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It's Not Goodbye, Pacifica

Pacifica Patch founding editor Camden Swita has accepted a new career opportunity in San Francisco, but he'll still live in and love Pacifica.

 

It’s been unforgettable, Pacifica.

Nearly two years ago, I landed here with the task of launching a hyperlocal news website. At first, I knew little about this smallish coastal city nestled between the hills and ocean on Highway 1 (nine knots on a rope, I’ve heard it called). I’d done about as much research online as is possible before starting—read the local blogs, newspaper stories online, took a look at demographics and so on—but in place like Pacifica, there’s only so much you can learn without total immersion.

What I found while living first in the Manor District and then in Rockaway, where I still reside, and talking with folks, attending meetings and local events, is nothing what I expected.

Pacifica’s issues, and the stories laced throughout them, are infinite.

The story of Pacifica’s budget deficit represents the struggle nearly all small American cities face today. The struggle over the future of the Sharp Park Golf Course is indicative of international tensions between conservationists and those that seek greater economic development. Pacifica’s schools face drastic shortages, and it begs the question, are we investing too much or too little in public education in the U.S.? The triumphs and follies of Pacifica’s local government harken quandaries in how elected and appointed officials should act at every level of government.

What happens in Pacifica touches at the heart of all that is important in our nation today, and so I found in these nine knots on a rope not a small, sleepy town, but a conduit into American life. 

To me, perhaps the most surprising revelation from the last two years living and working here is that I fell in love with Pacifica.

After living in Seattle during and after college, I considered myself a big city person, but the allure of Pacifica—the natural beauty, the tight sense of community, the quiet and the mystery—won me over.

It has been my honor to serve as the editor of a website that attempts to mirror life here. 

But it’s time for a change. 

Today is my last day as a local editor at Patch. My reasons for leaving are many, but few are negative. I’ve had a great time serving you, the readers, and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.

I’ve taken a position at a cloud content production and editing startup in San Francisco, and I’m excited by the nature of the work I’ll do there. I’m also looking forward to returning to freelance journalism. Look for my byline in San Francisco publications and perhaps on Patch sites as I continue to chase my passion. 

Perhaps most of all, I look forward to just living here in Pacifica, soaking it all up without the responsibilities of an editorship, and truly enjoying the Coastside and all of its trappings. 

Maybe I’ll even stay involved in local issues to some degree, either through writing or other means. You never know.

Thank you to all Pacifica Patch readers and contributors, and to the many great community leaders who opened their arms to me and helped the site along.

I’ll see you around town.

