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Hook is Back

My fellow Neverlandians: longtime readers will be aware that our editorials are traditionally written by John Darling. Well, you may have heard that Mr. Darling is no longer with the K-Chron. A few other familiar faces have been let go as well. Honestly, ever since I took the reins from George Darling, I have had struggles with some of our legacy employees. I’ve been trying to take the paper in a brave new direction, and some people were just a little too entrenched in the old way of doing things. Sometimes taking a ship in a new direction means manning it with a whole new crew.

You may have also heard that my engagement to Wendy Darling is off. I want to say, I truly believed everything I wrote about Wendy in my last piece. I thought she felt the same way, but apparently I was wrong. It appears that no matter where I go, or what I do, people wind up finding reasons to hate me. I’ve tried to be everybody’s friend for so long; it’s things like this that make me wonder why I bother.

I tried to strike a balance between the way George ran the paper and the way I wanted to run it. I tried to ask my employees what they wanted to cover and our readers what they wanted us to cover. But I was fought every step of the way, to the point of insubordination and outright contempt. Suffice it to say, I’m done asking for people‘s permission for me to run my newspaper my way. Hook is back, ladies and gentlemen. The Hook who built a media empire out of nothing, all by himself. I didn’t need anybody then, why would I need anybody now?

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on April 10, 2017

TOP 5 REASONS I LOVE WENDY DARLING

Hello, my friends! This is Jas Hook. John Darling has graciously allowed me to use this space to write a guest piece this week. In case you missed the news, I got engaged! To a woman you K-Chron subscribers know well: Wendy Moira Angela Darling. So this week, I’m taking a moment to enumerate a few of the reasons why I asked her to marry me in the first place. I know that some of these reasons are a little cliché, but I think the reason something becomes a cliché is because it has an element of truth to it. So without further ado, I give you: The Top 5 Reasons I Love Wendy Darling.

1. SHE MAKES ME WANT TO BE A BETTER MAN

Wendy has told me on more than one occasion that one of the reasons she loves me is because of how driven I am, how I give so much of myself to my work and to the businesses I oversee. But I understand now that I need to channel at least as much passion into my personal life as I do into my professional one. This might come as a surprise to you readers, but I haven’t dated much; not seriously, anyway. When I was a kid, I was overweight, stuttered, and was stepped over and stepped on by many of my peers. This didn’t do much for my self-esteem, and in turn I was never a very attractive dating prospect. As an adult, the opposite has been true, I’ve had no dearth of romantic options, but very little time to pursue them. On top of that, once I became an international name, it became difficult for me to tell whether people were truly interested in me, the shy Neverlandian who was just starting to come out of his shell, or the rags-to-riches legend that the rest of the world was starting to see me as.

In the beginning of my relationship with Wendy, it definitely helped that we worked together. Wendy was able to see me at my best, to witness firsthand my unbridled passion for the work that I do. And Wendy was the first person in a long time (maybe ever) to see the real me; not the one that my childhood bullies saw, and not the one the paparazzi and the international news created. No, she saw the real me right away, and that was the me she fell in love with. Wendy has taught me that people can be good, and being with her has helped me realize that people can like the real Jas Hook if I just allow myself to let my walls down and let people actually see him.

For a long time, I’ve used my work as a way to run away from my personal life. But now with Wendy, I actually want to spend every my free moment I have with her, and want to find a way to make those moments less fleeting. Old habits die hard, but the great thing about being a captain of industry is that captains get to delegate.

2. HER PASSION MATCHES MY OWN

Wendy has a relentless drive all her own: a thoroughly selfless desire to help people, even strangers. Through her advice column, Wendy has literally made helping people into her career. And in bringing that to JH Media, she’s reminded me that a media company should be in the business of helping people, not pandering to the lowest common denominator.

