By Debra Chaplan
When long-time publisher of the Splashpad News, Ken Katz, put the word out that he wanted someone else to take over the project, I didn’t immediately jump in, even though I’m recently retired and have the time and the skills. By way of quick background, I wrote, edited, and produced newspapers and websites for the Teamsters and the Machinists Unions for the last 25 years and have lived in and loved our neighborhood for more than 30 years.
But the thought gnawed at me. I loved getting the Splashpad News in my mailbox each month to learn about the happenings and the people of our wonderful neighborhood. I found it a vital resource, but I just wasn’t sure I wanted to take it on.
Then a few things happened to change my mind. One was running into Ken at the Farmers Market in November and telling him how sorry I was that the newsletter’s end was near, which made me realize how much I’d miss it. Then, I got an email my neighbor Susi Vogler had sent to our Walker Avenue blog with pictures and stories about some interesting neighbors she had met on a walk. I wrote to Susi and asked if she’d like to work with me on the Splashpad News, and she immediately said YES in big capital letters.
A new partnership was born….in partnership with the old one.
- I am now Editor and Publisher of the Splashpad News and website (splashpad.org)
- Ken Katz will continue to mentor me and will report on happenings on Grand Avenue and elsewhere.
- Susi Vogler will tell stories about the fascinating things some of our neighbors are up to.
- Madhavi Athanikar, along with the Agricultural Institute of Marin’s (AIM) staff, will cover the Farmers’ Market.
- Kelsey Heath and Rachael Scott from the Lakeshore Business Improvement District (LBID) will cover Lakeshore and Lake Park.
- Sheila McCormick will continue to produce the monthly calendar.
- Virginia Brownkeyder is up for writing more memories about growing up in this neighborhood.
- Eric Hughes will supply us with minutes from the Grand Lake Neighbors meetings.
- Jerry Barclay will cover the street — literally! In an ongoing series of articles, he’ll be looking at city and state plans to reorganize traffic patterns along Grand and Santa Clara.
- Linda Roman will copy edit everything
- And last, but definitely not least, Eve Lurie, who has been our Webmaster, will continue in that role.
Thank you to all of our contributors, new and not-so-new!
As for future plans, Ken has established a wonderful model and I don’t need to change it just for the sake of change. Every time I think I have a new idea, Ken tells me that he’s already tried it in four different ways over the last 15 years. But again, I’m wide open for new topics to cover and for additional contributors.
I mean it! If you’d like to join us to cover a beat (like Haddon Hill or West of 580), or if you have a specific article in mind, please contact me. Do you know a neighbor who has an unusual vocation, avocation, job, talent or is just unique? Let me know and feel free to recommend yourself. We want to highlight the people who make this neighborhood such a wonderful place.
Please add ideas and comments down below. If you don’t want it to be public, email me at SplashpadNewsOAK@gmail.com.
Thanks. I look forward to keeping this newsletter and website going strong. Maybe not for the 15 years that Ken put into it, but at least for a while.