EDITORIAL: Progress is …

Posted 2/21/17

Progress. It’s a great word.

It means “to move forward or onward in space or time.”

There are some interesting quotes about progress.

“Progress is impossible without change, and …

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EDITORIAL: Progress is …

Posted

Progress. It’s a great word.

It means “to move forward or onward in space or time.”

There are some interesting quotes about progress.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw

“It became clear to me that simply caring is not enough. To drive real progress, you have to change both hearts and law. You need both understanding and action.” – Hillary Clinton

“Without a struggle, there can be no progress.” – Frederick Douglass

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” – Henry Ford

In this issue of The Leader, there are local examples of progress that are worth reflecting upon, perhaps worth a quote or two.

On the front page, readers will note that the banks with the highest market share of customers in Jefferson County are all locally owned, Washington-based banks, not national banks. Why? Because Jefferson County people put their money where their hearts are and support local banks over banks that may not loan to local people or support local causes.

In a special section of this week’s edition, there are stories about the marine trades doing well, with many talented people interested in passing the blowtorch to the next generation.

There’s a story about the first employee-owned home care agency growing from offering 18 hours of service a month last February to providing more than 1,000 hours of service to seniors this February. Like the marine trades, that co-op is growing as well.

Jefferson County’s economic stability has been built, as Port of Port Townsend executive director Sam Gibboney reflected, on three stools in the past: marine trades, the Port Townsend Paper Corp. and tourism.

Over the years, that stool has “grown” a fourth leg: Jefferson Healthcare, which is the largest public employer in Jefferson County, if not the largest employer, period. And that health care system continues to make progress, not only building a new emergency and specialties building that opened in 2016 and a new clinic expected in Port Ludlow in 2017, but expanding its care system to include mental health under its umbrella. Hospital commissioners voted Feb. 15 to move forward to acquire Discovery Behavioral Healthcare.

And the Port Townsend Paper Corp. also is striving to improve its standing in the community. In 2016, the mill won an environmental award, admittedly presented by its peers, for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And for those who watch the mill, complaints about smell dropped by almost in half between 2015 and 2016, while the new mill owners pumped $30 million into improvements. It expects to make $25 million in improvements in 2017.

Progress is … a community whose members work together to care for others, restore salmon runs, educate the next generation, invest locally and focus on the future.

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