Opinion

Reporter headed west and up the ladder

The
The 'Grip n Grin' – Craig gets a farewell from Mayor Chernoff on behalf of Castlegar City Council.
— image credit: Submitted

It seems like just last week I was moving my stuff from Alberta to this small town in between Cranbrook and the Okanagan. Castlegar has turned out to be a wonderful community with some of the best people I have come across. But as Aristotle once said, or was it Jean-Luc Picard: all thing must come to end.

I have accepted a job in Merritt at the Herald newspaper and will be taking over there as the new editor starting March 4. So, yes, this is my last week at the Castlegar News and in Castlegar.

What an almost two years it has been. I’ve learned so much and experienced so many different events from Sunfest to Rebel play-off runs to Shambhala to the Kootenay Festival to Sculpturewalk and on and on.

So here is my list of people and groups I am grateful to. I know I will leave plenty of deserving people out but I’ll do my best.

First off, the Castlegar News has given me the chance not only to report on a seemingly endless number of stories around here, but also given me an opportunity to learn how to do lay-out and fill in as editor when Jim wasn’t around. I also got to lay-out the sports section and the community calendar each and every week.

So thanks to Jim and Chris for that opportunity. Thanks to Cindy, Sandy and Theresa for making the workplace a fun place to be around and keeping me well supplied with Timmy’s.

Castlegar City Council has been amazing to work with. Thanks to Mayor Lawrence Chernoff and council for the shirt and book. Lawrence, you were always easy to find and easy to talk to about any subject under the sun. This city is a much better place because of your efforts. Kevin was usually my first call when I needed that inside scoop or just any old story idea. Deb, you always made me laugh. Your tireless work with several different groups is such a boon to the community. Russ, you thought moving to Kelowna you’d get away from my tough questions, huh? Dan, Sue, Kirk and Gord - I enjoyed interviewing you during the years and getting to know you and hearing your side of things.

At the city, John Malcolm and Chris Barlow and several others were always a big help when gathering information.

At the community complex, Heather Anderson and Audrey Polovnikoff always lent a sympathetic ear and kept me informed of what was happening recreation-wise around town and at the ‘plex.

Covering the sports beat is always easier with cooperative interviewees. In the two seasons I covered the Rebels, coach Steve Junker was always easy to get a hold of and great at talking about the games without getting into too much confusing hockey-ese. New Saints coach and GM Jeff Dubois was great about sending pre-made copy for me to use and save me some valuable time. Good luck to both of you in your upcoming play-off runs.

I owe Kim at SHSS a debt of gratitude for bringing me on as a third assistant with the junior girls basketball team. Coaching is another passion of mine and what a great group of athletes to work with. Kim and Gord, you are both very inspiring, not only for the players, but also myself. Staying positive and calm is a great trait and it’s infectious.

I can’t forget my pals at Mountain FM. Usually other media types are the first people we media types meet in a community. From since-departed T.J. and current personalities Heather, Matt, Darren, Josh and so on - you crazy guys and gals always crack me up whether it’s on the radio or at community events. Hey Josh, who should we interview first?

Other people I want to mention include: Mary-Anne, the best dam hydro employee. Yanive - your positive attitude is awesome! Rock on, brother ninja!

Suzanne - you keep the Hospice going with your tireless work and positive attitude. I’m truly sad I missed the chocolate/lingerie event. Adam and Amber - tough to keep up with you crazy guys. A few more reps, huh? Courtney, Nick and Jessica - the quietest 20 year-old house-mates ever. Thanks for all the help with the lawn and moving in and everything.

I also want to give thanks to Laurel and the RCMP and Gerry at the fire department, thanks for all your help in keeping me up to date with what’s going on with the sometimes seedier underbelly of Castlegar.

Thanks to the Sunrise Rotary Club for letting me be a part of your group. I won’t miss 6:45 a.m. meetings, but I’ll miss you guys. What a great experience. I was proud to follow in my father’s footsteps.

Finally, to those  who called with story ideas and sent pictures, thanks. For those who thanked me for my work I appreciate that. All that’s left is to pack up the moving truck and hit the road. But wherever I am, I’ll remember my time here fondly.

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