There are many things we do not do. At the top of that list is this: The Coastal Star does not do political endorsements.

To fairly write endorsements requires conducting interviews — preferably in-person. These are time-consuming and almost impossible to coordinate. They also require extensive fact-checking.

Some publications run criminal checks on candidates.

Of course, all this would be helpful to voters, but it requires more resources than this monthly newspaper has available.

The same goes for restaurant reviews. To do those fairly requires more than one visit and sampling more than one entrée. It also requires paying for those meals. Again, not something this small newspaper can afford. I know readers would love it if we reviewed all the wonderful restaurants in our area, but it’s just not possible.

As owners of the newspaper, my husband and I once mixed and mingled on the fundraising scene. We still contribute where we feel the need is greatest, but found so many local groups making worthwhile contributions to the community that it became a little overwhelming.

Especially for those of us more comfortable reading a book in bed than navigating a banquet in heels. No offense to those who love the get-up and glamour; you’re doing wonderful things for worthwhile causes. Please be sure to send us your event listings and post-event photos. In print, we are happy to promote and celebrate with you in the pages of the paper.

We also don’t do pay-to-play advertising, branded content, linked copy on our website, sticky notes on our masthead or pop-up ads online. We entertain the idea of testing these potential revenue generators from time to time, but feel what’s valuable to one person or business can sometimes be distracting to our dedicated readers. We do our best to always keep our readers in mind. We believe they are the reason our business partners buy display advertising in good old-fashioned newsprint.

As tourist season rushes toward summer (Easter is in March!), rest assured there are things we do plan to do. You can count on The Coastal Star to inform you on election results and how those officials address the coming budget preparations. We’ll also let you know when these elected officials succeed at representing their community, and when they fail.

We’ll let you know when restaurants open and close and celebrate the successes of businesses, nonprofits and those who contribute generously in our community.

We’ll follow sea turtle nesting season (at least two leatherback nests were found on South County beaches before the season officially began March 1), and the coming hurricane season — keeping a watchful eye on La Niña and El Niño.

And, of course, we’ll continue to follow public safety concerns, rising sea levels, population growth and the impact of new development.

In other words, we’ll be here doing what we always do: providing our readers with useful news and information with an eye toward keeping our coastal lifestyle safe, sustainable and enjoyable.

— Mary Kate Leming
Executive Editor

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