Hometown newspapers chronicle local events; keep public notices local
By Joan Taylor
Contributing columnist

What do Gardner and Edgerton have that Desoto, Piper and Ottawa don’t
have?
What do Gardner and Edgerton have that Olathe doesn’t have?
A hometown paper. A locally owned, locally staffed hometown paper.
The paper has been a fixture in Gardner for over 100 years. Maybe under
different names, but the news for these towns for a long, long while.
I have been told no one reads papers anymore.
Well after seeing some of the spelling online and in phone messages, I guess reading isn’t one of the things people tend to do. If they did maybe they would be more particular in the spelling of thot (thought) or sum (some) or many other words.
It appears there is a local faction that wants to be rid of the local
paper. What are they afraid of? They want the legal notices to be
published in the KC Star or an Olathe newspaper.
Legal notices are published so that you — the people — can find out what laws have been passed. Laws have been changed and notices on changes in land, meetings etc.
Things you probably need to be aware of. What was onnce vacant land may now become a convenience store? Well I can bet there was a public hearing published if that land had to be zoned for a new purpose.
So why publish the legals in a newspaper that isn’t even locally owned? A survey was conducted by the anti-Gardner News faction for removing the legals.
It was an e-mail and on line survey. That excluded lots, and lots of people who don’t get city e-mails and aren’t on line. Is that fair? Some of those same excluded people have lived, voted, paid taxes and done community service in this town for 50 years or more.
Still when The Gardner News came out on top as the way people wanted to get their legal information — it wasn’t the answer that the anti -faction looked for. But they are still trying to get rid of us.
When asked about why we don’t lower our legal rate, which hasn’t changed for at least 10 years, my answer is when did you go to your local coffee house and ask for a lower price or even the pharmacy?
The paper is locally owned and staffed. If you call our number during
office hours we answer the phone. Not an answering service or an
automated system. No push 1 for English or 2 for whatever.
We don’t drive new cars, live in new houses or take vacations. None of us have ever been on a cruise. We publish 52 weeks a year.
We publish articles for 4-H reporters, we do stories on Eagle Scouts, and band trips and school plays. We can’t go to every organization meeting. We can’t join every club or civic group. Yes, your are as important as anyone else. There are only a handful of us, and after working all day we want to go home. I am betting at least a couple of people in your club or group have cell phones and can take photo’s.
We like to publish the local news. As they say no reasonable item is refused.
But the anti-hometown newspaper faction persists.
Just remember this. Legals published in a print publication, cannot be
altered or changed without notice to the public. We can’t change a
legal publication. It goes into the paper as it is submitted to us.
Yet there is nothing stopping a legal notice or anything else from being
altered on the internet. Or from just disappearing.
When we make a mistake we have to publish a notice as to the mistake. Not so online.
Yes there are errors in the paper. Good grief we are human. Being
human is what makes us take an interest in our home. An interest in
Gardner and Edgerton. An interest in the local football team, a marathon in the name of someone who is no longer with us. A youngster who’s 4-H calf takes Grand Prize or a family reunion.
If you think it is important, for the sake of community, to have a
hometown newspaper, let the city council people know.
Let your state elected officials know. How sad it would be for
the only town having a locally owned publication to have it undermined
by people who are doing it for personal reasons.