A welcome to the city of Seaside

“Mer-horse” at the Carousel in Seaside.

Is it true that every new member wins the raffle at the Seaside Downtown Development Association breakfast? Now that is a way to show some hospitality!

Let me introduce myself: I’m R.J., or Rick Marx, and I’ve just moved to town to settle in to my new job as editor of the Seaside Signal. First off, let me thank Nancy McCarthy, the paper’s longtime editor, for making the Signal such a hit in town that it was named by the Seaside Chamber of Commerce as “2014 Business of the Year.”

Second, let me thank the folks who attended the two sensational breakfasts I had the privilege of attending last week. I was chatting with a friend back east and I told him we dined at the Pig ’N Pancake. “Which did you choose, the pig or the pancake?” he smart-alecked, and I replied: “That’s the beauty of it, you can have both!”

At the local meetings, I met several local residents. I quickly learned I may be the new guy in town, but not by much. I met a transplanted Los Angelean with 10 months’ residency, a Portlander who is here going on her sixth week, and heard a lecture from the Port of Astoria Executive Director Jim Knight, who arrived here from Olympia about eight months ago. My Gearhart neighbors are from everywhere, from Scandinavia to Vancouver and points midway.

What is it that brings us all here? My horoscope before my arrival read: “Like a turtle, you head west to the water.” So I did. And just think: an aquarium, a carousel, fireworks, candy and taffy. Probably my first joyous school memory was as a 4-year-old at “Kiddie College” (its real name) when we took a field trip to the taffy factory. I’m beginning to think that Seaside might bring out the kid in all of us — and that’s a good thing. I guess it’s no accident that one of the main streets is named “Holladay.”

My philosophy of community journalism is, first and foremost, to tell the news as it happens. And we want to be first and the most thorough with it. The meetings, newsmakers and policy issues are only the start of the job. Then comes the good part. Getting to know your neighbors. Attending all the fun events in town. Sampling every single restaurant and clam house. Exploring the library. Helping others in trying times. Providing a forum for different voices. Introducing new people to the community, and celebrating its best every day of the year. May I be guided by my predecessors, from Nancy McCarthy and beyond, including the venerable Max Shafer, who edited the Signal from 1928 to 1974. That’s got to be a record.

You may be seeing me wandering around town getting to know people and taking in the sights. After all, Seaside is a tourist town, isn’t it?

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