VERNON—Unless Vernon Community News publisher and co-editor Bronna Zlochiver can get someone to take over, there will be no more Vernon Community News.
When she sent out the March edition, Zlochiver included an announcement under the banner. “Folks, this will be the last issue ... under my leadership as editor and publisher.” She invited those interested in taking over to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org — but they should hurry up, because there are no plans for an April issue.
“I laid it down for personal reasons,” Zlochiver told The Commons. She said she wants to devote more time to making and selling her pottery.
For a town without its own newspaper, official municipal website, or central, public gathering spot, the Vernon Community News filled the role of town crier, bulletin board, and community builder.
Zlochiver and her long-time co-editor, Heather Frost, collected and published comprehensive lists of things to do in and around Vernon, including the town bus schedule, various board meetings, the library’s cribbage club, church services, workshops and classes, municipal committee notes, and solicitations for volunteers.
Local businesses and entrepreneurs placed advertisements for design services, Girl Scout cookies, and local holiday hams. Vernon Community News also included reports and stories written by residents and teachers at the Elementary School, and the newsletter often contained local historical facts.
The publication reached subscribers through email, and free printed copies were available at the Vernon Free Library.
Although Vernon Community News began publishing in January 2015, the idea came to Zlochiver more than a year before.
“[At] a Vernon Voters Alliance meeting in November 2014, I asked why don’t we have an e-newsletter,” said Zlochiver, who “immediately realized that I would have to edit and publish one because I knew from personal experience, if you make a suggestion, you had better be ready to do it yourself."
Two weeks after the Alliance meeting, Heather Frost “came up to me in the Library and said she liked the idea.” Zlochiver agreed to publish the newsletter if Frost would be co-editor.
“We told the Selectboard in December we were starting an e-newsletter in January and off we went,” Zlochiver said.
“I never really expected Heather to be as involved as I was; she has a family and is incredibly busy. Still, she and others have supported the newsletter with articles, news items, etc.” Zlochiver said.
“The most email subscribers we had was 232, which also happens to be our final count. I do not know how many picked up copies at the Library, how many copies were handed out, and how many read emails of friends who were subscribers,” Zlochiver said.
Zlochiver considers the Vernon Community Newsletter a success. “[It] had a good run and now it is time for someone else to step up."