College Park, One Year Later
College Park Patch editor bids the city goodbye, and reflects on the happenings over the past year.
In June 2010, I sat in the council chambers of City Hall, covering my first College Park council meeting. The members debated the need for a pedestrian-activated traffic light at the crossing on Paint Branch Parkway.
Still a journalism graduate student at the time, I didn't realize this would be the first of many Tuesday nights I’d spend in those chambers—One year later, I would take up the reins as the editor of the College Park Patch.
The traffic light is now installed, but other city news arose between June 2011-12: $8.8 million was allotted for the realignment of U.S. Route 1, businesses came and left, and several athletic programs face elimination at the University of Maryland. And there are new faces now sitting behind the council table, after a very exciting November election.
I’ll be eagerly watching College Park Patch to see how these scenerios pan out, as Friday marked my last day as editor.
Covering this city for one year has been an interesting, challenging and rewarding experience, and I only hope that the residents of College Park found the information on Patch useful—and sometimes just plain interesting.
For me, some of the most enjoyable coverage included my visit to Miller Farms, which operates the Saturday Farmers’ Market at the Ellen Linson Swimming Pool. Phil Miller showed me around his Clinton farm, when he was planting cabbage.
One of the greatest joys of this job has been the chance to write about the many good people in College Park, like the story about father and son Jim and Mike Smith, who operate a roofing business. They were touched by the outpouring of community support last autumn, after the younger Smith fell two stories and was out of work due to injuries.
And then there was Jack. It was a sad task, but an honor nonetheless, to write the obituary in April for former Councilman Jack Perry, a man who inspired by standing his ground.
Someone new will soon be operating College Park Patch, covering these inspirational residents and ongoing issues. When that happens, I encourage you to reach out to the new editor to learn about how to contribute to the site as a blogger, or by sharing events, announcements and photos. In the meantime, send news tips to Associate Regional Editor Sonia Dasgupta at Sonia@Patch.com.
In a week and a half, I’ll join the Urban Teacher Center’s 2012 cohort. It’s a four-year teaching residency program, and by the second year I'll have a long-term placement at either a Baltimore or Washington school, hopefully teaching early childhood or elementary education.
I’m excited about this new direction, but there will be times that I miss College Park. One of my biggest regrets is leaving now, just as a new, locally owned coffee shop is on its way in.
It’ll be one of many reasons to come back for a visit.