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June 20, 2024

The future of local news is digital — the future is now

When I first came to Healdsburg in 1981, I visited the Tribune offices to buy a subscription to my new hometown’s paper. By coincidence, they were looking for a new sports editor and I was hired on the spot.

Our story thus far

The beginning of this story about this local newspaper has only been told to a few people. In 1995, the Walnut Creek-based corporation that owned this and three other local newspapers decided to shut them all down after failing to find a new corporate buyer. But, instead of abandoning the papers, the corporation accepted two separate offers from two families to each purchase half of the four papers. The Atkinson and Mays households formed Sonoma West Publishers and bought The Sebastopol Times & News and Russian River News and merged them together as Sonoma West Times & News. Tom and Beverly Reeves and their children bought The Healdsburg Tribune and The Windsor Times on the very same day as the Sonoma West transaction (May 30, 1995.) The newspapers were not only saved but they were put in the hands of experienced and dedicated newspaper people.


The Measure I SMART train question on the March 3 Primary Election ballot is important enough for voters to think for themselves and not be duped by all the slick and colorful mailers and the rest of the $2.3 million vitriolic and bombastic pro and con campaigns, now filling mailboxes and social media feeds.

Gifts for ourselves

What links the outcomes of recent news stories about schoolteacher pay and strikes, SMART train expansion, mental health services, Kincade Fire recovery, expanded fire protection services, future Highway 101 improvements and happier holidays? Would you believe local shopping dollars?

What time is it?

There are two looming events on our calendars that may further confirm the difference between compulsory law and bendable customs.

Are you a citizen?

We rarely quote our president, Donald Trump, but here goes: “I’m proud to be a citizen, you’re proud to be a citizen. The only people that are not proud to be citizens are the ones who are fighting us all the way about the word ‘citizen.’”

News ain’t free

Effective June 3, we will require all our website visitors to log in with their email and password to read the newspaper online. Online-only subscriptions will be $5 a month.

Small businesses, big hearts

The month of May, now almost over, is/was Small Business Month in California and May 5 through 11 was National Small Business Week.

Too liberal to know better?

It’s more than luck that us folks living in Sonoma County have things pretty good.

The First Amendment

Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press ...