I'd like to take this moment to say hello to my readers... and goodbye. I have accepted a job in Ontario, Oregon (Yes, Oregon has an Ontario too!) as a reporter at the Argus Observer. Wednesday, Sept. 4 was my last day as a reporter at Highland Community News. You'll continue to see my work in the paper in the coming weeks, as I intended to keep working each day as if I were to be here forever.
Unfortunately, as my wife and I aspire to become parents, we have found that for our purposes California is too pricey for us to do what we wanted to do. With house prices averaging around the 500 grand mark, we couldn't even afford a place with a yard for our dogs. Jobs in our lines of work are hard to find here; My wife has struggled to find any jobs here, ever since she moved to California with her parents in 2012.
That's not to say California was all bad for us; I was born in Southern California in 1988, grew up in Apple Valley, went to college in San Diego County and have lived in Hemet since 2012.
The fact we moved to Hemet within a month of each other is something we believe to be destiny.
We actually met in the back of a car in August 2012… as we carpooled to a church conference for young single adults in Rancho Cucamonga. I attended the conference with the hope of finding a young lady to date, previous attempts having blown up in my face. It turns out I accomplished my mission before I even got there!
We've had plenty of struggles, particularly concerning who gets which chores, but overall we're happy to be together. But in order to have kids and become a self-sustaining, healthy family, we feel it's time to go. We've found a fixer-upper in Ontario, with four bedrooms, for considerably less money than what can buy a two-bed in similar condition here. We're excited to put our personal touches on it.
As much as I love the vibe of SoCal, this is a move I think will benefit my family immensely.
You have a new reporter coming in by the name of Jason Miller, who I believe will maintain the same high standards of journalism I maintain for myself. We've worked together in several venues including Palomar College's radio station KKSM, podcasting via shrmedia.com, and we've both written for Hemet's former Century Group member newspaper, The Valley Chronicle. It was actually Jason who got me interested in reporting when I was studying radio and television broadcasting at Palomar College back in 2009. A lot of my reporting skills I learned from him. We may not agree on every last issue, we have about a 91 percent overlap at least, but he definitely has a strong grip on the issues affecting this community and this country.
Between him and Highland's awesome editor Hector Hernandez Jr., your community and your newspaper are in safe hands.
Thank you for reading my work. Thank you for giving me stories to cover. Thank you for pointing out my blunders from time to time. But most importantly, thank you for giving local journalism a chance to continue for years to come.