Saturday September 30th 2023

Keep citizen journalism alive!



Change and Growth at Alley Communications: June ’23

Good News From the Copy Desk

If any of alley readers and contributors have sent an email to over the past few years, they’ve received a response from Lindsey Fenner. Lindsey took on the immense task of sifting and sorting the mountain of email as a temporary stopgap measure, volunteering her time. This was in addition to her other volunteer tasks as a member of the alley Editorial Leadership Committee (ELC), and as a beloved contributor. During this time Lindsey got us through the worst of the pandemic with her very informative COVID updates. We also got a glimpse of her love of the natural world, including in our own backyards. She searched out and reported on important community news. Aspiring writers saw their names in the alley thanks to Lindsey’s encouragement and coaching.
It has been a LOT for one person, and we are happy to report that Lindsey is stepping back from the Copy Desk to practice what she has preached – not taking on too much. She’s not abandoning the paper, but taking a long overdue break. Lindsey plans to continue with the alley doing what she so enjoys – writing, investigating, and encouraging others.
This is not a goodbye, but a warm and sincere Thank You to Lindsey from all of us – the Board of Directors, the ELC, our contributors, and our readers.

For Service Through Snow, Rain, Heat, Gloom, and Covid—-

Thank You, Peter Molenaar and Jeff Matson

As readers of the alley newspaper’s hard copy, you may have guessed at the amount of dedication and work taken to amass the words and photos that go into the alley each month for you to enjoy. Well, all that would be for nothing without the effort and dedication that goes into delivering each issue of the alley into your hands.
In-person hand delivery of the alley began in 1976 with 50 volunteers delivering 3,000 newspapers each month to every door in the Phillips Neighborhood (Phillips was a single large neighborhood at the time). Eventually, door-to-door delivery became a paid contracted position. Years later, bulk drops of the alley were introduced, whereby bundles of papers are delivered to willing stores, libraries, apartment buildings, and organizations. Various people have held these paid positions over the years.
For about a decade, Peter Molenaar has steadfastly made monthly bulk drops of newspapers to approximately 160 businesses and organizations, and Jeff Matson has delivered 3,000 copies of the alley door-to-door each and every month. Beginning with this June issue of the alley, the delivery of the paper and bulk drops will change hands yet again.
Thank you, Peter Molenaar, for your consistent and dedicated delivery of 2,700 newspapers to places spread across the Phillips Community, and the 10-15 percent of papers that go to scattered sites in the surrounding eight neighborhoods. We look forward to reading your continued insightful commentary column in the alley.
Thank you, Jeff Matson. If you live in one of the four neighborhoods of the Phillips Community, you have probably seen Jeff, or Kathy, his mother, as they walked every street and avenue in Phillips for the last decade placing a newspaper at doors, porches, or front gates of 3,000 households. Carriers like Jeff and Kathy, indeed, are our 21st Century town criers, giving presence on our streets, avenues, and alleyways.

Big THANKS to Lee Leichentrit, Departing Alley Communications Board Member!

Lee joined the Board of Alley Communications, the community governed nonprofit organization that publishes the alley newspaper during one of its biggest transition periods of 2018-2019. This was a time when, in Lee’s words, “It was unclear whether the organization would be able to weather the transition and keep the organization together while also continuing to get a newspaper out each month that would continue to serve the community. Another dedicated volunteer and Board member who had managed the finances for 20+ years had just retired. We were also counting down the months to making the decision of whether to fold or to keep going. But we all pulled together and got through that transition with both an organization that was beginning to professionalize several of the positions formerly held by volunteers while continuing to be an independent voice for the community.”
In a recent conversation, Lee expressed some of the things that he holds the greatest hopes for Alley Communications. He lauds the addition of Rico Morales and Ciren Saadeh as new board members to build the organizational leadership. And to take steps to greater diversity on the Alley Communications Board through community journalism training efforts led by Cirien as part of the Journalism of Color Training Center. Lee also sees the potential for greater engagement with people in Phillips. By continuing to build on these efforts, Lee believes the alley will continue to be a vital vehicle to raise the voices of the people in the Phillips Community.
Thank you, Lee, for your service on the Board of Alley Communications and your encouragement and belief in the future of the alley.

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