3. SHE INSPIRES ME

You might not think that a man who built an international media empire out of nothing would be wanting for inspiration, but the truth is, the skills it takes to build an empire aren’t always the same ones it takes to successfully run one. And when you become responsible to shareholders, hundreds of employees, and all of the people who consume JH Media content, it gets a little difficult to see the trees for the forest. Whereas Wendy, even at this level, still uses her column to help one person at a time. The way Wendy approaches her life and her job reiterates that empires are made up of people, and serve at the pleasure of the people, and that as much as possible, I need to keep that in mind moving forward. And the way she connects with people reminds me of why I got into media in the first place.

4. SHE COMPLEMENTS ME

Wendy is just naturally fun, and knows how to bring out the fun in others. For a person like me who’s spent the better part of his adult life putting fun on the back burner and focusing on work, the ability to experience the former can begin to atrophy. Lately, I’ve been actively trying to have more fun, but I’m learning that, when it comes to fun, it’s do or do not. It’s not a matter of trying, it’s a matter of being open to it, of being in the moment. Not worrying about the future, but being rooted in the now, being present wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. When I’m with Wendy, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. And that’s making me reevaluate the way I lead my life and the way I run my business.

5. SHE IS MY ROCK

My tendency is to not burden other people with my problems. I’ll sit and stew with it, soldier through it on my own. But for as long as I’ve known Wendy, she hasn’t allowed me to do that. And weirdly enough, I haven’t wanted to. She wants me to tell her about everything, the good and the bad, and from day one I’ve felt like I really could tell her anything. Having her in my life makes every part of my life better, even things we don’t talk about. And I hope the reverse is true for her too.

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on March 27, 2017

Neverspeak Weekly 3/7/17

Baby, Baby. In addition to new residents, Neverland will be welcoming even newer faces by the end of this year. If you haven’t already heard, Sarah-Jane Mason and her husband Alfie are expecting twins. The word on the street is that Jas Hook himself signed off on their future monikers, Ava and Aidan. Make those connections early! This crafty columnist also got an exclusive with Mia Traynor who just announced that she and her hubby Eli are expecting as well. Both future mother and father are looking forward about their impending parenthood. Mia admits to some trepidation, but assures us that Eli is ready to go. “He is excited to teach his progeny his cowboy ways,” a glowing Mia giggled. Congrats on the great news, cute couples! Better you than me.

Whatever Lola Wants… While some couples are coming closer together, others may be falling apart. Multiple sources have reported seeing Wesley Parsons horseback-riding with blonde beauty Lola Williams at her new riding school, Sunny & Lola’s. According to one concerned observer, “Lola, as she calls herself, offers riding lessons, but she’s very hands-on.” Apparently, Mr. Parsons has been less than honest with his girlfriend Juliet Carpenter about these meetings. A word of caution to both parties, in a town as small as Neverland, you can never keep a secret for long.

Light ‘Em Up. Michael Darling led a tour of the Garden of Light for interested Neverlandians this week. While tours are usually populated by, well, tour-ists, it was great to see the locals really appreciating one of our proudest treasures. Teresa Delacruz loved being in the Garden so much that she made it the location of her Halloween wedding to Neal. The Gardens are always exquisite, but recent developments have made them even more spectacular. Droves of fairies have been showing up in Neverland and taking up residence in the park. This is unusual at this time of year given that it is not December and we aren’t all singing showtunes. (Ask Sarah Lightly more about Fairy Songification if you are new to Neverand…)

Making Magic. The Neverland fire department has had their fair share of cats in trees, but they probably haven’t had a call quite like this one. According to her mother, Lilly-Jane Wentworth accidentally turned her favorite teddy bear into a real live feline. Though she’s only just turned two, the littlest member of our favorite fairy family can already fly and is “startlingly good at anything magic she tries.” Jo isn’t quite sure if the bear will remain a cat or not. With husband Freddie Wentworth in Europe helping fairy refugees and her own commitment to med school, Jo has certainly got her hands full. If the magic can’t be reversed, this bear-turned-cat may be in need of a new home!

