March 25, 1997
by Edmund Tsang
I have resisted several requests to launch a web page for The Harbinger, because The Harbinger is a community newspaper and may not have any interest outside Mobile and the Gulf Coast area, and also because The Harbinger does not want to add to the clutter that is clogging up cyberspace already.
But about a month ago I changed my mind when a graduate student from the University of South Alabama who was doing research on the "Cafeteria Bill" -- the 1992 referendum to increase funding for the Mobile County Public School System that was defeated by the voters -- called, asking for help. You can't really have a complete picture of the events associated with the "Cafeteria Bill," and public education in Mobile County in general, without reading former school superintendent Dr. Doug Magann's essays on the subject, which he wrote for The Harbinger in a 10-part series about his experiences while heading the school system in Mobile and what he observed behind the scenes.
A few days after the USA graduate student called, a colleague and I were discussing the Internet, and he suggested the use of a web page to deposit those archival articles, plus other essays that would be of interest to Harbinger readers and the general public.
The Harbinger has reported on several issues that people still call about occasionally, asking for reprints. These requests include subjects about Mobile that The Harbinger has either provided the only coverage of or has covered them from a perspective different from that reported by the commercial media. This is the reason, I believe, that Professor Howard Mahan, a retired history professor from the University of South Alabama, noted in the reference section of his article about Mobile that appeared in the Alabama Urban Review: "The Harbinger is indispensable to understanding Mobile."
The requests also include excerpts from the educational symposia that The Harbinger has sponsored over the past several years.
As part of a celebration of its 14th Birthday, The Harbinger web site is now officially opened. In addition to Dr. Magann's series, readers will also find:
In addition, fans of Dr. Salvo will find essays by the late Dr. Stonewall B. Stickney that were not included in his book, ASK DR. SALVO: Brazilian Psychiatry, a collection of his columns in The Harbinger from 1986 to 1992. You can now find Salvo's essays published in The Harbinger between 1995 to 1996 at the web site; we will be adding essays published between 1992 to 1995 later.
Those interested in the history of Downtown Mobile will find previous articles from the series MOBILE: Then and Now by Tom McGehee at the site. We will be adding more of Mr. McGehee's popular columns in the future on a regular basis.
Dan Silver's cartoon featuring the Elibom School Bored of Commissioners and Governor Fob James, and the adventures of Beach Mouse and Mr. Weasel, can also be found at the web site. We will be adding additional strips of Life Forms in the future.
Articles from the current issue, as well as updated events and community calendars, can also be found at the web site.