Brian Hamilton: Who says there’s no romance in the news? | TheUnion.com

Brian Hamilton: Who says there’s no romance in the news?

Just as I was more than knee deep in a bad case of the Mondays, a letter — not to the editor, but to me personally — saved the day.

"STOP THE PRESSES!" the headline screamed atop a faux news story, announcing the engagement of two former staff members in The Union newsroom. Anthony Barstow and Jennifer Terman, who shared a double byline on the announcement, are going to tie the knot in April.

"To summarize a once-in-a-lifetime love would take more than a lifetime, but the facts are thus: In October 2013, across the newsroom of The Union newspaper in Grass Valley, Calif., an awkward young copy editor spied a beautiful beat reporter fresh out of college …"

Who knew a newsroom to be such a romantic setting? I mean, after all, I actually caught my wife yawning the other night while we watched "The Post" on the big screen. Hot news tips, confirmed sources, reams of documents, drop-dead deadlines … what's not to love?

"I think he likes her," my friend Scott noted, as we stood in line for a glass of wine at The Union's Chocolate Infusion a few years back, moments after Anthony and Jennifer stopped by to say hi.

"Nah. They're just friends, hanging out," I said. "Not a lot to do for young people around here, you know."

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"I think he likes her."

Of course, I found out Scott was on the money well before the couple delivered the news Monday. A few years back they announced they were leaving western Nevada County with some big hopes and big dreams in the Big Apple. Neither one had a job lined up, nor a place to stay, but still they packed their possessions into Jennifer's little blue Toyota Corolla and headed East.

No doubt the good news is they're still together, but through their four-column piece in "The Barstow Beacon" we also learned how much they love New York City. Anthony is now a copy editor for the New York Post, while Jennifer is a freelance writer, producing online content for the likes of Inside Edition, among other pubs.

With their news, I couldn't help but think of the dozens of other staff members who once called The Union home through the years that I've been blessed to work here. It can be a tough thing for community newspapers, recruiting talented journalists only to see them later take the next step in their careers elsewhere.

But it's the nature of the beast, of this business, and we've often been blessed to have them here. And we can only hope they leave with such a great experience and love for our community as these two.

"She's a dreamer and he learning to dream, it was inevitable they would outgrow the small Northern California town that nurtured their early careers and provided the scenic backdrop to their budding romance," they wrote in their announcement. "They will miss this place and think of it fondly, and she will forever say no night sky compares. This is true, as the inky black pool speckled with diamonds that hangs over rural California leaves stargazing elsewhere to be wanting."

Studying the shift in the Sierra

On Monday, The Union published the first installment in a series of stories examining what scientists see as shift in the Sierra snowpack.

In fact, they report that some Sierra Nevada trees are moving to higher ground because of it. No, they're not pulling up roots and actually moving, but the study says the seedlings of "cold-loving conifers" are no longer sprouting at lower elevations where they used to grow.

That's some shift, but the study is more focused on the snowpack, which scientists predict will shrink by half in the next 30 years. And with nearly 100,000 people depending on its watershed, Nevada Irrigation District wanted to help the community better understand the situation. That's why it hired freelance journalist Trina Kleist to study the studies and share the story with western Nevada County in the series. A former staff member at The Union who also worked for the Associated Press, Trina is a pro. Her attention to detail and thorough reporting, along with her way with words, is once again evident throughout this series.

We've heard some scoffs about the series being a "public relations" effort to promote NID's proposed Centennial Reservoir project. We certainly expect some might see it that way. But this series is not about the dam — a topic that we'll continue to cover, particularly when the Environmental Impact Report is released later this year.

This series of stories is focused on the science of how climate change is impacting the Sierra snowpack, which serves as our frozen reservoir up the hill, and what NID is currently doing to address the shift — whether or not a dam is ever built.

Meet the The Union Editorial Board

Today will mark the first meeting of The Union's new editorial board. As we previously announced at TheUnion.com, 12 community members have signed on to participate in 2018. With nearly 30 applicants seeking a seat on the board, we certainly appreciate the interest shown from the community and the commitment to participate in this endeavor.

Each Editorial Board member will write their own monthly opinion pieces for The Union's Ideas & Opinions pages, contribute to our weekly Hits & Misses feature, as well as collaborate in discussions to form The Union's weekly "Our View" editorial.

Those taking on this assignment are Jeff Dellis, Shanti Emerson, Becky Goodwin, Liam Lambert, Paul Matson, Terry McAteer, Rick Nolle, Jo Ann Rebane, Susan Rogers, Monica Senter, Dick Tracy and Mac Young. Representing The Union on the board will be R.L. Crabb, Mary Anne Davis, Mike Dobbins, Ross Maak, Alan Riquelmy, Don Rogers and yours truly.

Full biographies and photos of board members will be published in the Saturday, Jan. 27, print edition of The Union to introduce the board to the community.

Contact Editor Brian Hamilton at bhamilton@theunion.com or 530-477-4249.