We’re coming up on an anniversary at the newspaper. In February 2016, the Methow Valley News office moved from its longtime location on Glover Street to a building on the TwispWorks campus. Nearly three years ago. We’re kind of used to the idea by now.
We, as a matter of course, publicized the move back then — but rarely since. So at least once a week, on average, someone wanders into our TwispWorks office to exclaim that they did not know we had migrated south, and it wasn’t easy for them to find the “new” place. We’re still a mystery to infrequent visitors, which is unfortunate because we like and welcome walk-ins. We used to get a lot of them in the previous location.
The Twisp Movement Studio occupies our former space in one of the town’s oldest buildings. It’s not unusual, even now, for someone to poke their head in the door there and ask, “What happened to the newspaper?”
We never intended to hide out or avoid contact. The TwispWorks space suited our needs then and now, and we’ve settled in pretty well. You’ll find us here for a least a few more years, as we just signed a lease extension. The campus is a good spot for us, and we’ve watched it grow and improve in the past few years. We like our neighbors.
For orientation’s sake, we are in the freestanding green building behind the red building that is TwispWorks headquarters. There is a rather large, two-sided identifying sign hanging at our entrance. That seems pretty simple to us, but finding the office continues to baffle some folks. We’ve had cell phone calls from people in the parking lot, 30 yards away, who could not locate us. It’s like we had a Harry Potter invisibility cloak. The construction projects last summer complicated access, and even people who know how to find us ended up bushwhacking around.
Suggestions for improved visibility have included putting a directional sandwich board in the parking lot. Or some kind of signage that is more-easily visible from Highway 20. But both seem like clutter to me. I don’t think a neon flashing sign would be appropriate, or allowed. We’re not a casino.
Maybe the construction of the Old Schoolhouse Brewery’s large new facility, rearing up like it was the Titanic docking less than a pebble’s throw from our front door, will help people find the News. “We’re right behind the taproom” ought to straighten out everyone’s vector right way. I don’t know many people who lose their way in search of beer. Or perhaps we need to install a GPS beacon, but we don’t want to confuse incoming aircraft. Maybe you could just try, “Siri, where is the bleeping newspaper office?”
We’d love to encourage more traffic. People who stop by to pay a bill, renew a subscription or drop off information often wind up in a conversation with one or more of us. A fair number of residents who have been around a while remember the building’s previous uses (“the old teen center” seems to click with some). Don’t be deterred by winter. The TwispWorks crew plows the parking lot early, and runs a snow blower down our sidewalk. We keep a bucket of ice-melting stuff on hand.
We always intended to have an open house after our move, but never managed to schedule one. Maybe the new year will be a good time. Consult your Google maps now.
We’re waiting …
I’m going to keep pestering you about this because I can, and because it’s important to participatory journalism: If you haven’t voted yet for the top news stories of 2018, please get that ballot into us soon (you’ll find it on page A3 this week, or online at www.methowvalleynews.com). I love tallying the results, because it’s a telling indicator of public opinion, and because of the variety of responses. Everything is important to someone. Have a say about what’s important to you — it will be the readers’ list.
One more admonition, if you haven’t heard it enough already: shop local! Amazon will limp along without you for a couple of weeks, and your friends and neighbors need the support. You still have a weekend to make a day of it at your favorite spots in Twisp, Winthrop and Mazama. If you can navigate to our office, we’ll shove a copy of “Methow Made” at you, if that will help. Don’t let your community down! And that is more exclamation points than I have used in one paragraph in my entire life.