Window to the Soul. If you haven’t already joined, there is a new dating app in town. JHMedia and the K-Chron have teamed up to release Open Window. For now, the website will be locals only, but knowing JHMedia, it will soon be worldwide. While competitor Tinder sends your swipes into oblivion, Open Window actually keeps track of how many Neverlandians have opened your window (and how many haven’t.) “It’s the worst kind of popularity contest,” said one disgruntled single. But others don’t seem to be bothered by the game. A grinning Jane Mannering admitted that she’s kind of obsessed with the app. “It’s almost as addicting as these chocolate covered gummy bears!” Just make sure to note what your looking for, so you don’t end up on a date that’s not a date, or a hangout that is!

Trending
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#GardenofLight
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Best Tweet Ever
Teresa Delacruz @neverlandslayer Mar 3
More
“Dear @Lin_Manuel, do not throw away your shot! Please come to Neverland. Your obedient servant.”

 

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Posted in Neverspeak
Posted on March 7, 2017

Neverspeak Weekly 2/28/17

OK-Chron! Everyone in Neverland is so excited to see the new changes in the Kensington Chronicle. A pleased Sheriff Tacos was overheard saying, “I still can’t believe what they’ve done to our paper!” Well, believe it. Neverland’s favorite son, Jas Hook has taken your beloved paper and brought it into the 21st century! Soon all the world will be reading about the very important topics we cover here at the paper. Why would anyone want to create a petition called Disinfect the Chronicle to return the paper to how it used to be? Why would anyone want to do that? Beats me.

Good Bye? On February 16, Neverlandians gathered to bid farewell to one of the town’s most beloved figures. George Darling has retired – completely voluntarily – from his post as Editor in Chief at what used to the Kensington Chronicle. He happily “passed the baton” in his words to the “magnanimous” Jas Hook who attended the party along with all the other Darlings. Though some people were crying into their root beer floats, Mr. Darling was all smiles as he proclaimed, “It just so happens that today I’m starting my all cake diet.”

Ask Her. Neverland’s favorite advice vlogger, writer, and redhead will be taking your questions tonight at 10PM Eastern time. As you know, Wendy Darling has remained on the recently edited staff here at the K-Chron. You can ask her anything, anything at all. Having followed Ms. Darling’s career for years, I know she is great at coming up with answers for everything from existential crises to romantic entanglements to really awkward questions about why one’s boyfriend might take over one’s family’s company only to completely change everything about it and stomp on the first amendment.

Newerlandians. Walking around town I’ve been glimpsing some new faces here in Neverland. We’ve got a psychic in town – which is great because I’m sure we’d all like to know how long we’re going to have to put up with this crazy guy who is messing with everything we hold dear. I’m talking about President Trump, of course. Please tell us it won’t be another 4 years, Heavenly Imagine! Also Jane Mannering is manning the cashier at Skull Rock Sweets, Codamae Elizabeth is sipping tea at Straight On Till Morning, Enya Rose is hosting Dance Fitness Parties, and Sarah Lightly is annoying Tinker Bell wherever she goes.

A Family Affair.  While crabbing in the Bering Sea for the last few weeks, I discovered a latent passion for marine biology. I’ve returned to Neverland not only to work at this glorious new version of our old paper, but also to apply to grad schools. This requires lots of studying musty old books rather than studying you.  I’ve always considered Neverland to be a great big family.  A great big family full of people who love each other, watch out for each other, and know all each other’s secrets. If you guys could help me assemble this column by sharing juicy tidbits and heartwarming stories you’d like to see posted, please DM me or use the Got Hot Gossip? form on the Neverspeak Weekly Page. With your help, I can keep this column cooking along with the crabs. So. Many. Crabs.

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Best Tweet Ever
Calum Marsh @calummarsh Feb 27
In true form, La La Land only won Best Picture in a fantasy moment shared between former lovers imagining wistfully what might have been.

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Posted in Neverspeak
Posted on March 1, 2017

Caveat Emptor

Neverlandians, by now you have no doubt heard that my father, George Darling, is stepping down from his position as editor-in-chief of the Kensington Chronicle. When Father made a deal with Mr. Hook to sell the paper to JH Media, we were assured that he would continue to run the day-to-day operations at the Chronicle, and that the paper would not be substantially changed going forward. But, from what little he’s told me about it, to all appearances my father’s resignation is a matter of creative differences between himself and the new management. That being the case, I can’t help the nagging suspicion that the winds are about to change here at our local paper, and quite possibly not for the better.

