New place, new story |

New place, new story

Jack Barnwell

A new town. New challenges. New stories to tell.

That’s how I’d define my move to South Lake Tahoe and signing on as a reporter at the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

I came to Tahoe after nearly three years of covering news in Kern County for publications in Ridgecrest (one hour north of Lancaster) and Tehachapi (45 minutes east of Bakersfield).

I wouldn’t trade my time working in either location.

Ridgecrest had hot desert summer nights, Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake and the potential to be a mover-and-shaker in commercial drone policy. Tehachapi had mountains, a set of diverse communities in one zip code and has the potential to be an outdoor bicyclist’s mecca.

It has stories about city governments wrangling with economies that no longer have redevelopment agencies, of water regulations, and an 80-year-old woman who celebrated her birthday tandem skydiving.

Yet I felt it was time to switch gears, to get outside of the box and into an area that was fresh to explore.

A Tehachapi News co-worker told me that you only live once, so why not take a chance and move beyond something familiar.

To date, it’s been a good transition with plenty of stories to discover and new, interesting characters. I’m still getting my feet wet, both jumping into the proverbial news scene and hitting the beaches.

And I’ve pretty much demonstrated my less-than-stellar soccer skills in front of a few co-workers when we hit the front nine at Lake Tahoe Golf Course for a round of foot golf. In the end, I think my foot was more bruised than my ego.

My role as a Tribune reporter hasn’t changed much from when I worked in Ridgecrest and Tehachapi.

It’ll be split covering government and community features, informing on important issues or boiling down important issues coming out of the California and Nevada statehouses on a local level.

For this column, however, there’s no set topic and remains divorced from my job as a reporter.

It’s an opportunity to think outside the box, whether about local excursions, reminiscing about the old days or tackling a social issue dominating the news.

When it comes to any one of those subjects, I sometimes take an unconventional approach.

If people agree with me, that’s swell. If it prompts a debate, that’s even better.

All I can say is, sometimes it will be wacky.

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