Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Column: Bringing you news in a challenging time

by Dave Burgess
| June 24, 2020 11:41 PM

A lot has changed in our lives in the past few months.

You have probably noticed some differences in the Columbia Basin Herald, too. Taking a moment to catch our breath, speaking for the Herald news staff, I’d like to help you, our readers, get caught up.

The virus pandemic and the effects of the statewide shutdown have dominated the news and all our lives for months. Early on, we lost sports, as schools closed down. Without nearly as much to cover in the local sports scene — which we know is important to many across the Columbia Basin — the Herald suspended its separate Sports section. Of course, that meant a few less pages in the newspaper over a week. But our two sports staffers have instead focused on bringing you more news and features outside of the sports world. We look forward to the full return of sports and covering our local teams and athletes.

Another unexpected effect of the shutdown was the suspension of our local history column, which is based on Herald editions in years gone by. The daily feature on page A2 “Time Capsule: A look back” has been on hiatus because public libraries are closed. The Herald is archived at the Moses Lake library.

I have heard from readers about “Time Capsule” — they want it back. We hope libraries will reopen soon (see the related Basin Brief on page A2), so we can restart “Time Capsule.”

In recent months, the Herald said goodbye to two columns that appeared once a week on the Comics page. In both cases, it wasn’t the Herald’s choice: The writers just chose to stop producing their columns. One of them, “Life and Money with Helaine” by Helaine Olen, appeared on Tuesdays. The second weekly feature was “The Village Idiot,” by Jim Mullen, which used to run on Wednesdays. When Washington is through the pandemic upheavals and back to something more normal, the Herald may look for replacements for those two columns. Our readers’ interests matter to us, so please email me with your ideas.

We recently introduced a new outdoors columnist, John Kruse, in the pages of the Columbia Basin Herald. You may have seen his first column, about state parks, and his second on Friday, about fishing for shad in the Columbia River, and wondered who he is. John produces the Washington Outdoors Report once a week, covering a variety of outdoor activities. His columns and photos appear in a half-dozen news outlets in Central Washington. We are excited to share his insight and enthusiasm for the great outdoors with our readers.

There is no replacement for Dennis Clay. Dennis was a longtime contributor and outdoors columnist with the Herald, besides serving his country and his community. He passed away in April, and he and his columns in the Herald are missed.

Throughout this difficult period, we have worked hard to continue to bring readers essential local news and information. Newspapers are classified as essential businesses and stayed open — they always have been essential in this nation, Now more than ever that fact is highlighted.

If you are not now, consider becoming a subscriber and supporting local journalism. It is a great bargain. It is also an easy investment with a great return, making yourself more informed and involved with your community.

Dave Burgess is the managing editor of the Columbia Basin Herald. He can be contacted at