Unfinished stories, many thanks and new responsibilities | Farewell Column

Good-bye everybody. This is my last column for the Valley Record. It’s not the column I had expected to write at the end of my work here, but deep down, I knew I’d never write that one. That pie-in-the-sky column would have proudly announced that I’d told all the stories there were to tell here and there was nothing left for me to do.

There will always be stories to tell here, of course, and when I leave the building for the last time on March 9, I will have at least a half-dozen still listed under “to do” in my mind. Among them will be the incomplete story of the Mt. Si Senior Center’s efforts to buy a second low-income senior housing apartment building, as well as the fate of the ag college proposal for Mountain Meadows Farm, the future of several proposed developments in North Bend and Snoqualmie, a first look at the newly built Mount Si High School scheduled to open in the fall of next year, several investigations that can’t really be discussed until they’re further along, and what will happen to the Snoqualmie Ridge IGA building, the old mill site, the North Bend athletic complex, the North Bend weigh station, the North Bend mountain bike park, downtown foundation, and on and on.

There are two things that I absolutely will get done this week though: Thanking all of you, and a special few, for letting me into your lives; and assigning all of you some vital homework.

First, the broad thanks go to everyone who reads the Record on paper or online. You are the people we work for and I hope you never forget that. Don’t let us forget it, either.

There are many individuals who have made my time here at the Record better somehow — more easy, more entertaining or more rewarding — and I hope that I’ve let them all know that before this particular piece of writing lands in front of them. It would be cheating to say “you know who you are,” so although I’m sure I’ll forget someone, I’m going out on a limb. Dave and Kathy Battey, Carol Peterson, Gloria McNeely, Harold Erland (who you all know as Butch, but I could never call him that), Dick and Kris Kirby, Cristy Lake, Lee Grumman, Mary Madole, Kym Smith, Susie Oppedal, Tom Meagher, Mary Miller, Jill Green, Carolyn Malcolm, Wendy Thomas, Bob Jeans, Gene Grantham, Jay St. Charles, Julie Lake, Fritz Ribary, Danny Raphael, Bev Jorgensen, Susan Kingsbury-Comeau, and Pat Cokewell, you are some of my very favorite people and I have truly enjoyed the time I spent with each of you. Thank you.

Finally, I can’t leave without giving particular thanks to my funny, skillful and downright clever co-workers, Evan Pappas, David Hamilton, Wendy Fried and William Shaw. It’s been a privilege to produce this amazing community newspaper with you.

Now for the homework. I promise, you won’t find it very difficult.

I want to empower — no, obligate — every person in the Valley to advocate for their stories in their newspaper. In other words, keep doing in the future what you’ve done for me in the past. Call the office (425-888-2311), send email to editor@valleyrecord.com, submit letters, story ideas and contact our publisher through the valleyrecord.com website and continue to demand local coverage of the stories that are important to you.

So far, you’re earning an A. Keep up the good work.