Late Saturday night, I took the opportunity to deliver some “breaking news” to a friend through instant message.
“I’m moving from Redlands,” I told her. “I’m taking over Diamond Bar Patch.”
I followed that with a string of sentences expressing a mix of excited nerves and sadness that I now realize made it hard to pin down my feelings about the move.
“Change is hard,” she said. As they say in the news biz, Jessica had unearthed a lead my mind worked hard to bury.
Change is hard.
It has been my honor and privilege to cover the cities of Redlands and Loma Linda for more than a year. My hope is to settle the family in a place where my husband might have a better chance at finding work. He's been searching for while now.
I officially became a Patch Local Editor in November 2010. I left what many considered the security of an established news publication to try my hand at the young start-up called Patch.
Among Patch’s biggest successes has been its ability to strip away the walls of the newsroom. When I worked with the San Bernardino Sun many years ago, I had walls I could get behind. I had a door key. We even had security in the parking lot.
As a Patcher, I had none of that. My workstation was the entire community. It was Starbucks or Augie’s or Café Royale. It was usually at a café because they are often the most generous with the WiFi.
Both cities embraced this upstart, and me, even though we started so fast, I went without business cards and a press credential for about two weeks after Loma Linda Patch’s launch. It’s a testament to the cities.
I have too many people to thank, so if you’ll forgive me, I’ll only touch on a few who had to put up with me most. Thank you to my mayors -- Dr. Rhodes Rigsby with Loma Linda and Pete Aguilar with Redlands -- for enduring so many phone calls.
The grassroots organizations are the ones that make the cities strong. Thank you to Redlands Tea Party Patriots, Occupy Redlands and Citizens Action for Peace who served both of my cities. These are working people and yet were always willing to take a call in the middle of the day from this writer.
A huge thank you to the staff at Loma Linda University Medical Center -- Herbert Atienza and Briana Pastorino -- who never failed to get me an answer from the busy doctors and administrators at this huge hospital.
Finally thank you to all my law-enforcement sources that include Carl Baker in Redlands and Cindy Bachman and Jodi Miller from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department for Loma Linda. Thanks to the fire departments Redlands led by Chief Jeff Frazier and Loma Linda led by Chief Jeff Bender,
I’ve left you in good hands. Guy McCarthy, who had been handling the Banning-Beaumont edition of Patch, will be bringing his vast experience to Redlands-Loma Linda. Guy is a veteran journalist who’s worked with a number of local publications. He’s an avid outdoorsman, and a big soccer fan. You’ll likely see him hanging out and working at many of the café’s in town, so stop and say hi.
Despite the sadness in leaving, I am looking forward to meeting the residents of Diamond Bar. I have so many good things. I look forward to building connections there.
Please, drop me a line. Send me an email. I won’t be far. Just a half hour's drive away.