Though my father’s separation from his beloved local newspaper appears on the surface to be entirely amicable, the fact of the matter is George Darling is a man of far too much integrity to air his dirty laundry in a public forum. If there is something more contentious underlying his departure, we may likely never know about it. And the whole situation is further complicated by the fact that our new editor-in-chief, Jas Hook himself, is inextricably entangled with the Darling family on a personal level; it’s no secret that he and my sister Wendy have been happily dating since her time working at JH Media’s corporate headquarters in New York City.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I have used this very space to sing Mr. Hook’s praises in the past. My respect for him as a self-made media mogul knows no bounds. And he has given me no reason to believe that he has anything but the best of intentions when it comes to my sister; Mr. Hook and Wendy are, I think, a coupling to which we all could aspire. But I can believe all of those things about him and still have reservations about some of the decisions he’s made re: the Chronicle, even in the short time he’s been at the helm, not the least of which being his decision to take the paper global. For a paper that has been about hyperlocal news since its inception, that sends up a big red flag.

And it is with great regret that I report that this article you are now reading will be the last of the John Darling editorials, such as they have been. And perhaps I don’t have quite as much integrity as my father, because I feel compelled to say that the cessation of this feature is in no way a choice that I have made; it is, rather, an edict that has come down from up on high. It is my sincerest hope that the demise of my longtime column is in no way connected with my vocal equivocation about the direction of the Chronicle under the new management (though, to Mr. Hook’s credit, he has allowed me to run this piece unedited, in its original form). I had hoped to one day be the top newsman myself here at the Chronicle, but I have in effect been demoted from assistant to the editor-in-chief to merely a staff writer. As of this moment, I do not know the type of content I will be expected to produce under the new regime. I would love it if my instincts about all of this were wrong; but they so very rarely are.

Dear readers, I cannot thank you enough for your unwavering support over lo these many years. And I am not going anywhere! Not yet. The Kensington Chronicle as we knew it may be dead, replaced instead by the K-Chron, but some things never change. As long as I’m here, you, the people of Neverland, will have a voice. And don’t hesitate to tell me on Twitter what you think of this new direction in the days and weeks to come. The Kensington Chronicle has always been a paper of and for the people; and if I have anything to say about it, the same will hold true for the K-Chron.

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on February 20, 2017

The More They Stay The Same

People of Neverland, Jas Hook here. My darling Wendy recently brought it to my attention that her family’s local newspaper has been floundering. This news kicked me back on my heels, and spurred me on to do something about it; not just because the Kensington Chronicle matters to Wendy but because it matters to me. I, too, read John’s editorials week in and week out, and take no small source of pleasure from Michael’s Dear Darling videos. What’s more, even though I’ve spent the better part of my life far from the town I first called home, an important part of my heart has always been in Neverland. For a long time, I was the only out-of-state subscriber to the Chronicle. Shipping a copy to New York on a daily basis is not the cheapest proposition in the world, but being the CEO of a massive global conglomerate like JH Media does occasionally have its privileges. Honestly, my advisors recommended against acquiring the Chronicle; “It doesn’t make any sense,” they told me, “Not from a financial standpoint.” Well, I’ll tell all of you exactly what I told them: JH Media is about more than just what makes “financial sense.”

I didn’t really know Mr. George Darling very well in high school, but I’ve spent a great deal of time with him on my most recent visit to Neverland. And I’m happy to report that he’s every bit the charming, local hero that the paper makes him out to be. His passion for the Chronicle is unmatched (except, perhaps, by that of his son John), and I’m proud to say that more than a little of that passion has rubbed off on me. Like George said in his last editorial, the Kensington Chronicle is a Neverland institution. And as such, I want to inform everyone that JH Media maintains a commitment to making as few changes as possible. With that in mind, for as long as he’s willing and able, there will always be a place for Mr. George Darling at the helm.

