Mill Creek Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

By Paul Archipley

Time is running out: Sign up for your Beacon now!


Last updated 12/28/2020 at 7:17am

When I got my first job, delivering the local daily newspaper, I learned how to “box” the paper, that is, fold it into four equal sides with corners tucked in to make a tight-fit square. No rubber bands needed. I’d fold all my papers, stack them neatly into my canvas paper bag, throw the bag over my bike’s handlebars and hit the road.

Those papers sailed beautifully, landing (most of the time) at a reader’s front door as I rode by. Then, once a month, I’d knock on the door of each of my customers and collect. The publishing company kept most of what I collected, but I made enough to indulge my interests of the moment, be it a model airplane kit, new baseball glove or whatnot.

My parents forced me to put some of it into a savings account; I objected, of course, not understanding the whole “rainy day” thing.

A “few” years later, after I launched Beacon Publishing, we began hiring kids to deliver the newspaper in Mukilteo and Edmonds. While the Beacon has been free to readers, carriers were allowed to collect “tips” from the residents on their route. It was a pretty good gig.

But when we started the Mill Creek edition in 2014, we had difficulty finding kids who were interested. These days, young people are plenty busy with after school activities, and parents are less comfortable about letting their kids out of their sight. So we mailed the Mill Creek Beacon to homes and businesses for a few years, but under postal service prices, the cost of mailing free publications is prohibitive.

As regular Beacon readers who have been receiving their newspaper at home know, we’re switching to a subscription model, and the U.S. Postal Service will deliver the Beacon at an affordable price to us.

The free newspaper model just doesn’t work anymore. With Google, Facebook and other social media eating up much of the advertising revenue that newspapers – and particularly free newspapers – used to depend on, we are adjusting to the times.

We’re less than a month away from the changeover during the first week of January. Sign up now, and you’ll have instant access to our newspaper website as our thanks for your support. Actual newspaper delivery via the post office begins in January.

Some callers have asked if they’ll still be able to pick up the newspaper for free at a rack or in a local store or restaurant. That’s a qualified “no.” We’re in discussions with some business owners about a business membership, a partnership in which they’ll get some newspapers to give to customers, and we’ll provide advertising space for their business.

But we expect those options will be few and far between. The only way to ensure you’ll get your newspaper every week will be through a subscription. We hope you’ll think it’s worth it to pay a small fee to ensure you’ll have regular access to the news that affects your life and your neighbors’. In fact, how about an easy Christmas gift for a neighbor or family member? Buy them a year’s subscription to the Beacon! Buy your own subscription, and we’ll offer a second one at half price.

Along with this subscription drive, we’re asking readers to fill out the survey you’ll find in the newspaper each week. We want to make sure we’re covering the stories you want to read about, and your participation in the survey or an upcoming Reader Focus Group will help.

Meanwhile, don’t delay. Simply fill out the subscription form in this week’s newspaper or, easier yet, call us at 425-347-5634. If you picked up the Beacon around town, fill out the form in the paper, call us, or go online to sign up at

We’re trying to make this conversion as seamless as possible, so that your paper will “sail” to your mailbox – like the ones I tossed so many years ago.


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