Merry Christmas everyone. God bless all men of good will as America celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace.

For those who do not celebrate Christmas, or who may even object to the celebration of Christmas, I wish you the peace and happiness of this day as well.

We’re enjoying incredible December weather this year, something else to be thankful for.

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In September of this year the Gazette celebrated its 25th anniversary. It’s hard for me to believe it. Fillmore has changed so much during that period of time. We started-up on September 15, 1989. Recalling all of the issues and events we have reported during the past 25 years seems surreal to me. Millions of stories and photos, even more struggles overcome.

The Gazette will make some changes beginning the New Year. We want more readers to discover what’s going on in our town, so we will make it less expensive to purchase the paper. Starting January 1, 2014 the cost of a single issue of the Gazette will drop to 75 cents.

Also, the Gazette has faced a challenge as never before, the most ironic challenge in our history. This is the same challenge that every newspaper in the nation is dealing with, from the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times to the smallest community weekly. That is how to maintain both the printed edition of the paper and our online website,

The question is, how can we compete with ourselves? The online edition cannot exist without the print edition, yet the online edition, being part of the internet, reaches round the world while the print edition specializes in coverage of Fillmore, Bardsdale, and Piru in Ventura County.

The crux of the dilemma we face is while the print edition supplies the online edition, the online edition has been published to hundreds of thousands of readers free of charge while the print edition picks up most of the cost.

The online edition, about 8 years old, has been extremely costly over the years in production, and maintenance, and has been phenomenally successful, averaging 25,000 to 32,000 unique hits per month. In a city of 14,000 this is a very significant attraction.

Therefore, the online edition must start to carry its own weight or it must disappear. In order to make the website more viable we will be creating what we call a pay wall. This arrangement has already been designed. It is hoped that it will be launched in January of 2014. We have worked diligently to make the transition as quick and simple as possible.

Our loyal Gazette subscribers will not be adversely affected by the move.

It’s our hope that the new website arrangement will enable the Gazette to double its news coverage and add many exciting new features.

Following 25 years of serving Fillmore as its Newspaper of Record we are confident that this change will assure an even brighter future.

Thank all of our faithful readers for their support all of these years.

Again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!