Letter from the Editor: July 28, 2016

Tonya Abeln. Photo by Jacob Roberts

Tonya Abeln. Photo by Jacob Roberts

One of my favorite novels since I was a teen is “A Separate Peace” by John Knowles. When I find a piece of writing that I admire as much as I do this one, my love borderlines on the obsessive, and I typically revisit it over and over. I’ve read this one many times, and there are certain lines that I’ve committed to memory and introduce into conversation frequently out of context. One of my most often quoted lines is from the very beginning when Gene returns to his old prep school and examines “the tree” by the river. An old French proverb comes to his mind: “plus c’est la meme chose, plus ca change.” For years now I have interpreted this to mean, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Perhaps you have heard that, as of last week, The Voice-Tribune has new ownership. The prestigious brand, previously operating under Blue Equity Publishing, was acquired by Lifestyle Media Publishing. I’m thrilled that the rich legacy of this publication, one that spans almost 70 years, is secure in the hands of another locally owned and independently operated company. What that means for you, our loyal readers, is that you can expect the same commitment to quality reporting on the new and exciting happenings and events in our city as well as the personalities behind them. We vow to bring you the same captivating columnists, talented writers with unique voices and relevant topics ranging from Arts & Entertainment to Health & Wellness. More than anything, we will continue to do so in a creative way with great visual appeal that makes you excited about this electrifying city in which we live.    

I am humbled and honored to be a part of this transition. One of the themes from “A Separate Peace” that intrigued me the most is that of rivalry. Having previously worked for Nfocus for seven years, I have always looked to The Voice-Tribune as the standard of excellence to which I hoped to live up. That is one of the most positive things about a healthy rivalry – it motivates you to try harder and become better. Having kept such a watchful, admiring eye on every issue in the past, I feel uniquely equipped to honor the core identity of this publication, one that I unassumingly recognize many of you take a great deal of emotional ownership.       

I’m sure more than a little bit of healthy rivalry amongst peers propelled the 20 Olympic athletes highlighted in this week’s feature “Bluegrass Gold.” Whether inspired by their prodigious athleticism or moved by their personal stories of success, the state of Kentucky has a record number of reasons to be proud as the torch is lit next week in Rio. These current and former students of both the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville will represent 14 countries, and any one of them could secure their place as the next Michael Phelps, Mary Lou Retton, Jackie Joyner-Kersee or even Muhammad Ali – the next Olympic dream realized that forever etches a place in our memories and hearts. During a time when our city and our country seem more divided than ever – Trump v. Clinton, Black v. Blue, Kardashian v. Swift, Pokémon Go v. Pokémon No Go – the Olympics should unite us all with a sense of patriotic pride.

When I returned to the above-referenced quote about change to assure accuracy in this letter, I was stunned to see that, after all these years, I had interchanged the phrases and had been misquoting it with authority. Had I kept up with my French with any consistency, I may have recognized that before now. The proverb actually reads, “The more things remain the same, the more they change.” This, of course, alters the meaning entirely. Perhaps I’ve always needed it to say the former for my own purposes, but I think I can work with this corrected version as well. While the heart of this publication is rooted in its history as a small community newspaper, it will continue to evolve, as it has over the years, into a valued weekly resource for the entire city. I invite you to be part of the evolution with us as we strive to live up to the expectations in which you have grown accustomed and explore dynamic ways that we can continue to engage you, our valued readers. We hope to win the gold with you in that regard. Whether we change or stay the same – and in whatever order – one thing is certain: Your readership and support will always inspire us to try harder and be better.

- Tonya Abeln