January 30, 2009

We could use your help ...

Dear Readers,

When the city editor at The Journal Times hired me as a reporter 10 years ago, the first thing he said was: "Racine is a newsy town. Weird things happen here." The last few weeks have certainly proven that true, and hopefully RacinePost has been able to dig into the mayor's arrest and resignation and provide some meaningful competition to our daily newspaper.

So what would you think about us doing this full time?

I've been giving a lot of thought to the future of RacinePost and what we can do to grow and improve the site. Right now, Pete and I put the daily site together as a labor of love. (Actually, Pete does a lot of the daily work while I scrounge together a living as a freelance writer.) We're beyond grateful for the number of people who visit RacinePost to scan headlines, read stories and add comments. In our first months, I dreamed of 1,000 daily readers. We're now over that number, and growing on a monthly basis. My greedy mind now hopes for 5,000 (or 10,000!) daily readers, but we have some work to do to get there.

So how do we do it? Here's the plan for the coming months:

1. Complete a redesign that will bring all of RacinePost's sections under "one roof," and add several reader features including a Forum, Reader Blogs, Photo Galleries, a Community Calendar and submitted stories.

2. Ramp up our reporting resources so we're covering more local stories in more depth.

3. Install a system to increase our ad inventory and track advertising on the site. Our goal is to create an affordable, effective advertising solution for local businesses.

4. Create a marketing campaign to solidify our presence in the community.

We need your help to make it possible. Today we're launching a drive to fund RacinePost through reader subscriptions. It's an experiment to find out if independent community journalism can come up with the resources to fund a full-time operation.

"Subscription" here doesn't mean anything exclusive. RacinePost will always be free, whether you contribute or not. Initially, subscriptions will be used to pay us a reasonable salary (trust me, this will be very reasonable) and cover expenses related to the redesign, advertising system and marketing campaign. As we grow, subscriptions will go to hiring additional staff and reporters.

We're really hoping this can be a Racine-powered site. Even a few dollars on a recurring basis would go a long way to supporting RacinePost and establishing a purely local independent news source.

You can make a contribution by clicking here. So let's do this thing! I think it'll be exciting. More to come throughout the week ...


  1. Good for you and congrats on growing your readership. Some links you may find useful:
    News theme for Wordpress: http://www.nathanrice.net/proximity/demo/
    Blog Newspaper : http://www.theprintedblog.com
    Marketing Measurement for small business: http://www.adsymemtrix.com

    You are going to have a great time building your business and providing value to your local businesses and great news to your readers.

  2. Good for you and congrats on growing your readership. Some links you may find useful:
    News theme for Wordpress: http://www.nathanrice.net/proximity/demo/
    Blog Newspaper : http://www.theprintedblog.com
    Marketing Measurement for small business: http://www.adsymetrix.com

    You are going to have a great time building your business and providing value to your local businesses and great news to your readers.

  3. I did my 50.00 through paypal. Money well spent, I love that the community events, what to do in Racine are online and easy to read.

  4. Looks like you guys are trying to copy or follow suit to the Racine News guys! How original that your going to take reader submissions and start a community events calendar, why don't you just add the business directory like Racine News has as well! I do agree your site needs a good work over but planing to do the same things as another site is just following suit not leading by example!

  5. re: My $.02...

    Racine News can hardly be called serious journalism. The grammar leaves much to be desired and the layout is very confusing.

    Of the three "papers" in Racine, the Racine Post is clearly the most professional.

  6. I agree Racine Post is the best news site in our area. I also agree there are actions to be taken to improve the site and service to the community. After all, every site like this can always be improved. I like the site and service and will approve even more with some improvements. The best thing Pete and Dustin can do for increased revenue is to immediately implement the ad tracking so that businesses can see the benefit of advertising on the site. We have been frequent advertisers and have been happy with the results for what we have paid. Lastly, it is important to give full time attention to this site if greater results are expected. Remember, part time effort yields part time results. We can all only serve one master.

  7. Yeah, posting links to copyrighted material is great Journalism!

  8. Admitting your bias would be a good first step

  9. You're so right, Fred -- far, far right.

    As for me, I'm biased in favor of good government, although I've forgotten what that looks like.

  10. I sent some $$$'s

  11. Monte, You are so right. We support the Racine Post and really the Racine News is very poorly written with a half assed layout. It is trying to be something it can't be. The talent isn't there. I donated 50.00 to the cause and I am glad that you have expanded your headline, I almost missed it the first time. I will also be subscribing.

  12. Oh and Fred, Bite it.

  13. Grow up Pete.

    I am a huge fan of what you do here, have been since day one and I have given your joint lots of pub at my joint.

    I want to see Racine Post even stronger.

    Let's face it, you and Dustin are STRONG leftists. If you would only admit your biases up front Racine Post would be even better.

