It is with great sadness that I write this letter to the Winters Express to express my sadness at the resignation of Debra DeAngelo, Editor in Chief. She and Charley have kept that paper as a steady force for democracy and shared information for longer than I have been part of Winters, and I am sad to see her go. I think we should all write her in as City Clerk for the June ballot. That way, she has to keep working for Winters!
I moved here in 1995, when my youngest was an infant and one of the first things I was involved with was fighting to get Dual Immersion in Winters. My biggest opponent wasn’t the school system, it was Debra Ramos. We locked horns, and that usually is the end of things, but it was the beginning of things for us. We didn’t like each other, but we respected each other. I bought the paper because I wanted to read her Op/Eds. Her razor focus on issues, even unpopular ones, kept me hooked on the paper.
How many people posted her seagull piece on their fridge? I had it at home and at work. It made me a better person.
Over a decade after becoming friends, my job at Vanden High School changed and I became the journalism teacher. I turned to Debra LoGuercio for help. How do I teach kids the difference between fact and opinion? How do I teach lean writing? What kind of editing process should I have? How do you lay out a newspaper? I didn’t have any of those skills, but I had Debra.
Debra came to my school, talked to my kids, gave us the information on how to set the layout. It was a form of dual immersion in learning the language of pica, gutters and story slugs. Charley turned our PSFs into newspapers and sent them to be printed. This “thank you” is long overdue: Thank you, Debra and Charley.
Debra wasn’t just a friend and a mentor back then, she was full steam ahead organizing the entertainment for the Earthquake Festival and full throttle as Chamber of Commerce president. She kept her laser focus on those things too. She’s helped weave the very cultural fabric of Winters and it’s heartbreaking to see her go.
Dear Debra: Best of luck to you my friend. I know your veins are full of Winters blood and newspaper ink, and that it was hard to leave. I totally understand that when staying is harder than leaving, it’s generally time to go. Namaste.
Winters City Council
Hispanic Advisory Committee
League of California Cities