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Old hand at Olympian heads back to take charge

On Monday, I start my job as executive editor of The Olympian, and I’m pretty excited.

I live in Olympia, but have been working in the offices of The News Tribune for the last six years. As of Monday, my commute will be cut from 40 minutes each way to four minutes. That will be one less car on I-5.

I’ll be returning to work with some folks I’ve known since 1994, when I was first hired as an editor at The Olympian. I’m excited to work side by side with them again, as well as with some folks who have been hired since I left. I’m also eager to focus on covering my own community.

And I’m excited to be at the helm as The Olympian continues to transform itself from a newspaper to a multiplatform media outlet that provides stories, photos and video about the South Sound. It is a difficult time for this industry, but an exciting time as well.

My email will remain the same — ddemarest@theolympian.com — but my phone number will be changing to 360-357-0206. I prefer emails — I can answer those at odd hours of the day or night — but use what works for you.

If you use a smartphone or tablet, I would urge you to download The Olympian’s free app to make reading our website as easy as possible. And if you use Facebook, be sure to “like” The Olympian and Olympian Features pages to make sure you’re alerted to breaking news and interesting stories about your neighbors.

THE MONKS OF SAINT MARTIN’S ABBEY

I wish I could take even a little bit of credit for the special section you’ll find in today’s newspaper on the monks of Saint Martin’s Abbey. This project, which took more than a year, is the result of the hard work of writer Lisa Pemberton and photographer Tony Overman, under the guidance of editor Jerre Redecker.

Pemberton and Overman were given the opportunity to witness the monks’ lifestyle firsthand, more than any other outsiders have been allowed to do in the monastery’s 120-year history, according to Abbot Neal Roth.

Over the course of four seasons, the team spent time with the monks at meals and church services, at the abbey’s wooded retreat center on Cooper Point, in their classrooms, offices and work spaces. Overman even spent time behind the monastery’s cloister, the wall that separates them from the outside world — a physical boundary meant to preserve the monks’ simple and orderly way of life.

As the story matured, it became clear that many pages would be necessary to do it justice. At that point, a team of editors and designers put together this special section for print and an online version that includes video.

They thought Easter was the perfect time to share it with you.

Please let us know what you think of the project.

IT’S SOURCEBOOK TIME

We’ve put out the call for entries for the resource listings for the 2015 Source Book. The deadline for those entries is May 15.

If you’ve lived in South Sound for a while, you might not use the annual Source Books we publish. But lots of new residents and visitors do. It is filled with groups to join, events to attend, and all manner of useful information about how to get along around here.

But there are a few guidelines you should know: The listings are generally limited to nonprofits. We don’t take entries over the phone, and we don’t go scrape entries from websites. Information must be sent to Tammy McGee at tmcgee@theolympian.com, including the name and brief description of your organization; a complete mailing address; days, dates, and times the group holds meetings; and a contact name and phone number for your organization.You may also include an email address, and a website address.

If you know of an organization that doesn’t get listed or doesn’t know about the book, please let them know. This book is very popular, and that’s only because we are thorough in our information and include all who qualify. We need your participation to continue to cover it all.

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