Welcome to the Trenton Trib and Island Beacon, your monthly respite from pugnacioius political candidates, pop-up ads, infomercials and random pictures of what other people had for dinner last night.
Looking back to 2010, the year that the monthly Trenton Trib was launched, it wouldn’t seem to be the ideal year to start a print newspaper. Not only was the print newspaper business contracting rapidly, but the economy was still sputtering in the wake of the Great Recession.
But the Trib was born mainly out of our belief that there was a lot of good news and information that simply didn’t have any outlet. We weren’t totally sure whether it could be a profitable venture, but saw a need that needed to be filled.
So we began with the simple goal of not wanting to lose money, and then put together the best product we possibly could and hoped for the best, always believing that the need would decide whether a newspaper was viable long-term.
While the financial aspects of making a newspaper viable in the Internet age remains a work in progress, there’s no doubt we’ve found a receptive and supportive audience for what we’ve been able to do thus far.
While we remain committed to providing our “old-school” newspaper for free, we are adopting an the Internet-era concept of “crowd-funding” to perpetuate its continued growth and ability to serve the community even better in the years ahead.
With the help of Patreon.com, an Internet site used primarily by members of the creative arts community to generate funding for their work, the Trib is forming a membership group of supporters called “Team Trib.” The membership, which is detailed more thoroughly in the form at right and in our publishers’ note on Page 2-A, involves some special recognition and other benefits for a variety of financial commitment levels.
In our view it’s just kind of a new – and, we hope, ‘improved” – twist on the voluntary pay programs that many newspapers have used in years past – except with a few added benefits of membership.
We will be greatly appreciative of any level of support anyone is willing to provide.
The area around the Trenton Trib office has taken on a significantly different look following the demolitions this winter of the Clock Tower and Pavilion on West Road between West Jefferson Avenue and Third Street.
Being that this is one of the most prime parcels of land in Trenton’s downtown area, there has been a long-standing belief among many on the Downtown Development Authority that a “development-ready” site would be far more attractive to possible developers.
Kudos to Mayor Kyle Stack and the City Council for finally endorsing that line of thinking and initiating the process of removing the two decaying structures on the site and cleaning it up to prepare it for a new use.
The DDA has put out a request for proposals on the site at least three times since the mid-2000s. A handful of interesting projects have been submitted but for a variety of reasons — mostly related to economic conditions — none of them made it past the initial planning phases.
The city and the DDA plan to solicit proposals again soon, and this time there are fewer obstacles to making a new development happen – both in terms of the economy and site readiness.
While I sympathize with those who dislike seeing a “feature” such as a clock tower disappear, the downtown area is badly in need of additional density – both business and residential. The property would probably be best served if it was redeveloped as a mix of both of those elements.
Joe Hoshaw Jr. is editor and co-publisher of the Trenton Trib. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.