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Vaya Con Dios, Watsonville

Editor Jennifer Squires is moving on after two years with Watsonville Patch.

So I'm leaving.

But we'll get to that. First, I wanted go back to the beginning.

When Watsonville Patch launched in December 2010 I really didn't know what I was getting into. At that time, I knew Watsonville for its strawberries and it stabbings.

But I hoped that we could create a dynamic news hub reflective of and interactive with the community. I picked the Watsonville site (we have three others in Santa Cruz County alone) because I thought the community might really embrace—and benefit from—Patch's free, hyperlocal news coverage.

Pajaro Valley residents have been kind and welcoming as Patch worked to find its place in the media landscape of Watsonville. Many of you have taken the time to teach me about the city, from retired Police Chief Terry Medina's driving tour to explain the colorful history of Watsonville to the in-depth education on Pajaro Valley farming provided by the Focus Agriculture program.

Simply put: you've made my job easy. Thank you.

We've been touched by tragedy. Teenage driving deaths and gang murders hit the community hard. Devastating fires ravaged historic buildings, shuttered a longtime business and left dozens homeless.

But there are always glimmers of hope, like coverage of Watsonville's diverse business community. And Watsonville residents love to read about their restaurants: openings, closings, what used to be, even the total number of taquerias.

When the city banned plastic bags, Patch gave out hundreds of canvas bags to help residents make the adjustment. Together, locals rallied around a high school student who needed help doing a medical school internship and helped .

Community members have joined the Patch team to blog about everything from politics to music to farming. Watsonville city staff even got into the mix to share about Public Works projects and events at the Youth Center.

There have been a few bumps along the way. To quote another Patch editor, Martin Ricard, "I haven't always gotten everything right. But I tried to be fair. Most of all, I always tried to show that I cared."

I'm moving on to another position within Patch this week. A team of editors will co-manage Watsonville Patch going forward with the goal of providing a forum where people can connect, collaborate and share.

So use the site. Blog. Post your events and announcements. Share photos. Who knows? Maybe one of you will break the news when Watsonville finally gets the In-N-Out Burger people so desperately want!

Butch Cole November 28, 2012 at 01:36 PM
OMG! I'm going to miss you Jennifer. The very first thing I do early every morning is turn the coffee on, turn the computer on, then see what interesting thing Jennifer has for me on Patch. You've done a superlative job! Created a 'place' where neighbors can get to know each other..you've created community. Thanks, Thanks, Thanks! Best of luck on your new endeavors....much success in any and everything you do!
Pablo Villagran November 28, 2012 at 02:34 PM
que tengas muchos mas exitos en tu carrera. thankyou for providing an educated, imparcial space to share the tougths, actions and reactions of watsonville and sorroundings.
beviej November 28, 2012 at 03:04 PM
I'm sorry to see you leave. You did a great job!!
Cathy P. November 28, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Best of luck with your new position Jennifer, you'll be greatly missed here.
Mike Scherer November 28, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Jennifer, I am praying for you believing God's best for you.
David H. Perez November 28, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Jennifer, thanks for all you have done. I will truly miss you! I think change is a good thing, though, and I wish you luck and many new adventures.
SB November 28, 2012 at 06:44 PM
great job these last few years jennifer - you've been great for our town and you will be missed - back to Oregon? - best of luck in whatever the future holds - Steve
Carolyn O'Donnell November 28, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Jennifer - You have done a stellar job of covering the Watsonville community - many stories that otherwise might not have gotten coverage. You will be missed! - Carolyn
Chris Gonzales November 28, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Jennifer, Thank you for being such a dedicated reporter. I have seen you at community events over the last couple of years and have thought about the dedication that must be required to make Watsonville Patch succesful. And I believe it has become successful in large part because of you. Good luck and congratulations on yur new position! - Chris
Jennifer Squires November 28, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Steve -- I'll still be living in Aptos, just working in a different capacity with Patch.
buddy nethercutt November 29, 2012 at 05:36 PM
We'll miss you! Thanks for all your energy!
Patti Bond October 19, 2013 at 10:39 PM
You did Watsonville proud Jennifer! Great you are staying with Patch. Hope we will be able to interact in your new role. Best wishes.

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