BenitoLink reporters reflect on 2019

Several BenitoLink reporters share stories that they feel either impacted the community or meant something to them personally to work on.

Each year BenitoLink reporters and  community contributors present hundreds of news events and features. We consider each piece on its merits with the goal of serving the public interest. We strive to inform the community with significant local news and events that interest San Benito County residents. Our team of reporters and editors work hard to produce news reports you can trust and facts you can rely on. 

We asked BenitoLink reporters to share some of their favorite pieces from 2019.

John Chadwell

On choosing his pieces, reporter Chadell said, “I would think my stories on misplaced funds affecting the school districts would be up there in significance because it affects so many people and showed how badly accounting records were being kept.” 

Chadwell also added, “My stories on the Hollister city council and social media seem to have struck a nerve.” 

Carmel de Bertaut

Reporter De Bertaut brought up a sad and haunting story about road safety for bikers and pedestrians that continues to be an issue in the county. “The Ghost Bike Story stands out to me because it touched a lot of people and the idea of a bike standing in the place of the accident is a constant reminder to all of us of the loss of a person’s life and the unfortunate danger that comes with bike riding and walking near car traffic.” 

De Bertaut also pointed out a story that had special significance to her personally. “The most recent river cleanup was inspiring to cover. It speaks to our environmental impact as residents of the county and thankfully, the willingness of some to try to right our wrongs.” 

Noe Magaña 

“What jumps to mind are the most impactful series because of public response and importance to the community overall,” reporter Noe Magaña said.

He lists San Juan Bautista’s Casa Rosa, his series of articles on the Nodes and on transportation, a subject that is important to many Benitolink readers, the Highway 25/roundabout topic.

Although Magaña regularly covers local government, he also produced several features this year, introducing readers to a variety of unique, yet quietly powerful individuals

Frank Perez

Perez has written many interesting cultural and historic features for BenitoLink over the years. In 2019, a story he felt was especially interesting was a recent one that put the local Native American Amah Mutsun tribe in the news. Referring to his article on the tribe leader’s unwillingness to accept Governor Newsom’s apology to the state’s indigenous people Perez noted, “the Amah Mutsun are the only tribe to refuse the governor’s June apology.” 

Robert Eliason 

“I’ve been really amazed at the reception I’ve gotten for the few pieces I’ve written,” said Robert Eliason. He lists the pieces he produced on both Luis Valdez and El Teatro Campesino as meaning a lot to him, “particularly the chance to tell Mauricio Samano’s story.” The long-time professional photographer recently branched out into also trying out feature reporting on BenitoLink with his wonderful article on the Renaissance Faire earlier this fall.

Becky Bonner

Feature reporter Bonner brought to light the amazing bird population San Benito County hosts and introduced resident and professional bird watching guide, Debi Shearwater.

With deep respect for Mr. O, feature reporter Bonner also said, “My story about Mr.O seemed to get the most traction and it was nice to give him recognition for the place he holds in our community.”




BenitoLink Staff