Nov 112015

Dear Groton:

I’ve been procrastinating. Been thinking about writing this post for about six weeks, but haven’t fired up the keyboard to do it.

I’m sure y’all have noticed that The Groton Line has been inactive since Labor Day, instead of carrying its usual mix of news, photos, and opinion pieces; posts on Facebook; tweets on Twitter and so on.


Betsy Fitzgerald-Campbell, The Groton Line‘s Executive Editor and my partner in writing, love, and life and I have moved south, to Plymouth. We made the move for a variety of professional and personal reasons, and are quite happy settling into a smaller house within sight of the ocean.

Because I’m not local to Groton any longer, it’s been hard to cover town news and its newsmakers as it should be covered. So I’m officially ending what has been a exhilarating, really fun, occasionally frustrating, very rewarding, and exciting five year run as a hyperlocal news editor, reporter, photographer, publisher, and janitor. You can’t do hyperlocal journalism if you’re not local. So this is it.

I want to thank a lot of people, too many to call out by name, but here are a few groups:

  • Our advertisers, particularly those three who jumped on board early and have stayed the course through all five years — Dr. Susan Horowitz at the Groton Veterinary Hospital, Peter Myette at P.C. Myette Power Equipment and landscaping, and Josh Degen at Earthscape Inc.
  • Deb Mendel and Virginia Wood, our current and former advertising managers, for keeping the servers running, the customers satisfied, and tirelessly promoting all the Groton businesses who have advertised with us.
  • Everyone who wrote stories or did photography for The Groton Line — Kris O’Reilly, Sarah Connel Campbell, sports editor Sam Feeley, and everyone else who supported community journalism by being part of it.
  • All the readers who sent in a letter to the editor. Brooks Lyman, Peter Cunningham, Steve Boczenowski, and all you other regular letter writers.
  • The many town residents who called or emailed with news tips, press releases, and story ideas and flagged typos when they appeared (Thank you, Becky Pine!). Special mention to the town employee whistleblowers who risked their jobs to pass along a quiet heads up when something way off the mark happened in town government. Or should have happened but didn’t.
  • The many town departments and employees who shared information freely in an effort to keep residents up to date and informed: the Police Department (especially Kathy Newell for the endless supply of police logs), Fire Department, Groton Public Library, Planning Board and Department, Town Clerk Mike Bouchard and his staff, GELD, and the Department of Public Works.
  • The people who provide sound advice to anyone who works in local news and that I have tried to apply while editing The Groton Line:
    • Finley Peter Dunne, who penned: “The job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”
    • Thomas Jefferson, for writing “The only security of all is in a free press.”
    • A. J. Liebling, for “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.”
    • Ann Onymous, for “non illegitimi carborundum.”
  • Connie Sartini and Russ Harris at The Groton Herald for being great competitors and occasional collaborators and great journo friends the rest of the time.
  • The friendly and knowledgeable folks at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s and Secretary of State’s offices for their help and assistance with making the Open Meeting Law and Public Records Law useful tools for citizens and journalists and reminding government officials at all levels that state laws are neither suggestions nor guidelines.
  • And finally you, the readers and Facebook Friends and Twitter Followers who made it all worthwhile and depended on The Groton Line for your daily dose of news and views in Groton.


P.S. Although I’m seguing out of The Groton Line, if you as an individual or a member of a group or a business have an interest in taking the helm and following on down the path… I’m open to any offers and proposals, and would be willing to help out some. Get in touch!

P.P.S. The Talk About Groton mailing list, the community calendar, and our Facebook page and Twitter account will remain active. Press releases that pop into the email inbox will be forwarded to the mailing list.