Welcome to the first edition of the Shawangunk Journal
. Last week we explained why we felt the need to change the name of the Ellenville Journal
to something that better reflects our current coverage and our hopes for the future. After way too much head scratching and heated arguments, the name we finally settled on is what you see on page one. Why the Shawangunk Journal
? Apart from being nearly impossible to say — is it "Sha-WAN-gunk," or "SHON-gum?" — we feel the name fits our aspirations well. The ridge is the center of the geographic area we hope to cover, drawing the eye to it from both the West and the East. It is a beautiful and unmistakable landmark, and to many it is the most priceless asset of our region. The ridge also represents a great opportunity for our area — for tourism, recreation, and environmental awareness — and we hope our expanded focus will aid in that growth.
As we said last week, change has already come to the newspaper, and more is coming. We will deepen our coverage of neighboring communities and expand to others. We will reach more readers and give voice to the diverse views found throughout the region. But we will also remain the hometown newspaper of the Town of Wawarsing and the Village of Ellenville, covering the schools, municipal boards, news, and events as we always have, and continue to be the best community weekly in the Hudson Valley. After all, it's only a name.
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Yes We Can
We do not focus much on national issues in these pages, but we cannot ignore the historic election that has just concluded in America. After two interminable years of caucuses, primaries, polls, and debates, the country has come together and decisively chosen a new direction for itself. And the standard bearer for that new direction is one of the most unlikely and polarizing symbols in America — a black man. When Barack Obama was born, Jim Crow was the law in many states, and active discrimination and segregation the rule in most others. Only 47 years later, he is the President-elect of the United States. Thankfully, times really can, and do, change.
By winning this election, Barack Obama has become a great figure in American history without signing a single bill or sitting for a day in the Oval Office. His victory is a victory for the true ideals of our country, of genuine equality, freedom, and opportunity for all. We congratulate him, and America, for the triumph.
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