250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 27, 2017 3:19 pm

The Last Post

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 @ 6:00 PM

The last two weeks for me have been a journey I never imagined. Since announcing 250News would post its last story on September 30th, I have received an overwhelming number of emails, phone calls and texts from dozens and dozens of people. All had come to depend  on the  250News team to deliver credible news and commentaries that made them think.  I can only say as I post this final article to 250News that it has been an absolute privilege to serve you all.

When Ben and I began our online news and information venture in May 2005 many people, and most of the traditional media, thought we would be done in a matter of months.

We created a news and information service for our readers that none of the traditional information controllers could influence, we  were independent,  and we chose to allow our readers to provide their views and comments provided they agreed to stay within the boundaries of  ‘fair comment’ and the law.

In the wake of the cancellation of Ben’s successful radio talk show, starting a news service online, was not just a business venture, it was an opportunity to continue to have the voices of the north heard, to have their opinions and concerns brought to the forefront and I know decision makers did listen. We became a place where it was easy to take the pulse of the community on any given issue.

All said and done, we didn’t do too badly. Today , I can say with pride, that 250News is closing  having grown to 500 thousand users this year alone,  and  more than 15 million page views in the first 9 months of this year.  I am so very grateful  so many of our advertisers and supporters believed in us and quickly became members of the ‘250 Family’.

Things changed dramatically when Ben passed away in 2015. Not only had the heart and soul of 250News passed on but so too did my partner, my inspiration and my life. Along with our  dedicated staff,  we  did our best for the past two years and the site’s readership continued to grow. But for me, something was always missing, Ben. He was the foundation for this historic venture. He always appreciated readers of 250News stopping us in the mall or on the streets of downtown Prince George. He loved to hear directly from readers who felt we had done a good job in sharing the facts of a story accurately and without bias, or on occasions, felt we had got it all wrong, but once he passed, so too did my partner, my mentor and the voice of the people.  The man who created the now famous tagline “And that is one man’s opinion” was gone, and I knew there would come a day when I would need to move on.

That day is September 30th and while still  three days  away,  this is the final post.

In the past week, a number of interested parties have  offered to purchase  250News,  and while the offers were generous, I did not feel convinced  their vision  would match  with  what Ben and I had intended.

There will be others who will attempt to fill the void created by the closure of 250News, I wish them well, and I hope our readers can find a site that will provide them with the opportunity to continue to have discussion on the issues of the day, and to have their voices heard.

I plan to explore new opportunities, I do that knowing Ben and I had the extraordinary opportunity to serve you while introducing a new form of news and information service to  those who live in the ‘250’.

Thank you everyone, it has been a privilege to serve.

– Elaine Macdonald-Meisner


Thankyou so much for being there for us. I wish you all the best. And Ben, you’re out there, THANKYOU.

250 news will be sadly missed. I wish you the best in the future!

All good things must come to an end and sadly that includes 250News. A big thank you for all the hard work and dedication that all those involved have shown over the years.

Totally agree with your decision not to sell 250News. Right from the beginning was plain to see that it was Ben and Elaine’s “baby” and nobody would sell their “child”.

The model is there if someone wants to start something similar if they are willing to put in the hard work that Ben and Elaine did to make their site the go-to place for local news.

All the best Elaine!

Elaine, wishing you a future filled with amazing days, overflowing with the sunshine that we have been blessed with today!

I have thoroughly enjoyed your site appreciating both the speed with which you gave us local news and the opportunity to comment on it, even when our opinions differed from others.

It’s been a lot of fun and I had a great time here!

Thanks and Take Care!

Hart Guy

Thanks for the years of dedication and for putting up with all of us. May the next chapter of your life be awesome

Thank you to Ben & Elaine for your dedication & commitment as well cheers to a happy retirement…!! Wishing all my fellow posters here the best moving forward as well..! I learned a lot here and had a lot of fun over my ten years since I first signed on to Opinon 250..By the way this site was the first comment forum I ever signed on to..!

Cheers everyone..! Logging out for the last time..!

Thank you for allowing individuals the opportunity to express their views on a variety of subjects for many years.
Elaine,the very best in your retirement! PS…To my favorite posters you will also be missed.

All the best!

You guys always did a great job, I’m going to miss 250 News, but I think I can understand your feelings on this matter.

Best wishes, and, thank you.

Best wishes for happiness and good health to Elaine and members of the team … History will look upon you, Ben and your combined accomplishments favorably as you have made a difference!

