eNews Park Forest, the Busy, Seemingly Endless Treadmill

Commentary
By Gary Kopycinski

Sometime in the month of October, eNews Park Forest turned six. For six years, ENEWSPF, as we call it, has been slowly growing, edging out the competition, keeping other potential competitors at bay, delivering local news "and more" to Park Forest "and beyond."

We have tried to tell the whole story, although, I will admit, as an elected official in town, I tell many stories from a unique perspective. I am not the "go-to" guy for those who want to be overly-critical of our village or local government. There are journalists, current and former, who are much better watch dogs than I.

One I admire most is Andy Shaw at the Better Government Association

Truthfully, it’s my job as a trustee in town to make sure we are not visited by Andy Shaw or anyone else, for that matter — elected, appointed, or other — who might find less-than-stellar government in Park Forest. It’s my job as trustee to listen at neighborhood meetings, at meetings of the Village Board, or when citizens call or email, to ensure we maintain "excellence in governing and create a more participatory government," for years our first budgetary goal, and now our forever "goal emeritus."

I have tried to bring you the news, week after week, working to ensure you get the whole story, whatever the case.

Rosemary Piser, I believe, is responsible for putting ENEWSPF, and, in an ancillary way, Park Forest, on the international map.

Rosemary, ENEWSPF’s Associate Editor, publishes 20 to 30 stories a day. Many of these are press releases from respectable organizations or news sources — like the White House, and, yes, even though she is a very smart and proud liberal, she published releases from the previous administration. Other things Rosemary publishes are local or national news stories which she writes about after informing herself. She also writes a weekly column, which, in my opinion, is the most important story we publish each week: In and Around Park Forest.

It’s all I can do to keep up with her.

Rosemary was mostly responsible for our best day ever, November 8, 2011. Yes, just last week, 20,874 visitors from near and far found ENEWSPF. There were so many at one time, in fact, our site may have appeared offline to you. Visitors that day flocked to this story about health care costs.

Go figure.

We had 172,737 visitors to ENEWSPF in the month of October 2011. We have had 74,813 so far in November 2011, a fair percentage thanks to that article.

My friends, this is very rewarding to me emotionally. It is paying me — and Rosemary — next to nothing.

We are so, so very busy with this project.

I can’t believe we have done what we’ve done.

From time to time, Rosemary gets calls from media organizations from around the country regarding certain stories — no kidding. They are astonished to discover that there are only two of us working on ENEWSPF.

My friends, that is because we have been doing this for virtually no money at all.

That cannot continue.

We deserve better.

Beginning at age 13, and through high school, I delivered the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to residents of Churchview Court, the six streets off of Churchview Avenue in Baldwin, PA.

The first week I delivered I made $13 and actually believed I was stealing. That had to be too much money.

Once a week, I took my collection stubs, went door-to-door, knocked, and said, "Collecting!"

And people gave me money. I gave the Post-Gazette money, and I was permitted to keep the rest.

When I write a check for ENEWSPF, my friends, I end up with just more than $13 a week.

I will not do that for much longer.

I simply cannot.

My friends, there have been some businesses in Park Forest that have failed. For some in town, it’s almost as if we expect failure, although we have many, many long-term businesses.

I don’t want this business to fail. But I need your help.

We, at ENEWSPF, need your help.

Some months ago, I asked on our eNews Park Forest Facebook Page if people would be willing to pay a modest subscription price to read our articles.

Like back in the old days, when that kid would come to the door and say, "Collecting!"

Some glibly — in my opinion — responded and said no, they would not pay. They said they can get our news elsewhere on the Internet.

I disagree.

I believe we offer quality content. In and Around Park Forest is an important and unique article you should read week after week. Our police reports, my friends — in spite of the fact that the village trustee is the primary reporter and another trustee and his wife are the primary proofreaders — are second to none.

We will, we must, lock down much of our original content for subscribers only.

Will you pay to help us continue doing what we are doing?

Or should we simply shut this site down, and leave you, dear reader, to troll the Internet for local, quality, Park Forest news?