Features editor shares initial impressions of Ukiah
By MONICA KRAUTH
The Daily Journal
Ukiahans: You’ve got yourself a great little town.
To be honest, I have lived here less than one week and I was hired as the features editor without ever having been here.
After the first of two phone interviews, editor K.C. Meadows said she didn’t need to meet me until my first day but recommended that I visit town to see if I’d actually enjoy living here. Let’s just say, I wouldn’t be here writing this today if I didn’t love the town right away.
Before making my first trek here with my fiance, I did a Wikipedia search on Ukiah. (note: Even journalists use Wikipedia.) The author of the article mentions a book by Norman Crampton written back in 1996, calling Ukiah the best small town in California and the sixth best place to live in the country. No, I had never heard of his book before looking up Ukiah on Wikipedia, but I could see why he rates the town so highly.
It’s not just the natural beauty and the convenience of the town’s geography to the Pacific Ocean, vineyards, redwoods and San Francisco, but you also have beauty within your boundaries. Heck, there are vineyards and redwoods even in town.
The first time I came to Ukiah, it felt touristy without being touristy, which is to say I could actually afford to shop at the local stores in the downtown area.
Usually when I hear of historic districts, I feel like it’ll be nice to walk around but I won’t be able to afford all the expensive stuff they sell. Ukiah seems different. It’s homegrown and I have a feeling that people want to keep it that way and not let it become a huge tourist stop along the 101.
Anyway, I just moved here this week and I have to say after wandering around downtown and getting lost around the outskirts, you’ve got a bustling arts and entertainment scene in and around downtown; you’ve got pretty good food; and you’ve got more bars than coffee shops, which is a plus for me.
My friends in Sacramento were surprised I would move to a place they had never even heard of. When I first put the announcement on my Facebook page that I got an editing job in Ukiah, comments started flooding my page with shock ranging from: “What the hell? Where... is Ukiah? That sounds biblical” to surprise that I, a proponent of independent media would come back to MediaNews Group, the company that owns the writing of yours truly.
In my defense, I tell my friends that this paper is different than any other paper I’ve ever read. It really thrives on community support and so there’s not a whole lot of gatekeeping of information like at the bigger newspapers. It really is made up of both community and professional journalism. It would not succeed without all the input from the readers.
So keep sending your story ideas, events for the calendar, columns, announcements for weddings/engagements, births and etc. to udjfeatures@pacific. net, and I’ll do my best to get them printed. I’d like to know what your favorite things to do around town are, so send me an email or meet me at the brew pub. (I’ll likely be there.) I really want to hear what youhave to say.