The South Frankfort, then Elberta, Alert was first published in February of 1911, and had a brief run of several years until sometime before the end of World War I. In February of 2011, it rose again in the form of a free paper available at local businesses and distributed to residents on the fourth Friday of each month. Its mission is to provide news, information, entertainment, and a forum for all voices in the community. Submit letters to the editor, rants, articles, images, cartoons, suggestions, stories, hearsay, doggerel, and God bless you, paid advertisements, to firstname.lastname@example.org, or to PO Box 357, Elberta, Michigan 49628. The editors reserve the right to edit submissions for length. Submissions will not be returned, so don’t send originals: send copies. Call Sue Oseland at 616-403-4971 with advertising inquiries. The ad deadline, for copy and payment, is the 15th day of each month.
We gratefully accept DONATIONS! The all-volunteer editorial team is currently putting together 750 to 1,000 6-page newspapers a month, at a cost of about $300 per month. Our subscription price ($15) covers our postage and not much more. Up until now, our ads have been covering us just barely, but we’re skating on the edge. You can help make deeply local media happen in the Village and on the Web with a donation of any amount. Our goal as we enter our second year, beginning in February, is to cover our costs and raise enough money (about $500) to become a nonprofit. With nonprofit status we’ll be able to apply for grants and solicit tax deductible donations that’ll make some of our dreams possible. Dreams like equipping our deactivated local library with computers and WiFi local kids can use; offering journalism internships for high schoolers; publishing books on topics of local interest, such as the Elberta Centennial Cookbook; creating a high-quality, accessible archive of local history; and that’s just for starters. With your donation of $15 or more, you’ll get a year’s subscription to the Alert. Thank you for your support, and most of all, thanks for reading.—Emily Votruba, Acting Managing Editor
The Alert Reader Letters, comments, suggestions, and corrections from our dear readers
Blast from the Future The teen/youth column, in which a local kid waxes prosodical about a topic of his or her choice
Foghorn Anonymous rants, chvelling, or public service announcements on any subject, profanity bleeped or deleted
On and off the Apron Local commerce, business, and money matters
Deeply Local Politics/Rep Rap Our little piece of the national conversation, including reports on council and township meetings. The Rep Rap column explores how the work of our elected officials affects Villagers.
Culture Bluffs Art, music, dance, lecture series, festivals … news from the artsy side of town
The Mess Deck A groaning board of all things food related in the area. Recipes and cooking tips, restaurant reviews, news about local food programs, the Elberta Farmers’ Market … if you can eat it, you’ll read about it here.
Infrastructure and Planning The present and the future! Man, Elberta, you’ve got good bone structure. This is what we’re doing with it.
Open Season How we’re getting along with Mother Nature: hunting, fishing, bird-watching, Bluff hiking, gardening, and ecological matters affecting Elbertians
You Mist It the First Time/Remember When with Ken The Elberta Alert shines a light on local history—but never at the expense of covering the here and now. Ken Holmes, a treasure trove of stories and photos, presents a snapshot of local history in the paper edition each month.