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Our web site gets a fresh look Monday

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People who use our web site are going to see a fresh new look, beginning Monday.

It's the most popular site in the region, with more than 1.5 million page views and 100,000 unique visitors a month. People rely on it to keep up to date with news, events and perspective.

We're hoping that after months of planning, coding and tweaking, everything will work perfectly and we will have few glitches. Experience tells us we'll have some surprises — things that don't go as planned — so please bear with us. For some readers, getting used to the new look and functionality may take a period of adjustment.

It's a cleaner look that allows us greater flexibility in giving readers the news and events of North Central Washington. One cool change is its responsive design, which means that the display will automatically adjust to any device, whether it's a smart phone, tablet or full-size computer. We've also improved the function of the menus. Rolling a cursor over the titles allows you to quickly find information within the site.

Those who want to comment on our stories will notice a change. We are switching to a new commenting framework called Disqus, which is used by many other news outlets. Those wanting to comment will need to set up an account (, which can be linked to Facebook or Twitter accounts. Previous posts cannot be imported into the new site so will not show up. continues to be the most comprehensive site of local information and community connection about North Central Washington. Those who are interested in the not just the news but connecting with important events, perspectives and ideas will find this to be an important resource.

We are indebted to our web team of designer Gary Hesse and developer Brent O'Connor for the work they have done putting the site together to create what we believe will be a better experience. This launch has been months in the making.

Another short-term change is that we are opening up the web site to all users free of charge for a few weeks to allow people to see the new look before we lock it down behind a paywall. So if you haven't taken a look at our site lately, this will be an opportunity to test it out.

We look forward to hearing feedback about the site. The evolution of the site will continue as we search for ways to connect readers with each other and the community.