The Bothell/Kenmore Reporter and Sound Publishing deliver paper copies of their publication to so-called “subscribers” on a bi-monthly basis. The term subscriber is used loosely here, as Sound Publishing apparently treats any resident or residence as a subscriber.
In reality, a subscriber is someone who receives a publication by requesting or paying for it in advance…and the large majority of the Reporter subscribers have neither asked for the paper delivery nor have they ever been contacted to see if they desire it. When contacted by this author, most recipients in our local neighborhood feel that they are victims of an unwanted service, the contents of which commonly end up as detritus and garbage on the street, walkways or in front of their homes.
Such deliveries of the paper, wrapped in a plastic bag, are typically thrown randomly near every home — occupied or not, under construction or not (often landing in the gutter or roadside ditch). Essentially by doing nothing to stem the flow of this “service,” the cities of Kenmore and Bothell are giving Sound Publishing a “license to litter” as the remnants of deliveries slowly degrade for weeks and months on our streets, walkways, gutters and ditches. Of course, these unwanted deliveries are in good company with a lot of other litter thrown out by uncaring or unaware individuals.
However, the existence of other trash should not be reason to accept something that can and should be regulated or controlled by either the impacted municipalities, counties or perhaps by the local publisher, who should be interested and concerned enough that at least they seek to deliver ONLY to those homes requesting it and ONLY to those homes actually occupied by someone willing to receive it. If any local citizens routinely distributed the amount of garbage that the soggy, plastic wrapped newspapers become, they would be rightfully charged and fined for littering.
At the very least, Sound Publishing should not assume that every resident is an interested subscriber and should be concerned enough to mount a good faith effort in determining whether or not sending out a bi-monthly print publication in this day and age is even worth the effort, financially or otherwise (the reputations of the publisher and the paper are regularly diminished by owning all this waste with their name on it).
A much better solution to end this mess is in two parts: 1) Either initiate steps to actually determine that residential and/or business recipients want the paper and only deliver to those requesting it (or only distribute it to local businesses or government offices or arrange to have it delivered to actual subscribers with the U.S. mail) or discontinue the publishing part of the Reporter and 2) Send out a one-time postcard that points folks to the website for good, local and regional news, sports and other items of interest.
Otherwise, the reputation of the Reporter and Sound Publishing as a caring neighborhood business will be forever tarnished by constantly contributing to roadside trash accumulation on a recurring basis.