Welcome to May

Erik Flesch & Sara Lomasz Flesch

Good things are happening in our nook of the Driftless Area. 

In addition to witnessing the blossoming of a beautiful spring and the expanding number of people receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, we’re in the midst of the great reopening of our communities as evidenced by the many events in this month’s calendar listings starting on p. 10. 

It’s a fact that many of the small businesses and organizations in our region never shut down during the pandemic. Instead, while complying with federal, state and local guidelines for safe operations, from art galleries to banks, art and folk schools and museums, realtors, restaurants, retail stores and more have worked their hearts out — in person and virtually — over the past year to stay in business and safely serve the public. We applaud them.

See “Creating a Legacy of Conservation,” by Emily Benz.

But when a theater whose stages have been dark for a year starts selling tickets for in-person plays and another for movies, and a museum begins rehiring seasonal tour guides for in-person tours, and art schools start lifting the cap on their in-person class and event sizes, and restaurants ramp up rehiring and more galleries, artist studios and shops safely reopen  — these developments are also worth cheering and supporting. And if in-person activities feel too daunting, there are ways to support every business and organization whether virtually or curbside or just by donation.  

Supporting Voice of the River Valley this month through their contributions are Emily Benz, Mary Friedel-Hunt, Steve Fuller, Doris Green, John Heasley, Jennifer Moore-Kerr, John Peterson, Fil Sanna, Steven Shoemaker and Kathy Steffen.

We’re grateful as ever to this month’s advertisers (see p. 3) and subscribers, and to the volunteers who made distribution of our print edition possible to more than 60 locations this month: Joni and Rick Graves, Linda Kelen, Mark McCauley, Brian Richter and Nick Schweitzer. 

Please take note of and support this month’s advertisers, whose financial support made the printing of these pages possible.

Whether you enjoy this month’s issue in print or online at voiceoftherivervalley.com, we wish you happy reading.