Carla Occaso became the editor of The Bridge on short notice in May of 2020, just as the COVID pandemic and lock-down were getting into full swing. She published her first issue on June 27, 2020.
It was fortunate for us at The Bridge that she had previous experience running this newspaper. Many readers might remember that Carla Occaso served for several years as managing editor of The Bridge for then editor/publisher Nat Frothingham. Her return to The Bridge made getting the paper out easier on the rest of the staff and volunteers. She already knew the ropes and knew them well.
Carla initially agreed to take on running the paper through the summer of 2020, while school was out, because she also works full time as an educator in the Roxbury Village School. Because the paper dropped to a frequency of once a month during the height of the pandemic, she agreed to continue as editor after school resumed. She was able to work late nights, long weekends, through vacations, and during her commute to and from Roxbury to pull together the stories (and photos) for each issue. She also continued to work as she struggled through a bout of COVID-19, which she deftly wrote about in a series of three pieces for this paper. That’s dedication.
In short, we think Carla Occaso has done a damn fine job as the editor of The Bridge. Readers comments confirm that observation.
Now, however, as we attempt to return The Bridge to our pre-COVID publication frequency of twice a month, it is time to make some changes. Carla needs some time for a life in addition to work. As she pointed out in an email recently, she’s behind on her laundry, needs to buy some groceries, and has firewood to stack.
So with this issue, Carla Occaso will be stepping back from her duties as editor. She will be replaced as editor by Cassandra Hemenway, who some of you may know as the former outreach and education manager for the Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District. Cassandra comes to us with strong journalism skills and a lot of enthusiasm.
But ‘Carla’ fans should not feel dismayed. She is not going away. She will continue on as a contributing editor to The Bridge and will be there to help Cassandra transition into her new leadership role.
With Carla Occaso remaining on the team and Cassandra Hemenway joining it, we think the future of The Bridge looks very bright indeed!
So from all of us here at The Bridge, thank you, Carla. We couldn’t have weathered this storm without you, and we are deeply appreciative of your energy, professionalism, and journalistic excellence.
The Board of Directors, Bridge Community Media, Inc., and the Board of Directors, Friends of The Bridge