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We recently moved from Alaska, seasonally, to Port Townsend. We were attracted to this fine town partly because of its independent identity. No box stores, no cruise ships, no contrived theme park tourist destination. A real feeling of community.

An independent local newspaper is important to a town's identity, particularly one with the quality of the Leader. I lack the longtime local experience of other commenters, but bring the perspective of a lifelong Alaskan who has lived in and read newspapers in small towns and in a large city there. I think I know a quality paper when I read it. The most recent Leader's coverage of a tragic suicide, of both sides of the issue of the search team's policies relating to this, and the deaf community's convergence on Sunrise Coffee were just excellent.

Mr. Wilson's guest editorial reminded me of Joni's adage--You don't know what you've got til it's gone. I don't yet know whether the PDN is a good and fair newspaper, but it will not reflect local sensibilities like the Leader does. Sound Publishing's owner is not shy about using his megaphone, like Hearst, to bring influence as the largest newspaper conglomerate in Canada. He is the primary proponent for the "Kitimat Clean" alternative for a $22 Billion oil refinery in northern B.C., in lieu of shipping heavy, sinkable-in-a-spill bitumin rich Alberta sands oil out through the Salish Sea, including through Juan de Fuca. His northern alternative may or may not have merit, but does Port Townsend want to examine this and other big regional issues only through the eyes of a newspaper chain with a vested interest?

I wonder why the publisher of a daily on the Olympic Peninsula feels threatened by a small local weekly, many of whose subscribers also receive the PDN. Is it due to the desire of a monopolist to bump up advertising rates after competition is killed?

We will be new subscribers to Port Townsend's 130 year old Leader.

From: A newspaper war. What side are you on?

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