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Editor's Notebook: Goodbye and Thank You

Saying goodbye is hard, but I can't say 'Thank you' enough.

Today is my last day as local editor of Malverne-West Hempstead-Lynbrook Patch.

Saying goodbye to my fellow Patchers and the great people of Malverne, Lynbrook, West Hempstead and Lakeview is definitely not easy. So instead of focusing on farewells, I'd rather take this time to thank you all for helping me turn Patch into a vital resource for your community.

During the past two-and-half years, so many of you have embraced me and this new digital media with open arms. You have shared your stories, invited me into your classrooms, businesses, clubs and homes, and provided me with crucial tips that have allowed me to shed light on news that matters to you. 

It would be impossible to list everyone who has helped me, often on several occasions, during my time at Patch, but I trust that you know who you are. Without you, I would not have been able to do my job as successfully. Without each one of you, Malverne-West Hempstead-Lynbrook Patch would not be what it is today. 

I should have known that when I was called to a 4 a.m. bus fire just days after launching this site that I was in for a wild ride, and I must say, I've enjoyed it from beginning to end. At times, this job has challenged me, inspired me and educated me.

Having lived my entire life in Malverne, I thought I knew everything about my one-square-mile village, but this role allowed me to see my hometown in a new light. I've learned so much about its history, schools, politics, businesses and most importantly, the people responsible for making it a great place to live and raise a family. 

While I knew many Malvernites before I started wearing a Patch press badge, I could count on one hand my connections in West Hempstead and Lakeview but both communities very quickly made me feel at home. (Sometimes, it felt like I spent more time inside West Hempstead High School for board meetings than in my actual house but I was always surrounded by good company. Again, you know who you are!)

Similarly, when I was asked to start covering Lynbrook roughly seven months ago, I received a warm reception from many local officials, parents and other residents, who were happy to bring me up to speed with what was happening in their village and schools. 

Although Malverne, Lynbrook, Lakeview and West Hempstead are each unique, they share one major thing in common. Through working with local leaders, school officials, teachers, parents, coaches, students, business owners and civic groups, I've met many incredible people in each place who deeply care about their community.

I've tried by best to be everywhere, but I could not do it alone. When I couldn't get to the scene of a fire, crash or other emergency, Lou Minutoli, Steve and Brian Grogan were there to capture the action and share it with all of you.

Photographers Sue Grieco, Dave Paone, and Steve Orlando (who took the picture featured above) have also brought the people and events who shape Malverne, Lynbrook, Lakeview and West Hempstead to life with their stunning images. And I've worked with many talented reporters, including John Friia, Steve Strangio, Gary Simeone, Chris Boyle, and Dave Coonan, who have covered countless meetings, games, concerts and other stories that define these communities.

Together these tireless journalists along with our team of Patch editors have published more than 7,700 articles on this site to date. As I hang up my Patch baseball cap, jacket and press badge, I will be joining the rest of you as a loyal reader of Malverne-West Hempstead-Lynbrook Patch and will continue to follow what's happening in my neighborhood.

Don't worry though. I'm leaving you in good hands. Associate Regional Editor Matt Hogan -- who happens to be a West Hempstead High School graduate -- will be running the site now. He's very talented, hardworking and responsive, so don't hesitate to reach out to him at matthew.hogan@patch.com with your questions, story ideas and those all-important news tips.

Malverne is still my home, and Lakeview, Lynbrook and West Hempstead will now always hold a special place in my heart too. I'm sure I will see many of you around town, but in case our paths do not cross again, I'd like to leave you with a quote from one of my favorite musicals: "Because I knew you, I have been changed for good."

