There are still ten days to go before the deadline for Denver Post reporters to announce whether they're taking the latest buyout deal. But some takers have gone on record, including one who has the newsroom in shock this morning: Lynn Bartels, the hardest-working journalist in town, the writer who covers politics with all the clout and color of the best sportswriter, is leaving for a job with the Colorado Secretary of State's office. The note she sent the newsroom announcing her move is a reminder of just how much of a hole her departure will create at the Post.
Dear Denver Post:
Folks, I am taking the buyout, coming two days short of a 35-year career in journalism. The decision wasn't easy and I have to thank you for providing me a home after the Rocky Mountain News closed.
I appreciate your putting up with my many eccentricities: bloodcurdling screams when moths come near my desk, an almost pathological fear of driving in the snow or at night, and turning in stories that say -ffect because I still can't figure out when to use "affect" or "effect."
When I leave, I'm going to need a 12-step program in order to break my addiction to writing for The Spot. I appreciate all the encouragement on that front, especially from Dan Petty, the wonderkid we all owe so much to.
I'll miss e-mailing Paul Soriano late at night and Dan Boniface early in the morning, waking up Vikki Migoya on her day off to help me with Methode at the Capitol, relying on Dale Ulland to catch those grammar mistakes and calling Jim Bates at night or on Sunday about a tip.
Kevin Simpson, thanks for teaching me about the negative factor and for being a podmate for a while. Getting to know you better — after reading you all these years — was a treat.
The photo staff, wow. You guys have been so good to me from the start. Thank you.
I am forever grateful to Greg Moore for taking me on board and sharing my love of political intrigue; Curtis Hubbard and his note after the 2010 election; Chuck Plunkett's humanity as an editor; Monica Brewer's help doing payroll and expenses; Dana Coffield, for being able to answer questions about, oh, everything; and Lee Ann Colacioppo, for telling me to take as much time as I needed when my dad was sick.
Linda Shapley, my family loves you. Vince Carroll, I hold you in awe.
Our current political team is so much fun: thank you, Joey Bunch, John Frank, Jon Murray and Mark Matthews for all that dark humor, fixing the typos in my blogs and the technological help. (Did you know you can set an alarm on your iPhone? Yes, everyone knows but you, Lynn.)
And a huge shoutout to former Posties Tim Hoover and Jessica Fender, who probably should have felt most threatened by my joining The Post, but were among the most welcoming.
There are so many more people to list, but then I would violate our new rule about shorter stories. Just know I will miss the place.
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Just as we'll miss Bartels's work, which could make us laugh, cry...and cringe. Her recent piece on Tom Tancredo's advice for Donald Trump is just one of her many classics.