We make a bittersweet announcement to all of our readers and advertisers this month.
The next issue of The Observer in March will be the last one that we publish.
What may happen between now and March 3, our last publication date, remains to be seen, but we, Larry and Patricia, will no longer be the publishers.
We made this decision after weighing many parts of our life and our responsibility to the Tri-City Area. The decision comes from our need to pursue other creative endeavors, not from the lack of support of our advertisers and readers.
Our dreams of Larry working as an artist/photographer, and Patricia as an author are now ready for fruition.
Over two years ago, we began presenting the concept of The Observer to area Chambers and businesses. All we had was a cardboard mock-up of the front page and logo — which we still use — and our reputations as newspaper people in the community for two decades.
And you supported us. Fifty-five advertisers pre-paid, some for a year of ads without even seeing if we could produce our own paper.
This paper is funded by Tri-City businesses – an amazing 99 out of a 100 advertisers in each issue are located in the very three towns that we cover.
We began with over 30 paid subscriptions before anything ever hit the streets.
That kind of confidence created The Observer and made every issue published over the last two years a success. And for that, we are filled with gratitude for the people in this community.
When we began we promised several things. You readers let us know those were the very things you valued most.
We promised in our first editorial to report news in a truthful manner, to give information on the community and its people, and to write about the issues that make the Tri-City area an enviable place to live.
We believe we kept those promises.
We promised to never use filler bought from other news organizations to fill our pages, and we promised stories about you, your families, schools, churches, and governments.
We believe we also kept those promises.
We promised to cover our local heroes, and we offered to let you put your thoughts into the paper as well. And we have been fortunate to have had so many fine columnists. Thank you.
As we look back, we see that with your help, we became better and better at fulfilling our promises. We now leave the newspaper publishing business feeling that we did the very best we could.
As The Observer goes into its final days with us at the helm, we still remain open to the possibility that someone might step forward and take The Observer to the next level. If that should happen, we would hope to be regular contributors to The Observer as writer, cartoonist, columnist, or photographer.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us to fulfill our dream of publishing this local newspaper.
We could not have done it without you.