Embracing the ‘heartbeat’ of our community

Published 5:30 pm Friday, July 1, 2022

People often talk about the “pulse” of the nation or the “heartbeat” of a community, and it’s an apt analogy.

I’ve worked more than 30 years in newspapers and media. My first newspaper career opportunity came in my hometown of Michigan City, Indiana, working for the local newspaper. After a few years of learning the ropes, a leap of faith continued my adventure in advertising in Gary, Indiana, with the Post-Tribune.

Working with the parent company of both the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune, my offices were in Lake County, Indiana, on the Chicago River and in the iconic Tribune Tower. These are experiences for which I am grateful. Some of my former colleagues lived in downtown Chicago, to be closer to their workstation or to the only lifestyle they have ever known. Maybe that lifestyle is fine for them, but it never was for me.

Every community has a pulse and big cities have a powerful and racing one. I spent many evenings waiting in my idling car on I-94 or the Toll Road in Indiana and Illinois for traffic to finally ease in hopes of lowering my own heartbeat and finding that comfort I seek. Surely, scientific evidence supports the lowering of one’s pulse the further east one drives from Chicago.

But the heartbeat of Southwest Michigan has a rhythm all its own. Flowing waters, serene landscapes and historical downtowns compliment the orchards, wineries, fresh markets and the new industries driving revenue into our area.

For this reason, I say I have found my comfort. And, those other people driving further and further east on I-94 are finding their comfort as well.

I look forward to being a part of this community; of learning more about its history and its people; and continuing to partner together to help businesses grow, readers to stay informed and our beloved area flourish.

I’ll be getting out and about in Niles and surrounding areas in upcoming weeks and months, and I hope to meet each you; to say hello; and to learn more about what you love about our community, our paper and about living here.

If we haven’t met yet, or simply have an idea to share or a question to ask, please reach out and introduce yourself. My email is rich.cains@leaderpub.com and I’d love to hear from you.