Editor’s Notes: Changes on Tahoe Tribune staff (opinion)
Despite a background in hard news, some of my favorite stories as a journalist don’t deal with corruption, court cases, politics or other sources of controversy. No, some of the most enjoyable assignments have been about people, the individuals who make up the fabric of a community.
One such story that came to mind recently took place when I was in Colorado a couple years ago. A man named Roland Klocker, a hulking, slow-speaking giant, was retiring after 40 years working for the local public works department.
Aside from all his tales, I fixated on that number: 40. How does one stay in the same place, with the same employer, for all those years?
It was a point the city manager at the time noted, saying “40 years with one employer is what a statistician would call an outlier.”
Roland said he stayed with the city because “nothing better came along.”
Here at the Tribune we’re experiencing a transition because something better has come along, and deservedly so, for a staff member who spent the past two years keeping our community informed and telling stories that stood out in a crowded media environment.
All-star reporter and Tribune news editor Claire Cudahy is now a special features writer for Sierra Nevada Media Group, a media company that includes the Tribune, the Nevada Appeal, Record-Courier, Northern Nevada Business View and other regional publications.
As mentioned, Claire spent the past several years in the grind. She sat through countless hours of City Council meetings, distilling complex and controversial subjects into digestible stories for readers.
She shined a spotlight on characters in our community such as Carol Christensen, the woman who blows kisses to passing cars, and Martin Hollay, the long-time resident who skied 100 days at the age of 96 during the 2016-17 winter.
Claire improved the quality of the Tribune by seeking out stories below the surface and injecting context into her reporting — a crucial quality here in Tahoe where our lifestyle can keep us from realizing the bigger picture beyond the basin.
I know, I know. Those are some Shaquille O’Neal-size shoes to fill — and that was an incomplete summary of all the things Claire contributed during her time here.
Fortunately you’ll still see her byline in the Tribune from time to time as she tells feature stories from across our region. Personally, I can’t think of someone more deserving for this “something better” and I hope you’ll join us in congratulating her.
On the note of good fortunes, regular readers likely have noticed an unfamiliar name over the past week. Maggie Mayer started as our intern for the summer on June 4.
Maggie, who grew up in Reno and attends Chapman University in Orange County, is excited to be back in a region she’s familiar with and covering the news. During her time here she’ll be a general assignment reporter for us, covering a bit of everything.
It’s been baptism by fire: So far she’s covered VHRs, the local election and more.
Having once been a college intern in a foreign newsroom, it can be an intimidating experience. Maggie has jumped right in and hasn’t batted an eye — a sure sign of more strong work to come this summer. Please join us in welcoming Maggie.
Ryan Hoffman is editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He can be reached at 530-542-8006 or at email@example.com.