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As we prepare for another new year, it’s a good time to take a look back at 2011’s accomplishments and struggles and set goals and make plans for 2012.

Behind the scenes, the Sedona Red Rock News editorial department grew stronger in 2011.

In the past year, our staff found its stride. Staff members adjusted to each other’s styles and found a way to make it work. After a few years of turbulence we’ve smoothed many of the kinks.

Our staff also took home numerous awards at this year’s Arizona Newspapers Association’s Better Newspaper contest for photography, design and column writing while our website won top honors in our circulation division for the second year in a row.

The foundation we built as a staff in 2011 sets the stage for further growth and improvement in 2012. From here, we can fine-tune our writing and raise the bar on our coverage.

My goals for the newspaper in 2012 include:

■ Use compelling photos to tell stories

■ Improve our follow-up on stories, including crime cases

■ Bring more breaking news to our readers

■ Better balance meeting stories and news stories

■ Tell more Sedona residents’ stories

■ Reduce errors and typos

■ Improve timeliness

If each year, as a newsroom, we strive to accomplish even a few of the goals we set each year, we will continue to produce a better product for our readers.

On a community level, this year also signaled the end of a few long-fought battles giving us hope for unity and tolerance in the new year.

The State Route 89A streetlight battle is over, and the debate about the Sedona RoadRunner transit service ended with the last run in June. Now, residents can move forward preparing for the community’s future.

Goals we should all consider on a community level include:

■ Listen to other people’s opinions, regardless of whether we agree, and agreeing to disagree peacefully

■ Don’t make community issues personal and refrain from personal attacks due to difference of opinion

■ Work to improve and promote local events to increase the sense of community

■ Get to know our neighbors to foster a true small-town environment

■ Support nonprofits that help people and animals in need

The new year brings with it another new start and the opportunity to put the past behind us, learn from our mistakes and build upon our accomplishments.

Happy New Year.

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