Waking up one morning a few weeks ago, I was excited about grabbing The Cincinnati Enquirer for an update on the Quaker State 400 race, which had just run the evening before. I was disappointed as I read the first sentence: "The race will be remembered as much for the traffic problems as the race itself."

With my wife due within the next week to give birth to our second child, I knew that going to the race was out for me "” the timing was just too risky, especially if it was a "boys night out." No need to point out why you should read between those lines.

So why the disappointment? Obviously, I was hoping for a huge celebration of the inaugural NASCAR race right here in the Tristate. Instead, it was presented like we played to a tie.

My question is for all of us. How would we present news of the race even in discussions with our friends and neighbors if we felt like our presentation paved the way for its success or failure? If this were our business and our challenges, how would we present them to the world?

Would we discuss the millions of dollars the race brought to the region? Or concentrate on the traffic the day when more than 100,000-plus people tried to make it into the grounds simultaneously?

This month's Cincy is packed with positives to fill our tank. We launch Cincyconomist, a new feature dedicated to the stories of the people and organizations who are moving the Tristate's economy forward. We also celebrate Whirl, the mascot of the upcoming World Choir Games. As you see on our cover, Cincinnati's own Heather Mitts gave up time in her busy schedule to give us an exclusive interview just before she hopped on a flight to Germany for the World Cup. Last but not least, our annual "Best of Cincy" offers plenty of fodder for water-cooler debates on who and what tops the list of great things our region has to offer.

Success builds upon success. It's important to remember that how things, even a car race, succeed in the long-term may be based on what we concentrate on and what we choose to celebrate. That doesn't mean we forgo discussing the challenges, but why not look at how to improve?

I'm as guilty as the next guy on this score. While heading to a recent Reds game, friends and I went to the Holy Grail Tavern & Grille across the street from the stadium. It was packed to the gills. The next day, I told friends we couldn't find a seat. So, if properly edited, I should have said, "If you want to stop by the Holy Grail on game day, be sure to go early to get a good table for people watching."

My guess is that we all need to be reminded from time to time. 
 
 
Speaking of positives, Cincy won seven awards, including three first-place awards, in the Greater Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists contest for work published in 2010. Art Director Kim Cochrane won first place for design of last year's "Why We Love Cincy" cover and freelancer David Lyman for the story "The Opera That Almost Wasn't." A preseason guide for the Bengals, the work of Editor Dianne Gebhardt-French, Managing Editor Tim Curtis and former Associate Editor Gretchen Keen, was the other first-place winner. Columnist Peter Bronson and Contributing Editor Joy W. Kraft were also honored, along with the entire staff for the Summer Fun Guide.