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With the U-T’s purchase of the North County Times, the firing of 80 staff employees and writers, and the merging of the publications on October 15, one aspect of the transition has so far remained unchanged — North County's street newspaper vendors.

Daily around North County, the Alpha Project drops off 36 street hawkers, including three at the busy intersection of El Camino Real and Encinitas Boulevard, in Encinitas. The hawkers are part of the Alpha Project's 140-bed, drug-and-alcohol treatment program. Most vendors are early-release state prisoners who were incarcerated for nonviolent felonies.

“The street-hawker program is vital part of their recovery,” points out Amy Gonyeau, COO of the Alpha Project. The participants get up at 4:00 a.m. and return from selling at around 11:00 a.m. They then have full day of counseling, therapy sessions, and educational classes. The program provides a regular job and a small income. The North County Times supplies the papers to the Alpha Project at a discounted rate. The hawkers keep tips they might receive from motorists.

The vendors will continue to be seen at least until the end of the year, when, according to Gonyeau, the agreement between the now-combined North County Times/U-T and the Alpha Project will be renegotiated, at the request of the U-T.

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Comments

Visduh Nov. 2, 2012 @ 8:23 p.m.

Those papers should be reported as paid circulation. Without those copies, the audited circulation of NCT will undoubtedly drop, perhaps substantially. Advertisers base their willingness to pay ad rates on real and verifiable circulation, hence the emphasis upon paid copies sold. I cannot imagine a more foolish thing for Dougie and Johnnie to to than eliminate those copies sold on the street by the Alpha Project guys.

But, then again, who said they were smart?

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Ken Harrison Nov. 2, 2012 @ 9:54 p.m.

The Audit Bureau of Circulation, the firm that certifies circulation of all print media, that can then be legally quoted to advertisers, counts copies placed in the hands of real people, paid for or not. I personally have been getting the Sunday UT free for over 6 months through a UT sponsored program by one of our library's. But I understand big advertisers are getting wise to this trick to increase circulation. The only print media that has a chance are the neighborhood weeklies and publications like the Reader. Just to stay afloat, the dailies have to merge, like the L.A. Daily News, which publishes under about 10 different community names from the Long Beach Press, Pasadena Star News or the San Bernardino Sun. I think I read in one of Don B's columns that the UT was after the OC Register too.

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