COLUMN: New year, new editor at the Observer

Incoming editor Grace Kennedy writes about her first few days on the job

The first day of 2019 was welcomed with crisp air and clear water on Harrison lake. Seventy brave souls stood on the beach in bathing suits or costumes; even more watched from the sidelines swaddled in winter jackets and toques.

I was there too, kneeling in the damp sand, holding my camera and hoping none of the polar bear swimmers would crash into me as they ran into the lake.

It’s one of my favourite ways to start the New Year — taking photos of people who are brave or foolish enough to submerge their body in the chilly water.

Last year, I took photos at the Boundary Bay polar bear swim in Tsawwassen for the North Delta Reporter. This year, it was my first 2019 assignment as editor of the Agassiz Harrison Observer.

RELATED: Participants take the plunge in first Harrison polar bear swim

Some of you may remember Nina Grossman’s goodbye column from the Dec. 27 edition of The Observer. In it, she recalled some of the impactful stories she covered during her time at the paper — and the people who supported her as she began her journalism career.

Reading her words made me excited to take over reporting in a community that was so invested in local news, and had so many stories worth writing about. Meeting some residents at our Dec. 28 open house made me even more so.

How could reporting in communities that are so passionate about literacy and Indigenous issues not be invigorating? Or covering people who are willing to cling tenaciously to what they believe is right — such as the residents who continue to oppose the quarry project?

RELATED: How we got here: a timeline of the quarry proposal and local resistance

Even the idea of covering two different councils is thrilling, since I’m one of those unusual people who get enjoyment out of perusing bylaws and minutes.

Yes, I am excited to cover news in Agassiz and Harrison, and their neighbouring communities. But I would be lying if I didn’t say I was nervous too.

It can be scary out there when you’re doing journalism all by yourself. Although I can call on other reporters for guidance, I will be the only one at The Observer deciding what news should be covered and how it should be written. If there are mistakes in the paper, they will be mine; if residents don’t know about something affecting their community, that will be my burden as well.

So in this first editorial for The Observer, I ask for your help.

Help me do the best job I can in covering your communities. Tell me about the things that excite you, the issues that worry you and the successes we need to celebrate.

Tell me when crime goes unchecked on your street. Tell me when a high school student makes it big at a local or national championship. And tell me when you find something that your neighbours need to know.

I’ll be out there looking for these stories too.

You can reach Grace by emailing grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com, calling 604-796-4302 or sending a message through the Agassiz Harrison Observer Facebook account.



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Multi-vehicle crash shuts down eastbound lanes of Highway 1 at Annis Road in Chilliwack

Everyone asked to take detour at Annis Road and expect delays

First rainstorm of the season pelting the Lower Mainland

Batten down the hatches as heavy rains, wind, and some localized flooding possible

Irish folk supergroup Kíla set to perform on Saturday

Online concert will be available through Harrison Festival Society

Reported Kelowna Hells Angels member dies in Fraser Valley motorcycle crash

Michael “Speedy” Christiansen was found dead on Monday morning near Ruby Creek on Highway 7

Fundraiser golf tournament raises $74,000 for Fraser Valley hospitals

Chilliwack General Hospital will benefit from a tourney at held at the Sandpiper Golf Resort

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

RCMP investigating man reportedly hiking nude on Summerland’s Full Frontal trail

Potential charges against the man could include indecent exposure.

Grand jury indicts police officer in Breonna Taylor death

Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Attorney General of Canada defends Kelowna Mountie involved in rough arrest

Tyler Russell filed a lawsuit against Const. Siggy Pietrzak in June of this year

Refresh of Liberal government’s agenda comes amid new looming COVID-19 crisis

Lockdowns saw fed spending soar to historic levels in effort to offset pandemic’s blow to Canadians’ livelihoods

Most Read