We’ve used this space in recent weeks to advocate on our industry's behalf in an effort to keep newspapers visible and viable, and of real value to our readers and to our communities.

We intend to continue with our advocacy because America and Americans need factual, fully-vetted information about the COVID-19 crisis, and how the disaster is playing out in our Central Valley communities.

Newspapers are not perfect — but we shudder to think what would happen to the America we know and love if all the news media voices were somehow silenced.

When it comes to the really important stuff — such as keeping readers up to date on the latest coronavirus pandemic developments — we're among the best at providing information about your neighborhoods and your communities.

For example, we recently published a story about a the spike in local pet adoptions happening during the lock-down, as well as the financial hardships faced by local shelters caring for abandoned animals while understaffed.

We told you about the former military doctor who has served in postings all over the planet, in some very dangerous regions, who has brought his field experience to Marian Regional Medical Center as director of the center’s Emergency Department.

We've also had stories about local businesses, including the Donut Cafe and Denny's, that are stepping up to provide goods to essential workers in the community.

We also ran a story about Hanford PD's Officer Chad Medeiros who, along with his K-9 partner Nico, visited a local boy for his birthday. Social distancing resulted in a cancelation of his birthday party, but Officer Medeiros and Nico surprised him with an impromptu celebration. 

We are working 24/7 to get answers to questions about the impact and reaction to the coronavirus locally, and that collection of stories publishes daily. If you have questions about the coronavirus in Kings County, post them to our Facebook page, or email pbowman@hanfordsentinel.com. The entire Hanford Sentinel news staff will work to address your concerns.

We need that sort of interaction just as much as you need the latest local information about the pandemic, where it is now and where it is headed.

And while we’re at it, we'll take this opportunity to thank readers for being there for us. Your support of local, fact-based, nonpartisan news reporting is what makes this newspaper so special. That support tells us what we are doing is important to you, and to our communities.

We also deeply appreciate the support of local businesses and their willingness to buy advertising space in this newspaper at a time when the commercial sector is striving to function under extraordinarily difficult circumstances.

These are the toughest of times, far rougher than anything we’ve experienced, and many of you are struggling to survive long enough to see this pandemic through to some normalcy. We are with you in those struggles, and promise to stay the course.

The Sentinel has been serving our readers for well over a century and is committed to serving the community for many more years to come.

Here’s hoping we have another good century, or more. And with your support, we will get there.

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