In our family, where cheesy humor reigns supreme, my wife and son like to say, “Remember what life was like before the pandemic hit seven years ago?”

With 2020—a dog year, if ever there was one—now in the rearview mirror, how do we turn the corner and begin anew?

Our Up Close feature on pages 10 and 11 offers practical steps to navigate the new year amid continuing uncertainty and change.

Instead of making resolutions, the experts suggest taking an approach that involves reflection, intention and focusing on what you value most. Rather than looking too far ahead—we all now know how quickly a year can change—the emphasis is on having a plan and taking simple steps for a better today.

Meet the Heroes

After a year of celebrating Heroes Among Us, our main feature starting on page 12 shines a final light on a handful of selfless helpers who capture the spirit of the yearlong series. You will also meet our adult and youth Heroes of the Year, nominated by readers who appreciated how each went the extra mile to serve others.

Something New in 2021

We will soon launch a storytelling series focusing on rural arts in the Northwest and West, spotlighting how communities and individuals are not only pivoting to keep arts alive, but to thrive in new ways.

They are comeback stories, in a year of rebounding, that we look forward to sharing on these pages throughout 2021.

Happy New Year!


—Leon Espinoza

Vice President of Content