Osteen Publishing to buy and to shut down the St. Augustine Underground

Dear Editor:

In my opinion, it is a big mistake for Osteen Publishing to buy and to shut down the St. Augustine Underground, a monthly newspaper.

Will you please explain your decision?  Will you please talk to local residents who are devoted readers of the Underground?  Then, will you please reconsider?

Newspaper readers in St. Augustine and St. Johns County, Florida deserve thorough news coverage, which is what we are simply not getting from the existing daily newspapers – the St. Augustine Record and the Florida Times-Union, both owned by Morris Publishing.

Operating for less than a year under ownership of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel newspapers, the St. Augustine Underground was a vibrant, viable, exciting newspaper that people looked forward to reading.

Newspaper readers deserve a choice, not an echo chamber for the influential to spew their propaganda and ignore the real news.

The St. Augustine Underground provided such a choice, illuminating long-unexamined issues that readers deserve to know, including government and business abuses of power.

I confess: I was proud that the St. Augustine Underground printed my 1200 word column on the proposed St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore in its January 2011 issue.  No other local newspaper has given this much attention to the park proposal (first proposed in 1939 by Florida’s U.S. Senators).  The Park and Seashore would create good jobs while preserving our history, culture, nature and way of life here in Northeast Florida.  www.staugustgreen.com

To the Osteen family: Will you please reconsider your decision to close the St. Augustine Underground?

Otherwise, will you please sell the Underground?  Please sell it to news people who will run it in the spirit in which it has been run – working to fulfill the Founding Father’s vision of newspapers as watchdogs, working tirelessly and indefatigably to “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.”

Our Nation’s Oldest European-founded City needs the St. Augustine Underground.  We’re about to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Spanish Florida (2013), 450th anniversary of St. Augustine (2015) and 50thanniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (made possible by courageous people here in St. Augustine, which Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once called “the most lawless” city in America).

Thank you!


Ed Slavin


Box 3084

St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084

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