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Our View: Big skates to fill

Herald wins CNPA award for column writing
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I knew when I took over the editor position at the Placer Herald that it would be my mission to continue the tradition of excellence set by former editor Gloria Beverage. I continue to look up to Gloria, not only for her time at the Herald, but also her 30-plus-year career with Gold Country Media.

So, when it came time to pick entries for the annual California Newspapers Publishers Association Better Newspaper Contest, I turned to Gloria’s columns. As I leafed through back issues of the Herald, I came across two outstanding columns – and CNPA agreed with me, as they won the second-place award for column writing in our division (weekly, 11,001-25,000 circulation).

You can read the columns online at PlacerHerald.com, and I certainly encourage you to do so.

Paying it forward: My tribute to Matt Redding” shares Gloria’s experience as a mother whose son’s life was significantly impacted by Rocklin Police Officer Matt Redding. As a newcomer to Rocklin, this column was the first I’d heard of the tragic loss of Officer Redding, and as I read the column I was moved to tears.

Later that day I received a call from Matt’s father, John Redding, to introduce himself and discuss story ideas, and I learned just how much his son’s death affected this tight-knit community.

That’s how things work in journalism – there’s an unseen editor somewhere making sure all of our transitions work and everything ties together.

Much like the end of Gloria’s journalism career, when she found herself writing her last story – about the new roller derby team in town. In “It’s time for me to skate out of here,” Gloria  shares how a journalism professor made an example out of her after she submitted her first college newspaper article about a girl who roller-skated across campus so she wouldn’t be late to class. Her professor told the class to always be on the lookout for the “woman in skates."

It’s advice I’ve taken to heart, too, as I’m always on the lookout for Rocklin’s “skaters,” from a calligraphy artist and local jazz musician to a local blogger whose three sons make for endless hilarious stories.

I’ve also joined the Flood Water Roller Derby team, deciding to sign up the day I found out about Gloria’s win. Go figure.

Speaking of big shoes to fill, over in Roseville our team won three first-place CNPA awards – for sports coverage, artistic photo and photo essay – and one second place for artistic photo.

I can’t take credit for any of their work. Those photos were taken and those games covered under Michelle Carl’s red pen, before I came on board. But I’ll certainly celebrate the honor with our team, let them know how much their hard work is appreciated and continue our tradition of integrity, creativity and the constant hunt for those women in skates.