Hello Beacon Hill!
I'd like to introduce myself...
Greetings Beacon Hillers,
I am excited to announce that I'll be taking over as editor of Beacon Hill Patch. My colleague and predecessor, Alysia Patterson Mueller, has taken a Boston-based job as communications officer at Saint Boniface Haiti Foundation.
I come to Patch after nearly a decade in journalism, most of it covering Massachusetts communities. After getting a history degree at the University of Colorado and a master's diploma in Jewish studies from Oxford University, I took a job as a local editor at The Recorder, a daily newspaper in Greenfield, Mass. I edited local copy, proofread and designed the pages for the local section, which covered all of Franklin County.
From there I took a year-long detour to Washington, D.C., where I worked as an internet privacy analyst at BBBOnLine, a division of the Better Business Bureau. Although I liked exploring D.C., Massachusetts beckoned. I returned in 2001, settling in Northampton and taking a job at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. For my first year, I covered Williamsburg, a small town just north of Northampton. Williamsburg was a town in flux, with newcomers priced out of Northampton, or wanting more open space, taking up residence there. Meanwhile, families that had lived in town for generations struggled to adjust to the town's changing character. All aspects of town life were game for stories, from school plays to the annual town meeting.
After a year in Williamsburg, I took on the regional crime beat. For the next five or so years, I covered all the major crime stories in Hampshire County. Often, when people heard that I covered crime in Northampton, they would joke, "Is there anything to write about?" In fact, there was quite a lot. There I learned that communities have an entire layer of life that's nearly hidden from public view.
As the Gazette is a small daily, my purview often went beyond crime and court stories. I enjoyed writing profiles of people in the community, covering concerts, and generally getting the know the city's nooks and crannies.
After nearly six years at the Gazette, I got a chance to move overseas and I thought, "Why not?" I was hired as a reporter at The Prague Post, an English-language weekly in Prague, Czech Republic. I got word of my hire while at home in Colorado for Christmas. A crazy few weeks later, on my birthday, I landed in Prague.
The Post focused on national and international issues affecting the Czech Republic and, especially, the ex-pat community living there. I worked (with my invaluable translators) to cover everything from riots protesting the American plans to establish a missile base in the Czech Republic to the controversial relocation of the country's Roma (known sometimes here as Gypsies). I'll never forget some of the things I got to do, like sitting in a cafe talking to a former Red Army officer about the day he and his comrades rolled into Prague in tanks in 1968.
After being at the Post for a year, I took a job as assistant editor at Czech Business Weekly, a business magazine produced in both Czech and English. I worked heavily with reporters on crafting stories in English.
Personal matters brought me back to Massachusetts two years ago. Since then, I've done some freelance work for The Boston Globe, continued freelancing for the Associated Press (which I had started in Northampton) and was briefly part of an online news start-up called NewsTilt.
Earlier this month, I heard that Patch's Beacon Hill site was opening up and jumped on the opportunity to cover what I consider to be one of Boston's loveliest neighborhoods.
When not working on Beacon Hill Patch, I can be found dancing Argentine tango, trying to learn French, catching up with Showtime's Dexter or grabbing dinner with friends. Or maybe I'm just chilling here at home in Jamaica Plain.
So that's me. Perhaps more than you wanted to know. I look forward to getting to know you over the coming months!