Start the Presses: We say goodbye, we say hello

There are so many things going on here that I'm having a hard time figuring out where to start.

So, somewhat arbitrarily, I’ll begin by announcing our latest “Meet the Editors” event. As I mentioned before, I'm going to hold these events on a monthly basis, rotating the venues through our coverage areas. The point is to provide an informal setting for people to meet our staff, ask questions about our coverage, suggest stories, or just vent about the state of the world.

Last month, we held our event in Burbank, so this time we'll do it in Glendale. Here are the details:

When: 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Tavern on Brand, 208 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale

I also want to encourage people to write to us. Our Forum page is one of the most popular features in the paper, and because of our circulation, a letter to the editor has more impact here than it does in any other local newspaper, website or blog. I encourage you to take advantage, and you can do so by emailing either me at dan.evans@latimes.com or City Editor Jason Wells at jason.wells@latimes.com.

Next, I want to announce some of our myriad staff changes. As many of you know, Joyce Rudolph is stepping down at the end of this month from her position as features editor, a position she's held for more than 35 years.

Joyce is a priceless asset, and I'm very sad that she's retiring. However, she told me she wants to leave open the possibility of continuing to write for the paper. After, of course, she takes a well-deserved break.

But Joyce is just one of several people who have moved on. Our Burbank reporter, Gretchen Meier, left earlier this month to create a Web-services company. And if that weren't enough, our award-winning Glendale City Hall reporter, Melanie Hicken, turned in her notepad Friday to attend journalism graduate school at New York University.

In addition, business and politics reporter Bill Kisliuk has moved up within our organization to become city editor of Times Community News' newest paper, the Pasadena Sun. The paper, which will come out Fridays and have a combined Sunday edition with the La Cañada Valley Sun, launches Aug. 5. I'm going to be leading that publication as well, so if I seem a bit frazzled or distracted the next time we meet, please don't take offense.

Fortunately for us, we've found some incredible people to fill those positions. Krista Simmons, formerly the editor of Brand X, will take over the features editor position from Joyce. Brand X, a weekly arts and entertainment tabloid, sadly folded last month.

Krista's extensive background in food, art and culture are quite the boon for us, and she has been working hard to give our feature pages and sections a new look. Those changes will be unveiled soon, so stay tuned.

On the news side, Maria Hsin and Mark Kellam recently started at the paper covering the Burbank and business beats, respectively. Both have been writing for us for a few months on a freelance basis, and I'm happy we were able to get them on board in a bigger way.

Maria has worked as a freelancer for the Los Angeles Times as well as for the community news sections of the Orange County Register. Mark has more than two decades of experience in the field, most recently with the Los Angeles Daily News.

And finally, I want to announce that Brittany Levine, most recently a staff writer for the Orange County Register, will be taking over the Glendale City Hall beat on Aug. 1. Brittany's energy, drive and enthusiasm are plain to see, and I have every confidence she'll make the beat her own very quickly.

There's more, but that would be another column, so I'll just leave it at that. I hope to see you Wednesday. Thank you for reading, and keep those letters coming.

DAN EVANS is the editor. Assuming he hasn't fallen asleep at his desk in exhaustion, you can reach him at dan.evans@latimes.com

[Editor's note: This story has been updated from an earlier version.]

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