    I only ask you to face the truth and be honest in all of your reporting instead of hiding behind pretend objectivity.

    You say I'm far right, fine, I ADMIT IT UP FRONT. Quit hiding.

    And anonymous, grow a spine and stop hiding.

  14. I think the overall quality and content needs a big improvement.
    also it's very unattractive.

    the HUUUUUGE writing and large pictures at times are very very poor web design.

    Also would be nice if you ran a real website instead of wordpress; it's very unprofessional.

    that being said i read racinepost from time to time and enjoy most of what i see.

  15. It's true, jas, we're definitely not web designers! That's why we went with Blogger and ancient HTML. They're fast, cheap and easy to use.

    I think you'll like our new site, though. It's pretty slick!

  16. Looking forward to the new site.

  17. I love the Post too. In my Raido shows The Post is THE Newspaper The J-T bird cage liner. That being said Fred is right (not as right as I am ) you do need to say you lean left. Help your readership understand better the back stories.
    Note to Pete good government with at least two pulled for ethical issues and one of them Gov Richerson going to jail how is that Obama working for you?

  18. Colt,

    I'm as dismayed about the non-taxpaying nominees as every other idiot who didn't know paying taxes was optional -- but it's far too early to make the kind of judgments you were making about Obama before he even took office.

    And before you get too smug, here's a link of just the Republican sex scandals of the past eight years ... be prepared to spend a long time reading it (it's quite, quite long).

    And here's a link to a list of other scandals of the past eight years.

    Call me in eight years, and we'll compare these to what you come up with from the Obama administration.

  19. But Obama was not going be linked to any of this for is he not Sorry seams we can only make fun of the GOP on this site.
    Is there not someone IL spilling his guts a Resko? First stop Blago next stop...

  20. Without changing the subject to Republican sex scandals or Republican contributions to global warming or Republican trafficking in human slaves, consider the hypocrisy of people who tell me to "roll up my sleeves" and "contribute more patriotically" who don't pay their own taxes – folks like Rangel, Franken and whoever Obama likes to pick for his cabinet.

    . . . and by the way, I'll be contributing to your subscription project -

  21. concrete katie2/09/2009 7:25 AM

    I like the Racinepost because its focus is on local stories, many of which are not covered as well by JT. Who cares whether it looks slick. Pete's pictures are engaging. Yes I do think Dustin is left. So what and it should not come to a surprise to any of you anonymous ranters. It is acceptable once again to be LIBERAL and AMERICAN and HOPING THE COUNTRY CAN MOVE FORWARD. Meanwhile citizens need to get more involved locally. BESIDES many of the bloggers on this site make up for any liberal tendencies. What is it with Racine? Why is it its own worst enemy?

  22. It always was acceptable to be liberal...

    It's better to admit your bias instead of pretending to be objective. Honesty makes for a better read.

  23. Fred, How pompous are you - Acceptable - acceptable to be liberal? I think it is the right thing to be liberal and go backto your blog, chubby up and vent over there, please.

  24. So, what’s liberal?

    I’ve always liked the definition that echoes from the founding of Liberal, KS.

    An early settler dug a well, but allowed any passerby to stop and drink. They’d say, “That’s mighty liberal of you,” and, thus, the name of the settlement.

    Allowing folks to drink from the well. Pretty good definition, if you ask me. (Oh, and sending some cash to RacinePost, another example.)

    But here are some others, from Wordnet.princeton.edu:

    S: (n) liberal, liberalist, progressive (a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties)
    S: (n) liberal (a person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets)
    S: (adj) broad, large-minded, liberal, tolerant (showing or characterized by broad-mindedness) "a broad political stance"; "generous and broad sympathies"; "a liberal newspaper"; "tolerant of his opponent's opinions"
    S: (adj) liberal (having political or social views favoring reform and progress)
    S: (adj) liberal (tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition)
    S: (adj) big, bighearted, bounteous, bountiful, freehanded, handsome, giving, liberal, openhanded (given or giving freely) "was a big tipper"; "the bounteous goodness of God"; "bountiful compliments"; "a freehanded host"; "a handsome allowance"; "Saturday's child is loving and giving"; "a liberal backer of the arts"; "a munificent gift"; "her fond and openhanded grandfather"
    S: (adj) free, loose, liberal (not literal) "a loose interpretation of what she had been told"; "a free translation of the poem"

  25. My main problem with the racinepost is many of the articles are purely opinion based. People want to read the news and form their own opinions. If the reporters at racinepost want to write their opinions, it should be done as an editorial. A good journalist keeps their personal opinions out of their news articles.

    This seems to be a huge problem for Dustin Block, he writes his opinions as though they are factual news.

