Last November, my husband and I bucked the trend of Web-based news delivery and published the inaugural edition of The Coastal Star. We delivered 6,000 copies of our hyper-local, free-distribution newspaper to homes and businesses along the coast. Since then our circulation has grown to 7,500 and this November we are proud to publish a Coastal Star with 32 pages plus a 32-page Palm Beach ArtsPaper insert. Between the two publications, we are delighted to have advertising support from over 90 local businesses.
We've also expanded the number of communities we report on and continue to offer freelance opportunities to some of the best newspaper journalists and advertising sales and design people in South Florida. We are proud to be working with these talented individuals and thank them for their hard work — at start-up-level pay.
As fast as things have been changing for our publication, the pace of change along our coast has been slow. That's not necessarily bad.
But as our snowbird residents begin to return, it seems like a good time for our readers to shake the sand from their flip-flops and get active in shaping the direction of our coastal community.
First we need to end the tired "us vs. them" rhetoric that still lingers from the collapsed sales offer for Briny Breezes. Each of our towns along A1A has common concerns and should be engaged in vital and open discussions for betterment of the area as a whole.
Delray Beach is providing an example of how this can be done by inviting the entire city for a workshop on beach area improvements later this month.
As we work toward common goals, we should keep in mind that bridges connect more than just roads and what may be in the best interest of our neighboring cities to the west may not feel like positive change to those of us across the bridge. We can't afford to be surprised by what happens along the Federal Highway corridor — an area we depend on for essential services.
So, let's keep our minds open, stay focused on the future and make sure we're all still living (and working) in our version of paradise come next November.
— Mary Kate Leming, editor