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The Sun editorial: Saying goodbye to the Hamburg community

HAMBURG — During the short time I’ve spent with the Hamburg community as the editor of The Sun, I have grown to know many people whom I will long remember.

I have been privileged to sit down with community members and leaders alike, to hear their personal stories and glean valuable information for our readers.

I have attended a myriad of board meetings, listening to everything from budget numbers to pleas from residents who are interested in and excited about being involved in their local government.

Some of my favorite time working at The Sun was spent outside the office, hearing about exciting new developments at The Fairgrounds, listening to President Obama speak during a rare visit to Buffalo, touring local businesses and finding out what makes this community unique.

What surprised me the most about moving to The Sun from the Springville Journal was how tightly-knit the Hamburg area really is. I had, of course heard about the “town that friendship built,” but I always thought that was just a cute tagline. But Hamburg residents take their legacy very seriously, and will fight to ensure that their beloved village and town retain the family-friendly, historical and tight-knit atmosphere Hamburgers have worked so long to cultivate.

At first, I was slightly taken aback by the number of times people asked me if I was from Hamburg – and encouraged me to move here – but I commend all of you for taking so much pride in your community.

Hamburg residents work hard and fight for what they believe in. I appreciate that drive, and encourage you to never let it go. It is part of what makes Hamburg tick; this area has a lot to offer, and I am glad that the rest of Western New York gets to see that, too.

Thank you to our readers from all over the Southtowns. We so appreciate all of the feedback we receive, whether positive or negative, because that shows us that not only are you reading what we are printing, but you take it seriously and want to help us improve.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to call me about an error we made or sent in a letter with a suggestion. Every one of your efforts to reach out to us will help us further improve what we have to offer. We never want to be a static publication and with your help, we never will.

I have spent a lot of time with this company, starting with my hiring as a staff reporter at the Springville Journal in 2010. From that point on, I became immersed in journalism at the local level and learned more about small-town government than I ever knew existed.

I am ashamed to say that my knowledge of things like the Freedom of Information Law and the annual school budget process used to be dismal, but I can walk out the door on Friday with a wealth of information that the local community has given me.

I want to thank everyone at this company for the time and energy they put into me, during the last four years.

Thank you, to those who hired me, for the faith you had in me. Thank you for believing that a lowly staff reporter had what it took to be a newspaper editor. Thank you for the opportunities you’ve allowed me to have along the way, and for the valuable guidance that you provided.

Thank you to my managing editor, Matthew Ondesko, on whose broad shoulders many questions, comments and concerns were hefted. Thank you for being your employees’ advocate, and for putting in the long days and even longer evenings to ensure that our publications become the very best that they can be.

Thanks to my coworkers at the Springville Journal and The Sun, people whom I have grown to call my friends. I will miss you all and wish you the very best in this whirlwind that we call print journalism.

For me, a new chapter awaits. I will be moving to South Carolina to join my husband, who is training to be a police officer. We will hopefully be welcoming wee little Logan to our family, this summer.

I have learned many things about my readers, during the past few months, and there are many things that my reading public has probably gotten to know about me, too, during the year that I spent at The Sun.

But as I bid you all farewell, here are a few more tidbits about myself that I would love for you to know.

I love to shop. I am a cat person. If I could live anywhere in the world, I would pick New York City. Christmas is my favorite holiday; one of the nicest compliments I ever received was to be declared an honorary elf by Hamburgh Holidays. To the gentleman who said The Sun would never hire anything but a Democrat: I am a registered Republican. I am a Christian. I am a gun owner. I am a sucker for sad movies, chocolate and tacos.

And no matter where I go, I will carry Western New York in my heart. I leave you all in good hands, as I know Lizz Schumer will do a wonderful job carrying on this paper’s legacy. I wish her – and you – the very best.
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