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From the editor: Happy holidays!

Raise a glass to those who've passed, those who've endured — & a better New Year

Stay home & stay healthy while you celebrate

Ordinarily, we'd be inviting all our readers to join us in person to celebrate the holiday season, for a few drinks and lively conversation, right about now. We can't do that this year, but want to pass along our heartfelt best wishes as we mark the darkest day of the year — and brighter ones to come.

Most years, we hold a Sentinel "holiday shindig" down at the Shanty, with a warm bar crowded with a motley collection of journalists and left-wing political activists and Tea Party stalwarts, elected officials and normally shy bureaucrats and ordinary readers who want to learn a bit about more about what it is we do.

In doing so, along with marking whatever it is you/we/they celebrate this time of year — especially a belated 229th birthday of the Bill of Rights (Dec. 15), or the impending eleventh (!) birthday of TucsonSentinel.com (Jan. 22) — we'd be thanking you all, in person and here in this virtual space, for your kind support for local watchdog reporting.

Pitch in before the midnight deadline on New Year's Eve!

You donation to our nonprofit newsroom could be MATCHED! dollar-for-dollar — or even have 4X the impact.

Subscribe and stretch your donation over time:

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While we may be skipping that face-to-face conversation (and plenty of handshakes and hugs and fist-bumps), please take a moment to reflect along with us on the tumultuous, trying year we've just seen — and how the new one can be better.

This has been a year filled with more tears and fears, anger and even rage, disappointment and mourning and tension, than any in living memory for most of us.

And yet there have been moments of hope and joy and love, of dedication to making this world better, of learning and discovery, and yes, of the relief of a burden lifted, that have inspired us to keep working to tell people just what's going on in this community.

Support TucsonSentinel.com today, because a smarter Tucson is a better Tucson!

Let's try to look ahead, even as we remind ourselves to never forget the lessons of this year. Some of you have endured great loss. We weep with you, and hold you close. Some of you have overcome astounding challenges, and others continue to serve us with persistence and caring every day. We hold you up, as among the best of us.

I want to see so many of you again, and soon, but I'll be patient and wait just a little bit longer.

In the meantime, here's to you, and yours. We have seen the longest night already. Tomorrow will bring yet more light.

Please join us is raising a glass to the season, to those we've lost and the discoveries we've learned, and to our continuing freedoms — especially a free press. And while you're toasting, PLEASE HELP US KEEP YOUR LOCAL NONPROFIT INDEPENDENT NEWS SITE AROUND for another year, with your TAX-DEDUCTIBLE GIFT.

And here's an important section of this annual missive: When you donate anytime during December, YOUR GIFT to support local nonprofit news is eligible to be MATCHED, dollar-for-dollar, by the special NewsMatch program.

This important initiative to strengthen selected nonprofit newsrooms is funded by a group of national foundations including the Democracy Fund, the  John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Facebook Journalism Project, Google News Initiative, Abrams Foundation, Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust,  Inasmuch Foundation,  Independence Public Media Foundation, Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, Rita Allen Foundation, Natasha and Dirk Ziff, Present Progressive Fund at Schwab Charitable,  S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, Walton Family Foundation,  William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Wyncote Foundation.

Which is an impressive list, but we need to add your name to our roster of supporters, too.

