The newest of the new

I’m not the new kid here anymore!

Yes, technically I’m still a newcomer. If you blindfolded me and dropped me off in certain parts of Chico, I would be a little lost. (So please don’t abduct me. Thanks!)

No, I meant I’m not the newest person at CN&R.

We have a new advertising manager, Alec Binyon, taking the reins from newly promoted regional advertising manager Lee Craft. But I’m not talking about Alec. He’s a Chico native, so he’s not really that new. Besides, he started June 1.

No, I’m talking about the person who started June 6. She’s in town for the first time—100 percent brand new. So she’s our most recent hire and, in all likelihood, the city’s most recent resident.

Finally, I have some seniority.

Who is she? Associate editor Meredith J. Cooper.

Meredith is from St. Louis and went to USC. (We agree to disagree on Pac-10 sports.) I’ve never asked her age, because that would be impolitic and impolite, but she graduated college in 2002; you do the math. She came to Riverside that July, with a résumé including internships at a financial publishing firm and an LA-centric magazine.

She worked as a copy editor and designer for The Press-Enterprise’s News and Features departments, as well as for the company’s start-up paper in Palm Springs, called “the d” (yes, lowercase, like e.e. cummings without the punctuation). For a year, our desks were catty-corner in a Riverside basement.

Meredith yearned to travel and write. She did both by leaving California, stopping over in St. Louis, then touring the world. Much of it, anyway: Asia, the Middle East, Northern Africa and Europe. She recorded her journey in words and pictures on a Web log; check out

Meredith is a multitalented editor and an exceptional person. She loves the outdoors, biking, snowboarding, live music and nightlife. What better place for her than Chico—and CN&R? Nowhere, I say. The newest new kid is most welcome indeed.