The End of a Decade..
Thursday, December 31, 2009
By Rina Risper
President & Publisher
The world is in your hands.  What are you going to do about your current situation?  In 2010, do not expect anyone to be taken in by those who are not willing to make a change to make their situation better. 
Albert Einstein is a genius.  The quote above is to remind us how vast the world is and how  we have the opportunity to become positive role models in society.  If you see something that you do not approve of, take the opportunity to make it better.  
We have given a lot in 2009 to organizations that need assistance with operations.  We helped an organization that feeds the homeless by introducing them to two local restaurants  that  donate bread and other items every week.   It is getting tougher and tougher to make it today.  I have been a long time volunteer for the homeless and domestic violence shelters and the lines and the waiting lists for services are just getting longer and longer.  More and more people will be affected by the economic downturn.
I go into the schools and read to children.  It does not have to be the school that your children necessarily go to.  Step outside the box a bit and look around you.  There is much to be done and the only thing you are giving up is your time. We should be doing this without hesitation.  Be creative and make time to build relationships with young people.  They don't have the guidance that they used to when neighbors actually looked out for children that were not their own.  Times are changing and we must invest in our children.
I volunteer because it gives me an opportunity to meet the people who live in our neighborhoods.  Meeting those who are fighting for social justice or fighting for medical care was an eye-opening experience for me.  I had the opportunity to tell people who I was and they had an opportunity to tell me about them.  It was amazing.  I realized that no matter what age a person is they should be taught about the value of journalism - retelling the stories that impact people just like them.
The end of the year is supposed to be a time for reflection.  Some of the notables  who died this year  were Walter Cronkite, John Hope Franklin, Chuck Daly, Ricardo Montalban, Natasha Richardson, Kim Dae-jung, Michael Jackson, Bea Arthur, Percy Sutton, Jack Kemp,  Billy Mays, Patrick Swayze, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Edward Kennedy, Dr. George Tiller, Altovise Davis,Farrah Fawcett and others too numerous to mention.  
These deaths were highlighted nationally but most importantly they told personal stories of love, life, sickness and tradgedy.
We must begin to highlight important people who were lost this year locally like Carol Greer and  Doris Carlice.  They impacted our community by volunteering for everything under the sun.  Both Carol and Doris were ardent supporters of TNCP.  They called when they thought there was something that people wanted to know about.  They were global thinkers and connected me to the world as it related to us locally.  I will sincerely miss them.
TNCP would like to thank all of our readers for picking the papers up week after week.  As a bi-weekly, we choose our stories very carefully and want you to contact us.  However, there is no “free press” you have to have a good story that has the ability to captivate, stimulate or educate the reader.   Our staff is very limited but we welcome all ideas.
In February, TNCP will be turning 9 years old.  I remember when we first started and the many nay sayers.  The internet is a source for content.  I received so much support while plugging away at 2 a.m.  Writers from all over the country came forward to assist us with content and we have now established long term relationships with companies and professionals from California, Florida, Boston and beyond.  We were visionaries in that area. 
With the internet and social networks like Facebook, we are able to print stories more frequently as “Special Reports” online.  We don't post the entire newspaper online either. So your best bet is to pick up a copy. 
I find that most of the people that I admire in the news media locally are moving on to public relations jobs.  They will be using their contacts that they made with others in the media to now push their agencies stories into the public eye.
I ran for an At-Large-City council seat and it was an amazing experience as well.  It is way too much to write about right now and believe me I will.  I think it would be better to write it as a book instead.  It should be a semi-fiction.  I met some really great people and realized a lot about how untrustworthy people can be.  Well, yes I do understand that it is politics but are not you tired of it.  One set of rules for one person.  Another set of rules for all of society. 
I recall  a conversation that I was having with a middle-aged White male from Haslett who reads the paper regularly about an encounter he had with a young male.  I have never met the young male, however, this person began make not so nice comments about TNCP.  He basically said that no one reads it and it is not important to this community.  Well, I do not need to tell you that the man from Haslett read him the riot act.  I thought it was a funny story but so many take alternative media for granted.  We need you to reinvest in us by passing the newspaper along or leaving it on a table at a doctor’s office.  It always tickles me when I see someone reading the paper at a bus stop or while walking down Capitol Avenue.
We are now delivering at Meijer (food entrance).  The response has been unbelievable.  We can hardly keep the newspapers on the shelves.  It gives us the opportunity to deliver in bulk.  Please if you would, take some for your business or workplace cafeteria.
Have the courage to challenge convention and work to make changes in your community.  You can either be the type of person who is a passive observer or you can become involved.  In today's socio-economic environment there are no excuses.  Be prepared to face each day in spite of unemployment challenges, depression and political and social unrest.  Begin to collaborate with other professionals (and we all can be professional) in the area that you are thinking about trying.  Relationships are necessary for continued success in life even if the relationship just leads you to a good accountant, lawyer, babysitter, bookkeeper or caterer.

What are you going to do differently in 2010?   


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