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Happy Valentine’s Day from our staff to you, Dundalk! There’s all kinds of love in this world, and we’re glad to celebrate it this week with you. I’m still getting to know the area, and I’m really proud to find so many things to love.

First, the staff here is lovely! I couldn’t step in and do this job without the yeoman’s work of Jason O’Neill, Gianna DeCarlo, Charlene Mayo, Sports Editor extraordinaire Bill Gates and our publisher Art Crofoot — among other sales reps, graphic designers, paginators (looking at you, Kate and Mark!), and many others that help support this wonderful newspaper. We are small, but mighty!

Another thing I love? The recent town hall for Dundalk and Essex at Eastern Tech High School. It was wonderful to hear John Olszewski, Jr., our County Executive, and Councilman Crandell speak about the optimism and bipartisan support this area is finally getting. It’s long overdue, and we’re excited to report on positive developments in Dundalk — despite the tough realities of the county budget.

I was also taken aback by the amount of community participation. We heard about the need for ADA-traversable sidewalks, the need for more funding for Turner Station and we heard about the problematic closing of a pediatric ER in the area.

It was especially pleasing to hear so much community support for the Dundalk Renaissance Corporation, including words from its staff and from several people who took advantage of their home funding programs to great success.

I also love learning more about plans for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day and Fourth of July Parades. And the Chamber of Commerce’s Teacher Appreciation event is coming up in April. What’s not to love about that?

During February as with all year, it’s also crucial that we remember to show love for traditionally marginalized groups and their contributions to the lives we live today. The best way to do that locally is to support Turner Station and the Henrietta Lacks Legacy Group.

It’s also important to cultivate a truly inclusive community — one based on love and pragmatic action. That’s why we’re celebrating GraceWay Church’s multi-ethnic congregation and its second year celebration in this week’s pages. Reverend Bakfwash and his family are certainly people to love!

There are so many things to love about this place — past, present and future. While we all face so many community struggles, let’s take some time to really look at the positive.

Yes, there’s a lack of transparency from our law enforcement about crimes that affect you. But there’s also The Dundalk Eagle — and we’re working on finding some solutions to better deliver you the crime news you’re asking for.

Yes, there’s poverty. But there’s also new opportunity. TradePoint Atlantic is bringing in new businesses all the time.

Yes, there’s addiction. But there’s also recovery. There are holistic centers, faith-based programs and lots of therapeutic options.

Yes, there’s the feeling that our area has been “forgotten” by county government and funding for a long time. But there’s also new, local representation that’s hustling every day to find workable solutions.

And who could forget the fabulous Ms. Irene Spatafore? Her organization, Angels Supporting Our Troops is looking for donations! “Our war heroes have a wish list,” she said. Please donate cash, or: drink mixes, peanut butter or cheese crackers, gum, men’s and ladies deodorant, Slim Jim’s, beef jerky, snack pack pudding, men’s and ladies large and extra-large flip flops, peanuts, tuna or chicken in pouches or cans, small packs of cookies, razors, dog food, gallon size zip lock bags, frisbees, footballs and basketballs. For more information give queen Irene a call at 410-284-5275.

What’s something you love about Dundalk? We want to hear from you! Send me a letter or an e-mail at editor@dundalkeagle.com.

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@EagleBRP

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