In the Chippewa Valley, Looking Forward

by Nick Meyer

On page 30 of this issue (or online here) you’ll find a feature story rounding up some of what the Chippewa Valley has to look forward to in 2016. And it seems these days there’s more than ever. I find it particularly fun to envision what lies ahead for this community, the given year ahead and beyond. But it’s certainly fun (and much easier) to look back too, aided by the memories of friends and loved ones, as well as the historic photos to show for it all. That’s probably why it’s more popular and common to look back than forward. In the early days of Volume One we were sometimes faulted for not having enough reverence for the rich and storied history of the Chippewa Valley – we were always about the here and now. Quite literally, we were sometimes only interested in the next two weeks’ worth of action. Our philosophy at that point, which is still partially present today, was that plenty of people had been talking about the region’s history for decades, and that more attention was needed on what was happening now. I think over the years our perspective in that regard grew somewhat, though more growth is certainly welcomed. Through that growth, in the latter half of our existence we’ve more often elevated the fascinating history of this community, and when appropriate, shared its lessons learned. And while our constant look at the very immediate future is still and will always be prevalent in our pages, some years ago we began to realize that wasn’t enough either. So perhaps most recently, and most strongly, we’ve taken a much deeper dive into looking forward for the community. Way forward. We’ve tried to help readers and the community at large to explore not only what is already known to lie ahead, but what could lie ahead as well. Of course our versions of what could lie ahead offer just a sliver of the possibilities, and we all have layers of vision to add to that community story. So if there’s a New Year’s resolution to be had here at Volume One, it could be to do our small part to further develop an inclusive vision of the future of our community. To do better at reflecting the needs and wishes of our entire citizenry, and keep building a narrative of what comes next. In the meantime, let’s enjoy what’s coming in 2016. It looks to be a good one.