Make the McKenzie Connection!

35 years of publishing

How do you get your news? By reading this we know you’re among the 1,800 people who keep up with what’s happening in the McKenzie River area by picking up a copy of River Reflections. For many years that’s been the best way to gain access to information about local events, crime, accomplishments, or the controversies that are all part of small town living.

But times are changing. You could also be among the 150 plus people who don’t handle newsprint, but get a digital copy of the paper emailed to them every week. We’ve offered that option for about a year. People opt for it citing different reasons. Some because it’s in full color (despite some recent full color issues, the cost to produce that on newsprint makes it a rare item). Others like receiving their edition on Tuesdays, rather than picking one up on a new stand on Wednesday or getting it in the mail on Thursday. And still others have experienced mail delivery problems caused by the U.S. Postal Service’s decision to do their sorting at far away locations.

Then again you might be someone who sees our posts on Facebook. We put at least one story and one video related to the McKenzie on that page every day. Anywhere from 600 to just under 2,000 people a week have accessed it to make their “McKenzie Connection.”

Others go to our website, many clicking links from the Facebook page. So many, in fact, that if you type “mckenzie river” into a Google search engine our newspaper website will appear on the very first page of results.

That all goes to show that our approach to serving this river community has evolved since Louise started River Reflections 35 years ago (and I soon joined in). If you look at the “flag” (very top of Page 1) of this edition, you’ll see that it is listed as Volume 36, Issue 1.” That signifies this is the 1st edition of our 36th year of publication.

We’re planning to stay current with other developing trends in bringing the news of the McKenzie River to our readers. But we’ve also realized that within our 35 years of archives is a treasure-trove of information about this area. This has lead us on the path of a new project - to digitize all those stories and pictures. Oftentimes, people have asked us if we could bundle some of that history into a book. That’s a great idea but it will take more than one volume to do it justice.

As we move ahead with this huge undertaking, we’ll keep you posted on how it progresses. It will be a lot of work. It will also be a lot of fun.

In other words, we’re not going anywhere.

But what if you’re a local business owner who does want to. Want to what? Go somewhere. Sell their place.

That’s what I learned this week during a conversation with Gena LaMere of Aunt Ding’s Restaurant in Walterville.

“I have no family here and I’m missing seeing my great nieces and great-grand nieces grow up,” she said.  “They all live in Southern Oregon or California.”

What’s the problem? Well, it’s not a distressed sale. The business is doing well, hitting her ten-year income target three years in advance of what she predicted. Already, potential buyers have come courting. The problem is they wanted to change it - in one case a Chinese eatery or another felt, maybe a Hispanic restaurant.

The key to her success, she says, has been three-fold: good service good food and a great staff. A new owner needs to be committed to those key points, because “I don’t need to sell it.”

If you know a community-minded person looking to own a  country restaurant with a little gourmet flavor, send them her way. “Otherwise, they can’t buy it.”


Looking back at 1982




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