It is an honor to introduce myself as the Bohemian's new editor, a position that feels like a homecoming and a new beginning.
Most recently, I was a senior editor at Sebastopol-based MAKE magazine. But before coming to MAKE, I was food editor for many years at Metro Silicon Valley, the Bohemian's sister paper. Previous to that, I was a reporter for various daily and weekly newspapers. In the latter part of my time at Metro, I moved to Sebastopol and wrote for the Bohemian, too, splitting my time between Silicon Valley and the North Bay. It feels good to be back.
Since moving here more than three years ago, I've developed a real love for the North Bay, and the opportunity to explore the region in the pages of the Bohemian is a thrill and a privilege. I'm the beneficiary of the great job done by my predecessor, Gabe Meline. I'm committed to building on that work and delivering what I hope will be essential reading for North Bay residents and visitors alike.
What will that look like? We will break news and deliver compelling investigative stories that hold the powerful accountable. We will reflect what it's like to live, work, eat and play here, with lively coverage of the region's most important asset, its people. We will enhance and expand our digital offerings. And we will continue to be the go-to source for event listings, so you don't miss any of what's going on.
I'm lucky to have a badass staff to help me. Tom Gogola is an award-winning investigative journalist, and was just named the Bohemian's news editor, a newly created position that reflects our commitment to news. He was the 2013 recipient of the Press Club of New Orleans' first and second place awards for his reporting on the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office. Over the course of a 25-year career, Tom worked at Connecticut alt weeklies and the Lens, an online investigative website in New Orleans.
Nicolas Grizzle is our staff writer. He writes about food, music and news with equal aplomb. He grew up in Sonoma County and maintains strong roots here.
Calendar editor Charlie Swanson is another Sonoma County local devoted to the North Bay's music and cultural scene. He spent the past decade writing about music and art, beginning with an internship at the Bohemian in 2006.
Defending the King's English and protecting us from dangling participles is veteran copy editor Gary Brandt.
The Northern California-based company we are part of, Metronews, recently expanded its holdings with the purchase of Good Times weekly in Santa Cruz and weeklies in Hollister and Gilroy, the latter of which is establishing a wine trail this spring to celebrate its nascent cluster of wineries.
What's that mean for Bohemian readers? It means we're part of a growing, independently owned, local company committed to community-based journalism that's equal parts fearless and fun-loving. Please let me know how we're doing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open Mic is a weekly feature in the 'Bohemian.' We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write email@example.com.