Wishing you the very best in the future Elaine and staff. I will certainly miss and feel the loss of this page and all of the opinions and open discussion that it allowed. I’m hopeful that someone will step in and fill the yawning gap that will be left with the closing of 250news with a similar model. It was a pleasure to have found and visited your news site over the years. Ben and Elaine, you done good. Thank-you.

I am sad that you are leaving but I know I am a better person for having known you and Ben. All the best in whatever you choose to do Elaine. Sincerely; Carl Thorlakson

Thanks to you Elaine and Ben for starting this venture to keep the voices of the north heard. I have enjoyed this page since it started and will miss it in my morning and evening routines. I think that maybe the northern lights that were out tonight was Ben celebrating and thanking you for a job well done.

Thank you for the opportunity to let us vent and express our views, you and 250 News will be sadly missed by many. Enjoy your retirement Elaine which is well deserved.

We certainly appreciate what you and Ben have done for all of us and this whole region, Elaine. All the best in your future. You will be sorely missed. George.

Thanks to Elaine and Ben and everyone who kept Opinion250/250News going all these years. And thanks to all the commenters on this site for the debates and discussions over the years.

(JohnnyBelt / MrPG)

A big thank you to Elaine and Ben for running such an informative news site over the years and keeping things simple. This news page has been my morning and lunch routine since it’s inception, and has continued to be my daily connection to Prince George since I moved away six years ago to Port Moody.

I will truly miss the stories and people who comment here.

Rob Collins (aka Pylot Project)

Its looking like we will all be proverbial stray dogs in a few days….some of us will go feral, and others will find a new home to blog, but we will all carry forward an appreciation of what 250 meant to our local and northern civic culture.

I appreciated the open nature of the below the line blogging experience and the timely news of regional issues in which we could all brainstorm the issue from all angles and come to a deeper understanding.

I had a few run in’s with Ben over the years (nothing bad). I only met Ben a few times… grocery shopping with Elaine I think. Sometimes I let my passions get the better of me and I would get an email from Ben saying he’s ‘getting a complaint’ or what not. Some of the viewpoints I posted were controversial for some people, but I always tried to post what I thought was right.

Ben though, he had a lot of patience and never once said get out of here or anything like that… instead it would usually go along the lines of… ‘you know, I’ve had some complaints and definitive statements are not a good way to win people over. Asking questions is always a better way to get people to accept and buy in to your idea’.

It was great advice. I notice it all the time now where the good journalists or bloggers always know how to create a narrative with questions asked; and the bad ones get by with statements and prognostications. Myself I was always to rushed to take the time to follow this advice and its something I would like to work on in the future. I think those that can make an point though questions take the genius of their argument to another level. Its not as easy as it sounds, but Ben made it look easy with his open minded no nonsense style of inquiry that spilled over into how he ran 250news.

So to me the legacy of 250news is the importance of people being able to ask questions to power to influence events through a greater awareness of divergent perspectives.

If this was the goal of 250news than I think it was a resounding success and Elaine deserves every bit of credit for staying loyal to this vision. I agree that 250news was part of the Meisner identity and with Elaine moving on it is better to close 250news rather than sell its brand. The next irritation of a local news web site with live blogging will have to build their own identity and their own legacy; and we can only hope they can do this with the same integrity for news and views as 250news had in setting the golden standard.

Until next time, take care all and good luck going forward.

    Jesus, need attention or something? Nobody cares this much about your opinion to justify whatever the blabber you wrote above.

      ha ha this is what was soooo great about this site. All the friendly banter!!


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler,long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh,I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Au Revoir Elaine.

Thank you so very much Elaine. I have followed your and Ben’s 250news site for many years now. I only recently signed up to log in and make comments. I will so very much miss 250news and the connection it has created with the Prince George community. Yours and Bens service over the past years is above and beyond. I send you all the best in your future. We love you Elaine.

Thanks Elaine, Ben and the rest of the 250 crew.

I’m a bit of a news junkie and this site is the first site I go to when I start my day and it’s been that way for over 10 years now. I’m going to miss the local news and the comments. It’s the comments combined with the coverage that really makes this place!

I’ve been banned about 4 or 5 times but I keep coming back!

Best of times in whatever you choose to do next.

Nothing lasts forever , not even obstacles. Deng Ming-Dao .

I will miss this site very much. I check in on it several times per day to see “What’s Up” around PG and to read the comments.

While some responses have gotten quite nasty sometimes, many of the postings here are very thoughtful and make me pause to think about an opinion contrary to mine.

To Elaine, and of course, to Ben: Well done, congratulations, and enjoy your retirement.

