January 2022
Best of 5enses in 2021

Maybe you’re new to this publication, or maybe you have a little extra time to read, so here’s our retrospective on what you might have missed in these pages over the year now thankfully past.

Like most of us, we expected that by now we would probably be past the pandemic, but Covid continues to dominate our social and business lives. Despite continuing hassles with staffing and supply chains, our local shops, bars and restaurants are generally holding their own. Demand for our print ads has not slowed, and we marked new highs for advertising over the summer and fall. We take this as an encouraging indicator of the core strength of Prescott small business, and thank you for your continuing patronage of local stores and eateries.

Webtech Sylvia Ximi has been doing the heavy lifting on our fantastic new version of 5ensesmag.com. With that we're offering many attractive new options to advertisers and, we hope, an ever-better reader experience.

Grounded coverage

This year we've continued to bring you stories about local people doing important work for our community, and perspectives on need-to-know issues to inform and inspire positive action.

Our pandemic-related coverage focused on staying healthy and community-based support for the many among us facing health and life challenges. Times are especially tough for healthcare workers, and Abby Brill (March) and Anne Glasser (September) wrote about how they are threading the needle with vaccines. Anne also brought you the perspectives of local teachers (August). Toni Denis (November) looked into how the pandemic is affecting mental health.

In July our feature by a mother who’s lost her son to PTSD drew many positive reader reactions.

Care for the environment is central to our values, and in ‘21 we carried frequent coverage, from Chuck Budinger’s piece in March, through our four-page April special and our conversation with Joe Trudeau of Save the Dells in October, to Abby’s two-part piece on how Sacred Heart Church is greening its operations (December).

For our local elections, Abby wrote on the group Civic Engagement Beyond Voting (January), Toni covered the new faces on Council (July) and the initiatives (August), and Maria Lynam offered a primer on redistricting (September) that we follow up on Page 6 this month.

With recreational cannabis legalized in the state, Toni brought us related information about legal changes and resources (March, December).

Abby has been a star this year, bringing in many great ideas and stories, including a surprising piece on the Prescott Trails Safety Coalition(August) and a fascinating profile of a rural paramedic (November).Toni’s features on the housing crisis (June) and the struggles of local news outlets (September) provide valuable insights.

Noone does the arts like we do

Of our many great profiles of local artists, none should be missed, but we’d particularly like to mention Erica Ryberg’s gorgeous piece on aerial photographer Matt Turner (February) and Lesley McKeown’s expert-to-expert talk with lapidary artist Keith Horst (June) as standouts.

Many local show and event venues reopened over the summer, and we’ve been lucky to have two new faces on the reporting staff to help cover them as well as local businesses, artists and musicians. Laura Cummings has ranged widely around town, from the International Order of Odd Fellows (June) to her profile of trumpeter Steph Griffin (November). Laine Murphy started off on a high note with her August overview of the ongoing expansion of Suze’s Prescott Center for the Arts, and got us inside a rehearsal of It’s a Wonderful Life, the Musical at Yavapai College (November).

Community voices you can rely on

Our regular columnists have been doing great work. Stan Bindell has been hiking all over northern Arizona, bringing us sometimes poetic descriptions of the many trails in our region. Chef Molly Beverly’s Pandemic Pantry in the first half and Local Food in the second have been reliably delightful as she conveys her love for good eats and the people who make them.

Science-fiction heavyweight novelist Alan Dean Foster turned in his 100th insightful and sometimes quirky 5ensescolumnin May, and Elaine Jordan has been bringing us don’t-miss memoirs of hope, humor, justice and spirit every month.

Adam England, the Backyard Astronomer, kept us looking to the heavens again this year, and his good friend Russ Chappell retired his Bird of the Month column in December after eight years. Adam’s two-page interview with Russ (December) is a fabulous portrait of a multifaceted, community-spirited font of great stories.

We added two new regulars this year that you’ll want to check out. Starting in May writer and poet Dee Cohen brings us the work and personal perspectives of Arizona poets, and her love for the art and its artisans shines through. Since August Hedda Fay has been drawing enthusiastic reader response for her frank and often irreverent advice on sexual health in the 21st century.

Finally, holding down Page 23 you’ll always get a chuckle out of our own Stink Bug. Cartoonist Russ Miller is prepping a new project that will be published soon, we hope, so keep an eye on us!

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