Nathan Crabbe: A letter from the editor
Published: Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 4, 2013 at 7:59 p.m.
The first thing that I ever had published in a newspaper was a letter to the editor.
I was a Catholic high school student desperately trying to rebel. I decided that the best way was writing to the local paper, railing against the church's position on a bunch of social issues.
My parents had to deal with the blowback from my school. My grandmother, who had the misfortune of being listed before my folks in the phone book, came to my defense with callers who wanted to save my immortal soul.
Suffice it to say that I've long had an appreciation for the power of the editorial page. I'm proud to now be editing an editorial page with as distinguished of a history as The Gainesville Sun's. I've felt fortunate to learn the ropes under Ron Cunningham, as fine an editorial writer and person as I've known.
Just to get a little about myself out of the way: I was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. In the tradition of famous natives like Chrissie Hynde and LeBron James, I skipped town.
The defining year of my young life was spent in AmeriCorps. I did service projects through a good chunk of the country, developing both an appreciation and skepticism of government.
I'm an Ohio State alumnus. Yes, Gainesville, your new editorial page editor is a Buckeye. I loved going there, but I'm the type who thinks calling it THE Ohio State University is silly and pretentious. I'm married to a two-time University of Florida grad, Colleen, who sneaks our one-year-old daughter, Kate, into orange-and-blue garb whenever possible.
I moved to Gainesville nearly eight years ago after living everywhere from Napa Valley, Calif., to Pittsburgh, Pa. I've grown to love Gainesville in that time. It's the quintessential college town, combining intellectual pursuits with a healthy appreciation for a good time.
Gainesville is really in a fortunate position. The area has rightly bet on innovation and quality of life to attract the people and businesses that will thrive in the 21st century.
But we're in a precarious position, too. Covering the University of Florida and environmental issues during my time as a reporter here has shown me that. Most state lawmakers haven't the first clue about the value of higher education and the environment.
Hopefully the editorial page will be a place for insightful commentary about those and other issues. There are enough places on cable news and talk radio for shrill voices. The Sun should be a place for civil debate, but where conventional wisdom is challenged.
I'm happy to print letters about divisive social issues, but I'm more interested at this point in my life in rebuilding our aging institutions rather than tearing them down.
I hope The Sun editorial page, in whatever small way, can help provide ideas to help address the challenges we'll be facing in the years ahead. I hope you'll take part in that effort by submitting your letters, columns and editorial ideas to email@example.com.
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