Working for decades to share our community's news
Ken Engelman
Small Business
McKenzie Bridge, Oregon
United States
6 Team Members

We have published a community newspaper in Oregon since 1978. Our back issues are on fragile newsprint stored in plastic containers. Accessing information in the past has been very time consuming. Articles had to be searched for, located, read and retyped. This NewsArk project  will raise funds to reformat the last 35 years of newspapers into digital formats that are exact replicas of McKenzie River Reflections, as well as ebooks that can be enjoyed on desktops and other devices. Our work involves creating a complete online storehouse of those original newspapers - from 1978 through the current edition.

Oregon's McKenzie River

River Reflections has for decades served a string of small towns along a narrow river valley, often acting as a sort of "gathering place" for area residents.  Following editions back in time gives a feeling for the essence of life on the McKenzie River and how it has evolved. Historical accounts and information (gathered many times from aging elders in the community who are our links to much of this rich history) helped in piecing together a picture of who we are as a whole community.

What is the project?

The NewsArk project  involves transforming the last 35 years of McKenzie River Reflections newspapers into books and digital editions.
Support for this project will cover the labor to compile, edit and format archived material - as well as buy new computers, hardware and software upgrades. With the upgrades, the older software programs we use now will then be incompatible and have to be replaced. This involves thousands of dollars for InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, OCR, Acrobat Pro, and others.

Who are we?

A husband and wife team – Ken and Louise Engelman. We both have prior publishing experience; Louise with a bi-weekly newspaper and Ken with a monthly sports car magazine. Within a year of our marriage, McKenzie River Reflections was launched.

Take a look inside River Reflections in 1982.

What it's like today.

Where is it?

We serve a community of 7,000 people in Oregon’s McKenzie River Valley - which extends from the river bottom lands of the Willamette Valley into the Cascade Mountains. The area is renowned for the development of the McKenzie River drift boat, which in the early 1900's played a key role in the creation of professional river guiding on Pacific Northwest whitewater streams as well as worldwide. Unfortunately, the area's economy has been in decline for decades - linked to cutbacks in regional timber harvests. The businesses of our area now depend on seasonal tourism, which can often be impacted by bad weather or forest fires.There are few other local job opportunities and 70% of the students in the McKenzie School District receive free or reduced price lunches.

Learn more about the communities along Oregon's McKenzie River - located about halfway between Eugene and Bend.

Why the NewsArk project?

We started McKenzie River Reflections in 1978 to help unite and support the small towns strung along the narrow, 60-mile long McKenzie River Valley. This project will benefit those small towns by promoting the area to a much wider audience by:

* adding value to the tourism experience
* bringing in more tourism dollars to our community to help counteract impacts of this tough economy
* giving locals a new appreciation for the beauty and history of this place
* supporting local businesses, civic groups, and organizations
*making historical information easily accessible to academia and those who work to understand the dynamics of rural communities as well as people striving to help rural communities become self-sustaining

We are preserving the information in our archives to share it with a wider audience. This involves compiling a full library of River Reflections editions in pdf format that people can purchase individually. In addition, we will focus on specific subjects to produce a series of new print and ebooks that we can market nationally and internationally. There's a lot of different topics in our archives that we will cover - from logging to environmental issues, or from gold mining to schools and churches - as well as accomplishments and failures.

Here's a look at a history file:

This was a recent story:

Items like these appear on the police blotters:

Why now?

Luckily, we entered into an agreement with a company called Small Town Papers several years ago to scan all our back issues. We are one of the 30 "founding publishers" they used as an example demonstrating what they do. Their service is free to us founding publishers - with a current value of $15,000 for scanning 15,000 pages of McKenzie River Reflections. (They now have over 300 papers that pay to use their service.)

SmallTownPapers also digitized the text of all those scanned pages & put it into a searchable database - so you can enter say, "Walterville" and all the articles containing that word will be found. SmallTownPapers values this archive at $75,000.

This searchable database gives us the ability to efficiently retrieve material from back issues so we can then copy, cut, and paste that text into book and ebook formats. 

This is a link to a small video featuring the work that Small Town Papers has already done to create our “ArchiveInABox” 

“It has been rewarding to work with McKenzie River Reflections to provide this community with easy, searchable access to past editions which hold a wealth of information of interest to people living here and in other parts of the country,” explained Paul Jeffko, president and founder of SmallTownPapers, Inc.

The scanned pages can be browsed and searched for free. For more than a decade, SmallTownPapers has been scanning historic archives from hundreds of newspapers across North America and making them online accessible for the public to enjoy, including historic McKenzie archives."

This searchable database is an extremely useful research tool. It accurately locates key words or phrases and creates a list of clickable links to past articles containing that material. However, its interface does not create a cut and paste function.

Again, luckily, just over a year ago we began offering subscribers a digital publication that they could receive via email. The product is in the form of a pdf file that is a mirror image of the print publication - plus being extremely easy to navigate. Over 85 digital editions of McKenzie River Reflections are now available through our online store, demonstrating our ability to produce a complete archive.

