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Lance Howland
I wrote and edited for three different Patches in 2011 before I signed up for the editor's job in Walnut Creek in July. I'm fascinated by the interactivity of the new Patch journalism after decades of the old interactivity as an editor and reporter in newspapers in New York and California.
I live in Moraga with my wife Anne, our two daughters and rascally orange cat Toby. Email address is lance.howland@patch.com. Phone number is (925) 348-7954. In my free time, I like to take in a movie with my family and get a big bag of popcorn. I love to jog on trails. Having given up the dream of the NBA, I still play pickup basketball. It's fun to read Faulkner and listen to Dylan, sometimes at the same time. I like to scratch our cat Toby on his belly. I'm a native of Skaneateles, New York. I have a history degree from Colgate University and a master's degree in journalism from Cal Berkeley.  I started writing first drafts of Web history at the end of 2010 for Lamorinda Patch, and a few months later took on interim editing duties in Piedmont and Concord Patch, and became editor of Walnut Creek Patch in July 2011. A long journalism career in newspapers and magazines has taken in some poignant moments and poignant weeks where I could feel a community’s foundation shifting — I'm  thinking of editing in a small newsroom after the Loma Prieta earthquake and the newsroom’s aftershocks, literally and figuratively. I covered the visit of the queen to a small Ontario city – good Queen Liz wore purple. I spent months preparing a profile of a murder suspect, who was subsequently convicted, imprisoned until his lawyer (whom he married) got him sprung on testimony pointing elsewhere for the crime; that 1980 murder remains officially unsolved. I could tell you stories. At Patch, we promise always to report the facts as objectively as possible and otherwise adhere to the principles of good journalism. However, we also acknowledge that true impartiality is impossible and human beings have beliefs. So in the spirit of simple honesty, our policy is to encourage our editors to reveal certain key beliefs to the extent they feel comfortable.  This disclosure is not a license for our editors to inject these beliefs into stories or to dictate coverage according to them. In fact, the intent is the opposite: we hope that the knowledge that our beliefs are on the record will force us to be ever mindful to write, report, and edit in a fair, balanced way. And if you, the user, ever think you see evidence that we failed in this mission, we wholeheartedly invite you to let us know. For local government, participation is oxygen. it's healthier when government finds a way to include more opinions and more voices. I believe the media's job is to pump some of that oxygen. It helps to tell stories about real people in interesting ways. Shouting opinions creates noise, not necessarily understanding. A journalist is unable to be perfectly objective, but it's a worthy goal to strive for. A good journalist works hard to understand diverse viewpoints and faithfully communicate them. I am a registered Democrat. I do not vote a straight party line. The intrigue of politics, for me, includes trying to sift through the messages the candidates put out and the actions they take in order to understand the character.
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Recent Activity

Lance Howland deleted post in Embed Test June 5, 2013 at 01:51 pm

Lance Howland deleted post in Help premie baby Adora Lynn and Mommy June 5, 2013 at 01:48 pm

Lance Howland edited post in Yoe's Noodle Closed by Health Department. June 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Lance Howland edited post in Yoe's Noodle Closed by Health Department. June 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Lance Howland edited post in Obituary: Bruce W. Adams, 1933-2013 June 5, 2013 at 08:25 am