One of the more enjoyable aspects of living in Forest Park is developing relationships with the men and women who sell us our faucets, our clothes, our food, our music and all the other things we can buy at locally-owned shops. Those connections most always result in better service, and in many cases, entrepreneurs and customers share a genuine fondness for one another.

And all of this makes it that much more difficult to bear witness to hard times. It is unsettling to watch good people lose out on a livelihood they’ve worked so hard to establish.

Both publicly and privately, the Review has taken some fierce criticism in recent weeks for reporting on the financial problems of longstanding businesses. Why is it necessary, we’ve been asked, there’s no need to kick a man when he’s down.

The function of a local paper is that of a mirror; to reflect what’s happening in town. Ignoring the reality of darkened storefronts would be no more truthful than refusing to acknowledge the reaction that such news can generate.