It has been a little over a year since I began reporting here for the Alaska Highway News, and the time has come to say farewell. It has certainly been an adventure, and for a journalist just beginning to cut his teeth, an excellent learning experience.
I’ve had the opportunity to witness and document a community that is flourishing. There are families everywhere, as what used to be a hub for people passing through is slowly becoming a home for people putting down roots. I covered plenty of family events like Easter egg hunts, the community gardens and fundraisers. I covered cliff top rescues and police raids. I profiled leaders, thinkers and innovators that are working to make Fort St. John a better place to live, or just getting a kick out of doing something they love. I’ve followed the still unfinished story of B.C.’s hope for a Liquefied Natural Gas export industry, and all of the implications of that for us here, so far away from the coast but so close to the source.
I’ve been fortunate to cover all of those things, to celebrate and share Fort St. John’s successes.
I’ve also been fortunate to report on the unpleasant things. The shortage of doctors and other medical staff that still continues today. Community leaders that are unreasonable, condescending, and evasive or just flat out rude. Hurting families that are trying to find meaning or justice out of tragedy. Issues that polarize, like the teachers’ strike or Site C. Even something as simple as following a zoning dispute between industry and residential areas as municipal growing pains set in highlights a problem that’s bigger than just two angry neighbors. Those aren’t always the easiest things to cover, but they’re often the most important. They offer a snapshot of something outside of our lives, and hopefully provided to Alaska Highway News readers a perspective on a particular corner of time and space that they wouldn’t have otherwise had. I’m lucky to have met some wonderful, brilliant people who live here, and I want to thank everyone who has shared their stories with me.
I’ll continue to keep a close watch on what goes on here in Fort St. John, and I look forward to reading about it all in the Alaska Highway News.
Ed. Note — We wish David all the best as he starts his new job as the editor of the Merritt Herald!