Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tributes to our colleagues *

These days are hard on us, harder for those to whom we've had to say goodbye. We'll continue to post tributes as they come in ... *Updated

Cyndie Miles, page designer (2000-2008)
In a newspaper where most tenures are short-lived, Cyndie Miles was considered a veteran as a designer. The highly talented and creative designer — responsible for most of the spectacular BeachWeek sections — had worked at the newspaper for eight years. However, despite a heavy workload, she also volunteered many hours as a newsroom steward, and she was instrumental at keeping the Guild on top of contract violations and abuses. At the bargaining table several years ago, she had an excellent talent of recalling conversations and details unfolding in sometimes complicated sessions with management. Sometimes the total recall could be years after the event. She was also often thoughtful of others, bringing home-baked cookies and other snacks, which we could enjoy while she also shared some of the latest newsroom gossip — her desk was directly across
from our former publisher's office!

Osvaldo Cisternas, page designer (1998-2008)
Osvaldo is a very talented graphic artist and journalist who was with the Press-Telegram for ten years. The production staff at any newspaper has a thankless task. They’re the mostly-unseen staff that takes whatever they get and makes it as attractive, interesting and as well-presented as possible by deadline and unfortunately, often has to tear it all up for breaking news — usually an hour before deadline — and do it all over again. Anyone in this business knows how crazy, stressful and competitive it can get. I’'ve rarely felt the latter at the P-T and enjoyed the former more than I probably should have because of co-workers like Osvaldo. I admire his ability to maintain great composure and patience while churning out massive features sections on tight pre-run deadlines. I admire that he suceeded in maintaining the high quality of his work even with the challenges of unpredictable software, computer crashes and high-strung editors. He'’s never been too busy to take a look at pages and offer some advice and nice enough not to be too blunt with his critiques. I’'ve learned a lot in the time I’'ve worked with him, including the importance of a chocolate break. Through all the design bosses, UNISYS, “the move”, the dissolution of "“U"” and the incredible, shrinking P-T (oh yeah, and even designing sports) he never lost his sense of humor. It’s been an honor and privilege to have worked with him. And despite what you may have heard about our “odd couple” cube seating arrangement — no really, that apple’'s only been there a week.— I’'m gonna miss him. – C.Miles

Mark Carpenter, assistant sports editor (1998-2008)
Mark was one of the best, if not the best, copy editors at the Press-Telegram. He has an incredible eye for detail and was extremely conscientious in his job. He is the type of guy that you absolutely wanted to look at the final proof of the section head from before it went to press. An avid USC fan and a USC graduate, Mark is a true pro who always helped out his co-workers and did more than the call of duty. –J. Stevens

Ben Villa, sports reporter (1994 - 2008)
Ben covered preps at the Press-Telegram for more than a decade and was backing up the Angels in recent years. He juggled his P-T duties with caring for his 14-month-old Ben Jr. in his off time. He's a caring husband to his wife Cindy and was always upbeat in the office. He remained positive and in good spirits despite all of the turmoil at the P-T. –J. Stevens

Dave Werstine, sports reporter (1998 - 2008)
The Michigan native set up his family in Long Beach and is happily married with four children. He loves hockey and the Detroit Red Wings and was strong as both a writer and copy editor. He covered the Ice Dogs for seven seasons and covered Long Beach State, preps and an array of sports stories after the puppies folded. Ridiculously nicknamed "Mr. Fister," his sense of humor often left the sports desk in stitches, despite being borderline inappropriate. Or maybe that's why it was so damn funny. –J. Stevens

Earl Williams, reporter (1998 - 2008)
Earl covered preps for the Press-Telegram and the Los Angeles Sparks for Singleton's newspaper group. He had a passion for sports, got out in the community and had a knack with finding good feature stories. He's a guy with a big heart who always gave his all in the job and made a lot of friends in the community on his beats. –J. Stevens

Kevin Chang , photographer (2004 - 2008)
Kevin began his career at the Press-Telegram in the summer of 2004 as an intern and then came on full-time as a staff photographer in March of 2006. He's a sponge; soaked everything up he could learn during his time at the paper, always bringing his sense of humor and positive energy no matter what the task or circumstance. Kevin takes his craft seriously and passionately, and most importantly, is never afraid to ask questions. One of the many great things he did for the Press-Telegram, was that when he found a great story, he really ran with it. The recent story about Cambodian kick-boxer Oumry Ban, who was struggling to make it himself while helping others make it in the sometime-gritty streets of Long Beach was an example of his tenacity. He spent countless extra hours of his own time on the story he wanted to be sure was done right. His selflessness, positive energy and ability to know that this photojournalism thing is a never-ending learning experience. Kevin has plans to go to China this year and document the ever-changing lives of people on the other side of the world. All of us wish him well on his journeys — where ever they take him. Kevin, the P-T door — no matter how small it gets — will always be open to you. Just make sure you sign in with the guard downstairs. ; ) –S.Carr

No comments: