I was saddened Friday to read that New River Free Press, an alternative monthly published in Blacksburg for the past 24 years, printed its last issue with the July edition.

"Elvis has left the building," read an email from Kim Kipling to the staff of volunteers who worked the paper.

Starting and publishing an alternative paper is an iffy prospect. For every success story like that of Russ Smith, who started the Baltimore and Washington City Papers and sold them for $4 million, there are hundreds of others who dream of an alternative voice lies buried under a mountain of broken hopes and debt.

Since returning to the area, I’ve been approached by at least a half dozen people about starting an alternative paper for Floyd. While there may be a market for some kind of alternative media news source, I doubt it lies with ink printed on processed wood pulp. The Web is a more likely place. I own a number of domain names that would work for an alternative news source.

Maybe some day.