  26. We will be waiting for the story on how Doyle is destroying the jobs climate in Wisconsin and how nancy the queen bee pelosi is abusing the military aircraft

  27. The high Morals of the Democratics

    William Jefferson Clinton- Impeached by the House of Representatives over allegations of perjury and obstruction of justice, but acquitted by the Senate. Scandals include Whitewater - Travelgate Gennifer Flowersgate - Filegate - Vince Fostergate - Whitewater Billing Recordsgate - Paula Jonesgate- Lincoln Bedroomgate - Donations from Convicted Drug and Weapons Dealersgate - Lippogate - Chinagate - The Lewinsky Affair - Perjury and Jobs for Lewinskygate - Kathleen Willeygate - Web Hubbell Prison Phone Callgate - Selling Military Technology to the Chinesegate - Jaunita Broaddrick Gate - Lootergate - Pardongate

    Edward Moore Kennedy - Democrat - U. S. Senator from Massachusetts. Pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, after his car plunged off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island killing passenger Mary Jo Kopechne.

    Barney Frank - Democrat - U.S. Representative from Massachusetts from 1981 to present. Admitted to having paid Stephen L. Gobie, a male prostitute, for sex and subsequently hiring Gobie as his personal assistant. Gobie used the congressman's Washington apartment for prostitution. A move to expel Frank from the House of Representatives failed and a motion to censure him failed.

    DNC - The Federal Election Commission imposed $719,000 in fines against participants in the 1996 Democratic Party fundraising scandals involving contributions from China, Korea and other foreign sources. The Federal Election Commission said it decided to drop cases against contributors of more than $3 million in illegal DNC contributions because the respondents left the country or the corporations are defunct.

    Sandy Berger - Democrat - National Security Advisor during the Clinton Administration. Berger became the focus of a criminal investigation after removing highly classified terrorism documents and handwritten notes from the National Archives during preparations for the Sept. 11 commission hearings.

    Robert Torricelli - Democrat - Withdrew from the 2002 Senate race with less than 30 days before the election because of controversy over personal gifts he took from a major campaign donor and questions about campaign donations from 1996.

    James McGreevey - Democrat - New Jersey Governor . Admitted to having a gay affair. Resigned after allegations of sexual harassment, rumors of being blackmailed on top of fundraising investigations and indictments.

    Jesse Jackson - Democrat - Democratic candidate for President. Admitted to having an extramarital affair and fathering a illegitimate child.

    Gary Condit - Democrat - US Democratic Congressman from California. Condit had an affair with an intern. Condit, covered up the affair and lied to police after she went missing. No charges were ever filed against Condit. Her remains were discovered in a Washington DC park..

    Elliot Spitzer – Democrat – New York Governor. Spending thousands and thousands of taxpayer dollars on hookers.

