by George Batten, Editor
Many of you readers get the Bayou Banner as a mailed paper copy; others read it via the Internet. This notice is for both,
but it is especially important for mailed-copy readers.
The Bayou Banner has always been mailed free to members and some others (supporters, libraries, political office holders, etc.). The cost of printing and mailing is substantial; almost $7,000 in 2013. All of this came out of locally-acquired funds; the Houston Sierra Club gets nothing from annual dues that members pay to
the national Sierra Club (a few years ago we got
a small subvention from those funds, but that is
no longer the case).
Perhaps I should remind you that the
Houston Sierra Club has no paid staff. All of the
management, operation, and support; including
writing, editing, and layout of the Bayou Banner
- are done by volunteers. We do pay a
commercial printer and a mailing company for
services necessary for printing and mailing.
Before 2011 the Bayou Banner was published
in ten issues each year. In an effort to balance
the budget, this was reduced to six issues each
year beginning in 2011, and members were
encouraged to see it online and opt-out of getting
mailed paper copies (approximately half of our
members have done so, if you haven't done
this, just get on the listserve; see below for more details).
Income from our activities has not kept up
with expenses, so for 2014 the ExCom set the
budgeted amount for Bayou Banner publication,
including mailing, at $4,025; a little more than
half of the cost for 2013.
In the past the Bayou Banner has been
essential to operation of the Houston Sierra
Club. It was the only way to inform all members
of outings, trips, meetings, and special activities
by the club and by other organizations. Electronic
communication has changed that.
Our web site (sierraclub.houston.org)
provides that for most of our members and many
others. Moreover, our Meetup site (meetup.com/
Houston-Sierra-Club-Outings) is an easy-to-use
calendar of events which reaches many people
who are not members, and our Facebook page
discussion about environmental issues.
Also, the bimonthly publication schedule
has created other problems. In order to allow
for editing, layout, publication, and mailing,
events announced in the Bayou Banner must
be scheduled three months in advance. While
this is not a great problem for many activities,
it does put a strain on those leaders planning
The Executive Committee of the Houston
Sierra Club has reviewed this situation and has
decided to terminate large-scale free mailouts of
the Bayou Banner.
We are investigating possibilities, and we
expect to have a subscription plan for mail
delivery of paper copies. This likely will require
subscribers to pay a small fee (probably no more
than $10.00 per year). See the next issue of the
Banner (or our web site) for details.
How to join the listserve:
Subscribe to the Houston Sierra Club's E-mail alert list to get timely alerts on Houston area conservation issues,
and occasional announcements of interest to Houston Sierra Club members. (Whenever you want to drop from the list it is easy
to unsubscribe yourself-those instructions will be included.)
Send FROM the E-mail address to which you want to direct the messages. Subscribe by sending TO:
Subject: [this line may be left blank]
SUBSCRIBE LONESTAR-HOUSTON-ANNOUNCE FirstName LastName
Insert YOUR name in place of "FirstName LastName")
That's it. You will receive confirmation messages. from the listserve.
Thanks for your interest. If you have any difficulty, contact frankblake@ juno.com.