Beach Metro News riding the winds of change

Change can be a wonderful thing. It can be as simple as the change between winter and spring, or as complex as the gradual changes over the years which transform a streetscape, as new buildings are constructed or old ones age; as sensible as the planned obsolescence of the penny, or as complex as the ever-shifting rules surrounding tax-free savings accounts.

Here at Beach Metro News, we’ve seen an almost unprecedented amount of change, considering the paper’s history. For decades Ward 9 News, now known as Beach Metro News, operated with minimal staff, and a level of staff turnover that would make Canadian senators envious (despite the refusal to change by some long-time residents, who still insist on calling us the Ward 9 News).

Change can also be difficult, and sometimes a little bit painful. In the space of the past two years, we’ve lost over a century’s worth of experience to retirement, in the form of past editor Carole Stimmell, advertising manager Dianne Marquardt and general manager Sheila Blinoff, although Sheila, unlike Elvis, hasn’t quite managed to leave the building just yet.

As of the publication of this issue, another longtime BMN staff member, my colleague and good friend Bill MacLean, has wandered off into the sunset, to take on what I originally heard him call a ‘honeydew list’. Apparently though, as Bill explained to me, it’s actually a ‘honey do’ list, as in ‘honey do this, honey do that …’

Parting jokes aside, I fully expect that Bill will find his amount of spare time is not greatly increased – most of the ‘retired’ people I know who have any sort of talent and ambition seem to very quickly discover they actually have less free time now than they had when they were still working.

Bill has filled many roles at the paper over his years here, starting part-time running the classifieds and working the front desk.

The job was intended to supplement his income as a professional calligrapher. While many things change – not the least of which is the employment prospects of a professional calligrapher – Bill has kept up with the art of visually pleasing letter forms. His is by far the most elegant, while illegible, handwriting I regularly must decipher, aside from the tags found in the vicinity of the Main Street bridge.

Bill is currently the art and entertainment department, restaurant and book reviewer, occasional feature writer, advertising representative, half of the production department and, as anyone calling into the paper may recognize, the literal voice of Beach Metro News. Not only are they big shoes to fill, they’re also well-worn shoes.

With all this change, of course, also comes opportunity. While we’ve lost some experience, we’ve also gained fresh perspective with the ‘new blood’ coming in. It is our hope that we can keep up with the times while staying true to our mandate: to provide unbiased, non-partisan news and features that matter to the Beach and surrounding area.

Our purpose is as simple as that, and it’s a mandate that we expect our readers to hold us accountable to – some things should never change.

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As per the comments above

‘keep up with the times while staying true to our mandate: to provide unbiased, non-partisan news and features that matter to the Beach and surrounding area – a mandate that we expect our readers to hold us accountable to – some things should never change’

As per an email request to Jon Muldoon yesterday I would really like to know why we received no coverage whatsoever of a packed park full of Beachers at The Beach Celtic Festival.

If you are saying ‘some things should never change’ can you please provide an explanation as requested via email.

Sandy Graham

Seems to me that The Beach Celtic Festival received some generous coverage in the BMN’s August 27, 2013 edition. I recall it included a photograph as well. If it were me, I would be grateful for the free publicity for an event that may be a business venture and not a charity event and the organizers may not be a non profit organization.

As an option, organizers of such events can always buy display advertising. This may free-up space in the paper to cover charity and non profit events.

I did visit the Beach Celtic Festival Website and I could be mistaken, but I did not see any indication that any proceeds are directed to charity and it seems to be more of a tribute to the organizer and her family than anything else.

I am surprised that the Beach Metro News doesn’t ask for proof that an event is non profit or for charity.

I think the Beach Metro News under Latimer/Stimmell/Muldoon continues to be one of, if not the best community newspaper anywhere.

In addition operating a newspaper is an expensive proposition and in order to keep the BMN coming, it needs money from advertising. So I expect that a reasonable person/organization would respect that.

I think the BMN provided really good pre-publicity for the Beach Celtic Festival and you should thank them. I suspect they may now be looking at dipslay advertising only, for events that are not operated by charities or trusted non-profits.

So you may get all the coverage you want, you should however buy it and budget for that in your operating costs.

Sandy – agree not much local news here, but lots of news on climate change, streetcars and LRT, importance of bicycles and other David Miller / NDP pet projects.

Reading a lot like the Toronto Star these days – a real turn to the left!

1. The paper has been consistent for well over 15-20 years.
2. Muldoon is a good editor and has not made any drastic changes and continues to run a paper that he received from Carole Stimmell, who made tremendous improvements with the support of good staff and board members and volunteers.
3. You should stop reading the paper if you don’t like it, rather than sabotaging fine work.
It’s not like you are paying for it.

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