MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES–While we are looking forward to a New Year, we have found ourselves reflecting on the past year. Reporting on the culture, politics, emergencies, milestones, and events of our community is an honor and a privilege for all of us here at Sierra News Online (SNO). Please read on as we look at some of our most popular stories of the year.
The Community section of the SNO website is by far the busiest section. Here you can find the highs and lows that make us a community. Articles about schools, businesses, milestones, and opinions can be found in this section. There are also celebrations of the lives of people who the community has lost. For Sierra News Online, we tend to put almost every article in this section. Articles also go in other sections, but always in the community because that’s who and what we are.
Fires And Emergencies
To be expected, several of our most popular stories revolved around wildfires and emergencies. In 2022, even though California didn’t experience a catastrophic fire season like in years past, our community did. From the Oak Fire that destroyed 124 to the Washburn Fire that burned in Yosemite for almost a month to the Fork Fire, which once again destroyed people’s homes, we have been here monitoring and reporting. You will always find SNO here from the start of a fire to the end and in between reporting on evacuations, acres burned, causes, and relief efforts being offered.
Other popular stories include weather reports, especially watches and warnings, traffic hazards and collisions that affect our reader’s travel and commutes, and even law enforcement activities like shelters in place and states of emergency. Help to keep the community safe is a priority for us, and based on the amount of “clicks” for these types of articles, we know it’s a priority for you too!
O the heels of fires and emergencies come articles about The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), The Madera and Mariposa County Law Enforcement Agencies, the Sierra National Forest, and Yosemite National Park.
The Madera and Mariposa County Sheriff’s Agencies play a huge role in our communities, which is definitely reflected in the articles Sierra News Online publishes. In 2022 we reported on good and fun things our law enforcement officers did, like “being Santa to a Senior,” school site visits, community outreach, and protecting homes in evacuation areas. We also reported on the ugly side of law enforcement, which included traffic accident fatalities, officer-involved shootings, and drownings. That being said, we appreciate and applaud our emergency responders, including firefighters, sheriffs, and emergency medical providers, who put their lives on the line for ours!
Contributors and Blogs
In 2022 articles that contributors and not SNO staff wrote were very popular. Every Sunday, thousands of readers visited the SNO website to find out what hike Candace Gregory would tell us about that week. Her articles had big numbers and were a pleasure to read because of her detailed descriptions, maps, history, and adventures. SNO was very sad to see her retire in 2022 after ten years of writing for us.
Another great contributor was Sal Maccarone, who showed us “How Art Shapes Our Lives.” Then there were the “History Mysteries” brought to us by Don Grove, which were always popular and fun for everyone.
Last but certainly not least, SNO is proud to present community events in a variety of forms consistently. The Community Calendar is always full of local happenings for each month of the year, and it’s easy to submit your event when you are ready. You can also find detailed articles about things to do, including holiday celebrations, area attractions, hiking and biking, local museums, church happenings, festivals, and movies.
For our communities, 2022 was a year that saw us emerging from our Covid cocoons and being able to interact with each other in person once again, and this was never better understood by the support, caring, and kindness we’ve all shown each other through thick and thin. It was a lot of work bringing you over 1000 articles in 2022, but worth every word, and we can’t wait to do it again with you in 2023!