Of course we don’t “need” WestView News, and if, like the several other vanished Village newspapers, it evaporated tonight there might be just a momentary regret at not being able to check the In and Out column to once again remind ourselves that our Village memories are disappearing faster than they can become a memory.
Of course I like WestView, it gives me something to do and when I have an opinion I don’t have make the TV repairman listen to it. I can write it in the paper and maybe 10,000 people will see it and a hundred even read it
And of course our regular contributors love it—Brian Pape, our Architectural Editor, can have as many as four excellent articles in each issue. Nearly all our regular contributors live in the West Village—they walk to our regular monthly contributors meetings. If you write for us you will be invited to attend.
But Sarah Jessica Parker was right—the April issue was our most important and hence our best issue because it reported on the virus. We printed two full pages of drawings from Northwell on how to deal with it, and our readers can keep those handsome clinically correct drawings around as useful reminders.
And, if you were going to ask “do we really need a local paper,” look at the January issue when we discovered that it is legal for a lawyer to pay somebody to allow him to sue a shop thousands of dollars for not having handicapped access.
Gee, I forgot, there are things a community paper can do better than an online newsletter. Too bad it is too expensive. Are readers going to send you $24 a year so they can take it over to their favorite chair, put on the good light and, with an occasional sip of McNulty coffee, read it?
Yes, after 15 years we have raised the price of the paper from $12 to $24 a year. Our accountant tells me we are paying $5.70 in postage to send it domestically.
Of course some of our loyal staffers look at me pained and ask “why close it down” and I explain that I have been allowing myself the belief that we will catch up some day and get enough advertising to make it break even, or get a foundation or wealthy patron to give it a sustaining grant.
And then along comes the Virus and closes the few restaurants and shops that were advertising. Our very best real estate advertiser sent a very polite letter that they would end their ads because the condo clients were all in the Hamptons for the duration.
Alright, alright, I don’t want to close it down, and yes, I will allow myself to believe for yet another month that you reading this will go to our website and subscribe or donate and—most important—pay online.
Now I have a feeling that many of our readers do not have a computer— they don’t even know a neighbor who has one—so they mail us a check or more often cash (it is exciting to discover a crumpled $100 bill).
You know, almost as nice as getting $24 for a one year subscription is getting a handwritten note saying how much you like the paper. But it is not my paper—it is your paper—so ask a Village friend or neighbor to subscribe to your paper.