In this issue of Prospect we look toward the future of the Yuba-Sutter-Colusa region and the positive developments that will push the area forward in the coming months and years.
Positive is something that I’ve found isn’t always present when you look at various comments on social media from those that live in the region. While I understand there are frustrations from what some see as a long legacy of neglect and mismanagement, the constant negativity isn’t making things better, in fact it's incredibly counterproductive.
Before I moved to the area, I tried to get a feel for the Yuba-Sutter community through the most readily available and prominent social outlet, Facebook. Through a myriad of groups, you will see a constant wave of negativity and vitriol that is oftentimes misplaced over issues that can be easily misunderstood or are completely blown out of proportion.
From the impression I had before I moved here, I was expecting crime and homelessness in every direction. According to what seemed like a majority of commenters, the Yuba-Sutter region was hopeless and full of people that just simply don’t care.
Once I got here, I was shocked to find how exaggerated those concerns and complaints were. Nearly everyone I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know and from the various places I’ve been able to visit, this area is anything but the desolate wasteland that online commenters would like you to believe. There are good people here and there are plenty trying to make it better.
What people don’t understand is that by constantly posting negative comments, you actually could be contributing to less people wanting to live here and are actively tarnishing the reputation that so many who comment say needs to be improved.
How are we going to improve our reputation and community morale as a whole if we are constantly pointing out the negative?
Now, some may blame our newspaper for that, but we are just reporting the news. I’ve made it a point since I’ve taken over as editor of the Appeal-Democrat to make sure we always have good, positive local stories. And while we do post stories that may seem negative or contributing to that undesired reputation, readers need to understand that as a news organization, we can’t just ignore what is happening. Not everything is great news and not everything is bad news. As difficult as it can sometimes be, I try to balance that as best as I can as an editor. And please remember, every city, town and region has issues. None of us is perfect, so how can we expect the places we live to be completely perfect?
Does this community have a homeless issue? Yes, but so does every town and city I’ve lived in throughout the country. This area is not unique in that aspect.
Does this community have affordable housing issues? Absolutely. But, again, a constant negative outlook and image that is portrayed online could affect those that might be willing to come to the region to build more homes or provide more opportunities.
California is expensive. Yes, we all know that. But there is a reason for that and for those that can step back and appreciate it, they can see why. This state is incredibly beautiful with a diverse array of natural beauty and peoples that can rarely be found anywhere else.
In fact, in the Yuba-Sutter region, we are a central point that connects to so many beautiful and treasured places that many travel to for vacation from elsewhere. There’s a reason people from San Francisco or Sacramento come to these areas to get away and they are right in our backyard.
If you’re willing to expand your horizons and leave the confines of your city, then you will find there is plenty to do in this region and plenty of opportunities to take advantage of what this great state has to offer.
Keep in mind, our leaders, especially in Yuba City and Marysville, are keenly aware of this region’s issues and are working to address them. But, like with all things, these things can take time.
During a recent tour of Yuba City put on by the city, Mayor Dave Shaw highlighted several housing and community projects that were either nearly complete or well on their way to make an impact in the area.
If you love this community and want a better place for your children and family to live, then please step away from Facebook for a while. I encourage you to go out and explore the options found not only in this community, but also in the wonderful areas that surround it. There’s a lot out there to be positive about, it’s up to you to take advantage of that.