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Rohnert Park Patch Editor Bids Farewell

Have you been impacted by Patch in the last two years?

I've loved my time in Rohnert Park. Today, as I announce for the first time publicly that I'll be leaving Rohnert Park Patch, I'm reminded of my first reporting experience.

It was nearly two years ago, on Veterans Day. Yes, of course the first person I interviewed at the Community Center celebration in honor of the holiday was Pete Callinan, Rohnert Park's first and longest-standing city manager. He gripped my hand, cocked his head to the right slightly and asked who in the hell was I. 

Callinan immediately followed with a brusk invite to his home to talk about the city's colorful, 50-year history. It's exactly what I needed to start covering a town I knew almost nothing about. A short time later, I'd met the City Council, longstanding members of the community and so many people that today I call my friends. I learned about the issues here, what's important to people and what's changing.

From the Green Music Center, to the controversial, recently-approved casino slated to be built just west of Rohnert Park by the Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheria, to a unprecended commercial vacancy rate, new housing developments and the city's tangled financial mess — there's so much going on here.

I'm invested in Rohnert Park now. You may have seen me running near Sally Tomatoes or the DoubleTree, at a community event or a fundraiser. Next time you do, come say hi. I want to take a moment to thank you for making me feel at home.

Thank you for speaking to me and working with me. I've invested an amazing amount of hours, energy and even tears in to reporting here. I hope it's made your lives better becasue of it.

And although I've only got a couple weeks left in Rohnert Park, I'm still committed to growing Rohnert Park Patch in to an amazing, useful, innovative community resource that people use daily to stay informed and get thoughtful, balanced and fair information about important issues here.

Starting June 4, Christian Kallen is taking over as guest editor for Rohnert Park Patch. However, my commitment to journalism and work in the public's interest has only increased since coming here. In August, I start a two-year master's in journalism program at U.C. Berkeley. I'll be covering North Oakland, and moving on to projects I've been wanting to do for years.

But I'd like to take this time to ask you what you think. This week, I'll be bringing back some articles I've published that I think represent what the city needs. One daily newspaper can't cover everything — it's impossible. I hope I've made a dent in the city's civic fabric, and helped tell stories about what matters here.

And I also want to know, as Rohnert Park Patch moves on to its new editor, what you'd like to see. What should we cover more deeply? What's not being reported? What is being overlooked? What could I have done better?

Please submit ideas, comments and concerns in the comments below. Over the next couple weeks I'll look over them while we transition to the next editor. We'll use your comments to tailor our coverage. Really, we're here to listen. If you're not comfortable with posting comments and ideas for everyone to see, please email them to angela.hart@patch.com. Was there a story that you remember, that you loved or hated? Also send those along!

Also, I'll be releasing information on how to stay in touch with me. Stay tuned this week for more. Thanks again. Angela Hart.

Paul Lawson May 22, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Angela, Your dedication and commitment to Rohnert Park has been amazing! Thank you so much for all you efforts and time. RP Patch has become my primary on line daily news source. You will be missed!
Linda May 22, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Best of luck in Grad School - very exciting for you! I have really enjoyed reading your articles in the RP Patch. Happy Trails!
Erin Armstrong May 22, 2012 at 08:11 PM
You have done an excellent job covering topics pertinent to Rohnert Park and Cotati. You often had things on The Patch long before any other news source did. Thank you for your dedication to bringing all sorts of news to our little community. We are often overlooked by the "big papers". It's been nice having someone in our corner!! Best of luck to you in your future endeavors! I am sure you will continue to be successful in your Journalistic career.
pdf May 22, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Angela, Best of luck to you at Cal Berkeley! I just completed writing my memoirs and am now on my journey to find a publisher/agent. I loved your articles, even as heated as some of the comments became. Thank you for all you did and wishing you scores and scores of only the best writing you have to offer! All the best! Pamela
robert aherne May 28, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Good luck Angela as you take your advanced degree in Liberal Expression. Bob Aherne

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