With a new year comes a re-tooled Wade Heath column. Here’s what you can expect and why.
In the last few years this space has become very political and heated. The arguments that have erupted over national policies and politics haven’t been all bad and in some cases have helped to further the political discussion. However, this is a local paper focusing on local issues, and while I may still occasionally dabble in the “big picture,” I am committed to bringing these words back to the local level.
As a side note, this change has nothing to do with recent “heated rhetoric” hysteria and everything to do with a new personal direction.
Secondly, just because I am bringing it back to the local level doesn’t mean I’m steering away from politics completely. There are plenty of local politics to feast on and I will gladly do so when I feel an item is worthy of a passionate debate.
Next, I’d like to once again contribute to this page more often. You’ve probably noticed that in the last year or so I have been sporadic in my writings and I’ve even received e-mails asking where I’ve been. The editors of the News-Sentinel have been more than considerate of my periodical submissions, and ideally I’d like to return to my weekly column.
Getting back to a more consistent schedule will also require your help. We have a fantastic community in Lodi and one that I am proud of. In this town and in all those surrounding us that receive this paper, I know there are tons of good, honest, kind people who deserve to be noticed or given a little public applause.
So with your nominations, I’d like to do a column, hopefully once month, on someone making a difference in our or Lodi’s surrounding communities. I’d like to call this feature “Lovable Lodi.”
My reason for moving away from straight politics isn’t because I don’t enjoy the subject; after all, free speech is a blast. But it really boils down to all of the things (many negative) that are already being said. There are plenty of syndicated columnists out there who heat up the rhetoric and some who make great points. So I’ll let them do that on this page while I will be looking for the positive, small-town things to focus on.
We are in a time where so much of which we consume on a daily basis through media and other outlets is sad, tragic, angry and full of rage. I figure there is a lot of greatness happening that isn’t being covered or brought to light, and for the sake of our own sanity and faith in other humans, especially Lodians, why not let everyone know?
Doesn’t it put a smile across your face when you read a Letter to the Editor about how a good Samaritan footed the writer’s breakfast bill? Doesn’t it warm your heart when you hear of someone who loses their wallet with their entire paycheck’s worth of cash inside only to have it returned by someone who cared enough not to remove a dime nor ask for a reward?
These types of things happen each day in Lodi, Acampo, Galt, Stockton, Lockeford, Clements, Thornton, Woodbridge and beyond. I would like to give these good deeds the prominent placement they deserve.
This year is also a year I’d like to profile more local men and women who serve in our armed forces. They deserve every bit of gratitude and respect for their sacrifice. It would be an honor to showcase these brave citizens who commit themselves to keeping peace and saving lives without ever expecting anything in return.
More than anything, I’d like to fundamentally transform — OK, change — this space of mine to be less about politics and more about celebrating all that is fantastic in life and Lodi.
And finally, since I am taking a departure from discussing the national news here, I don’t want to leave my readers who revel in the national news out in the cold. I still have a passion for it and have decided that because we news-junkies have become so connected through the Internet and social media that I would launch my own online news website and social network for news discussion.
The site is called National Talk Live and is something a few partners and I have been working on for months. It’s a way to experience the headlines of now (think of a newspaper’s front page but for the nation and in real time) alongside a complete social network of Americans’ opinions and talk about those headlines, videos and audio.
Become a part of the platform that “leads the news discussion” by heading to www.nationaltalklive.com.
But for all things local, continue to look for me right here. I can’t wait to help magnify the very best of everything our community has to offer, reminding us of all we have to be thankful for.
Have something local to share or spotlight?
Contact columnist Wade Heath at firstname.lastname@example.org.