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Facing the future


One doesn’t have to look very hard to find a reason to feel pessimistic—even downright gloomy—these days.

The aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks still lingers, with people nervously wondering when and where another strike will be launched.

India and Pakistan, both nuclear powers, are threatening to go to war over the disputed territory of Kashmir, while tensions in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians could boil over into all-out conflict seemingly at any moment.

On the economic front, we’re in the midst of a recession—and a turnaround isn’t forecast anytime soon. As for the limp loonie, will it crash through the 60-cent barrier in 2002?

Yet, despite all this, there’s something about a new year that breathes renewed vigour into people, leaving us with the sense that the sky’s the limit to what we can achieve.

Frankly, we are an optimistic lot when it comes to what lies ahead, which gives us the strength and courage to face the future—to go see what’s on the other side of the mountain—instead of cowering under the bed. It’s called human spirit.

Certainly, in Rainy River District, there’s good reason for optimism. And that was clearly reflected in this past week’s Web poll, which saw 85.3 percent of the 68 people who responded think 2002 will be a better year than 2001.

Still, that’s not to say we don’t face challenges. Proceeding with an Area Services Board (ASB) is certain to cause friction between district communities who fear being swallowed up.

The woes facing the Northwest Recycling Association, and how the current “blue box” program evolves, will continue to dominate headlines this year, not to mention the pending public school board decision on whether to go ahead and close Alberton Central against parents’ wishes.

And, of course, the age-old question of how to get tourists to stop in Fort Frances still needs to be resolved.

All challenges, yes. But none that cannot be overcome if we can carry through the whole year that innate sense of optimism Jan. 1 always brings.

Together, let’s make this a truly happy new year.

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