So Long, Folks!
It’s time for this editor to be on his way.
Thursday, June 23, will be my last day as editor here at East Windsor Patch. I’ll be sad to leave you all, but I’ll be glad to have the summer off before I embark on my next great adventure—law school, where I hope to pursue a career protecting the public interest.
I got into journalism on something of a whim after I graduated from college and taught English in France for a year. I’ve always loved newspapers (perhaps somewhat ironic, given my current position) and figured that in the news industry I could learn what I needed without getting a graduate degree, as opposed to my other career interests.
In the three-and-a-half years I’ve been reporting, I’ve covered some issues that affected me deeply, from tragic stories of early death to heartwarming ones of communities pulling together to help those who are down on their luck. Most of my career has been in newspapers, but I’ve written an awful lot online.
Here are some of the stories I wrote that really kept my attention since the launch of East Windsor Patch in December 2010:
Right after our launch, and the discovery of incriminating computer searches on his computer, Rosario DiGirolamo admitted to killing Amy Giordano, his mistress and mother of his child, in her Hightstown apartment. I gave our early readers an inside view of what it was like to cover the trial. Weeks later, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
The saga of the police department in Hightstown started long before I began covering the borough, and it’s not going away any time soon. Our coverage started in January, when a state police report gave unexpectedly high gang numbers in the borough. The back-and-forth between the Borough Council and Police Chief James Eufemia continued until this month, when the chief announced his retirement. With the council now looking at hiring a public safety director to replace the chief, the discussion is sure to continue.
The immigrant population in Hightstown has also come up again and again in discussion. Just after our launch, taxi licensing came back for another round with the Borough Council, and that issue is still ongoing. (Taxis in the borough are largely used by the immigrant community.) And just this week, the Republican borough council candidates’ phone survey regarding the borough’s status as a so-called “sanctuary city” for immigrants drew more criticism. Now that it’s an election issue, things are unlikely to return to the (admittedly shaky) status quo until at least November.
In East Windsor, the DWI arrest and subsequent resignation and guilty plea of former deputy mayor Walter T. Daniels also caused a stir. The all-Democrat Township Council quickly replaced Daniels with a new councilmember, Peter V. Yeager, and put Councilman Marc Lippman in the post of deputy mayor.
Of course, it hasn’t all been controversy and strife. Some stories have been as fun for me to write as I hope they were for you to read:
I got to venture behind-the-scenes as Hightstown High School as students prepared to stage the musical “Annie.” I’ve always loved doing those types of stories, since the excitement is infectious.
East Windsor college student Greg Hogya talked to us about his unusual comedy act as hypnotist “Greg Mystic.”
It’s not often you get to brag about losing at chess, but that’s just what I did when 7–year-old East Windsor chess prodigy Costas Oskiper trounced me at a quick game. He and his two triplet brothers had just won a major tournament, and have gone on to win another since I had my fanny so summarily handed to me.
Through it all, I’ve done my best to strike a balance between getting things to you fast (especially via our Twitter feed, @EWindsorPatch) and giving a careful overview of the situation (as in many of the stories above). I’ve been proud to be a member of this community and to showcase some of the great things that happen, along with giving you the grittier facts that you need to know.
As of this writing, we're at 196 fans on Facebook, and I'd consider it a personal victory if we could hit 200 before my tenure ends here. Could you take a minute to "like" us at the top-left of this page or right on our Facebook site?
My regional editor, Hank Kalet, will be overseeing the site in the coming days as he looks for a replacement. I have to thank him and my many excellent freelancers and bloggers who helped make this site what it is today.
I’d also like to extend my appreciation to each and every one of you who left a comment on the site, e-mailed me about something you read or let me know about a story or upcoming event. Your recognition has been the biggest reward I could earn.