If you've already donated, thanks so much for your support. If you haven't yet, please join recent donors like Edna Gray, Bill Roe, Melissa Vito, Beth Borozan, Sharon Bronson, Newt & Sunny Ashby, Luise Levy, Abby Okrent, Bill Buckmaster, Alan Fischer, Vicki Gotkin, Chuck Huckelberry, Evelyn Lathram, Michele Manos, John Bernal, Michael Green, Laura Conover, Gregg Garfin, Jeffrey Ingram, Carlos Arzate, Rick Unklesbay, Laurie Jurs, JD Wallace, Joe Ferguson, George & Margie Cunnigham, Wiliam Ganoe, Pamela Hyde-Nakai, Frances Valiente, Bryn Bailer, Elain Nathanson, Tom Zoellner, Sandy & Maureen Salz, Berle Clemensen, Susan Luebbermann, Donna Mabry, Andrew Greenhill, Baird Thompson, Corinne Cooper, Michael Brewer, Caren Zimmerman, David Wohl, Melanie Larson, Greg McNamee, Joseph Tully, Jane Poliakoff, Scott Neeley, Linda Seberger, Devlin Houser, Marian Hill, Kathleen Dubbs, Bill Epstein, Alyson Ball, Mohur Sidwa, Diane Maddex, Sierra Yamanaka, James Malusa, James Hays, Chris Hostetter, Nancy Bennett, Tom Stauffer, Claire Wudowsky, James Cochran, Larry Hecker, Malena Loucks, Kathleen Ligon, Inez Savage, Mark Stegeman, Cynthia Williams, Kostas Kalaitzidis, Regina Suitt, John McNiece, Barbara Bancroft, Amy Barron-Gafford, David Burke, Tanya Ahern, Anne Stericker, Janelle Howard, Ronald Spark, Elizabeth Cherry, David Schaller, Inez Savage, Tom Collier, R. Scott Roy, Si Schorr, Judith Bird, Jeffrey Grubic, Joel Smith, Gregory Hill, David Higuera, Tom Volgy, Simon Rosenblatt, Joni Jones, Andrew Quigley and so many more, and give your gift today!

This is a great opportunity to help us produce more of the strong accountability journalism you have come to expect from TucsonSentinel.com. So put Pierre Omidyar's money to work here in Tucson, and help out your authentically local nonprofit news site:

Subscribe and stretch your donation over time:

$10/mo. Cub Reporter
$15/mo. Printer's Devil
$20/mo. Stringer
$40/mo. Correspondent
$50/mo. Senior Correspondent
Enter your own monthly amount (number only)

Or give a secure one-time gift with PayPal or your credit card:

$5,000 Newshound
$2,500 Trusted Source
$1,000 Copy Desk Chief
$500 Correspondent
$250 Stringer
$100 Printer's Devil
$50 Cub reporter
$25 Informed Source
$10 Dear Reader
Enter your own amount (below)

Thanks to our donors and sponsors for their support of local independent reporting. Join Robin Miller, Elizabeth Kane, and Richard Ringler and contribute today!

Right now, your gift to support local independent journalism can be DOUBLED with a dollar-for-dollar match from NewsMatch! And your investment in a smarter Tucson will go even further, with those funds in part supporting our new IDEA reporter, who will also be underwritten by the Report for America program.

If you sign up to donate monthly, NewsMatch will match the entire yearly value of your gift. So when you give $20 each month, our nonprofit newsroom will get an extra $240.

When you donate before the clock strikes midnight on December 31, your contribution of $20/mo. in 2021 can mean $960 worth of important original reporting gets done in Southern Arizona, because of the additional match from Report for America. Sign up to give $40/mo. and that means you're leveraging nearly $2,000 in vital local journalism next year.

No matter how much you contribute — in a one-time gift or every month — know that we're very grateful for all of the support we've received. Stay safe and healthy, and here's to a less-stressful, more fruitful New Year!

