“Don’t bury the lede,” as my editors of deadlines past might say:

I’m leaving the Press Banner, as of Sept. 29.

On Oct. 1, I begin a new assignment, as managing editor of New SV Media, whose three weekly newspapers and two magazines serve 140,000 people in Morgan Hill, Gilroy, and Hollister, owned by Metro Newspapers in San Jose.

It has been an honor to be the editor of your community newspaper.

I will miss all of you – strangers, neighbors, friends, families, sources, and newsmakers of all ages. I owe a big Thank You to each of you for reading what our small team puts together each week.

Thanks for taking the time to read – and sometimes proofread – your newspaper cover to cover every week. Many of you have taken the time to call, send letters and emails, post comments at www.pressbanner.com and on Facebook, take and send in photographs, vote in Faves and Raves, and contribute press releases, stories, ideas, and criticism.

Your engagement in your communities and with our continuing 67-year publishing adventure provides all the inspiration and ideas a local editor could hope for.

If you hear of anyone complaining about apathy or indifference, conformity or indolence, invite them to the Santa Cruz Mountains. That’s the rich environment in which I have been fortunate enough to serve. Your newspaper continues to thrive here because of you.

There is a great quote that I have used at least once that captures this spirit, from the introduction to the Ralph Brown Act (which standards for transparency for California public agencies):

“The people insist on remaining informed, so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”       

Hopefully, I am leaving the citizens of these twin valleys a little better informed and empowered.

My goal when I arrived here in April 2016 was to deliver a newspaper that each week created a “Wow” or a “Gee, I didn’t know that” response among our readers, that provided news and information provided by no one else, and that shed a bright light on local issues, agencies and institutions. Through drought, floods, mudslides, fires, wrecks, scandals, heroics and pyrotechnics, it has been quite a ride.

The fact is, there simply is no information source other than the Press Banner that serves all of your communities, and exclusively narrows its focus to the 35,000 people in the San Lorenzo River watershed (stopping at the Santa Cruz city limits).

That is a big responsibility. At the Press Banner, your dedicated staff takes that responsibility very seriously, and it is a great motivator.

Sometime folks have questioned my motives, even accusing me of purveying “fake news.” One reader actually told our publisher she was convinced I was “on the payroll of Big Water,” whatever that might be.

Sometimes the act of “keeping it simple” and “telling it like it is” can be exhausting, (It’s nearly 10 p.m. as I write this) but it’s nearly always rewarding.

I have been fortunate to have worked with a group of very talented people who know when to laugh, listen, and learn – from each other and from you.

So please keep reading, keep writing, keep creating, keep redefining your communities and neighborhoods, so the person who follows me in this chair has plenty of stories to share.

God bless.

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