I know that John Darling, editor of our online edition, is a prototypical Neverlandian in his reluctance to embrace change. It’s my understanding that he’s not been taking the paper’s sale particularly well, which is why he hasn’t written any editorials for the past several weeks. But I want to make it clear that I know John’s aversion to the new status quo has nothing to do with me or my company; John and I have enjoyed nothing but the most cordial of relationships since I came into his sister Wendy’s life. I think John is just having trouble wrapping his mind around the fact that the family business is no longer all in the family. But I have no doubt that John will come around, and his position will be waiting for him when he does. Because, as a longtime reader, I understand that the Kensington Chronicle needs John Darling as much as he needs it.

So take heart, people of Neverland: your beloved local newspaper isn’t going anywhere. If anything, I’m committed to making the Kensington Chronicle better than ever. I’d also like to invite your input during this period of transition, to make sure we’re putting out a paper that meets, and hopefully even exceeds, your needs. Despite my complicated history with Neverland, in my heart it’s always been my home. It is an incredible honor to shepherd my favorite local paper into what I know will be a new era of prosperity, and I’m fully aware of the great responsibility that that entails. Your stories are the heart of Neverland, constant readers, and we’re going to keep telling your stories. Because I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on September 9, 2015

Neverspeak Lastly?

As you all know, there have been a few changes here at the Chronicle in the last couple weeks. The good news is our new owner Jas Hook has assured us that we all still have jobs. The other news is that we aren’t totally sure what those jobs will look like. As JH Media takes over operations, Neverspeak Weekly will be taking a brief hiatus to “retool, reimagine, and reignite.” Though I am a great fan of alliteration, those are Mr. Hook’s words, not mine.

I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed writing about the goings-on in Neverland this summer. What started out as a job became a true pleasure as I started to think of you less as subjects and more as friends. Since I don’t know when this column will be back up and running, I would like to use this last edition as a moment to reflect on an amazing summer in Neverland. Below I have pulled some of my favorite gossip items from the last 11 issues.

Scandalous!?  Neverlandians’ reactions were mixed to the first publication of this column.  There was a lot of support but also some uncertainty.  Just know that we here at the Kensington Chronicle are trying to shake things up and add a new dimension to our beloved Neverland.  No one knows what that crazy, free-spirit of a gossip columnist Ms. Skylights will be up to next!

A Lovely Night. Neverlandians gathered on Thursday night for the 2nd Annual Midsummer Ball. The night was a smashing success. Though some townsfolk worried that this sophomore outing wouldn’t measure up to last year’s festivities, they were soon mollified and amazed by this year’s ball-to-the-wall bash. With the help of Lily Bagha’s generosity and the Party Planning Committee’s dedication, Neverlandians enjoyed more music and more spectacle than ever before.  Check out the photospread below for the ball’s fierce fashion!

Love Bugs. No bugs had to be planted by this gossip columnist to pick out the couples in the room on Thursday night. Everyone wants their Cinderella moment at a ball, and, happily, a large amount of Neverlandians got just that! Juliet and Wesley were seen sharing bites of ice cream, a charming cowboy made a last minute appearance to dance with a book shop belle, and Bri was seen dancing with Agent Tacos back early from his assignment. And in the most romantic moment of the night, Sarah-Jane Lakewood received a proposal from her boyfriend Alfie.

Taco Time! Bri Vivladia, Agent Tacos and friends had a Taco Night this past Friday on Big Bear Rock. Sources say it was mostly couples sipping on sangria and taking in the beautiful summer night. Eli Traynor escorted Mia Rivers, Juliet Carpenter brought Wesley Parsons, Nanny Ams came with Bertie Screener (before he was scared away by some overly friendly Fate Stalkers.)

