After thirty years, Valley View and Woodinville Weekly editor Lisa Allen is retiring.
Allen joined the newspaper staff in 1987 as a reporter. Although she had been doing journalistic work before that, her main job had been as a dairy farmer.
“We still have the farm,” Allen said. “We don’t have the cows anymore.”
Allen started out writing news and features for the Valley View. In 1994, she became the paper’s editor.
Over the course of the past three decades, she has reported on a variety of topics and events including first traffic lights, new schools, the flood of 1990 (in which Allen lost a few of her own dairy cows) and the filming of the first rendition of Twin Peaks.
“I wasn’t sure how long I was going to stay with it, but I just kept going,” Allen said.
One reason she kept at it for so long was the community — the generosity of its members and their care for one another.
“I’ve been privileged to work with not only my work group but with the people of the Valley,” Allen said. “They are a very fabulous group of people.”
Allen was on the staff with Woodinville Weekly and Valley View founder Carol Edwards.
“It was jumping,” she said of the office environment when Edwards was around. “She was just a ball of fire.”
Mostly though, Edwards left Allen to do her job as she saw fit. “She trusted me to do the news,” she said.
Now that she’s retiring, Allen hopes to travel and garden and delve into other projects.
“I will miss it,” she said. “But with Kristen, I feel the paper is being left in very capable hands.”
Stepping into Allen’s role as the new editor of both newspapers is Kristen Hamilton.
Hamilton, who moved to Woodinville from Montana in April, has a degree in communications and journalism and ten years of experience working in magazines and newspapers, including at Flathead Living Magazine and Flathead Beacon Weekly Newspaper.
For the past five years, she has been the editor of 406 Woman, a women’s lifestyle magazine based in Whitefish, Montana.
Already, Hamilton has plunged headfirst into the goings-on of Woodinville. “I think it’s kind of a hip town,” she said. “Everywhere you go, there’s great restaurants and it seems like everybody is really friendly.”
When asked what one thing she was most excited to see or do in the city, Hamilton laughed.
“This may be a little cliché, but I already purchased my tickets to see Chicago at Chateau Ste. Michelle,” she said.
One of Hamilton’s goals as editor is to re-emphasize to Woodinville-area residents how much their support is needed for a free newspaper like the Weekly to survive and to continue publishing community-centric news.
“In my opinion, newspapers are not dying,” she said. “People still like to hold a newspaper or a magazine in their hands.”
“Lisa had a very open door policy, and I plan to continue that,” she said.
The entire Woodinville Weekly staff welcomes Kristen Hamilton on board and thanks Lisa Allen for her 30 years of generous service and excellent writing and editing work.
“30 years is amazing,” Hamilton said. “I’m hoping that I can step up to her legacy and continue in her tradition.”