I don't remember when I became aware of Steve Heimel. He's been broadcasting the news at KSKA for a long, long time. And I don't know when Steve became aware of me, but we knew each other before I started blogging the political trials in 2007, but the memories are vague. Probably I knew his wife, Johanna Eurich, first. We both had lived in Thailand. At the Federal Court House, Steve encouraged my forays into covering the trials on my blog. When the media were allowed to bring computers into the court room - for the Kott and Kohring trials - and I asked the other news folks how to get a press card, I'm pretty sure it was Steve who said,
"Do what we did."
"Get on your computer and make one."
And that's how I got my press card that allowed me to take my computer into the court room.
Steve was the other reporter who regularly got to the court by bike.
Steve is a journalist who lives his own unique life and reports on what he thinks is important - and he's got a good sense of what is important. (That just means it coincides with my sense of that.) All things are on his radar and he's brought that wide interest to KSKA for years and years. I was glad that his goodbye party was when we were in town.
My sense has been that Steve was chafing at the growing bureaucratization of Alaska's public media conglomerate and I'm looking forward to seeing what he's going to do without the leash. I'm hoping he'll find a niche where we can all continue to benefit from his experience and insight and ready laugh.
Here's a bit of video from his goodbye party.