Hometown: Orland Park
Birthday: April 14, 1981
I decided what I wanted to do with my life while soaring 10,000 feet in the air. This should be more exciting, but really I was reading Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas on a plane to Poland while everyone else was asleep.
Fast forward two years later, I started writing music articles while studying journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. One of the best professors a student could ask for, Bob Reid of blessed memory, said to me that while he hoped I would "grow out" of the music thing, he had a feeling that if I was "left to my devices" I would "come up with something memorable."
I spent a summer interning at Rolling Stone Magazine, and then began writing music stories for the Chicago Red Eye. I was fortunate to meet Mike Sager, the modern Beat poet of American feature writing, who teaches others how to write and report with grace. He remains a source of inspiration and guidance in the dark times. Around then, I convinced a hungover Jack Black to follow through on a scheduled interview. As time passed, I was freelancing for more publications. Following grad school I made a brief stab at playing music somewhat professionally. But writing soon pulled me back.
The Chicago Tribune was next where I first covered news, reporting on suburban governments and random happenings in town, like a vehement protest against a foster care facility. "Not in my backyard." I remember thinking that the man who said that might need such assistance one day.
Journalism then took me to the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb, where I covered two murder suicides in the first month, and then caught a newly-elected alderman lying about his role in a mudslinging campaign against his opponent.
While in DeKalb, I also pried a door off of a vehicle using the Jaws of Life, learned a unique way to communicate with autistic teens, explained TIF funding, maintained coverage on over 30 active court cases at once and witnessed the first meeting between a woman whose life was saved by the organs of a man who was killed in a bar fight and the man's family.
After brief stints teaching at an alternative high school and immersed in online content, I am now a Patch editor.
This site is dedicated to Bob, Mike, my family and countless others who paved the way, held my hand and even carried me at times. This site is yours.
At Patch, we promise always to report the facts as objectively as possible and otherwise adhere to the principles of good journalism. We also acknowledge that true impartiality is impossible because human beings have beliefs. In the spirit of simple honesty, we encourage editors to reveal their beliefs to the extent they feel comfortable. This disclosure is not a license to inject our beliefs into stories or dictate coverage according to them. Rather, we hope the knowledge our beliefs are on the record will cause us to be ever mindful to write, report and edit in a fair and balanced manner. If you ever see evidence we failed in this mission, please let us know.
It is possible to help others in need while spending wisely. I am not registered with a political party. The parties spend too much time trying to get elected rather than actually solving problems.
I'm a casual observer these days, though I sense a return at some point.
Local Hot-Button Issues
The tax assessment appeal by the owners of the Orland Square Mall could cost local entities a lot of money. The mainstreet triangle construction also seems to split opinions. The upcoming election should be a romp as well. I do not have a stance on these issues just yet. Ask me later.