"Loose sand sinks SUVs; Newsprint tariffs hurt U.S. newspapers" by: Mike Reddell

   I decided on impulse Saturday to go to Matagorda Beach for photos of beach goers. I wasn’t disappointed in the crowd.
   Aquiring the county beach permit, I drove to the public beach for the photographs. As MaLinda later told me, I should have consulted Facebook posts about loose sand conditions at Matagorda Beach.
   I encountered deep ruts in the sand once you enter the beach. My non-4-wheel-drive truck struggled to make it in the ruts - my immediate goal was reaching solid, wet sand.
   Unless you drove a four-wheel drive vehicle - and a few of those struggled in the sand - you stayed in the narrow, one-vehicle and one-way lane near the shoreline.
    Get off that path and you were in the four-wheel testing grounds of deep loose sand.
   I watched, with some anxiety about my own travels, as a two-wheel-drive SUV plowed along in the loose sand up until it didn’t. 
   It took several good Samaritans to free the vehicle. I’m sure that scenario played out often Saturday.
   I photographed a few scenes on the beach crowded with people who wanted to be surfside no matter what. Then I returned to the ruts.
   While the world watched the G-7 summit tensions over tariffs, all U.S. newspapers are paying the price for the tariff the Trump Administration placed on Canadian newsprint.
   This tariff was brought on by a single newsprint mill in the Northwest that’s owned by a hedge fund. 
   They complained to the U.S. Commerce Department they were not making enough money because of subsidized Canadian newsprint, which provides about 60 percent of all newsprint used by U.S. newspapers.
   No other U.S. paper mill joined in the complaint, because newspapers’ dwindling size and circulation has meant less demand for newsprint and those mills also have shifted to other paper products.
   For us, our printing bill has gone up about $500 a month. You can imagine what the costs are for larger papers. 
   And those costs have generally meant cuts in people and paper sizes. 
   I still believe in newspaper journalism, but a President who wages constant war on the media couldn’t have found a better way to hurt newspapers than this tariff.

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