... As the economic sky continues to fall, the news about painful cuts to local and state services and programs have stirred protest and passion. That's a good response.

If people remain involved with how their elected officials — local, state and federal — deal with this crisis, it would qualify for silver-lining status.

And there's another potential upside to this down economy.

We can use these hard times to remember the power of people to make a difference in the community.

... Food banks, homeless shelters, domestic-violence-prevention programs, schools, community centers and many other groups need volunteers and donations.

The need is staggering. ...

As a community, we face a crisis that offers a very real opportunity to come together and help each other. So use your imagination.

Make some recession-era lemonade.