Publisher's Note: Getting nowhere fast
By Jody Reese
With the cost of gas cresting $4 a gallon this summer, you’d think local business and political leaders would approach public transportation with renewed interest and vigor.
Instead, Manchester residents learned recently that they’re losing some or possibly all of the bus service that runs between the city’s downtown and Boston/Logan Airport. In November, the service would be cut from the current 40 trips a week down to nothing.
Why? Because the bus company decided it would be easier to shift the Manchester stop to Exit 5 in Londonderry, where there’s a big park-and-ride lot. And that was that.
Manchester barely supports a local bus system, and nothing is being done to improve it, even as fuel costs soar and there’s a real interest in using public transit.
It’s good that Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta stepped in this week and worked out a plan to save at least some of the Boston bus service for now. But reacting is simply not enough anymore. Long before this happened, the city should have been proactive and aggressive in developing new transit options, from pedestrian trails to better and more frequent bus service to Boston, the Seacoast and other destinations.
Buy us or we’ll sue
You might have read in the Union Leader that Hippo is being sued by a couple of out-of-town guys for publishing the Manchester Express Magazine, a quarterly magazine extension of our Manchester Express weekly newspaper.
This is a nuisance lawsuit.
Earlier this year, Hippo decided to launch a series of glossy magazines, including HippoMagazine (which hit the streets last week) and Manchester Express Magazine (which comes out today). These publications are large-circulation (20,000 copies each) magazines that are extensions of their respective newspapers.
Enter Damon Schmidt, a guy from Massachusetts, and Steven Olivier, a magazine owner on the West Coast, who unbeknownst to us decided to open a magazine in Manchester.
Things must not have gone as they planned because they pushed back their ad deadline for their first issue and complained that our Manchester Express Magazine was too close to the name they intended to use. My response: we’ve been publishing the Manchester Express for two years. Then, threatening us with this lawsuit and bad publicity, they demanded we pay $140,000 for their yet-to-be published magazine.
As you’d guess, I said “no thanks” to their offer.
While I’m sympathetic to how hard and frustrating it can be to start a publication in this market and during a rough time in the economy, at the end of the day you just have to get up every morning, work hard and see if your business will make it. Small business owners know there’s no guarantee, there’s just a dream to be your own boss.
Anyone can sue; it’s too bad that’s the business model these guys chose..