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Wednesday, August 13,2014

10 things to know about the new City Pulse editor

by Belinda Thurston
I ran into a former colleague from the Lansing State Journal as I left the Waterfront Bar & Grille last Friday.

His first words to me were, “You’re with the enemy now.”

This snarky comment was in reference to my becoming editor of City Pulse.

But in the last few years I’ve been active in the community, anything but being an enemy.

I realized he doesn’t know me, and neither do many of you. Let me introduce myself with 10 things I want you to know about me:

10. I might be rusty and a little nervous
Even after 20 years in daily news, jumping back into the game feels like the curtain lifting on the stage. Will I connect with the community? Can I help cultivate good stories? Can we grow good writers?

9. I’m mixed, but not mixed up
I’m a mixed-race woman originally from Washington, D.C. Don’t ask me my race or what I’m “blended” with. I can get rather ornery depending on if I choose to answer. And really, what does the answer tell you about me?

8. I’m not fashion-forward
My wardrobe is a blend of deals from St. Vincent’s Catholic Charities (we call it St. Vinnys Couture) and what’s left over from my upper-management, executive-aspiring days.

7. I love yoga
I own a donation-based yoga studio. That black Toyota Yaris with the JustBYoga magnet on the back is mine. Drive a safe distance behind me. I might stop for squirrels, children or bicyclists.

6. I stop for animals and I love the planet
I have a pet-rescue habit. Dogs and cats that need a home find me. I have created Facebook pages for animals. I even stopped traffic on Mt. Hope for a mother duck and her ducklings once.

I love hiking at the Woldumar and biking on the River Trail. I love to fly fish, specifically for trout. We’ve got a garden at the yoga studio and I know tons of local farmers.

5. Yes, Baratunde Thurston is my brother
Nuff said. If you don’t know who he is, Google him.

4. I didn’t major in journalism
I’m just newsie by nature. I was trained one editor and newspaper and community at a time. I believe news writers need to know and write about life, not the systems and the politics. We should be plugged in and having conversations. I am animated and passionate about writing and storytelling. I want readers to be informed, engaged, enlightened, uplifted and empowered. I believe in experimenting with new things, new tools, new storytelling techniques.

3. Social media — digital media — multimedia. #Yes!
We will do all these things. Maybe not perfectly. But better than we have. I promise.

2. LGBTQ
I’m in a same-sex relationship. It’s my first open same-sex relationship. Nope, no kids. Never been married. Don’t know if I want to be. That’s about all you get about my personal life for now.

1. I love Lansing
I can still taste the fresh clean air that struck me when I arrived in Lansing in 2004. It was a stark contrast to the smog in Dallas. This was crisp, green, alive. It felt like a homecoming. People were open and friendly. The sky was beautiful and inviting. I felt like myself.

Becoming the editor of City Pulse feels like that breath of fresh air all over again.

In some ways Just B Yoga gave me an opportunity to be on a long-term embedded assignment in Lansing.

You’ve shared your aches and pains. You’ve shared your dreams and your failings. You have big and poignant stories to tell.

I am honored to have a role in telling them.

I am Belinda. You can call me B.

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