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From the Publisher

June 2, 2005


Staff changes


There is a changing of the guard at the Journal this week.

Emily Gurnon, who began working for this newspaper as a writer in 2003 and became editor in 2004, is moving with her family back to her hometown in Minnesota. Although we will miss her considerable talents (she won three California Newspaper Publishers Association Awards this year and played a major role in a fourth), we didn't have to go far for a replacement. Senior Staff Writer Hank Sims is taking over with this edition.

It took considerable time to find just the right person for Hank's replacement, however. After a month of sifting through resumes and interviewing top choices, we are happy to welcome Heidi Walters. Heidi started her journalism career in the late 1980s in Bishop, Calif., a place where "the landscape uncorked [her] passion for water, land and biodiversity issues." That passion led to a string of awards and recognition from the Nevada Press Association while she worked at Las Vegas CityLife, an alternative newsweekly, and the Las Vegas Mercury, reporting on environmental and social issues of the state. Heidi starts next week.

The Journal also employs a number of students each year. We are saying goodbye this week to a new Humboldt State University graduate, Krystal Jones. With her new degree in botany, she is headed to San Francisco and a tentative job with the government. We called Krystal an advertising assistant, but for the past two years she just pitched in and did whatever needed to be done in every department.

Helen Sanderson started with us as an HSU editorial intern in 2003. Next week she is being promoted to full-time staff writer, a well-deserved honor. Helen has been responsible for researching and writing several cover stories this past six months including one on pit bulls, another on Eureka prostitutes and most recently, "Living Blind," on the county's sight-impaired,

We are welcoming a new editorial intern from HSU, Cat Sieh, who wrote last week's story about the jellyfish invasion and will take over preparation of our calendar of events this summer.

Then there's Jessica, 14, who legally becomes an employee as soon as school is out. As owners of the Journal, Carolyn Fernandez and I have always believed in child labor, meaning our own children were often pressed into service to paste labels or file ads. (Today they are all grown up, with real jobs.)

Of course, Jessica has always been part of the Journal family since the very beginning. When we started in 1990, her mother, Linda Schwend, our production chief, was then our part-time typesetter. One of us would drive over to the Schwend house with an envelope of ads that needed typesetting. Linda was very much pregnant with Jessica at the time. Later, it was Jessica's job to toddle over, answer the door and retrieve the important envelope.

Finally, we are sad to say that this will be the last issue of the Journal printed by the talented, hard-working crew at Humboldt Printing, which is closing its doors this week. Printers are the unsung heroes of the newspaper world, and for almost 15 years Jack Davis and the Humboldt Printing staff have bent over backwards to meet our tight deadlines and bring our readers the best-looking publication possible. So, to anyone reading this column while the paper is still warm -- thank you, and best of luck in your future careers.



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