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Top Local Voices Posts in 2011

Our website's newest feature gives you—the reader and Maplewood Brentwood community member—the opportunity to share your voice on our Patch platform.

The addition of our Local Voices section has been our favorite change to Maplewood-Brentwood Patch in 2011.

In May, we launched the section with the goal to bring more community voices to the site.

It has been a huge success. We've had 31 people add more than 100 posts to the site since May. The voices have ranged from mothers in and to from Brentwood. Some of your favorite local groups, like the , and the , have also started contributing to the site regularly.

I looked through all of the posts and picked some of my favorites from 2011. Please take a look at them below.

And if you're interested in signing up as a Local Voices contributor, shoot me an email at ryan.martin@patch.com. We welcome the addition of more voices!

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by Tanya Yatzeck

I love 's blog posts because they are always great stories that offer a glimpse into the life of this Maplewood family. She writes a lot about what she calls her , a term used to describe a non-traditional family. Yatzeck tells some fantastic stories through her blogs. If you haven't read them yet, I highly recommend it.

by Doug Houser

Doug Houser is Maplewood's unofficial historian. He co-wrote Maplewood, the First 100 Years and regularly contributes posts about Maplewood's history on Maplewood-Brentwood Patch. This is one of my favorite posts because he was able to tell a story behind the story of the post office being . While we at Patch took a hard look at the potential loss of our post office, Houser offered a historical perspective for everyone. While we wait for a final verdict about the post office, this blog post remains relevant for Maplewood residents and fans of history.

by Jack Suntrup

Jack Suntrup has provided an active voice on the site since our launch in October 2010. He commented on so many articles that I finally asked him if he wanted an outlet in our Local Voices section to express his thoughts. He happily accepted and has provided some compelling commentary regarding local and . I love this post so much because it pleases me, as a journalist early in my career, to see a young man so engaged with government.

by Pat Wilken Maloney

As a woman who grew up in Brentwood and lives in Maplewood, Pat Wilken Maloney knows a lot about what's going on in the community. Her perspective is always appreciated and her stories are interesting for the community. I'm very happy to read about her stories in the Local Voices section and I recommend you follow along too.

by Dan Williams

This is, by far, my favorite Local Voices post in 2011. Dan Williams is a Brentwood resident and member of the Brentwood Board of Education, and he used Patch as a platform to seek input from the residents who . This issue of potentially adding a drug testing program in Brentwood schools has been divisive in the community: some folks strongly believe in its effectiveness to prevent drug abuse, while others are fearful that it's a waste of resources. This debate could continue into 2012 and we'll continue to provide a platform for quality discussion around the subject. (By the way, we'd love to include more of our local, elected officials and civic-minded residents in the Local Voices section. Email me at ryan.martin@patch.com if you're interested or have any questions).

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