A couple years ago, I received an email I’ll never forget from Boca Grande principal Jim Connelly.

   “It appears FAKE NEWS has infected Ian Stapleton (sic) and the Ripon Commonwealth!!!” he wrote.

   I was trying to learn more about the ongoing foreclosure process at 303 (and 305) Watson St., which was owned by Connelly, and I’d reached out to him to give him a chance to respond.

   Connelly did not appreciate my continued interest, responding in all caps, “ALL REAL ESTATE TAXES, PENALTIES AND INTEREST NEEDED TO PREVENT FORECLOSURE WILL BE PAID IN A TIMELY FASHION.

  “IAN STAPLETON (sic) AND THE RIPON COMMONWEALTH WILL BE THE LAST PARTIES TO KNOW WHAT THE FUTURE OF THE 303-305 BUILDINGS WILL BE.”

   It turns out Connelly was wrong.

   We know very well what the future of 303 Watson St. will be.

   Starting Monday, March 30, it will be our new home.

   In moving downtown, it feels very much like we’re going home.

   Since 1961, the Lyke family operated the Commonwealth from Douglas Street; for most in Ripon, that’s the only location they’ve ever known for the paper.

  But the truth is, far more of the newspaper’s years were spent right downtown. 

Read the full column in the March 25, 2020 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.