A slew of thank-yous to North Tahoe | SierraSun.com

A slew of thank-yous to North Tahoe

Sun file photoJoanna Hartman

Ive never been all that good at good-byes. Not that you can really be bad at them, per se, I tend to avoid them altogether.But I work for a newspaper, after all, and its a heck of a lot easier to take the time to formulate my thoughts and feelings on paper none of those mushy hugs or lets-keep-in-touch lines.Thats right, its my turn to say goodbye not only to the Sierra Sun, but to Tahoe-Truckee as well.Ive been here over a year now, both living and working in Tahoe City. When I first moved here people told me it was a tough community and I welcomed the challenge thinking, Well, Im a tough gal. But the truth is, North Tahoe is a really tough community and not particularly welcoming to this 20-something trying to make a way on her own.The Tahoe City Public Utility Districts Bob Lourey and Cindy Gustafson took me out to lunch when I first started at the paper early last summer. I remember Cindy commenting on how great it was that another young professional was moving into town. She said it was hard to keep young guns around this place because of cost of living, rent, childcare, etc. And boy was she right.And while Ive fallen in love with so many things Tahoe Commons Beach farmers markets, free concerts on the beach, dollar coffee at Java Stop, the view from Eagle Rock, Sol y Lago bartenders, Truckee co-ed soccer, and most importantly my wonderful boyfriend this town (or lack thereof) didnt quite sell me.But thats not true for several constituents women like Cindy Gustafson, Kelly Atchley of the Tahoe City Downtown Association and Tahoe City PUD and Placer Countys Jennifer Merchant have set examples of where drive can take a woman in a mans world.And I owe a slew of thank-yous to other community members who have been my staple go-to contacts. Both Chief Duane Whitelaw and Battalion Chief Dave Ruben at North Tahoe Fire taught me about the risks of wildfires, and then proved the strength of their district in the face of the Washoe Fire on Tahoes West Shore. Ed Miller, the unofficial mayor, continually helped me update my story idea list. The BEAR Leagues Ann Bryant set an example of what one persons passion can do for an entire community, both of people and bears. Deputy District Attorney Chris Cattran was my Cliffs Notes to the court of law. Ron Treabess, Jan Colyer, Rick Lierman and Rob Weston were always there to answer questions as I needed. And there have been so many others.But its really my colleagues who, if anybody, could keep me here. Despite an onslaught of criticism and apathy since the North Tahoe and Truckee newspapers merged more than a year ago, theyve kept their heads up and eyes and ears open to save their place as the community voice.Plus, they took on this green-as-can-be reporter and turned my interest in writing into a love of journalism. I have my editors to thank for inspiring me to stay in this business. After a few months of travel, that is.Joanna Hartman reported for the Sierra Sun from the Tahoe City office since June 2006. She is traveling to South America to learn Spanish for six months and hopes to return to Tahoe to vacation.

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