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Thank You Altadena!

I'm moving to a new role at Patch, but not leaving the area or the company. I want to thank all Altadena Patch readers for being the best around.

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 (dan.abendschein@patch.com) is not changing, so keep in touch there and keep letting us know what you want to see covered on the site.  

Dan Abendschein (Editor) August 13, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Thanks everyone, appreciate the kind words.
SteveB August 13, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Oct. 15, 2012? Well, I guess it is true that the things written in the article and comments are pretty much just as true today. I guess that makes it a timeless piece!
Dan Abendschein (Editor) August 13, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Roger that SteveB - should read October 2010. Will change
Meredith Miller August 13, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Good Luck Dan! We'll miss your bylines, but this is a well-deserved promotion and we wish you all the best in the future. Please continue reviewing and attending FFTF, it wouldn't be the same without you! Meredith
Dan Abendschein (Editor) August 13, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Thanks Meredith and I'll be there... I missed last week's just because I was in New Jersey.
Roberta Martínez August 13, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Best of luck on this next part of your journey.
Leslie Aitken August 13, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Thank you Dan for your hard work! Congrats on your move up!
Greg Lozano-Buhl August 13, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Dan, thanks for the thorough coverage of Altadena! You have done a fantastic job and we will miss seeing your articles. Congratulations on the promotion!
Laura Monteros August 13, 2012 at 11:04 PM
I'll miss you, Dan! You did a great job with Altadena Patch, and I'm sure you will as an assistant regional editor as well. See you around town!
Dan Abendschein (Editor) August 14, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Thanks Roberta, Greg, Leslie, Laura.. appreciate it!
Justin Chapman August 14, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Thanks for your commitment to Altadena and creating a site that filled a community news void and helped keep Altadena citizens informed of stories and issues that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. You did an excellent job. Also, thank you so much for bringing me under your wing from practically the beginning of Altadena Patch back in Oct. 2010 and giving me so many opportunities to continue serving the community I have loved since I moved here at the age of 6 to my election and reelection to the Altadena Town Council. It was an honor working and writing for you. Good luck on the new job. -Justin
Karin Bugge August 14, 2012 at 02:29 AM
I know it's good news, but I don't like it. Yes, our loss is the regional Patch gain, and blah, blah, blah. But hard to imagine anyone taking your place, Dan. All the best.
Lisa Maiorana August 14, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Aww Dan you are the bomb no matter where you'll be! Thanks for all the guidance ;)
Gabhlan August 14, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Thanks Dan, it's been fun. Congrats on your new gig..
Chris August 14, 2012 at 06:44 AM
Good for you, man!
Martina August 14, 2012 at 11:53 AM
Wow sad for us, happy for you. Congratulations Dan. You will be missed. I love reading the Altadena patch. It was my go to spot during the windstorm. Best of luck!
Gregory Middleton August 14, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Congrats friend! Indeed it has been a great pleasure working with you on several levels. This is only the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new. I know that there will be wonderful things ahead for you in the next phase! God speed dear friend!
Holly Rundberg August 14, 2012 at 03:55 PM
You will be missed. I always felt comfortable emailing you with questions or neighborhood issues. You have covered the many meetings, Town Council, ACONA, etc. with clarity and objectivity. Many thanks and good luck with your promotion. Well deserved!
michele Zack August 14, 2012 at 04:00 PM
I'm sure you will bring greater professionalism and community response to Patches all over the place now. Good luck and hope we won't miss you because we'll still be seeing you around.
Dan Abendschein (Editor) August 14, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Thanks again, everyone, Justin, Greg, Holly, Michele, Martina, Chris. And Holly (and everyone else) still feel free to email me whenever.
Revvell August 14, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Congrats Dan!
Leslie M Wilkins August 14, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Dan, it is so wonderful that you are able to advance in your chosen profession without having to leave ThePatch and Altadena. Of course you will be missed by your daily readers!! Please screen the applicants carefully to ensure they can fill your shoes. Be there no mistake - you will be missed!
Lisa Hastings August 14, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Thanks for bringing professional journalism to Altadena. Good luck!
Joey Alkes August 15, 2012 at 12:04 AM
Good Job Dan TY!
Daniel E. Harlow August 15, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Congrats and best of luck!
terry Morris August 15, 2012 at 05:56 AM
Thanks for everything Dan! The best of luck to you, and congratulations!!
Ninja Girl August 15, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Thank you Dan for all your great work!
Dan Abendschein (Editor) August 15, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Thanks Leslie, LIsa, Joey, Daniel, Terry!
Daron Anderson August 15, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Congrats Dan, and thanks for all you've done to get Altadena talking, and thank you @Timothy Rutt. (I know Patch and Blog are separate, but you guys have kept us all in the loop, and Elliot Gold!) Don't forget to drop in a guest commentary from time to time.
Nina Malone August 17, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Congratulations Dan, you are a great editor and I've always known your value would lead you upwards. I really enjoyed being a part of Patch from the beginning and you have been such an awesome editor to work with--although I was a little AWOL this year w/personal projects, but I look forward to seeing you at FFTF and around town. Will miss working with you, good luck with everything!

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