  28. Just a quick refresher course lest we forget what has happened to many "friends"of the Clinton's.

    1-James McDougal - Clinton 's convicted Whitewater partner died of an apparent heart attack, while in solitary confinement. He was a key witness in Ken Starr's investigation.
    2 -Mary Maho ney - A former White House intern was murdered July 1997 at a Starbucks Coffee Shop in Georgetown . The murder happened just after she was to go public with her story of sexual harassment in the White House.
    3- Vince Foster - Former White House counselor, and colleague of Hillary Clinton at Little Rock 's Rose Law firm. Died of a gunshot wound to the head, ruled a suicide.
    4- Ron Brown - Secretary of Commerce and former DNC Chairman. Reported to have died by impact in a plane crash. A pathologist close to the investigation reported that there was a hole in the top of Brown's skull resembling a gunshot wound. At the time of his death Brown was being investigated, and spoke publicly of his willingness to cut a deal with prosecutors. The rest of the people on the plane also died. Afew days later the air Traffic controller commited suicide.
    5- C. Victor Raiser II- Raiser, a major player in the Clinton fund raising organization died in a private plane crash in July 1992
    6-Paul Tulley - Democratic National Committee Political Director found dead in a hotel room in Little Rock , September 1992. Described by Clinton as a "Dear friend and trusted advisor".
    7-Ed Willey - Clinton fund raiser, found dead November 1993 deep in the woods in VA of a gunshot wound to the head. Ruled a suicide. Ed Willey died on the same day his wife Kathleen Willey claimed Bill Clinton groped her in the oval office in the White House. Ed Willey was involved in several Clinton fund raising events.
    8-Jerry Parks -Head of Clinton's gubernatorial security team in Little Rock . Gunned down in his car at a deserted intersection outside Little Rock . Park's son said his father was building a dossier on Clinton . He allegedly threatened to reveal this information. After he died the files were mysteriously removed from his house.
    9-James Bunch - Died from a gunshot suicide. It was reported that he had a "Black Book" of people which contained names of influential people who visited prostitutes in Texas and Arkansas .
    10-James Wilson - Was found dead in May 1993 from an apparent hanging suicide. He wasreported to have ties to Whitewater.
    11-Kathy Ferguson- Ex-wife of Arkansas Trooper Danny Ferguson, was found dead in May 1994, in her living room with a gunshot to her head. It was ruled a suicide even though there were several packed suitcases, as if she were going somewhere. Danny Ferguson was a co-defendant along with Bill Clinton i n the Paula Jones lawsuit. Kathy Ferguson was a possible corroborating witness for Paula Jones.
    12-Bill Shelton - Arkansas State Trooper and fiancee of Kathy Ferguson. Critical of the suicide ruling of his fiancee, he was found dead in June, 1994 of a gunshot wound also ruled a suicide at the grave site of his fiancee.
    13-Gandy Baugh - Attorney for Clinton 's friend Dan Lassater, died by jumping out a window of a tall building January, 1994. His client was a convicted drug distributor.
    14-Florence Martin - Accountant & sub-contractor for the CIA, was related to the Barry Seal Mena Airport drug smuggling case. He died of three gunshot wounds.
    15- Suzanne Colem an - Reportedly had an affair with Clinton when he was Arkansas Attorney General. Died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head, ruled a suicide. Was pregnant at the time of her death.
    16-Paula Grober - Clinton 's speech interpreter for the deaf from 1978 until her death December 9, 1992. She died in a one car accident.
    17-Danny Casolaro - Investigative reporter. Investigating Mena Airport and Arkansas Development Finance Authority. He slit his wrists, apparently, in the middle of his investigation.
    18- Paul Wilcher - Attorney investigating corruption at Mena Airport with Casolaro and the 1980 "October Surprise" was found dead on a toilet June 22, 1993 in his Washington DC apartment. Had delivered a report to Janet Reno 3 weeks before his death.
    19-Jon Pa rnell Walker - Whitewater investigator for Resolution Trust Corp. Jumped to his death from his Arlington , Virginia apartment balcony August15, 1993. He was investigating the Morgan Guaranty scandal.
    20-Barbara Wise - Commerce Department staffer. Worked closely with Ron Brown and John Huang. Cause of death unknown. Died November 29, 1996. Her bruised, nude body was found locked in her office at the Department of Commerce.
    21-Charles Meissner -Assistant Secretary of Commerce who gave John Huang special security clearance, died shortly thereafter in a small plane crash.
    22-Dr. Stanley Heard - Chairman of the National Chiropractic Health Care Advisory Committee died with his attorney Steve Dickson in a small plane crash. Dr. Heard, in addition to serving on Clinton 's advisory council personally treated Clinton 's mother, stepfather and brother.
    23-Barry Seal -Drug running pilot out of Mena Arkansas , death was no accident.
    24-Johnny Lawhorn Jr. - Mechanic, found a check made out to Bill Clinton in the trunk of a car left at his repair shop. He was found dead after his car had hit a utility pole.
    25-Stanley Huggins - Investigated Madison Guaranty. His death was a purported suicide and his report was never released.
    26- Hershell Friday - Attorney and Clinton fund raiser died March 1, 1994 when his plane exploded.
    27-Kevin Ives & Don Henry - Known as "The boys on the track" case. Reports say the boys may have stumbled upon the Mena Arkansas airport drug operation. A controversial case, the initial report of death said, due to falling asleep on railroad tracks. Later reports claim the 2 boys had been slai n before being placed on the tracks. Many linked to the case died before their testimony could come before a Grand Jury.


    28-Keith Coney - Died when his motorcycle slammed into the back of a truck, 7/88.
    29-Keith McMaskle - Died stabbed 113 times, Nov, 1988
    30-Gregory Collins - Died from a gunshot wound January 1989.
    31-Jeff Rhodes - He was shot, mutilated and found burned in a trash dump in April 1989.
    33-James Milan - Found decapitated. However, the Coroner ruled his d eath was due to "natural causes".
    34-Jordan Kettleson - Was found shot to death in the front seat of his pickup truck in June 1990.
    35-Richard Winters - A suspect in the Ives / Henry deaths. He was killed in a set-up robbery July 1989.

    36 -Major William S. Barkley Jr.
    37-Captain Scott J . Reynolds
    38-Sgt. Brian Hanley
    39-Sgt. Tim Sabel
    40-Major General William Robertson
    41-Col. William Densberger
    42-Col. Robert Kelly
    43-Spec. Gary Rhodes
    44-Steve Willis
    45-Robert Williams
    46-Conway LeBleu
    47-Todd McKeehan

  29. I just learned today about this newspaper! Great! A very important person in town announced to a group of very important persons in town about this. Thanx for REAL REPORTING.

  30. to Anonymous said...