I'd like to thank the nearly 1,500 readers who donated to the Bay Journal Fund last year. Altogether, you donated about 10 percent of our total revenue for 2012. That was more than double the previous year. We'll soon be mailing a letter for our 2013 fund-raising campaign and hope you will continue to support our work.

I know that getting solicitation letters in the mail can be a pain, so I'd like to take a moment to talk about our fund-raising philosophy and goals.

We do not repeatedly solicit readers for money. Last year, we sent exactly one letter to readers. (Later, we inserted a donation envelope in the Bay Journal.) That's pretty much our plan for this year, too.

If you choose to contribute, we do not target you for repeated mailings hoping that you'll give again and again. You see our work 10 times a year, when each edition shows up in your mailbox. We think you can decide on your own whether to support our work without sending you a steady stream of reminders.

We also believe you want us to spend our money on improving our products, not on fund-raising. Our fund-raising costs are low, and we want them to stay that way.

We also won't sell our mailing list to others. If you donate to us, we'll thank you in a letter and publish your name (if you wish) in the Bay Journal — not by selling your name and address to someone else.

It is gratifying to see notes from readers — many of whom have been reading the Bay Journal for more than two decades — telling us to keep up the good work.

We know from the notes that not everyone can afford to donate all of the time. Many are on fixed incomes, or have other pressing financial needs.

We're happy that we can keep sending them the Bay Journal free of charge. That's possible because most of our money comes from grants. But grants come and go and can vary from year to year. That's why it's important for us to diversify and strengthen our revenue streams through reader donations and a limited amount of advertising.

It is our hope that over the next couple of years, the number of individual donors and the amount we raise will double.

If possible, please help us work toward that goal as we launch this year's Bay Journal Fund campaign.

New look for front page

Bay Journal readers might notice a slight change in the paper's appearance this month. We've moved the mailing address from the front page to the back page. The goal is to give a few new layout options for our cover to make it more attractive at places where it is on public display. Also, if you operate a business or facility and would like a bundle of Bay Journals for free distribution, let us know.


The December Past is Prologue gave the wrong middle name for a crab fisherman in the Osborn Cove pond. The correct name is William Randolph Bean.

The credit for the menhaden photo on the front page of the January-February issue should have said that the photo was taken by Neil and Susan Kaye.

Bay Journal regrets the errors.