Many of you may have noticed my byline has not been on the site that much over the last three weeks. Today I want to tell you the reason why.
I have accepted a promotion within Patch to the position of Assistant Regional Editor, and from here on out, I will be helping to manage Patch sites across the San Gabriel Valley and nearby environs from Montrose all the way out to Diamond Bar, along with Redmond Carolipio, our other Assistant Regional Editor in the area.
I've been transitioning to the new job over the last few weeks (except for last week, when I was on vacation) and expected to have to do more work on the site during that time, but Karin Bugge has done such an excellent job as a fill-in editor, I feel as if my transition is coming to a close.
First, to reassure you, this change does not mean the end of Altadena Patch - we are currently in the search for the next full-time editor for the site and are working hard to make sure we have someone who can do a great job. I expect we will have somebody hired and on the site very soon. In the mean time, Karin will continue to fill in for as long as she wants to keep doing so.
Switching jobs does not mean the end of my association with Altadena Patch - everyone can continue to email story ideas or for help with issues or with any concerns about commenting or our coverage. I'll be working closely with the next Altadena Patch editor just as I will be with other Patch sites. From time to time I expect to need to cover an Altadena story or two personally as well.
And I still expect to be around Altadena for other reasons as well - Fancy Food Truck Friday, the Art on Millionaire's Row event, the farmers market are all local treasures that I love to attend, whether I'm filing a story or not.
Those of you who have spotted me biking through town (I am the big gawky guy with a blue shirt on a red and white Specialized bike) should expect to continue to see me.. I hope to continue to guide hikes at Rubio Canyon with Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy as long as they need docents (you can see me doing one of those in the photo at right).
I always told my editors I would not want to be the Local Editor of any other town in Los Angeles County. Altadena has been a joy to cover. It's hard to find a place with such a mix of pressing issues like business, open space, hiker rescues and everything else, yet still has such a charming side that makes it an enjoyable place to be.
The new position I am entering makes me responsible for working with sites across the county and is a step into a leadership role, a personal goal of mine. Though it was a tough call to make, I felt it was the right decision for me to take the position.
Altadena Patch readers are the best of any site I know - we've regularly brought in huge numbers of comments relative to other sites. The debates sometimes get a little rough, and I know there are some who want people to tone their intensity down, but overall I am happy to have had such an active community of commenters.
I've also been inspired to do work based on what people have said in the comments or by emailing me - I've feel like some of my best work has come from people telling me I should look into something or giving me an idea they would like to see written about.
It was a tough decision for me to give that up, but I feel as if I am going to have a chance to be a positive influence on Patch sites reporting across the San Gabriel Valley, and that is an exciting opportunity.
In sifting through the memories over the nearly two years I've been editor of the site, I came up with the following articles as ones I really enjoyed writing and/or really enjoyed the discussion in the comments section:
1) , March 5, 2012. There are some readers on this site who really know their stuff on school evaluation. I learn something every time I read the comments on those stories.
2) , October 15, 2010. This ran on the third day after we launched the site and while it was not a big deal to interview or write, it really set the tone for all future discussions about business in the city. It was a big deal for me to get that many people talking on the site just three days after we launched.
3) January 30, 2012. This one is just a hilarious fun read in the comments section. I made a suggestion for an Altadena parody of "Sh*t People in Los Angeles Say" and let our readers just go wild. It did not take me any effort to report but ended up being the kind of fun read in the comments section that other sites have trouble replicating - it really shows the greatness of Altadena Patch readers.
4) May 18, 2012. I wrote this one to get the perspective of a victim of crime, one who did not want to talk to the police but also had some very critical things to say about the department. There were some serious criticisms of the person in the article, but I think it illustrates a very real problem of the relationship between the police and the community, no matter who is to blame.
5) May 4, 2011. When we reported this the reaction was fierce and pretty much everyone was on the same page: this violation should not stand. I believe the media attention, which started right here on Patch, was a big reason why the county ultimately backed down.
6) , January 6 2011. In this article we got some information from the county on how much it costs to run the helicopter they use to airlift people out of Eaton Canyon. We also talked to Altadena Mountain Rescue Team members who confirmed what regular readers surely suspected: most of the calls they respond to are at the waterfalls at Eaton Canyon.
7) December 2, 2010. In this article early on in Altadena Patch's existence I looked at how many film productions a year are shot in Altadena. We also discussed whether Altadena is profiting from fees paid out to the county and concluded that nobody is really effectively trafficking the fees and how much (or little) they benefit county services or the communities where the filming is done.
8) Windstorm coverage - this was the biggest breaking news story we had during my time at Altadena Patch - I worked about 10 days straight without break as I recall. Because there were so many posts it's hard to pick just one: so here is one of our , a and finally, our coverage of the .
9) It's hard for me to pick any one piece about bicycling and traffic issues to highlight as I feel like there were always some very hearty debates about the bike boulevard proposal, traffic accidents and speeding. This is just one representative of some of those discussions.
10) Fancy Food Truck Friday Previews - I don't know if anyone loved reading them, but I sure loved writing them. Maybe the next Altadena Patch editor will let me keep doing them.
In closing, let me just say thanks for reading, for the news tips, for the great comments and making this site a great place for local news. My email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) is not changing, so keep in touch there and keep letting us know what you want to see covered on the site.