Thursday, September 21, 2006

Spare Change Changing!

Wednesday, September 20

New board president, editor, assistant director and ad sales representative
aim to transition SCN to a weekly publication

CAMBRIDGE – The Homeless Empowerment Project has named a new board president
and editor of Spare Change News, along with a new assistant director and
advertising sales representative. HEP is aiming to expand its operations and
become Boston’s newest alt-weekly newspaper.

HEP board member and SCN columnist James Shearer, a formerly homeless man
who was one of the publication’s original co-founders in 1992, was elected
president of HEP’s board of trustees at its meeting yesterday. He had
returned to HEP in 2004.

"I'm excited about our future," said Shearer, 46, a resident of Cambridge.
"Spare Change News is now moving in a positive direction that will
eventually see us become a weekly, alternative newspaper, as well as a more
active and fundamental institution in the community at large."

SCN managing editor Paul Rice will become editor on October 20. He will
oversee the day-to-day operation and production of the newspaper. Sam Scott,
currently SCN editor and HEP executive director, will remain as executive
director and publisher of SCN.

"Spare Change News is an ever-growing journalistic institution, and I hope
to bring an intelligent vibrancy to that growth with a continued focus on
stories that often fly under the radars of traditional news outlets," said
Rice, 23, a resident of Allston.

Rice, a 2005 graduate of Emerson College, joined SCN as an intern that year
and was later named managing editor following his aggressive and exclusive
reporting on local alternative news.

One story disproved murder allegations that were insinuated against a
homeless man by the Boston Herald, while another exposed a tragic transfer
of housing resources for homeless people in Massachusetts to evacuated
Hurricane Katrina survivors. More recently, Rice has covered subjects
ranging from welfare reform to professional wrestling.

Scott joined SCN as editor in 2004, and he also became HEP executive
director in 2005. He is a 2002 graduate of the Boston University, where he
majored in journalism. Scott is currently enrolled in the Executive MBA
program at Suffolk University. Prior to joining SCN, he worked as a staff
reporter for The Boston Courant, as well as an editorial assistant and
freelancer for newspapers including The Boston Globe, The Patriot Ledger and
TNT magazine in London.

Over his two years as editor, Scott revamped SCN’s editorial content and
operations into that of a professional, alternative newspaper. He will now
focus on fundraising, management and marketing as executive director.

"Thanks to the hard work of our staff, volunteers and vendors, SCN has
become Boston's premiere alternative newspaper with a conscience," said
Scott, 25, a resident of Brookline. "Paul will continue to move this
newspaper forward while we on the business side focus on becoming a
self-sufficient non-profit organization that will continue to expand."

Emily Johnson, a 2005 graduate of Boston University’s College of
Communication, became HEP assistant director on September 11. She will
direct SCN's circulation and distribution, as well as assist Scott with
HEP's daily administration.

"I'm excited to work with so many different people for this cause and to
help our vendors," said Johnson, 23, a resident of Cambridge.

Samuel Weems, who formerly worked for HEP as assistant to the director and
distribution assistant, became SCN’s advertising sales representative on
September 11.

"Advertising in SCN is a way for local businesses to increase their sales
and associate their products with a good cause," said Weems, a resident of
Arlington. "Our readers are affluent, educated people who care about helping
others in need."

SCN, founded in 1992, is Boston's alternative newspaper with a conscience.
The publication's vendors, who are homeless, unemployed or have low-incomes,
purchase copies of SCN for 25 cents each and then sell them on the street
for $1. SCN is published by the Homeless Empowerment Project, a Cambridge
non-profit organization.


James Shearer
617-497-1595 x16

Paul Rice
617-497-1595 x16

Sam Scott
617-497-1595 x10


Samuel Weems
617-497-1595 x14

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