With five years of publishing this local newspaper under my belt, my skin has grown a little thicker. 

    I still dread phone calls the Monday after we deliver since I worry we’ve made some error, or omitted some item or caused some reader distress by our choice of words or photograph. 

    All of us at The Coastal Star try hard to get things right, so when readers and advertisers are upset, I get upset, too. Still, I’ve learned that mistakes do happen and amends can usually be made.  

    Sometimes, though, it’s the content of our advertising that makes people uneasy: Businesses challenge the promotional claims of their competitors or political candidates come out swinging. 

    We try to keep these paying customers honest while still recognizing their freedom of speech.

    As you’ll see in this edition, election campaigning has started and we had a more challenging-than-usual month.

    But by far, the most difficult challenge we faced this past month was saying goodbye to a dear friend and colleague. Coastal Star reporter Tim O’Meilia died Jan. 11 after battling cancer for several years. On Page 28 you will find a lovely tribute by Tim’s longtime colleague Ron Hayes.

    We don’t usually run such lengthy obituaries, but for writers (and editors), putting words in print is sometimes the only solace for an aching heart. And all our hearts are aching. Rest in peace, dear friend.

— Mary Kate Leming, 

Editor

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