Publisher Letter: Community and the Demise of the $5 Footlong

Publisher Bob Hunt


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By BOB HUNT, Publisher

Inflation has been an issue in the news lately, and it looks like it will continue for a while. Economists predict that may adjust by the end of 2022. Until that happens, our readers are feeling the effects of inflation, first hand.

What used to be a $5 footlong now costs more. The extra-value meals somehow now add up to $10 per meal at the drive-through. These are good reasons to learn new recipes, like Sheila Velazquez’s recipe for Soda Bread, or Jonathan Rimmel’s recipe for Keto-Friendly Red Pepper Soup.

In the Inland Northwest, heating oil, natural gas, and propane are all up, making expenses higher. 

Blame comes from all angles as armchair social media barrages and political postulates tell us who and what is responsible for higher prices. 

Whatever your research has unveiled, the bottom line remains indisputable: we are all paying higher prices for our consumption. 

Shipping backlogs from overseas exist, and that won’t stop for a bit. Raw costs of commodities like newsprint and ink have increased our costs here too. The price of a new car is up because of a computer chip shortage, while used cars have gone way up in response to supply.

The great resignation of employees lost to the closing of entertainment, food services, and hospitality are real—thus opening up a huge opportunity for our readership to enter the workforce again (see Karen Telleen-Lawton’s article on how those looking for extra income can combat age bias in the workplace).

Although we feel the pain in our wallets, we still need stuff. And face it, we all will be paying more for a while, until the dust settles and the economy adjusts.

This gives us an opportunity to rewrite our own scripts. 

Can you afford holistic medical treatments or help care for your parents? Jim Miller discusses Medicare coverage for acupuncture treatments as well as explains how to lessen the financial burden of caregiving for elderly parents by taking advantage of available tax breaks.

How can we not only tighten our belts, but also hold up our community? 

Maybe find a local farmer and buy direct. Maybe support your local bars, restaurants, and small businesses—like the advertisers appearing in these pages. 

Your business with them helps ease the burden on community as a whole by keeping your spending local.

This issue is the first printed edition for us in 2022. Yes our costs are up, but we maintain the premise that what we are producing helps our readers and advertisers—our community. 

We currently have a subscriber buy-one-get-one-for-a-friend promotion. Check that out, and help a friend while helping us grow too.

If you know of a business that should be reaching Montana’s 50+ demographic, then send them our way. We need their business to keep the lights on, and they benefit by reaching you with their goods and services.

Thank you for joining us, reader, and enjoy the article on Stagecoach Mary. I wonder what she would say today about the price of stamps or an increase on a $5 footlong.

We welcome your input, so send us a story, recipe, or photo we can share.

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