You won’t see any “year in review” stories or photos in this January edition. It’s not that they aren’t interesting, it’s just that I’m a Capricorn — always looking forward. The coming year interests me far more than the one in the rearview mirror. So here’s to 2024!

In the coming year, The Coastal Star plans to make some staffing changes. Foremost is that I plan to assume a lesser role in the day-to-day production of the newspaper. After 15 years, it’s time to take more time for myself and focus on some other projects.

I’ll still be around: assigning stories, keeping my eyes and ears on the community, proofreading, and writing this column. I’ll remain executive editor, but we’re bringing a new editor on board to manage the overall assignment, editing and production of news each month.

12345040065?profile=RESIZE_180x180Many residents (and government officials) already know Larry Barszewski from his years spent covering several coastal municipalities. I hope all our readers will welcome him enthusiastically in this new role.

Larry’s background is in government and community reporting. He has covered cities, counties, school districts and sessions of the state Legislature in his nearly 40 years of work in Florida. He has made stops at the Bradenton Herald, Miami Herald, South Florida Sun Sentinel — including being part of its 2019 Pulitzer Prize-winning staff — and at The Coastal Star for the past three years. Larry is familiar with our coastal communities.

Like most of us, Larry is a northern transplant. He grew up in western Massachusetts and earned a political science and journalism degree from American International College there. He received his master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

He lives in Boca Raton with his wife, Maggie, his two adult daughters, and their cat and two dogs (all rescue pets). At St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, he is part of the leadership team of AIM, an outreach ministry serving adults with physical disabilities.

Larry’s goals are straight-forward: good journalism, publishing articles that reflect the communities we serve, holding government officials accountable, providing interesting and informative stories for our readers, and listening to what our readers have to say.

“The Coastal Star has shown that people will support journalism that cares about them and the communities where they live,” Larry says. “I hope, supported by the strong staff that has found a home here at the paper, to live up to that legacy and help ensure it continues.”

I’m thrilled to leave much of my responsibility in his hands.

Mary Thurwachter will continue as a managing editor with her excellent oversight and editing of feature stories and columns. Many readers say these are their favorite parts of our publication. Please thank Mary next time you talk with her. She’s an essential part of our management team.

Steve Plunkett also remains as a managing editor, working with our reporters covering Boca Raton and Highland Beach — as well as doing reporting in other municipalities. Steve also contributes to our editorial decision-making each month. The southernmost communities in our coverage area are unique, and it’s good to have Steve’s oversight and years of local reporting and editing expertise.

We are all excited about the coming year. We feel lucky to be able to continue reporting on Palm Beach County’s lively, diverse, unique and beautiful coastal communities in the South County. These are difficult times for practicing journalism, but The Coastal Star continues to hang tough, and with the strength and depth of our team — and our business partners — we keep looking forward.

Happy New Year!

— Mary Kate Leming, Executive Editor

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