To seek out …

It was last July when SN&R President and CEO Jeff vonKaenel called me at home with the news that his editor of the past five years had just given notice. Would I be willing to return as editor until he found a replacement?

OK, first back up a minute. Jeff and his wife and collaborator, Deborah Redmond (now chief operating officer of the company), had moved to Sacramento in 1989 with the idea of starting an alternative weekly. I was brought on board as the paper’s first editor and served in that job (with a year or so off in the middle somewhere) up until 2000. When Tom Walsh determined to move on last summer, I told Jeff sure, I’d be happy to return on an interim basis.

I thought I’d run the editorial shop for two or three months tops. But that timeline didn’t exactly work out.

Now, 13 months later, I am at last signing off and welcoming in SN&R’s incoming editor, Nancy Brands Ward. Nancy has served as associate editor here these past three months and will make a terrific editorial leader for the paper as it moves into the future. Her life wisdom, longtime experiences as an editor and passion for good journalism will serve SN&R and the community well. (As for me, I’m not disappearing from these pages entirely and will still be kicking around the News & Review part time in my desired role as editor-at-large.)

OK, with all that said, I can finally introduce this week’s delightful cover story, “First contact” by Becca Costello. I’ll try to resist the impulse (resistance is futile!) to close by recalling favorite life maxims from Captain Kirk (may fortune favor the foolish) and Spock (what you want is irrelevant; what you have chosen is at hand). Thanks to Jeff and Deborah for the opportunity; to Nancy for arriving not a moment too soon; and to the talented editorial staff I was, foolishly or not, fortunate enough to work with this past year. Mostly, thanks to you, our readers, for making it matter. Live long and prosper.