A new world of printing

Rather than printing a large number of books and storing them until sold, we'll be using the services of the Espresso Book Machine (EBM) network. There are no minimum print runs, so we can print as many or as few copies of a book as we want, when we want - on acid-free paper so the books won’t deteriorate with the passage of time.
The EBM process produces a perfect-bound paperback book complete with a full color cover and black & white interior indistinguishable from books produced by traditional publishers. EBM books are available for sale at over 30 brick and mortar popular bookstores throughout the U.S. Uploading to the EBM EspressNet sales channel provides an opportunity for in-store displays, like at Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon, and a listing on the store's website

To extend our reach even further, we'll partner with Amazon's CreateSpace for worldwide distribution on and Amazon's European websites. CreateSpace uses the same type of ondemand printing, eliminating the need to storehouse books before they're sold.

Thanks to non-exclusive publishing agreements, these partnerships will expose our publications to the best of both the online and brick & mortar worlds.

Why us?

We have been living and working in the area for over three decades. Both of us have served as the president of the local chamber of commerce, and on the boards of numerous local civic organizations, as well as forming a non-profit corporation to preserve local history.

Our publications are highly regarded and help give a sense of community to residents of the area’s nine small towns. McKenzie River Reflections has subscribers throughout Oregon - and in  28 other states. In addition, we have transitioned into the social and online worlds - with pages on the web, Google+, Facebook, and Tumblr, along with daily posts on Twitter.

We also publish:

A local Phone Book -

A Traveler's Guide brochure -

And  a Recreation Guide magazine -

NewsArk Budget


a. Personnel or Labor Costs:
   Research & writing                $8,000.00
   Photo processing                  $2,200.00
   Online newspaper layouts  $11,950.00
     Total $22,150.00

b. Hardware
   2 new Mac mini computers   $1,400.00
   11 X 17 scanner                    $1,200.00
   11 X 17 printer                       $1,200.00
     Total $3,800.00

c. Software
   Creative Suite 6                     $1,300.00
   fScanX                                      $750.00
   Quickbooks                               $250.00
   Acrobat XI                                 $250.00
     Total $2,550.00
c. Printing
   ebook publication layouts          $750.00
   on demand book
   publication layouts                    $750.00
     Total $1,500.00


Here's a sample library of digital back issues of River Reflections that people can purchase individually - check out

Rewards? Yes, we've got perks!

When you donate, we will follow up via mail or email to confirm contact information, T-shirt sizes, and other details needed to fulfill your perks. Once we have all of your information, we can start sending your rewards as they become available. We can even forward your perk to a friend or family member if you wish!

Other ways you can help

Even if you can't contribute dollars, there are many other ways you can get in on the action. Start by making a comment of this site - What do you think of this project? Do you have some suggestions to improve/expand it?

MAKE SOME NOISE about our campaign! 

You can promote the NewsArk offline throughout the community:
* Share our campaign by word of mouth.
* Mention us in your community newsletter.
* Display our promotional materials in your store, restaurant, lodge, university, office, church, or equivalent.

If you like what we're about and think others might too - you can promote our project online! Share our campaign on social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter by using Indiegogo's sharing options:
* Copy the campaign URL, and paste it into an email or social media update.
* Click on the Facebook, Google Plus, or Twitter icons to share through your social media networks.
* Add a widget to your blog or personal website. Click Embed and then copy and paste the widget code.
* Send a direct email from Indiegogo.
Contact us at to request any promotional material you might need/want. Please also visit our website at

Seriously, this is a huge help and is another great way to show you care.

Browse, enjoy and join our project

- Ken & Louise

Find This Campaign On
raised in 1 month
14% funded
No time left
$30,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on December 6, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $5USD

    We will contact you with a personal mail or email.

    0 claimed
  • $10USD

    We will send you personal mail or an email and also place your name in the donor list on our website.

    3 claimed
  • $25USD

    In addition to the above, we'll send you a unique color McKenzie River postcard.

    3 claimed
  • $50USD

    We'll send you a quality NewsArk T-shirt from our friends at the McKenzie River Gift Shop:

    2 claimed
  • $75USD

    We will send you personal mail or an email, place your name in the donor list on our website, a color NewsArk bumper sticker, and a quality NewsArk T-shirt from our friends at the McKenzie River Gift Shop:

    0 claimed
  • $100USD

    We will send you all of the above plus a copy of our first book - "Weir are we? - Hatchery fish of the McKenzie."

    3 claimed
  • $500USD

    All of the above - plus a lifetime digital subscription to McKenzie River Reflections.

    0 claimed
  • $1,000USD

    All of the above, along with a copy of every book we publish.

    0 claimed
  • $5,000USD

    All of the above plus causing us to walk around continuously with silly, non-stop grins. *tell us if you'd like to be anonymous

    0 claimed
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