Thank you so much for all the time and effort you have all done to make thus such a great news site.

Have had a few interesting discussions with one or two of my fellow posters, having also even learned a few things from them as well… to say the least it has been entertaining.

Elaine I wish you the best in your future endeavors.

Thanks again.

Like many, checking 250’s site is part of my daily routine. I don’t know where I will go tomorrow. There are other options to keep abreast of local news but they won’t offer the comprehensive coverage that 250 did. It wasn’t just the articles and the local flavour they carried but the forum that enabled others to contribute their individual knowledge as well. It’s a fine line to tread to allow anonymous comments yet not become a gossip column but somehow they skilfully accomplished this.

Elaine, (and Ben), your contributions to our community have been invaluable. Thank you and best wishes for your future.

“Farewell has a sweet sound of reluctance. Good-bye is short and final, a word with teeth sharp to bite through the string that ties past to the future.”
― John Steinbeck

(Josh Kelley aka verballabel)

This is a sad day for journalism in northern BC. Thank you to 250 and to Ben, Elaine, Don and Michelle, Greg and the others who have cut the way in this medium. All superb at their craft…and all splendid people. Wishing you all the best.

I share the same regrets and accolades to Ben and Elaine. This was my home page, that I checked several times a day and every time a new tab was opened there was 250news. Even though the last post is truly the last post, I will keep coming here for sometime still. A sad day for the North and journalism in BC.

Loads of great news coverage, articles & thought provoking commentary.This site was a staple every time I logged on to the internet. Best of luck Elaine in your future endevours. Thanks for all your, Ben’s & all your contributing staff for your tremendous effort. I must add that though I didn’t always agree with some of the posters on this site, thank you for all your thought provoking comments over the years, it certainly added to making this a great site to visit. Cheers all!!!

I’m no sure when comments to this “Last Post” will be cut off and I find myself wondering who will have the honour of the last comment?

I’ve already extended my best wishes already to Elaine and her staff at Opinion250. At this time, I’ll make my LAST and FINAL comment to the other posters on this site!

While we may not always have agreed on everything, at least we had the opportunity to share our thoughts. That in itself is becoming extremely rare these days and as such it is something that we should all fight for!

To each and everyone who has posted on this site, to those that may have occasionally agreed with me and to those that have on occasion seemed extremely annoyed with me (haha), I wish each and every one of you good health, happiness in your lives, success in your endeavours and lastly peace in all of the time that you have left on earth!

I’m outta here!

Take care!

Hart Guy

I wish Elaine the very best in whatever she decides to do and thank her for explaining her feelings and pouring out her heart in this last post.
I am really going to miss this news site.
It’s incredibly unfortunate that none of the offers to purchase 250News shared the same vision as Ben and Elaine, as it would have been so nice to have 250 continue.
All the best to you Elaine.

I wish Elaine the very best in whatever she decides to do and thank her for explaining her feelings and pouring out her heart in this last post.
I am really going to miss this news site.
It’s incredibly unfortunate that none of the offers to purchase 250News shared the same vision as Ben and Elaine, as it would have been so nice to have 250 continue.
All the best to you Elaine.

I’d just like to say thank you to everyone at O250 for what they did in offering people a forum for discussion. I know that I’m going to miss the back and forth banter, the sharing of opinions, and throwing and receiving the odd friendly jab with some of the regulars who have posted over the years.

It will also be much harder for me to check in on the ole home town from this side of the country. That will be hard to get used to once the site goes down, but it’s time.

To Elaine, the O250 crew, the posters, and the city and region, all the best!

I will miss my morning news. You both over the years have done a wonderful job with informing us of the local news.

Good job 250. When this service started there was a lot of obstructionism by traditional media and some council members. Over time 250 has become well respected. Ben and Elaine have done a remarkable job and I am sure their legacy of free, inquisitive, investigative journalism will live on.

Many years ago a friend told me about Opinion250 and the Friday Free For All. While I quickly found the site, I couldn’t find the forum, just an old letter to editor and some editorial comments from Ben. Thereafter, I would check the news and once or twice a year I would search for it, I tried every page on the site to no avail, until suddenly about 2 years ago, there it was!

I don’t know why I couldn’t find it for so many years, a glitch in my computer? But since then I’ve enjoyed the give and take every Friday. You will be missed.

Dirtman (aka Art Betke)

Thank you all for your kind words. You are the reason the site started in the first place and I am so grateful you made us part of your daily routine.
Until we meet again.
Elaine MacDonald Meisner.

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