Tara Conry (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 07:22 PM
Thank you, Ann. It's been a great experience!
Tara Conry (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 07:23 PM
Thanks neighbor! See you around town, probably while I'm getting dragged down the block my Riley : )
Tara Conry (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 07:23 PM
Thanks Julie! And thank you for always keeping me in the loop about events happening at OLP.
Tara Conry (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 07:24 PM
Thanks, Jeff!
Tara Conry (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 07:25 PM
Aww Ganci. I'll miss you, your stories, and the rest of our group so much! Keep up the great work and stay in touch!
Tara Conry (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 07:26 PM
Thanks, Erica. Same to you!
Tara Conry (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Hahaha... thanks Mr. B! (I hope it will also mention my numerous OLL CYO soccer and St. Boniface basketball tournament championships.)
Tara Conry (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Thanks Eva. I've enjoyed making Patch into the go-to place for local info and I know Matt and the rest of the team will continue to keep you well informed. See you around town.
Tara Conry (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 07:35 PM
Thanks for the kind words and support Sean, as well as the blog posts, photos and feedback you've always provided. You too have put a lot of effort into helping to make Patch successful and I know you'll continue to do so. I'll see you around town, neighbor!
Tara Conry (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Thanks, Jason. Working with you and the rest of our team has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Best of luck to you all!
John G. February 22, 2013 at 07:44 PM
The Mayor William Hendrick & Village Board of Trustees wish you great success and thanks for your excellent coverage of Lynbrook events !
Bea Bayley February 22, 2013 at 08:03 PM
You were an absolute asset to the community with your "on time" reporting. You will be missed. Tell Matt that he has some big shoes to fill...so maybe he has to start by getting a cute dog. LOL!
Tara Conry (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 08:08 PM
Ha! Thanks Bea. I will let him know to start looking for a pooch. Thanks for all your help, too!
Tara Conry (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 08:09 PM
Thank you John, Mayor Hendrick and the rest of the board for welcoming me with open arms and assisting me with my coverage of the village.
Loraine Magaraci February 22, 2013 at 08:31 PM
Tara, I will miss you at all of the W. Hemp. events. You even covered our cheerleaders car wash!! I loved being a part of your mommy group, I got to meet some very nice people. You may live in Malverne, but we consider you one of us!! I will miss you at the school board meetings (they will be boring now). You kept us all informed while also doing some great PR for our little town. So thank you!! And best of luck on your new adventure!! You better post wedding pics!! Hey, now you guys can be the cutest couple!! LOL!!
Dave Paone February 22, 2013 at 08:37 PM
I'm still going to call you "Chief"! You are one of the nicest people I've ever worked for.
Kathleen February 22, 2013 at 09:23 PM
Best of luck to you in your future endeavors. Your hard work these past two and a half years has helped everyone become a better informed person. Knowledge is power, you have been an amazing power source.
Rev. Bob Walderman February 22, 2013 at 09:56 PM
Thanks for your coverage of our church activities and I wish you the very best for the future. May God bless you.
Tara Conry (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 10:49 PM
Thanks, Dave. You're a great photographer AND storyteller. It's been a pleasure working with you and I will read your book, maybe this weekend : )
Tara Conry (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 10:50 PM
Thank you, Kathleen. For those reasons you mentioned, this job has been extremely rewarding and I know the site will continue to be a valuable resource for residents under Matt's leadership.
Tara Conry (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 10:51 PM
Thanks Rev. Walderman! I've enjoyed covering the great things your church has been doing, as well as reading your blogs and capturing your skills on the baseball diamond.
Dave Paone February 23, 2013 at 12:29 AM
Thanks for your kind words; you're very sweet. As for my book, it's 544 pages so you'll have to hole up the entire weekend, starting tonight. A girl who's in the book read it in four days... said she couldn't put it down.
Larry February 23, 2013 at 02:50 PM
Tara, I have looked forward to your "top five stories" every morning. The stories you've covered informed me about local things I otherwise would not have heard about. Or if I did hear about the story, you provided the facts. You have been a most able advocate for our local communities. Thank you for all your work. You will be missed. Wishing you continued success in your future endeavors.
Lesley McAvoy February 23, 2013 at 02:54 PM
Very best of luck for everything in the future! You have helped to follow the promote the resurgence of the West Hempstead Historical Society. Your reporting was always timely, precise and insightful. You will be missed! I do look forward to reconnecting to Matt Hogan who helped coach my son's soccer team. If he runs things anything like his mom Lorraine ran the soccer organization, he will do an excellent job. Congrats Matt! Thank you so very much Tara!
Brian curran February 23, 2013 at 03:24 PM
Dear Tara, You did a tremendous job covering Lynbrook, West Hempstead and Malverne. You worked harder than anyone I knew. Like everyone in those three communities, I am going to miss you. Best of luck in whatever you choose to do next. I am sure you will do great. Sincerely, Brian Curran
Jan Kasal February 24, 2013 at 03:42 PM
Tara, thank you. You created window to local news and events. I'll miss your writings. I also wish you best luck in your further career development.
Lorraine Letteri February 25, 2013 at 01:15 PM
Tara, good luck in all you do and thank you for sharing your talents with this community.
Matthew Hogan February 25, 2013 at 11:22 PM
@Lesley McAvoy: Wish I could have won more games with that soccer team, haha. Happy to be here though -- and thanks for the wishes! -- Matthew Hogan Associate Regional Editor Nassau County
Chris Boyle February 26, 2013 at 09:11 PM
Hey Tara...sorry I'm late to the party, but I just heard about your departure. Doing the video of Christmas in Malverne for you still remains one of my all-time favorite Patch reporting experiences...good luck and happy trails!
william signorile February 27, 2013 at 01:52 PM
I saw you as a very well rounded reporter looking for the answers to seek the truth ! for a great reporter the story is the truth ! I WISH YOU WELL

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