Reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated

Readers respond after misleading photo predicted the end of The Beacon
By Dan Aznoff | Aug 15, 2019

The offices of Beacon Publishing received numerous phone calls and emails in response to a photo that appeared on the front page of another Mill Creek newspaper with the headline “Bye, Bye Beacon.”

The intent of the misleading headline, according to readers of The Beacon, was to intimate The Beacon had pulled out of the Mill Creek market.

“The cutline under the photo suggested The Beacon was going away,” said Paul Archipley, owner and publisher of the three Beacon Publishing newspapers. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Archipley emphasized that Beacon Publishing is invested in remaining the source of objective journalism for the residents and businesses in Mill Creek.

Readers of The Beacon reacted to the deceptive photo with phone calls and emails to the corporate office in Mukilteo.

“When is The Beacon going to push back on the other Mill Creek paper's smear campaign?” asked one concerned reader. “I find it extremely petty on the part of the other so-called newspaper.”

The photo in question was taken last week in front of the U.S. Post Office on the Bothell-Everett Highway.  It showed an empty space where two Beacon newsstands had been located outside the building.

The explanation was simple. While The Beacon had followed federal regulations by removing its boxes as requested, the “other paper conveniently forgot,” according to postal supervisor Thuy Vo.

The request to remove the free-standing white boxes, according to Robin Johnson, supervisor of customer services, was made in response to a USPS policy that prohibits outside vendors from placing literature outside government offices.

The Beacon boxes were removed within the two-week time frame allowed by the post office. The other newspaper left its boxes on government property in violation of federal law.

Johnson said USPS employees were forced to use bolt cutters to separate the metal boxes from concrete anchors that held copies of The Mill Creek View.

"Recently, new policies have been put in place. We will no longer allow outside companies to have those boxes on postal property,” Johnson told management at The Beacon. “I understand the frustration you have, but unfortunately that is our new policy.”

The distribution box owned by the newspaper that published the misleading photo was one of the ones that had to be removed with the use of special tools, said Vo.

“The boxes remained outside the building until somebody mentioned the violation. They were moved by members of the maintenance crew,” Vo said. “The other newspaper completely ignored our request. They were probably hoping we would forget about them so they could just remain as the only newspaper available.”

A former member of the Mill Creek City Council responded to the lack of ethics from the other paper.

“In my opinion, nothing has changed with the Mill Creek View slanting and/or misleading readers,” said Donna Michelson. “It is unfortunate that the publisher continues his practice in an attempt to further his own personal agenda, hoping the ethical Mill Creek Beacon will cease operations in Mill Creek.

“It’s really sad.”

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