RAFB, paper at odds

WARNER ROBINS - There is a temporary standoff among at least three factions about distribution of The Robins Review at Robins Air Force Base.

The weekly publication largely contained American Federation of Government Employees Local 987 news until owner Danny Evans and the union parted company last August. Local 987 is the bargaining unit for most civilian employees at Robins.

Since that time, Evans - who also owns and publishes The Houston Home Journal - had continued distributing his version of The Robins Review on base without question or interference.

But that came to an end last Friday, according to the union. Local 987 president Tom Scott said Thursday that base officials were no longer permitting distribution of the publication on base, and Scott gave The Telegraph a Jan. 21 supporting letter from the base commander, Col. Greg Patterson. The letter, which was on RAFB letterhead, was addressed to Evans.

"Since (The Robins Review) is no longer the official newspaper of the union, it is no longer authorized to be distributed on this base," Patterson's letter states. The union began publication of a separate weekly newspaper in January called The Union Advocate.

Evans, contacted by phone Thursday afternoon, said he had not received Patterson's correspondence and had distributed his paper on base earlier in the day. The Perry-based publisher said he prints 11,000 copies each Thursday for distribution on base, as well as various locations in Warner Robins and by mail to a number of subscribers.

"I have no plans to stop distribution on base," Evans said. "Just as the union is not going to be silenced, I'm not either." He said he had a separate agreement with the base to distribute The Houston Home Journal and its products.

"I have nothing against the union," Evans added. "I think it's great that they're doing their own paper. But I'm doing my own thing and haven't been bothering them."

Evans said his publication was upbeat and positive.

"We focus on the civilian aspect of the base," he said. "We try to print positive stuff about Robins - the museum, civilian workers, the 21st Century Partnership."

Robins spokesman Tim Kurtz said late Thursday that Patterson believes the issue requires additional review.

"He's concerned about (the situation)," said Kurtz, after consulting with Patterson. "He plans to review the various agreements and possibly make some changes."

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