by Judy Hodgson, Editor and Publisher

IN ELECTION YEARS WE ARE FACED with a dilemma of whether or not to include political news in the June and November editions. Since the primary is being held June 2 one day after The Journal hits the streets we decided against any further coverage or letters to the editor.

Just for fun, we will be conducting an office pool and sealing the results in an envelope just prior to the election. If we are too far off in our predictions, the results will never see the light of day. After all, Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters (who was managing editor of the Times-Standard a few decades ago) is already scraping egg off his face for prematurely calling Gray Davis an also-ran for governor.

We have a number of recent additions to our staff box (page opposite). Rosemary Edmiston joined The Journal as staff writer in December. She was born and raised in Oakland and graduated from Humboldt State University in 1985. Edmiston worked for several Bay area newspapers including a five-year stint as a cops reporter for the West County Times in Richmond. She returned to Humboldt in 1992 and became editor of the Arcata Union until it closed in 1995. She wrote for the Times-Standard for a year and a half covering courts and then as Arts and Leisure editor. Edmiston says her career highlight so far was when she "got to ride in on the last homecoming of the USS Carl Vinson from the Farrallon Islands under the Golden Gate with 6,000 sailors."

Bob Doran has lived in Humboldt County almost 30 years, another HSU student who never left. He graduated in theater arts with an emphasis on cinema. He began writing in the late 1980s. He now writes for six North Coast publications when he's not cooking for local restaurants. Doran has "a huge record and CD collection" in his home in McKinleyville and spends hours on the Internet researching books, music, movies, art and politics. He writes a music column for The Journal called "The Hum."

Barry Blake brought his love of theater and his sweet tooth with him when he moved to Humboldt 20 years ago. He started a business in Ferndale, called Sweetness and Light, and sold it 10 years ago. Blake has spent most of his life teaching and writing. He writes children's books and grants. (He and a colleague were recently successful in capturing a $400,000 Healthy Start grant for two Fortuna schools.) Blake taught at Idaho State University, where he received his Masters degree, and is currently teaching at Pacific Dunes High School in Manila. He writes a monthly theater column in the Calendar section. (No, we didn't know Blake was a teacher at Pacific Dunes when we began working on this month's cover story. It really was a coincidence.)

We also welcome Ivan Marrs, an intern from Arcata High School, who quietly observes the frenetic production of The Journal while filing and running errands.

And, we welcome Tiffany Lee-Youngren, a senior at HSU and soon-to-be Lumberjack editor, who joins us for the summer. Lee-Youngren helped produce this month's Calendar, wrote several news briefs and turned into a cowgirl for a day at last month's Rodoni Roundup to capture the flavor of ranch rodeos for her report, "The real cowboys."


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