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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.

SooQue May 22, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Best of luck in grad school! I have really enjoyed Rohnert Park Patch, and how interactive it is, and how responsive you are to the reader's comments.
Angela Hart May 22, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Thanks SooQue! Patch will still be here too, so if you have any thoughts about how to make it better, let us know!
You did a great job, good luck in the newest chapter of your life. Thank you for the story on NeatTweets dec. 24th 2010. If you're ever traveling though Truckee, give me a call do we can catch up.
RC May 22, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Thank you for all your time and hard work on all the articles Angela. Have you received any updates on the vacant building where the old Pacific Market was located? Best of luck and enjoy your next chapter in life.
Brent Ainsworth May 22, 2012 at 04:56 AM
Fantastic work. You tightened the fabric of your community and served it well.
Kimberley Peterson Roberts May 22, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Angela you have done a fantastic job. I hope the new editor is able to address issues as much as you have. I think the new editor should dig deeper into the schools all over Rohnert Park. Talk with the parents ask them what issues they have. You will see and hear some amazing stuff, good and bad. These kids are our future. Thank you again. I always open my day by opening the Rohnert Park Patch!
Wendy May 22, 2012 at 01:53 PM
good luck=i'm kind of new to discovering the patch - i love writing - have a varied background..and if your new editor wants some help - let me know!
Abby May 22, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Good luck on your future endeavors!! You have done a great job with the patch! I'm sure you've "groomed" the new guest editor well :)
Cheryl Franklin May 22, 2012 at 03:31 PM
You will do great things for yourself. Keep it up. I've enjoyed you during the last two years as editor of the Patch. Thank You!
Sandy Murphey May 22, 2012 at 04:01 PM
I really enjoy RPk Patch, and feel lucky that we had you to start it off. Best of luck to you in your future endeavors.
Noel May 22, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Good Luck in Grad School! I have really enjoyed how responsive you were to readers comments, you've done a great job!
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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