After the shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, at the offices of the Capital Gazette newspaper, I’ve been thinking about how important our hometown papers are to life in our small towns. The papers tell us of life and death events in our neighbors’ lives, provide each of us a public voice by publishing our letters to the editor, help us keep an eye on the workings of local government and businesses, and showcase our region’s many offerings of entertainment and recreation. Our local newspapers provide the threads that stitch our communities together.

There is a lot of talk these days about fake news. Some prominent folks use harsh language to attack the integrity of journalists and editors. The truth is, professional news organizations — local, statewide, and national — provide a vital service to all of us. And without local newspapers, it’s likely our communities would unravel.

So, to the editor and all the people who work at your paper, thank you for what you do. We appreciate it.

Barbara Burt

Boothbay Harbor