It’s that time of year again, when the calendar tells us to show a little appreciation for all we have and thank those who help make it possible.

We start with the obvious: the dedicated teacher who has somehow avoided burnout; the cop who hasn’t forgotten her job is to serve and protect; the firefighter responding to the medical aid of a fallen street person; and the nurses who do the work but play second fiddle to the physicians. In other words, all the public employees who recently escaped the vengeful wrath of Gov. Schwarzenegger.

We thank the honest auto mechanic, the tireless refuse collector, the upbeat grocery store clerk, the cheerful waitress who treats us like we were her only customer. Then there is the early morning newspaper delivery person who hits the driveway a majority of the time. How about the veterinarian who treats each patient as if it were her favorite animal?

Those city workers whose ballet-like precision clears the streets of the huge piles of fallen leaves. Volunteers at our over-crowded animal shelters. Librarians standing on the front lines of our First Amendment rights.

The artists, musicians and writers who make our lives more colorful and worth starting in the morning. The earnest young people toiling at minimum-wage fast food joints instead of relying on their already-strapped parents for spending money.

And most of all, we thank you the faithful reader, supporter and sometime critic of this newspaper. We wouldn’t do it without you.