This was one awesomely weird summer.
We moved our family to the 94941 in May, leaving our San Francisco apartment of 17 years and allowing me to actually sleep where I'd been spending nearly every waking hour over the previous three years as the founder of Mill Valley Patch.
The move was a great shot of adrenaline. We experienced our first actual, relatively fog-free Bay Area summer. I began taking our daughter to/from preschool each day in a bike trailer and have been thrilled to be so close to many of the wonderful people and places I've written about for years.
At the same time, I and Patch – the thing that drew me so close to Mill Valley – were growing apart. After an incredible, years-long roller coaster ride of steering Mill Valley and later a host of other Marin and Bay Area Patch sites, today is my last day at Patch, as a corporate restructuring has led to the elimination of my position as a regional editor.
I am very proud of what we accomplished at Patch, particularly in Mill Valley, where the site has attracted a huge audience that was looking for a place to give the 94941 the coverage it deserves and become an online community hub.
I've never worked harder at a job. I'm fairly certain that I exceeded the daily recommended dosage of typing every single day. But I can't imagine immersing myself more deeply into a community, and now I have years of experiences to draw upon as I get settled in as a resident.
A few memories stand out from my time at Patch, not all of them fond but all noteworthy nonetheless:
- The passing of Charles McGlashan. A very sad moment but also a great reminder that not all politicians get up every morning thinking about re-election.
- Max Wade. Not your run-of-the-mill crime story.
- Park on Patch. We bought the parking meters downtown for a couple of hours. People's fervor for free parking knows no bounds.
- Late-night City Council meetings. I made a vow early on to always be in the room, even if I could barely keep my eyes open. I'm glad I did, even when it involved trampolines.
- Subway. Did not see that one coming. Curious to see how Mill Valley continues to handle the issue of "formula businesses."
- The Police Blotter. Never a dull moment, even within the dull moments.
- The unbelievable abundance of arts and culture around us, from the Mill Valley Film Festival and Comedy in the Plaza to Lucy Mercer's 142 Throckmorton and the new Sweetwater.
- Speaking of which: Robin Williams. Rare is the laughter that exhausts you.
- Volunteering my time at places all over Marin, from gleaning at Green Gulch and pulling weeds on Horse Hill to cleaning the grounds of the Marin Humane Society while surrounded by crazy-cute cats and dogs.
As I sign off, I have two favors to ask:
- To local residents, I ask you to take a few minutes of your busy weeks to find out what's happening around you and take measure of whether you like where Mill Valley and Marin County are headed as a community. Be an active participant in your surroundings.
- That leads to my second request, to Patch editors: As you continue to ride the ebbs and flows of the economics of modern day journalism, often feeling like you're being pulled like Stretch Armstrong in the process, stay as squarely focused as you can on the point of it all: engaging your communities with smart, creative, comprehensive and accurate journalism, with context. Your intelligent audience notices when that focus wavers.
Patch isn't going anywhere – none of the Bay Area sites are going dark at this time. In my absence, you can contact new Mill Valley Patch editor Lindsey Hickman or Associate Editorial Director Kari Hulac (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions or comments.
Thank you to everyone who has played a part in my journey at Patch. It's been an absolute blast!