger the people."

"Newspapers strive to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. We fear no one." - Editor & Publisher magazine

I was unable to attend this month's Pequot Lakes City Council meeting, but I did listen to a recording of the meeting. I had heard that city business owners would attend to ask the council about plans for Trailside Park development.

I can't tell you how dismayed and disheartened I was to hear these business owners say they don't get information from the newspaper. It seemed some had little or no idea about plans to expand Trailside Park across Patriot Avenue (former Highway 371) from the stoplight at County State Aid Highway 11/Main Street north to Sibley Street, routing traffic around the park via Front Street or Government Drive.

The council and park commission have been considering, developing and planning this project for not months, but years. The Echo Journal has published stories from the anonymous $250,000 donation toward a splash park and flag display at the park, to open houses to gauge community feedback, to council updates and action approving park design.

The first phase of park development has been approved with work expected to start some time this summer.

I've been a newspaper person for more than 30 years, so yes, I'm a proponent of local newspapers and of their importance to their communities. I can't understand why every resident, every business owner and every government official wouldn't subscribe to their small-town newspaper as a primary source of what is going on in their community.

For a fascinating read on what someone learned by getting their news from print newspapers rather than social media or other online sources, go to https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/07/technology/two-months-news-newspapers....

Not all small communities are lucky enough to have a newspaper located right in their backyard, reporting on their community's people and activities, and advertising their merchants' offerings.

An annual subscription to the weekly Echo Journal is just $30. Do you only want to read the issue with city council coverage, school board coverage or your child's academic or athletic accomplishments? Buy those single issues for $1 at area grocery stores, convenience stores and some merchants, or come visit us at the Echo Journal office in Pequot Lakes and buy one there. Read our newspaper for free at your community library.

For a few more months, go ahead and get community news from Nisswa to Backus, Pequot Lakes to Crosslake, free at www.pineandlakes.com. Know that plans are underway to start charging for our news you get online later this year.

For those still interested in the Trailside Park plans, Google "Trailside Park Pequot Lakes pineandlakes.com." You'll find numerous stories to get up to speed on the project.

Take responsibility to be an informed member of your community. Read your community newspaper.

"Subscribe to life, read a newspaper."

"Newspapers give you more than just information. They offer an in-depth, panoramic perspective of events, delivering a weird and wonderful diversity of arts, culture, sports, hobbies, and both local and world news."

"Newspapers don't tell you what you want to know; they turn you on to the stories and topics you should know. They inspire you to think deeper, see further and dream bigger - newspapers are where knowledge comes to life."

"Newspapers strive to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. We fear no one." - Editor & Publisher magazine

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