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Newspaper Archive of
The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
Lyft
September 12, 2012     The New Era Paper
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September 12, 2012
 

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Page 4 1  ir,, - September 12, 2012 COPIMUNITV 0 PINION Sho00el-R00d00 Pro00e00t USPS business deal not a win-win The newspaper business - both small and large papers - has sound- ed full-throated opposition this past month to a plan by the U.S. Postal Service to purposely entice adve:- tising out of the newspaper so a can be placed instead w.ith USPS favored stakeholder Valassis Inc, which purchased the direct mail company ADVO in 2006. The stated goal of USPS is to create more advertising mail. To newspapers that count on advertis- ing income to pay reporters and cover the news, this new venture is beyond alarming. Many think it will push some newspapers - already in a fragile state, thanks to the econo- my and competition from the Inter- net - over the edge. If that happens, it is the com- munities across our country that will feel the most long-term harm. EDITORIAL People have a love-hate rela- tionship with advertising, whether in the newspaper or in the mail. When advertising helps them find deals or shop smartly, they love it. When it - doesn't happen to scratch the shop- ping itch, they may not like it so much. But most people understand advertising drives the economy and it brings other intangible benefits, like paying the bill for news cov- erage that keeps communities in- formed. On every level advertising is highly competitive. Local, regional and nationally, newspapers compete with a growing field of ad media, from Intemet to television and door hangers to direct mailers. Tier A locally owned newspaper founded Sept. 27, 1929 Scott and Miriam Swanson, Co-Pubiishers mN.sweethomenews.cem Office: 1313 MainSt., Sweet Home, Oregon Mailing address: The rdew Era, Box 39, Sweet Home, OR, 97386 Phone: (541) 367-2135 Fax: (541) 367-2137 WHO WE ARE Scott Swanson, Editor/Co-Publisher scott@sweethomenews.com Sean C. Morgan, Staff Writer sean@sweethomenews.com Miriam Swanson, Advertising Manager, Co-Publisher miriam@sweethomenews.com Christy Keeney, ClassifiedAds classifieds@sweethomenews.com Firiel Severns, Advertising Sales finel@sweethomenews.com The New Era (USPS 379-100)is published each Wednesday. Periodical postage paid at the Sweet Home, Ore., 97386 Post Office. Postmaster: Please send address changes to The New Era, Box 39, Sweet Home, Oregon 97386 SUBSCRIPTIONS In Linn County: $32 Elsewhere: $40 Snowbird: $38 NEWS QUESTIONS/TIPS Call (541) 367-2135 or e-mail news@sweethomenews.com But now the Postal Service wants to pick winners and losers in this market. It is providing postage rebates to Valassis of more than 30 percent if Valassis can divert more ad inserts from newspapers into di- rect mail. Not everyone can play, The discounts can be offered by Valas- sis only to large national retailers. Newspapers cannot get the same discount for their own mail be- cause they can't sign one national postage contract, as the direct mail company did, with USPS. Neither can a small clothing or bookstore or a hairdresser or auto pas shop. We--the newspaper and our small businesses--are all local. This deal is only for the big guys. For the little guys, USPS has another advertising plan that enables businesses to bring unaddressed ad- vertising directly to the post Office. What's wrong with this pic- ture? It is that USPS isn't a business. It is owned by Uncle Sam. It exists to serve all. It shouldn't be picking winners and losers in any market- place. It shouldn't be competing with and undercutting its stakehold- ers, which are all of us. It should de- liver the mail that exists, promptly and affordably. The Postal Service already has a favored position in the market- place, thanks to the so-called Mail- box Monopoly r- federal law that prohibits anyone except the USPS to use your mailbox. Essentially, when a customer installs a mailbox, control of that mailbox transfers to the Post Office. That means that if The New Era were to deliver its products in any other manner other than the USPS, the newspaper would have to install receptacles in which to place its publications, or find another way to deliver them so they would stay dry and intact, such as delivering them in bags on walkways or porches. The USPS has publicly stated that it sees its future largely as pe- riodical and parcel delivery, plus even more advertising, as the In- ternet saps away letters and bills. This latest move flies in the face of its service to a core customer base - periodicals. This is like cutting off one's leg to do- well, we're not sure exactly what. The USPS' difficulties aren't all of its own making - Congress is responsible for mandating the pre- funding of retiree health benefits that has played a large role in the Postal Service's financial woes. The USPS defaulted on a $5.5 billion payment in August and has stated it will de- fault on a $5.6 billion payment at the end of this month. Its proposals to deal with its financial problems, which include closing mail process- ing centers and rural post offices, have gotten little response from 'Congress, which must approve such changes, but isn't doing much in an election year. Most successful businesses aiming to improve profits would focus first and foremost on making sure they are providing and main- taining top-quality service to exist- See Editorial, page 5 From Our Files Looking back on more than 80 years of coverage in east Linn County... September 13, 1962 James E. Elliot, Lebanon, an employee of the Noah Bros. Logging company, was seriously injured in a woods mishap on Fri- day afternoon while working on Buck Mountain up Wiley Creek. Elliot was reportedly struck on the head while in the process of falling a snag. He was rushed to Lebanon Hospital, then later transported to Sacred Heart hos- pital in Eugene. In Eugene the logger underwent immediate sur- gery for repair of skull damage and removal of a blood clot in the brain. He is improving. A petition to have street lights added to 22nd Avenue be- tween "L" Street and Mountain View Rd. was accepted by the City Council at a meeting Tues- day night. Four Oregon Electric Rail- way boxcars were derailed in a mishap near the Willamette Na- tional Lumber company plant at about 10 p.m. Tuesday. One car flipped over after leaving the tracks, the other three remained upright. September 9, 1987 Despite a cooperative effort from private, state, and federal agencies, some 12 abandoned camp fires were discovered by pa- trol units throughout the East Linn area over the Labor Day weekend, according to Paul Christman, fire suppression officer for the Sweet Home Ranger District. ,It was a very dry weekend, so we did our best to prevent any problems before they occurred," Christman said. Sweet Home district has lost 43 people to fires in southern Or- egon. Even with less manpower the initial attack engines and sup- pression crews are still ready to knock down fires that may start this week according to Christ- man. The Corps of Engineers has begun lowering the water level of Foster Lake, for a painting project that has been postponed for two years now. The spill gates haven't been painted since they were installed in 1968. WRITE A LETTER We encourage readers to express their opinions in letters to the editor on matters of public interest. Letters should be typed and may be submitted by mail, e-mail; fax or in person at The New Era office. E-mailed letters may be sent to news@sweethomenews.com. Please include a telephone number in case we need to contact you. Also, we require that you include your name and city of residence or your letter will not be published. There is no length restriction, but letters may be edited for length and all letters will be edited for libelous content. We discourage letters that attack or complain about pdvate citizens or businesses on a personal level. Also, letters containing comments on topics deemed by the editodal staff to have been exhausted in previous letters will be edited accordingly.