We join hundreds of our McClatchy colleagues and many more Modestans in wishing Mark Vasché, editor and senior vice president of the Modesto Bee, best wishes in his forthcoming retirement. After 42 years at the Bee, Mark is stepping aside in March. All you need to know about Mark you can learn from his handshake: like a lumberjack's, with penetrating eyes locked on yours. He stands for all the right values: family, faith and a lifelong commitment to truth-telling for the benefit of his community. His will be a lasting legacy. Good luck with those all-nighters, my friend!
Adam Cox just turned 24. Big deal, you say? Well, yes. So far in his life this young man has been vice president of the Merced County Mosquito Abatement District's board of trustees since 2007; a member and now president of the Merced City School District board of directors; media/communications coordinator of the Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce; organizer of Merced Union High School District's Measure M campaign; a project assistant at the Merced County Health Care Consortium; and now executive director of the Builders Exchange of Merced and Mariposa. "I have been interested in public service for a long time," the Merced College grad (who's finishing a B.S. through Arizona State) told the Sun-Star last month. "I'm interested in the future of Merced." With folks like Adam pushing and pulling, that future looks a lot brighter.
In that vein, we welcome three new columnists to our thoroughbred stable of gifted writers. Carrying the UC Merced side of Gown & Town is Alma Fausto, editor of the student newspaper, The Prodigy; from the Merced College side comes Leonel Farias, an ag business major; and Brigitte Bowers, who brings a light touch and keen insight to Against the Grain.
Joni Mitchell sang, "You don't know what you've got till it's gone." Never more true than in the case of Connie Hodges, the newsroom admin assistant at the Sun-Star. She's been on the disabled list with a broken leg, and the extent of all she does for so many of us didn't become clear till we started having to do it ourselves. Luckily, Connie will be back fairly soon. Then our newsroom can return to its normal mood of manic panic, with Connie keeping all under control.
And a closing quote from our favorite Marxist, Groucho: "Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it."
Executive Editor Mike Tharp can be reached at (209) 385-2456