The fine print

Thus: PLEASE ACCEPT with no obligation - implied, implicit, inferred, contrived or obliquely winked - our qualified non-denominational BEST WISHES for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible and responsibly socially and physically distanced, properly masked and handily scrubbed, Zoom-meeting free, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the time period generally coinciding with the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable - if any - traditions of the religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all... and a fiscally successful, Maslovianly fulfilling, personally safe and universally healthy, Gannett, Lee and Gatehouse-free and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2021, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only "AMERICA" in the Western Hemisphere (Mexico is thinking of changing its name, but they'd only be dropping "United States," which isn't something (isn't that something? — I just wanted to triple-down on the parentheticals here) that many have found all that confusing, unlike this Morlockian thicket of parenthetical asides) or that America ever stopped for a moment being great, not that it/we couldn't be even greater if we wanted to be and put our shoulders to the wheel while picking up each other's bootstraps, also, if your calendar only lasts another couple of days, you might want to pick up one of those promos from a tool company or something (do tool companies still put out calendars, or am I just showing my age? Come to think of it, with #MeToo and all, maybe skip that sort. Does Hotel Congress still sell those groovy calendars? Is Hotel Congress even open right now?), or maybe just use iCal. Google Calendar kinda sucks, doesn't it? Anyway, c'mon down and put your suggestion for how we should rename Thanksgiving into the Pilgrim hat), and without regard to the gender, sexual preference or lack thereof, ability to attract or retain interest from a member and/or members of the gender you prefer, if any, race, creed, color, age, height, weight, visual acuity, batting average, poll standing with likely 2024 Iowa caucus voters, desire to be appointed to the U.S. Senate or whichever other seat becomes open between when this is typed and the day of the party, possession of legal documentation beyond an obviously faked Hawaiian birth certificate (or is that Canadian? Canadien, even?), whether you've tried to make your name sound less Spanish or given yourself a Mexican nickname despite being white AF (no standing on tables at this party, please), language spoken at home, employment status, marital status, javascript library preference, adherence to a particular php coding style, physical ability, religious faith, steadfast faith in a heretofore pathetic National League baseball team, whether you always drink beer or only do so when a boring old dude who's just pretending to be Latino offers you one, experience in Linotype operation, views on the viability of Baja Arizona, acceptance of the Torah, Gospels, Bhagavad Gita, Mishefa Res, Sharia, Shania or Shakira law or the lyrics of the Sidewinders' "We Don't Do That Anymore" as the legitimate basis for civil and/or criminal legal procedures, or choice of computer platform of the wishee.

By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms and agree to be bound by them in perpetuity, or until Doug Ducey figures out which side of the fence he'll fall toward — or at least picks up the phone when Donald Trump is calling, Jan Brewer regains her train of thought, Martha McSally announces which election she wants to lose next, Rodney Glassman shakes somebody's hand without looking over their shoulder for somebody better to talk to, a day passes without Chuck Huckelberry firing off eleven lengthy memos or Trump tweeting some even more bizarre conspiracy theory about how he's just the most put-upon soul in all of history, and the Broadway widening project makes some real paving progress (really, just go with the "until the end of time," then — and note we didn't even conceive of the Broadway widening ever, ever, ever ending ... seriously, this clause has been in this thing for like a freaking decade now. Anyway, the Rosemont Mine will probably get finished before that does.). This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal at any time for any reason whatsoever at the sole discretion of the wisher. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law (Snowflake, Saddlebrooke, Seligman, Colorado City, Florence, ISIS-controlled territory (or is that ISIL, or IS?, — but that latter abbreviation makes for confusing headlines, just like taking the periods out of U.S. and typing in title case can do. What is Aleppo? In any case, let's just make sure the Kurds get screwed.)), and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual, reasonable application of good tidings for a period not to exceed one calendar year (sigh, back to that bit again) plus one-to-three days grace period, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, and said warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is not covered by Apple Care, whatever corporate settlement that Brnovich keeps bragging about, as if he had anything really to do with it and it didn't take filling out confusing online forms to get a $7 check, HIPAA, HIPPA, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. If it were, the GOP would be about to have it tossed out, which would be a real War on Christmas, wouldn't it? And why do Republicans hate Apple? If you wish to file a complaint about this wish, please do so in quadruplicate with the District 1 supervisor's office and get it done before Dec. 31, using a text message or via a Facebook chat or something. Don't worry, they won't tell anybody about it. If you want to find out who else has filed complaints, you'd better make a healthy contribution to the TucsonSentinel.com legal fund (and remember, donating is more than a "construct"). Any litigation arising from the issuance or performance of these holiday greetings must be filed and heard in the High Court of the North Pole. Sadly, Santa has a mixed record on sunshine laws, the tubby bastard. If any portion of this wish shall be held unenforceable in a court of law, the remaining terms of this wish shall remain in force. Come to think of it, the bits about primary voters, computer platforms and baseball teams are already null and void, so there.

Be well, all. Stay safe and healthy, and keep your noses clean (and covered!).

— Dylan, Maria, Paul, Blake, Julie, Gene, Ireland, Bennito and the rest of the TucsonSentinel.com team

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