Say hello to summer!

A time for recharging and regrouping

summer recharging Svelvik

Photo: Foap / VisitNorway
Norway is a vacationer’s paradise, a perfect place for recharging your batteries. Imagine yourself in this idyllic summer setting along the Drammensfjord in Svelvik.

Lori Ann Reinhall
Editor-in-chief
The Norwegian American

Dear readers and friends,

By the time you review this issue, summer will have arrived and many of you will have headed out on your summer vacations. For many, it is their favorite time of the year, as they travel to new places or reunite with friends and loved ones in familiar settings.

Here at The Norwegian American, it is also a time for us to regroup, as many of us head out on summer adventures, adventures that we are looking forward to sharing with our readers.

A fond farewell

This summer, we are also going through a number of changes in our organization.

Perhaps our biggest announcement is that our assistant editor, Ragnhild Hjeltnes, is moving on to a new position. For the past few months, Ragnhild has been working part-time at the Norwegian Consulate in New York City, and going forth, she is planning to pursue a diplomatic career. First of all, I want to thank Ragnhild for the many contributions she has made to our paper, and secondly, I want to wish her all the best. She will be missed by me and all her colleagues, but we expect to keep in touch and consider our professional relationship and friendship to be a great asset. It is not really goodbye but a new, positive chapter. Once again, Ragnhild, tusen takk!

Restructuring for the future

Those of you who read my syttende mai address at Norway House in our last issue may have understood that the news industry faces unprecedented challenges, with rising costs and unfair competition from social media channels. Unfortunately, our little newspaper is not immune to any of these stresses, and we are currently looking for ways to restructure our business to take it into the future.

This has meant that we have had to reduce the hours of some of our employees and that I have even longer hours as editor-in-chief; we must bring the newspaper under a solid financial footing.

We understand that many of you, too, are facing financial pressure, but please remember that The Norwegian American is not a good place to save money. We need to keep our subscriber numbers up, and we need new subscribers. This is why we have not increased our subscription costs in many years and continue to work to improve our paper.

Let’s give a vote for democracy!

Some of you may have received this issue in time for the Fourth of July, but even if it has passed by the time you receive your issue of the paper, it is never too late to be thinking about the values we hold dear in our society, value of democracy and freedom.

That is why I would like to remind you about our Democracy Center exhibit at Norway House in Minneapolis, an exhibit designed for children and their families. If you are in the Twin Cities this summer, we urge you to drop by to learn more about the constitutions of Norway and the United States, the two oldest constitutions in the world. There are special activities for children of all ages, including a ballot box where they can cast their votes on issues that matter to them. There is also a lot for adults to read and experience at the exhibit. This project is so important to The Norwegian American and Norway House that it is free to the general public through the month of July. Please visit the Norway House website for their summer hours at norwayhouse.org.

And then, if you are not anywhere near the Twin Cities, the Democracy Center content and activities are available online, at democracy.norwegianamerican.com—and your children can even cast their ballot there.

About this issue

I know I say it often, but every issue of The Norwegian American is special, and this one is no exception. Last month, we celebrated the 80th anniversary of D-Day, and we felt that we should also mark this momentous occasion in our newspaper. I would like to give a special thanks to Ted Birkedal for his thoughtful treatment of this, which includes a special, little-known Norwegian connection.

With summer here, this is also a travel issue, and, as always, our intrepid travel editor, Cynthia Elyce Rubin, has risen to the occasion with her coverage of travels in Normandy. There is a strong Viking connection in this part of France, and with the recent D-Day commemoration and the Summer Olympics happening in Paris, it’s a top travel destination this year. You can also check out Business & Sports Editor Michael Kleiner’s Summer Olympics preview as well as Louise Hanson’s presentation of the new Olympics sweater from Dale of Norway.

We are also giving you a glimpse into what awaits you in Spring Grove, the first Norwegian settlement in Minnesota state. Mark your calendars for a bus tour there at the end of September. If you don’t live in Minnesota, why not make trip there to see the sights and join in on the fun? There will be more content coming about Spring Grove later this summer and in the fall.

I can never thank everyone enough for all the work that goes into an issue. There is also the glorious food, for one thing, and the Norwegian content, in this case, a special Norsk 101 with a spotlight on the city of Fredrikstad in Norway, also featured on this month’s cover.

So, enough said—enjoy the summer recreation issue, recharge and regroup. I wish you many hours of happy reading!

This article originally appeared in the July 2024 issue of The Norwegian American.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.