Reporter’s newest writer bumping into boundaries

I’m not going to lie to you —this town is much bigger than I thought it was.

  • BY Wire Service
  • Saturday, August 9, 2008 12:00am
  • Opinion

I’m not going to lie to you —this town is much bigger than I thought it was.

I guess I never really understood where exactly Kent’s borders were, but I hope you will forgive me, I am not originally from around here.

I grew up in Upstate New York and graduated from college in New York’s Capital District, where I got my first gig on a newspaper staff. I covered two of the fastest-growing towns in the state, Clifton Park and Halfmoon, for nearly three years before the girl I was with at the time received a job offer near Seattle.

The opportunity was too good not to take so we loaded up the cars, hopped on Interstate 90 and didn’t stop until we hit Safeco Field (which is an incredible place to see a ball game, by the way).

It worked out better with the area than with the girl, however, as she is now living in Manhattan and I – well – am not.

Soon after moving out here, I got a job covering Bonney Lake, down in Pierce County and moved to Tacoma. Three papers later I am still living down there (for now) and Kent became more an idea than an actual place with borders and neighborhoods and school and such.

I blame the “Almost Live” reruns.

Until about a month ago, I worked for the Sumner Reporter, a start-up paper that was folded in with the Bonney Lake Courier-Herald following this company’s purchase of that one. When the papers combined, I was traded to Kent for two boxes of pens and a photographer to be named later.

Here at the Kent News, I will be taking over for Daniel Mooney, whose byline many of you will remember. Daniel and his wife moved back to Idaho, where he is headed back to school.

Before he left, however, he gave me a tour of the city, showing me some of the key locations I will be visiting as part of my new beat: Education, business and features.

It was on that tour that the real scope of your city started to sink in: 84,000 people, 40 schools housing 27,000 kids speaking more than 110 languages.

Incredible. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it.

I have been working in journalism for nearly eight years now and hope to conduct myself as professionally as possible.

I do this because despite the pay, I love the job. But more than that, I believe in it. I believe that the work of reporters and journalists is so important that it is the only job the Founding Fathers felt the need to protect in the Bill of Rights.

Without us, democracy does not work. Every country has doctors, every country has teachers and every country has an army, but only those nations with a free press are truly free.

That’s a lot of pressure.

Our job here is to shine a light on Kent. In my case, that’s the school district as well as the businesses and the people that make this community such an interesting and unique place to live. While I will certainly do my best to hold people’s feet to the fire when they need it, I don’t expect that to happen too much and look forward to mainly being a cheerleader for all the things right in Kent.

With that in mind, please do not hesitate to call me at the number below or send me an e-mail, letting me know about the interesting shops, outstanding teachers and fascinating personalities that you think your neighbors (or I) might want to know about.

Oh, and don’t worry, despite the New York upbringing, I can be trusted: I am NOT a Yankee fan. I root for the Philadelphia Phillies, the losingest team in the history of professional sports. So if you need advice on how to get through a season like the one the M’s are having this year, I’m your guy for that too...

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