Camden Swita May 30, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Thanks, Erika. I'm sure the guest editor that'll be taking over the site for a while can help. I'll be around, too.
CQ May 30, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Best of wishes, Camden! Appreciate all the great Patch coverage these last 2 years.
stephanie May 30, 2012 at 12:39 AM
You have done a great job showing up around town and getting to know Pacifica. Very best wishes to you!
Camden Swita May 30, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Thanks, CQ. I've enjoyed all of your commentary and input. See you around.
Camden Swita May 30, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Thanks, Stephanie. What a great place we live in.
concerned voter May 30, 2012 at 01:05 AM
pssfftttt
Gabriela Segovia-McGahan May 30, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Here's wishing you all the best as you happily look forward to the next phase of your career! Perhaps we'll see you around town and can treat you to a congratulatory toast. ¡Felicidades! Congratulations!
Phyllis McArthur May 30, 2012 at 01:54 AM
NOOOOOOOO! I miss you already, are you sure? Obvious Spam > (PS Need a Realtor?)
Cris May 30, 2012 at 03:12 AM
Awww.... I will miss you, too!! I hope you enjoy your new job and thank you so much for the entertaining and informational articles :)
Chris Fogel May 30, 2012 at 04:33 AM
Camden, I'm very sorry to see you leave and I hope you find success and opportunity in your new position. You brought a depth of coverage to issues that were sorely lacking among traditional media outlets in Pacifica and your insights and attention to issues important to many of us in Pacifica were greatly appreciated. I remember reading one of your first pieces -- an article about police contract negotiations -- and being so glad that there was finally coverage of this detail in this town. Thank you for all the work you've done here. Unfortunately, we're seeing that Patch has been undergone a sea change and is and changing focus. I suppose the new direction will have its own supporters, but I'll always miss the Pacifica Patch of that first year with you at the helm. Despite the changes, you've kept up a great attitude. Whenever I spoke with you I was always impressed by your professionalism and passion for covering stories about Pacifica (note: everyone should view Camden being interviewed on Ian Butler's "Wavelength" for an example of this). Take care and all my best. I'm sure I'll see you around town or you could drop in on a City Council meeting one night to say hi, just for old time's sake.
#1 Fan May 30, 2012 at 01:52 PM
The world is a better place because you are here. Always remember how much people care about you because you have shown you really care about them. I wish you bluebird skies -
Deb Wong May 30, 2012 at 01:55 PM
All the BEST on your journey, Camden!
Sue Vaterlaus May 30, 2012 at 02:07 PM
I will miss seeing you at the many meetings you have attended. Thank you so much for what you have done here. Best in your new adventure.
Nina Russo Terheyden May 30, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Good luck to you Camden in all your endeavors and keep on enjoying Pacifica! :)
Cindy Abbott May 30, 2012 at 02:34 PM
I was admittedly skeptical when Patch arrived in town -- wondering how a big national organization would be able to pull off local news. You did it Camden! Through your presence at more events than seemed possible, accessibility for sharing ideas, and clearly genuine interest in Pacifica, you impressively filled a niche with well written pieces, photographs and videos (even managing to curate comments and keep the tone civil most of the time!) Best to you in your next and all future endeavors.
Lynn Adams May 30, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Ohhhhhh........ I'm so happy for you but still sad for Pacifica. Your voice was a good one and your participation and coverage of so many things will be missed! Thank you Camden for your environmental ear, for joining Earth Day with all your heart! Best of luck to you!
hutch May 30, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Bye Camden, Best of luck to you. Thank's for everything.
Phyllis McArthur May 30, 2012 at 02:55 PM
One more thing,Camden, how come a couple of you folks from Patch are moving on?
Mayor Ed Lee May 30, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Camden, that is the last time you call me for a favor. Now back to selling peanuts at the ballpark
ian butler May 30, 2012 at 03:26 PM
The interview can be seen right here: https://vimeo.com/26209831 Thanks Camden for helping us to see ourselves from a different (and much needed) perspective. Your reporting informed and enlightened, and for that we will be forever grateful.
Hon. Gary J. Mondfrans May 30, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Camden, you have done a incredible job and will be missed. Your in-debt reportage, insight, cleaver and engrossing writings will be missed. You are in many ways a electronic version of the late Pacifica Tribune Publisher-Editor Bill Drake. Your influence will remain and you will be missed. Gary J. Mondfrans, Former Mayor of San Bruno Proprietor of Pacific Passions Consignment Store on Manor Drive
Peter B. Olinger May 30, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Camden! My wish for you is Fair Winds and Favorable Tides!
Mary Ann Nihart May 30, 2012 at 04:14 PM
O my you have been truly amazing. Your caliber of reporting has been refreshing. You will be missed! All my best wishes go with you. Now don't be a stranger :) Mary Ann
Drew Himmelstein (Editor) May 30, 2012 at 04:45 PM
We'll miss you, Camden! Good luck with your future endeavors.
Tommy Grahn May 30, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Camden - You will have a great future. Have fun. Maintain your creativity. Enjoy life. Have Fun! You will be missed here. Take care.
Steve Sinai June 01, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Good luck.
Erin Macias June 01, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Camden, it has been a pleasure reading all your articles and commentary. You are a fabulous writer with keen insight and you have brought a very new face to journalism in Pacifica. You initiated dialogue that went unspoken for years and I know I am not the only resident who is grateful for your contributions to our wonderful coastal city. I am so happy for you to begin anew and start a journey in SF; a wonderful city with much to offer. Best of luck to you in all that you endeavor. Warmly, Erin
Erin Macias June 01, 2012 at 08:30 PM
LOVE IT! <3
Ginny Jaquith June 04, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Camden, I wish you well and thank you for your reporting and providing another vehicle that brings this community together to discuss issues in a respectful manner and learn more about itself. It has been a pleasure. Enjoy the next stop on your journey. Regards, Ginny
Frank Parks August 30, 2012 at 09:38 AM
No wonder the patch has become so useless to me. You were an excellent reporter. I have wondered what happened this past couple of month's and what the purpose of the patch. When you were running it, I found a lot of interesting articles, and comments form other fellow citizens. Now most of the time, it is useless information, and a large valuable resource is now missing from our community. God, I wish you would come back! We needed a voice such as your's to represent us.!

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