Friday, December 9, 2011

Karyn Wells, The Activist

I'm one of the least politally-minded people, really, I am!  But today I was irritated and fed up to the point that I was spurred to do something brave and daring in public.

This morning---a very cold morning, below freezing and with a blanket of ice fog hovering in the air---I went outside to retrieve my morning paper and found it here:

Yes, in the gutter on the street.

So this irked me.  For 3 years our paper was delivered faithfully to our covered porch day after day.  But our neighborhood has a new delivery guy (or gal??) who refuses us this courtesy.  Every morning I have to search for my the driveway, in the yard, on the sidewalk, even in the street, like it was today.  Sometimes it is under the car and we have driven right over it or had to get down on our hands and knees to retrieve it.  And the biggest pet peeve is on rainy days (which is much of the winter here) when our paper is wet and soggy and virtually unreadable.  I've complained three times---once by email, once by phone and once in person when a rep came to our door.  They gave me a week's free delivery, but nothing changed.

So today, after fishing it out of the gutter, I'd had enough!  I stomped back into the house, stomped up the stairs, turned on my computer and made a couple dozen copies of this:

Remember when your morning paper was delivered to your covered porch? Do you find that for the last year you've had to search for your newspaper behind or under your car, in the street, in your yard, and often soaking wet? As a neighbrohood, let's all call or email The Oregonian to report our delivery problems and see if we can change this!

Contact information: 503-221-8240 or

Then I put on a coat and gloves and my fleece ear cuffs (yes, cuffs, not muffs) and headed out into the frosty morning, still not even totally light yet.

I jogged up and down every single street of my neighborhood, looking for newspapers.  I stuffed my little notice into each one and continued on my way.  Out of 22 newspapers only one was on the porch.  All the others were on the sidewalk, in the driveway or in the yard, and one was wedged beneath the tire of a vehicle.  Then I went back home and typed out my email complaint to The Oregonian.  This is the reply I received:

          We are unable to process your request at this time. Please visit us at or contact our Customer Service office at 503-221-8240  We do apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you.

So, I sent another complaint to another department.  Now I have to wait to see if all my efforts were worth it!  I feel like a little child who climbs to the top of the slide or who draws a scribbled picture and the adult says, "Wow, good job!"  I know what I did today was pretty benign and wouldn't make the news and certainly won't change the world.  But for Chicken Little me, I just climbed to the top of the slide...Wooo-hooo!  Look what I did!  And maybe, just maybe it'll change newspaper delivery in my neighborhood!


  1. Maybe your delivery "person" has watched too many movies where the newspaper is delivered by riding his/her bike and throwing the daily paper ... right on the porch?! Seb tried it once (double riding his bike with a friend to increase accuracy!)when he was young and discovered that the movies were not the reality! It was a sad day for him. He didn't keep his route long ...
    Maybe The Oregonian is happy the paper goes out ... period!

  2. Karyn, what a great write-up! I sure hope something comes of this. Uncle Don and I just may complain,....for you. Love your pictures. So funny, you took your camera with you. Guess in GB we don't have to worry about that..they are in stores only.
    Hope this goes big! Sasa