California Today: Investing in Newspapers to Save Them

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There are two impartial bookshops off the charming city sq. in Healdsburg, Calif., and native shops have thrived because the group has pushed again towards the encroachment of massive field retailers.

The group additionally loves its native newspaper. When Rollie Atkinson, who owns 4 weekly newspapers in Sonoma County, diminished the variety of print pages a few years in the past, loyal readers “raised holy hell,” he stated.

But it was a fiscal necessity: The conventional enterprise mannequin for newspapers, in Healdsburg and elsewhere, was failing quickly. So as he forged about for brand new concepts to save the enterprise, he was impressed by what one other Northern California information outlet, the digital information website Berkeleyside, had carried out: elevate about $1 million by promoting inventory to readers.

So this yr, Mr. Atkinson, in what’s believed to be a primary for an area newspaper, started making his pitch at cocktail gatherings and dinner events and in full-page ads. The so-called direct public providing — basically a small scale I.P.O. however with out funding banks — has up to now raised $100,000 by promoting fairness. The providing lasts till subsequent March, and Mr. Atkinson stated he hoped to elevate $400,000.

That cash, firstly, will go towards larger wages for his journalists, a few of whom have been making about $15 an hour. Mr. Atkinson’s firm, Sonoma West, consists of 4 newspapers — The Healdsburg Tribune, The Cloverdale Reveille, The Windsor Times and Sonoma West Times & News — whose mixed paid circulation is about 9,900.

Some readers who invested stated they did so not simply to assist their native paper, but additionally as assertion towards the rise of pretend information, and towards a president who has always battled the notion of a free press.

“I think, now more than ever, we can support democracy by supporting our communities,” stated Marie Gewirtz, who’s retired and has invested in the newspapers.

Sonoma County, with an abundance of wealth, vineyards and growing older child boomers, is fertile territory for Mr. Atkinson’s experiment.

“We are a liberal society that believes in taking care of your neighbors and supporting local stores,” stated Rick Theis, one other reader who invested.

Mr. Theis stated that the native newspaper usually has tales about individuals he is aware of effectively, and that he usually finds uplifting tales there as effectively. It’s not all of the doom and gloom he will get from the nationwide information media.

“The national news is so depressing,” he stated. At the group degree, he stated, not less than there’s a steadiness between issues and “good things happening.”

Here is our full article on Mr. Atkinson’s newspapers.

California Online

(Please notice: We repeatedly spotlight articles on information websites which have restricted entry for nonsubscribers.)

• The United States and Mexico have reached an settlement to revise key parts of the North American Free Trade Agreement. [The New York Times]

• Bad information from a new state report on local weather change: Heat waves will worsen, wildfires will burn extra of our forests, and the ocean will rise larger and quicker. [The Los Angeles Times]

• Did Juul attempt to lure in teenage prospects by advertising and marketing to them? The F.D.A. is investigating the San Francisco-based e-cigarette firm. [The New York Times]

Ethan Hawke continues to be taking Ethan Hawke extraordinarily significantly. [The New York Times]

• Despite a federal indictment, a brand new ballot reveals that Representative Duncan Hunter continues to be eight proportion factors forward of his Democratic challenger in the race to symbolize the 50th Congressional District. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

Fullerton’s police chief has been placed on go away whereas one other metropolis’s police division investigates his habits whereas off obligation at a live performance. [The Orange County Register]

• Los Angeles County can pay $14.three million to the household of a 54-year-old grandfather who was fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy who mistook him for a gunman. [The Associated Press]

• In the center of Santa Monica, there are plans to construct inventive workplace house the place there as soon as was a Sears. A bunch of rich traders have wager that the retailer’s best asset was its actual property. [The New York Times]

• So now that Tesla is not making an attempt to go personal, what occurs subsequent? [The New York Times]

• With a $500 million funding from Toyota, Uber plans to present its self-driving know-how to a fleet of Toyota minivans. [The New York Times]

• Serving the poor? A retiring bishop has bought a $2.three million, five-bedroom house on the Diocese of San Jose’s dime. [The Mercury News]

When life provides you lemons, you make lemonade.

But what occurs while you steal lemons?

Riverside County sheriff’s officers instructed The Associated Press that Dionicio Fierros, 69, was arrested on Friday and booked on a cost of theft of an agricultural product after deputies discovered about 800 kilos of stolen lemons inside his automobile.

Deputies had been, because it turned out, investigating what they known as “recent farm thefts” once they stopped Mr. Fierros in the group of Thermal. They quickly found a number of giant baggage of freshly picked lemons contained in the automobile, which they stated had been taken from a close-by farm.

City News Service said Mr. Fierros was booked into the Indio Jail and was later launched after posting $10,000 bail.

His final plan for the lemons was not clear.

California Today goes reside at 6 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you need to see: [email protected].

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.

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