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Highs, lows, ups and downs in fast first year as editor | EDITOR'S NOTE
They say time flies when you are having fun.
Well if that’s the case, this job must be the most fun I have ever had because I simply cannot believe how quickly time seems to have passed.
I mean, all of a sudden, it’s July.
Sure, I’d noticed that I was covering some things for the second time, but I didn’t really think anything of it. (“What do you mean it’s time for graduation already?”)
But July marks one year since I took over as editor of the Renton Reporter. It’s been a year of ups and downs, highs and lows, positive, exciting stories and a few real downers.
I have met a ton of people, been exposed to a lot of great volunteer work and seen what everyone means when they talk about the special way Renton pulls together to get things done, be it almost entirely volunteer work of the REACH Center of Hope at City Hall (also celebrating one year) or the multi-agency partnership and community funding model that delivered the amazing new inclusive playground at Meadow Crest.
We’ve reported on terrible tragedies and great successes, new businesses and old friends saying goodbye, controversies both real and blown out of proportion, championship sports teams and crushing defeats and even got to cover a run to the Super Bowl.
All without ever leaving Renton!
And through it all, it’s been quite a learning curve.
We have tried a few things over the past 12 months here at the paper. Some have stuck, others didn’t work and still others were not given their fair shake and will get another chance.
Like I said, all of sudden it’s been a year.
First, I’d like to say thank you. Thank you for reading and for the calls, emails and feedback – whether you liked something I did or not, it’s all appreciated.
Last year at this time, I said I hoped to “re-boot” our paper. To some extent, I feel like that has happened. In other ways, we’re still working on it.
After all, this is your paper, telling your story. We are just the stewards of it.
We debuted a few new features last year at this time and, well, some of them are still around. Others, we are getting back to, I promise.
Last year at this time, we debuted our “At a glance” page on page 2 of the paper. The feedback on that page has been generally positive, though, admittedly, we are still playing with the content some. The main features of it remain unchanged, however: the weather photo, the “You said it!” and the webpoll. All of those things are designed to be reader-generated and we appreciate you all playing along.
The weather photo in particular was designed as a place to get some of your pictures out to the public. Several residents have sent us in pictures and we’ve published them. Some weeks, however, you will see that reporter Tracey Compton or I take that photograph. We don’t mind - any reason to get out of the office and take some photos is a good one - but I again encourage all of you to send in your pics. It can be anything, as long as it is outdoors - whatever the weather! - and in Renton.
We also debuted a “Weekend” Page, but I think we bit off a little more than we could chew with that one. We had big dreams for that page and it took a lot out of us (Tracey in particular) to try and keep the pace we had set in the beginning. So, unfortunately, that page fell away.
However, we have in recent weeks tried to bring back the calendar - which the Weekend page was originally designed to replace - because we do realize that is an important part of what we do: let you know the events and happenings in the community. Unfortunately, this week we were not able to get it in.
But with that in mind, please continue to post your events in our online calendar, but also send them in to either Tracey or I and we will do what we can to get it into the calendar, and to get that calendar into the paper.
This past year also saw the departure of one of our columnists, Carolyn Ossorio. Carolyn has big dreams and had a chance to follow them and took it and while we at the paper miss her voice and her column, we wish her all the best and look forward to someday soon writing about how a former Renton Reporter columnist made it big.
But Carloyn’s departure freed up some space and budget and we are able to once again bring you Marianne Binetti’s “The Compleat Home Gardener” column. (That’s not a typo, by the way. Marianne’s column uses the archaic form “Compleat” as its official name…)
This is the third week we are running her column and because of the great response from readers, I promise to try and make room every week to get Binetti in.
Shoot, even I’m forced to admit that while I am not much of a gardener and never understood why people read her column during my days living as a single guy in a Tacoma studio apartment, the first two columns of hers that we published each contained multiple useful tips that my wife and I immediately put into play in our yard.
Welcome back, Marianne. Someday, we’re going to have to have a talk about “compleat” and the havoc it wreaks on our spellcheckers…
We also have a few more ideas up our sleeves for some new features this fall, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
But like I said, we realize there is still work to do.
We always want to her from you, the readers. Do not hesitate to phone or email or even stop on by the office. My door is always open and I love hearing from readers.
Thanks for everything in this past year, Renton. And here’s to the future; Once more around the sun, Jeeves!