Behind-the-scenes activist/reporter ending public service – group organizing to continue the online news and views
BENICIA – Longtime Benicia activist and reporter/publisher of the Benicia Independent Roger Straw will retire soon. Old issues of the Benicia Independent will be archived and saved for future reference.
Today’s good news is that you can continue to read BenIndy news and views – but with an impressive new design and staffed by a small but growing group of dedicated volunteers. They need more of you to help! If you are even just a little bit interested in contributing, please contact the BenIndy transition group by emailing Nathalie Christian at email@example.com.
Roger will continue to work with this group during a brief transition and will post new content occasionally until the start-up of the new BenIndy.
About the Benicia Independent ~ Eyes on the Environment / Benicia news & views
In 2007, two years after Roger retired from his service in ministry at Benicia’s Community Congregational Church, UCC, he founded the Benicia Independent, an online source for local news and views. The “BenIndy” as it has become known, served initially to highlight charges of political influence in the firing of the editor of Benicia’s print newspaper, the Benicia Herald.
Over the following 16 years, the BenIndy has published over 4,100 articles. It has gone through design changes, upgrades, and a series of single-issue coverages, including the championing of progressive electoral candidates, reporting on environmental issues local and beyond, calling for sensible gun control, racial, cultural and gender justice, immigration reform, a long-running daily log on the pandemic in Solano County (now archived), and more. Perhaps most importantly, the Independent played a major role in stopping Valero Benicia Refinery’s dangerous and dirty crude by rail proposal (also archived) and has kept a close eye on the refinery at every stage since. More: benindy.wpengine.com/about.
How to say good-bye? A brief personal reflection from Roger…
I’m in relatively good health, so no dramatic health concerns are behind my decision to leave public service. But I’m thinking about the future. It’s important to me that I focus on some unmet personal goals. I need to attend to home chores and spend time with family, and I want to slow down a bit for the first time in a more-or-less driven life.
So I’m saying good bye to a fulfilling 25-year chapter of public service in Benicia and welcoming in a new chapter of being productive in an entirely different way.
Please know that it’s a thrill to give over the Benicia Independent to talented others. The BenIndy will no longer be a one-person operation. Any number of you can now volunteer to write up the Benicia news and to express your views on important issues of the day. Contact Nathalie at firstname.lastname@example.org Who knows? I may have to join in on occasion, but not every day or every week, and not under a self-induced pressure to produce on deadline.
Take care, Benicia, I love you.