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A key member of our news team says goodbye

I joined the West Linn Tidings-Lake Oswego Review newsroom in July of 2011 as a staff reporter. I was thrilled to return to the world of journalism, covering city hall and the school district and sharing all the news — mostly good, but some bad — with the community.Lori Hall

Since that time I’ve taken some new responsibilities, becoming Tidings editor and then adding the Wilsonville Spokesman editor’s position to my role. I have relished growing and thriving here at the paper, and I have enjoyed learning the ins and outs of the city, its community and its issues.

Having said this, it is with a heavy heart that I must say goodbye to the West Linn Tidings. As of today, I will no longer be the Tidings editor. But I won’t be too far away. I have the great opportunity to join the city of West Linn as its citizen engagement coordinator. Soon you may be hearing from me more — a lot more! And, I look forward to hearing from you too!

While I look forward to my new position, the new challenges and the new issues, I will miss the world of journalism. I will miss telling your fantastic stories, breaking down difficult concepts, cracking a story and beating the competition. I will miss the rush of late-breaking stories and the thrill of the deadline. I will also miss seeing “my” paper on the newsstands.

In this week’s Spokesman I had to say goodbye to a community. I’m fortunate though, that I still get to work with all the great people in West Linn and don’t have to say farewell.

Saying that, I will miss the news staff (in our office) tremendously.

Reporter Patrick Malee is fearless at tackling any story or issue. He is always ready to take on whatever I throw his way no matter how hard or perhaps boring (budget stories, anyone?). But what I truly admire about Patrick are his personality profiles — he has a talent for portraying the true nature of a person and telling his or her story. I will also miss his quiet sense of humor and our weekly wrap-up of TV-show talk.

Kate Hoots joined the Spokesman team shortly after I did, but she jumped in with both feet and made quick work of delving into the West Linn-Wilsonville School District. She loves sharing the stories of all the fun events happening at all the schools as well as putting in the work it takes to break down larger district issues so readers can understand them. Kate also has a wicked sense of humor and I’m extremely envious of the hedgehog she is currently “baby-sitting.”

No one knows athletes like sports editor Matt Sherman. Though Matt is rarely in the office as he is out at all the games, every Wednesday morning you can see Matt pacing the office talking with coaches and getting every last detail for his stories.

Photographer Vern Uyetake has been a fixture in West Linn for years — everyone knows the man behind the lens. It is fascinating to watch Vern work and then see the results. You can always rely on Vern for getting “the shot.” Hey, Vern, remember to get my good side if you see me at any community event!

If you need a feature, especially one involving an animal, Cliff Newell is your go-to guy. Cliff has a way with words that cannot be learned. He has a fun and whimsical style and has the skill to win any source over. I still haven’t figured it out, but Cliff can conduct a phone interview without saying a single word, people just open up to him.

Reporter Jillian Daley, though tenacious in her reporting and relentless in her fact-checking, is a beam of sunshine in the office. She is a pure joy to work with and her laughter is like none other. And her love of brownies is unmatched.

The barometer of our office is Barb Randall. Her zest for life is contagious both in real life and in her writing. Living in Lake Oswego, she is a great wealth of information and history. I’ll never forget the year she baked us a cherpumple (Look it up, it’s worth it).

As for my mentor, friend and confidante, Martin Forbes, he is a quiet in nature leader but also a constant source of amusement and bad jokes. He is always there for us and will do whatever it takes to get the paper out. He constantly looks out for the team and will protect and defend us to the end.

Publisher Brian Monihan has always had my back and embraced all my crazy schemes and ideas at the paper. He has always been open to ideas and suggestions and has always encouraged my growth and advancement at the paper.

Working behind the scenes, (way behind the scenes in a completely different building in another city) is the mastermind behind the Tidings’ design — Lance Ogden. I get the pleasure of seeing Lance in person only once every few months, but we banter and bicker constantly via email, text and over the phone like brother and sister. Lance has the skill of making a great suggestion but making it feel like it was my idea. Keep laying those bricks and making the pages pretty, Lance!

As for the rest of my officemates with sister papers Lake Oswego Review and Wilsonville Spokesman, I will miss our birthday celebrations, our crazy white elephant gift exchange at Christmas, our happy hours and especially debating the nuances of AP style like the word nerds we are.

And (local) residents, I’ll be seeing you soon. In the meantime, please be as kind and welcoming to the new editor as you have been to me.

West Linn Tidings editor Lori Hall’s last day at the paper was Wednesday.

(Editor’s note: While Lori Hall served as editor for two of the three weekly papers put together in our Lake Oswego newsroom — the West Linn Tidings and the Wilsonville Spokesman — the reality is she was a key force for the Lake Oswego Review as well. For the Review, Lori often was the behind-the-scenes person who helped edit many of our stories, was instrumental in our web pages, our Facebook page and other social media efforts and one of the most involved, engaged and energetic journalists I have ever seen.

As a staff, we often joked, because it was so true, that Lori was “a giver.” She gave to her craft, her fellow staffers, and she gave me the luxury of working side by side with a highly skilled editor. Our loss is the city of West Linn’s gain. I am delighted that Lori has been recognized for her unique set of skills by West Linn. I am sad for the loss her departure brings to Community Newspapers.

And, I want to wish my friend Lori the very best as she transitions into the world of public service and departs my world of journalism. Godspeed.

— Martin Forbes, managing editor for the Lake Oswego Review, West Linn Tidings and Wilsonville Spokesman)



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