Michele Bender photo

Michele Mikesic Bender

Unfairness upsets me, big time.

Last week, I stumbled onto a chat among some Facebook friends. They were dissin’ The Trib.

“Price increase!” protested one.

“Smaller and smaller,” observed another.

I kept my fingers still. My opinion would have appeared tainted because The Tribune-Democrat is where my columns appear.

But criticism without considering the big picture and all the variables involved isn’t fair.

Our population has dropped. Employment figures have improved, but vacant factories and empty storefronts remind us that we have a way to go.

Before news reels at the Embassy, people read the newspaper. Before television, John Cameron Swayze and Water Cronkite, people read the newspaper.

When television and big media attempt to mix entertaining and reporting, the result is embellished, exaggerated and sensationalized.

But that’s a problem for another day.

Certainly, we need to stay on top of national and world issues, but I believe CNN, Fox and others need to clean house.

The Tribune-Democrat tells me what’s happening in my backyard and informs me about issues concerning our area.

Want information about business openings and closings, blight, crime, neighbors uniting to address problems? What about area sports, weddings, funerals, outstanding accomplishments of individuals? I know where to look.

Yes, the rate increased. I subscribe to seven-day home delivery, and I get free online access.

Compared to 10 years ago, how much do you now pay for a cup of coffee, a gallon of gas, a slice of pizza, your cable connection?

In June 2016, I paid $142.92 a month for expanded cable for one TV, and an internet connection. No Showtime, HBO or other.

In June 2018, I opted for basic cable (22 mind-numbing stations) plus internet. My bill dropped to $107 a month.

Last month, I realized my bill had increased to $122/month. I gave up TV. I maintained my internet connection ... $66/month.

I’ve been told I have other options to explore, such as getting TV on my laptop.

Right now, I’m too angry to explore anything! The only thing I really miss is the Chantix “Cold Turkey” commercials.

I never smoked in my life, but the cleverness and detail in those ads is amazing!

Trib costs me about $22.99 a month, which is 74 cents a day. I can do that.

Yes, the paper has shrunk. Newsprint and ink were stung by inflation, as was nearly every other product.

The Trib emphasizes the local news.

Newspapers provide an in-depth community focus – strengthen the region.

Readers rely on coverage of local sports, volunteer activities, features, social clubs and more. Honest local elected officials salute newspapers for holding civic institutions accountable.

Good things come in smaller packages.

The Trib connects me to issues, people and events going on in my town. And although folks grouse about size and price, they never stop reading midway through an article about them or a neighbor.

Readers, if you drop out, I’ll miss you. I love the insights you share with me, feedback, stories, wisdom, tradition. I learn new things all the time.

George Hancock makes me appreciate the quirks of nature, even the ones I hate.

And we’re all rooting for Bill Eggert.

Let’s keep the family together.

Michele Mikesic Bender is a Johnstown resident and regular community columnist for The Tribune-Democrat.​ She can be reached at MsGeezerette@aol.com.

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