|More than twelve years ago when I was first beginning
to take an interest in local politics, one of the things I noticed was
there was really no good place to find news about the activities of our
local governments. The News Herald was a lot better back then than it is
now but there was still little in-depth reporting on what our officials
were up to.
A little before that time, my kids were just getting into the whole internet thing. To be honest I figured it was a lot like the old CB radio craze of my day and I didn't see anything particularly special about it. That changed for me and the world real fast.
In a short time, I had set up my first web site, or should I say, Sarah had set up my first web site. It was lcnews.com. The tag line was "The News You Need To Know But No One Will Tell You." It was a pretty big success for it's time and I use to get excited if I got forty or fifty hits a day.
Fast forward to now and it's fair to say my little news website, which has evolved through many stages, is now the most read local news web site in the county having had more than seven and a half million hits over it's life. That's why what I'm about to say is kind of sad.
This will be the last week for vanshaver.com, I'm shutting it down. Now, before anybody starts making wild assumptions, let me make this as clear as I can. My decision to shut down the site has nothing to do with the outcome of the election. I assure you, this was coming now regardless of the outcome of the election. In fact I had originally decided to shut down at the end of July but decided to leave it up till at least the election was over. A lot of this report was written several weeks ago.
I don't know if anybody realizes how much time it takes to put together and publish even the simplest of stories not including research time, attending meetings and so on and so fourth. My goal was always to make sure I had the facts right before I ever wrote any story.
For a long time now, I've really been tired of maintaining the site and looking for a reason to bring it to an end. When Austin resigned from his position on commission, I knew the time was here. I hate attending meetings, school board, commission, council's, what ever but I did enjoy going to commission just to watch my boy do his commissioning. Parents will understand. Even if you don't like something, if your kids are involved you're still interested.
I know there's nothing I can say that will make some believe this isn't about the election and if that's what they want to hang to, so be it. But I would challenge anyone to try to maintain the level of reporting I've been doing over the years and see just what it takes. I've even had a number of requests over the years to do advertising on the site but I always turned them down. I always wanted the readers to know it was about the story not money. I've actually had some big story breaks over the years even making state and national news a few times.
I do appreciate all the reader support I've had over the years. Many times the stories came right from your suggestions or tips. I will be leaving the web site in an arrangement where you will still be able to access the archives. I know how often readers search back to find an old story or information.
Believe me, I didn't make this decision lightly. I've thought it through long and hard. You know the old saying, "never say never" meaning it's possible I might bring the web site back one day, but for now and the foreseeable future, it's done.
This is vanshaver.com signing off.