Woodinville Weekly moves to new offices as it celebrates 20 years of publication
by Joan Soltys
This week marks the 20th anniversary of the Woodinville Weekly and--coincidentally--its move to new offices: more spacious, with room for its growing staff and new endeavors, and--perhaps most important--out of the path of the bulldozers.
The newspaper's former office will make way for the upcoming TRF shopping development in downtown Woodinville, which will stretch from NE 175th Street across to Woodinville-Snohomish Road. It is the fourth move for the Weekly--the fifth, if its very first location is taken into account: the garage of founder-owner-publisher Carol Edwards.
She started the newspaper in 1976, she recalls, because she had "six kids and didn't know what there was for them to do." With two tots in hand, three trailing, and one in a backpack, Edwards visited local establishments seeking advertising. With the assistance of those goodhearted--and possibly far-seeing--merchants, which included Woods Hardware, Berry's Floor Decor, and the Woodinville Pharmacy, the Woodinville Weekly was born.
The first issue was printed in Edwards' garage on table-top press: Its lead story was the election of 1976 and a proposal for the incorporation of Woodinville.
The young publication soon moved to a small building downtown, then to the white house across from Molbak's, familiar to many residents and readers. It was there that the Woodinville Weekly began its development into a serious community newspaper. The staff grew to include an editor, reporters, photographers, a production crew, and a sales force. Long before many other newspapers, Edwards made the leap from typesetting machines to computers, allowing a more efficient and streamlined operation.
From this vantage point, the Woodinville Weekly chronicled several years of community development, growth that astounded most and became a focus for others, leading to major changes in the area. Incorporation was one result; road construction, housing development, and business growth were others.
The newspaper eventually outgrew its small house (heated only with wood and prone to roof leaks). Its next move was to the Woodgate Mall, then to larger quarters at Bassett Run on the Woodinville-Snohomish Road.
At the same time, Edwards moved ahead again to embrace the electronic age, converting to desktop publishing with the earliest ranks of publishers. With the advent of the Internet, the Woodinville Weekly, together with its sister publications the Valley View and the Northlake News, went online. They were the first weekly newspapers in the state of Washington to do so. Their online address is http://www.nwnews.com.
Edwards also began marketing World Wide Web sites, expanding the reach of the paper's advertising potential. The Edwards Agency now develops and hosts web sites, with clients in the local area and throughout the world.
As the TRF shopping development reaches the building stage, the Weekly has made its most recent transition, moving "just ahead of the bulldozers" to quarters in the former Towne Bank space in the Woodgate Mall, just opposite the Woodinville Post Office, 13342 NE 175th, in the Woodgate Shopping Center.
The community is cordially invited to visit the new offices and get reacquainted with their local newspaper, which will, it is hoped, serve them for another two decades.