Two Years – Five Central Truths

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Commentary by Dave Freneaux
    Today’s Central Speaks newspaper marks the beginning of our third year in print.  On April 9, 2010, after two years years as an on-line-only newspaper, we published the first printed Central Speaks newspaper.  The past two years have seen major changes in Central Speaks, first moving to color, then direct mailing to almost every home in Central, a larger format paper, and finally becoming Central’s only weekly newspaper.
    In contrast, Central has not substantially changed in the past few years.  Some would argue that newly constructed schools, many new businesses and an emerging master Plan for city growth are big changes, and they are…on the surface.  What remains unchanged is what this community is, at its core.  As I have become deeply involved in much of what goes on in Central over the past four years, I have witnessed fundamental and unchanging truths that are simply who we are as a community.  I made a list of what, in my opinion, are Ten Central Truths.  Here are my first five, with more to come next week.  Please feel free to write in or email your thoughts and I would be happy to print yours as well.
    Central is a Giving Community – Week after week we report on recent and upcoming opportunities to give to others.  From “Cooking in Central” to “Relay for Life”, it seems that every service organization and many churches in Central find ways to gather the community together to give to others.  Hardly a week goes by that some individual or family is not helped through a crisis by other small fundraisers.
    Central Values Education – This community, which historically votes NO on taxes, has put our money where our heart is and built fine new schools for our children.  Even before the creation of our school system Central area schools had the highest rate of parent volunteerism in the Parish.  Finally, for generations many families have supported our private and parochial schools as they sought the best learning environment for their children
    Central is a Community of Faith – 32 churches thrive in Central, a number of which have been here 100 years and longer.  Each week numerous church activities appear in the paper, and many of the community’s big events each year are church sponsored.  Everyone in town plans their events knowing that Sundays and Wednesday evenings are traditional “church times”, a sure sign that faith is a core value here.
    Central Does “Whatever it Takes” – Faced with opportunity or adversity, it seems that Central always finds a way to prevail.  The question never seems to be “Can we do this?” rather it is “How will we do this?”  In a nation where so many are looking for others to do FOR them, Central seems to step up to meet each challenge, doing for ourselves.  When our schools were neglected, we compensated by volunteering, then we started our own school system.  When growth and planning for the future of our community demanded it, we founded the City of Central.  Now as each new opportunity arises for improving the Central community, good people volunteer and give of their time and energy to seize the moment and work for a better Central.
    Central is Loyal – In all things I see a recurring theme: Central takes care of its own.  This does not diminish the charity of Central toward Hurricane victims, disabled veterans and Cancer researchers far outside Central, but whenever there has been an opportunity to support Central in a struggle against the rest of the world, this community has stood together.  From creating this City and School System over the objections of the Parish, to voting against taxes that do not fairly benefit this area, and maybe especially by pulling together as a community in times of natural disasters, Central has been loyal and taken care of its own.  The most encouraging sign in these and other efforts is that when the time comes to help our neighbor, all political and social differences become unimportant and we all work together for a cause.  This, I believe, is who Central really is.  This is Good News for a Great City.

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