Dear Edge readers,
May I ask you to do something for me? Would you take a minute to think about why you read The Berkshire Edge?
And while you’re considering this, may I also take this opportunity to share with you the reasons why we bring you The Edge every day. Here they are in brief: to bring you fresh ideas and new perspectives, and to create a forum where you and your neighbors and anyone else who cares about the Berkshires can come together to share and discuss and learn. And have fun doing it. Our motto (see our logo) has always been “News and ideas worth sharing,” and we mean that.
This is my third letter to you since we launched a membership campaign. These letters give us at The Edge a chance to communicate with you in a new way – to share our intentions with you, to solicit your feedback and, of course, to ask you to join our efforts to bring you a publication that informs and entertains you and that strengthens our shared community every day.
My sincerest thanks to all of you who have already joined. Your support encourages us and will help us serve you better, and we are pleased to acknowledge you on our membership page. And for those of you who read us regularly but have not yet joined, if The Edge gives you at least as much enjoyment as two cups of coffee a month in a local restaurant, please join us. For the same price ($5 per month), you can show your support for this lively and independent source of news, information and ideas.
You may notice that the benefits of membership reflect the same concern for our community that informs everything we do in The Edge.
- Members at the $60 annual membership level (or $5 a month) will be entered into regular drawings for gift certificates from local companies. With this benefit, we encourage you to shop local — to visit hometown shops and businesses and keep our Berkshires economy vibrant.
- Members at $120 per year ($10/month) and $240 ($20 a month) get free advertising in The Edge for the Berkshires non-profit of their choice. Non-profits are the economic engine of the Berkshires and we want to help promote them.
- Members at the $240 per year level are also invited to meet with us and bring us feedback from the community. This is just one of the ways we keep track of what you, our readers, expect from us.
It is not our goal to cover everything that happens in the Berkshires, but it is our goal to cover what’s important to you. As I wrote in my first letter, we started The Edge because many of you were seeking a meaningful publication that reflected the breadth and depth of our interesting and diverse community, and I explained the reasons for launching this membership campaign. In my second letter, I reviewed the way The Edge has grown in true partnership with that community.
In this letter, I’d like to recall for you a few of the stories we’re proud of, as examples of how we hope The Edge serves you with “news and ideas worth sharing”:
- In an article called Anatomy of a pipeline decision: A scheme of ‘dubious legality’ (October 20, 2014), our environmental reporter Mary Douglas was the first journalist we know of to question “a charge of dubious legality on all New England electricity ratepayers in order to support the funding of a natural gas pipeline” As a direct result of Mary’s article, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the surcharge on ratepayers was illegal. This decision saved Massachusetts ratepayers millions of dollars.
- In 2015, long before the public understood the severity of the opioid crisis, we published Dear Heroin: You got me again. This article attracted 93 comments and jump-started a local conversation on addiction.
- We were the first in the region to report on ‘Reclaim New York,” a James Mercer-funded, Steve Bannon-guided campaign intended to sow distrust of local government. This article attracted 32 reader comments and countless emails from community activists who had unsuccessfully entreated other publications, including The New York Times, to report on this organization.
- On a lighter note, we serialize new novels, short stories and topical poems by Berkshire writers. Who else does this?
- And, taking advantage of what online publishing offers, our reviews of dance and music events include links to performances. Take a look at this one by Carolyn and Eli Newberger, for example, which connects tap dancer Michele Dorrance to her African American antecedents.
Edge readers, we need to hear from you. Post comments on our stories to share your thoughts with other readers. Put your events on our Calendar. Send us stories and story ideas. And, if you have taken that minute to think about why you read The Edge and you want us to do more, please send money by joining us as a member.
We thank you in advance for joining us.
Marcie L. Setlow, Publisher
The Berkshire Edge
P.S. Your membership dollars will help us bring you more “News and ideas worth sharing.”