The Grand Bend winter carnival was a great success; I haven’t seen so many different people involved in local activities since the summer. Congratulations to the organizers for great work. Congratulations also to my parents for sticking it out for 45 years. They’ve been able to make love work through the good and bad times, and they deserve a lot of credit. Joanne (Morgan) Smith has similar sentiments for her parents in a touching letter inspired by Valentine’s Day. Now I’d like to get serious for a moment, and hopefully more. You expect a certain standard of journalism from this newspaper, even if we’re reporting on the fun things that happen around here. I would like to feel that the hours that go into this paper are making a difference, and as a result plan to tackle more serious issues in the future. We’ve touched on some in the past, but there are many concerns you have about what affects your daily life in this community. I’m not only talking about beach enhancement and town revitalization, although those are major concerns, for sure. I don’t want to give away too many of my ideas, but you can expect to see more stories that will be the result of investigative research this year. Our goal will be to bring to light issues you may be aware of, but which you may not understand or appreciate. There will be articles you won’t want to read because they take you out of your comfort zone, but I challenge you to read them anyway so at least you can verify your opinion about them. Not happy I ran the story? Tell me. Letters are always welcome here. I have my ideas about what should be discussed in the Strip, but I want to hear from you, too. What are the issues that are ignored but which affect you and your neighbours? Send me a letter by post or email, or call me directly (see bottom of page). Your ideas are safe with me, and if they belong in the public spotlight, I’ll do my best to tell the story. For those of you who just like a fun newspaper, we’re not abandoning that aspect. You’ll still get the information you need to have a good time in Grand Bend and area, and we’ll keep covering the great events you attend. The only change will be stories about more of the challenges your neighbours face daily. For now, here’s hoping you enjoy sharing the good times featured in this edition of the Grand Bend Strip, and hope you have a great Valentine’s Day and Family Day. See you in March!