This is Donna Cohn Viertel, who works at the BlueStone Press as their office manager/reporter. She also wanted me to let you know that she lives in Stone Ridge with her husband David, and two boys, Jake, 18 and Zach, 10.
In 2012, I was introduced to the folks at the BlueStone Press, a newspaper with a circulation of 3,000 covering the towns of Rochester, Marbletown, and my home town of Rosendale. They published an article about me returning to the area that I grew up in to do some photography. I have since kept in touch, and they have been great supporters of what I do, often publishing news articles about my art shows, events, and my donations to the Rosendale Food Pantry.
I paid Donna a brief visit at the newspaper office, in Stone Ridge and I enjoyed catching this nice moment of her posting something on what she calls their "Wall of Fame," covered with thank you notes and love notes from the community. I don't even think she knew I was taking her photo...it was a real moment.
I asked Donna if I could post the photo, and if she could tell me more about the BlueStone Press, and more of her story. Here is what she told me:
"The first BlueStone Press began in October of 1996 by Lori and Greg Childers of Lomontville. It was 50 cents, published once a month and covered the Towns of Rochester, Rosendale and Marbletown. What separated BSP from other papers is that when you opened it up, you read about your neighbors; whose child made the honor roll, won the game; who was opening up a new store, who beat the odds and who had passed away.
In June of 1998, as the popularity grew, BSP went to twice a month. In 2003, I joined the BlueStone Press, first as their office manager, and then gradually wearing many hats in reporting, sales, subscriptions and sharing the love of telling the stories and happenings of those in her community. I started the year my husband David and I had to give up running the restaurant, the Clove Cafe in High Falls. My mom also died that year, but when one door closes another opens, as I started working at BSP; little did I know it would become such an important part of my life. In March of 2007, more and more people began to read and depend on the BSP; its readership grew and its price went to 75 cents. The newspaper relied on its public for its information; when there was something to celebrate, to announce, to inform, to share, they called their hometown paper.
And now, in 2016, still run by the Childers, still at 75 cents and with its readership of 3,000 including almost 600 subscribers, BSP continues to bring together the community, its family, to take a moment to sit down, read and enjoy a little bit about the amazing lives of those around them."