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June 25, 2013
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Editorial Board gives The Union its voice

The tradition of newspapers publishing unsigned editorials, serving as the voice of a newspaper in its community, essentially stretches back to the birth of the broadsheet.

And that’s true for The Union, which has published editorials since it was “Founded in 1864 to preserve the Union ... one and inseparable.”

Truth be told, though, The Union did take about a six-year break from the practice until earlier this year when we resumed writing editorials on local issues through “Our View,” published in our Weekender edition on Saturdays with our expanded two pages of Ideas & Opinions. Many readers have offered responses to the editorials over the past few months, both in agreement and in opposition, with one of the most common questions posed being, “Who writes these things?”

Although one or two writers actually pull the piece together each week, the ideas and opinions published are a consensus of our editorial board, which meets every other week while maintaining our communication on editorial topics through email threads and/or phone calls throughout the process. Our editorial board includes members of the newsroom staff, as well as from other departments here at The Union, along with community members who have volunteered to participate.

And we’re extremely grateful to have them.

Cheryl Cook is a retired child welfare division manager and a former member of the Nevada County Civil Grand Jury. A former columnist for the Contra Costa Times, Cheryl has enjoyed researching and writing Other Voices op-ed pieces for The Union over the past four of her 12 years living in western Nevada County.

Robert Erickson’s 30-year career included serving as director of mental health services in Lake County, 1986-1992, and then as director of health services there until 2001. He worked as the Nevada County behavioral health director, 2001-2006, prior to retirement. He also was a member of the Nevada County Civil Grand Jury between 2007-10, including a stint as foreman in 2009-10.

R.L. Crabb is a Grass Valley native who has been writing and drawing the comic “It Takes a Village Idiot” for The Union since 1998. “I’m looking forward to chronicling the large and small issues we face in this new century of change,” he said.

Cory Fisher has been the community reporter at The Union since July 2011. A print journalist since 1993, Cory has also worked on three documentary films and as a researcher on three books. She is the mother of a 10-year-old girl, Eva, and currently lives in Nevada City.

Mary Anne Davis is a wife, mother, grandmother and 25-year resident of Nevada City. In addition to being The Union’s events and sponsorship manager, she’s an active 49er Rotarian, founding member of the Sierra Master Chorale, a Banner Mountain Artisan and “grandmother to the cutest little girl in the world.”

San Francisco native Shannon Cotter, 35, has lived and breathed Nevada County since 2004. As a married mother of six, she’s honed her love for cooking and fostered her passion for trivia and Words With Friends. Cotter has worked at The Union since 2008 and is currently its senior accountant.

Walter Ford, sports editor at The Union, is not quite a native but has been a part of this community since 1989. He graduated from Nevada Union High School in 2000, and since then has left the friendly confines of Nevada County here and there to explore the world. “But I always seem to return,” he said. “This most recent return is to raise my two young daughters in this great community.”

Dave Schmall has served as publisher of The Union since last July. A Chicago native, Dave previously worked as publisher of the Marysville Appeal-Democrat and Tri-County Newspapers for three years and also has served as publisher of several weekly publications, such as the Dallas Morning News’ “Quick” edition and the Sacramento News & Review.

Yours truly rounds out the roster as the ninth member of our editorial board. I’ve been with The Union since 2000, serving as sports editor, city editor and now as managing editor.

Kellar promoted to city editor

In my various roles in The Union newsroom, I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Liz Kellar, who has covered crime and courts for The Union for several years now. I’m pleased to announce that Liz has been promoted to the role of city editor.

Liz is a California native and a self-described “foreign service brat” who has a degree in politics and women’s studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She got her start in journalism at Suttertown News in Sacramento and has worked for a variety of media outlets in the region, including the Sacramento News & Review, the Auburn Journal, and the Sacramento Bee, as well as stints in Watsonville, Santa Cruz and Kerrville, Texas. Prior to joining The Union on the “cops and courts” beat in October 2008, she was the editor of the Lincoln News-Messenger.

While she will continue to cover her beat, Liz has taken on more responsibility with the day-to-day newsroom operations, working closely with reporters and fellow editors in the planning and editing of each day’s news content. Her work ethic and talent have been real assets to The Union, and we fully expect that our team here and our community at large will continue to benefit from her experience in a leadership role in our newsroom.

Contact Managing Editor Brian Hamilton via email at bhamilton@theunion.com or by phone at 530-477-4249.


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The Union Updated Jun 28, 2013 06:14PM Published Jun 25, 2013 07:50PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.