Holy Mole-y! The Fate Stalkers have been out in full form braving the summer heat for love. (Though maybe it isn’t so brave since they carry their shade around with them.) Most Neverlandians were happy to see them out and about, but some thought they were getting a little bushy – I mean, pushy. Word has it things got heated between the Stalkers and Bertie Screever after he threw a banana peel into a shrub-covered Stalker. However, things have a way of working out. Through this altercation, the Fate Stalkers met their newest member, the recently inducted Dole the Mole. As far as we know, this is the first animal Fate Stalker.

New Sheriff in Town. G. Harrison Lestrade has been offered the job of Neverland’s Deputy Sheriff pending a background check. But, since he comes directly from the FBI, that shouldn’t be a problem! While we’ve had to say goodbye to a couple of Neverlandians, we are excited to welcome him and accountant Wesley Parsons (who’s looking for a roommate!) to the community full time.

Hearty Party. Everyone had a great time at the Jolly Roger Soda Ship 100 year Anniversary Party. Aimee and Katie served up an endless supply of delicious sweets and treats. Throughout the day patrons answered trivia about the shop’s history in between socializing and listening to a set by Fish Girl Pond. Neverlandians in attendance included Wesley Parsons, Juliet Carpenter, G. Harrison Lestrade, Bri Valdivia, Mia Rivers, Nanny Ams, Teresa Delacruz, and many more.

Neverspear In Love. This is why we love being Neverlandians! Everyone in town turned out to support Peter Pan in his artistic pursuit this past Thursday. Auditions took place on Wednesday, and with only a day’s notice actors took the stage the next night. John Darling, Michael Darling, G. Harrison Lestrade, Teresa Delacruz and Rowan O’Connor joined the cast along with Mr. Pan while Elsa Fairy, Lorelie Williams, Fish Girl Pond and yours truly helped bring the production together. Everyone celebrated a job well done with a toast at the Jolly Roger after the show.

Sign Language. Wendy Darling started her book tour here in Neverland last week. Locals lined up outside of Neverland Books to get their hands on some of the first copies of her new book “Ask Wendy!”. The local, soon to be national, celebrity was gracious and charming as she signed books for everyone who showed up and a few extras for those who couldn’t be there.

Beyond the Pale.  Even though it’s the end of summer and most of us are sun-kissed or just downright red, there have been a few new residents of the paler variety. Maybe they’re Scandinavian? But I never knew Scandinavians to have such a thirst for tomato juice. Well, thankfully, Teresa Delacruz seems to know how to keep those Scandinavians in line.  And don’t worry, she’s back from her vacation to Chicago with Neal.  Even Scandinavian wranglers need a little fun in the sun.

My Fair Soiree. As expected, Ms. Lakewood’s engagement party was quite the event! The guest list included Cecco, Ed Teynte, her roller derby crew, Marvel executives, Chris Pratt and Mermaid Lagoon. Neverlandians in attendance were Wendy Darling, Jas Hook, Sheriff Lestrade, Bri Valdivia, Nanny Ams, and Fish Girl Pond. The surprise of the night was when Special Guest Julie Andrews came out of retirement to sing to the couple.

PS (Perfectly Single). Not knowing that this might be the last Neverspeak for a while, I promised a Singles’ edition. I felt it was more important that I devote this article to a retrospective on the column. But, I do have a few words for the singles out there. Embrace your status because you are in the best position to prepare yourself for a great relationship. As one of my heroes, Lucille Ball, once said, “Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line.”

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Posted in Neverspeak
Posted on September 8, 2015

Shuffling Paper

Pop culture has done a lot to romanticize the notion of a captain going down with his ship. Now, that might be an honorable decision once you’ve gotten everybody to the lifeboats. But if your crew’s still onboard, it’s the captain’s duty to keep the ship afloat at all costs. Even if that means ceding control of your boat to someone better equipped to stay its course. Okay, let me back up for a minute, because this metaphor is getting unnecessarily dramatic.

George Darling here, longtime Editor in Chief and owner of the Kensington Chronicle, writing to explain why I’m not the paper’s owner anymore. As many of you have no doubt already heard, I recently sold the Kensington Chronicle to JH Media. After considering all the options, I found this to be the best one for everyone involved. But just because it was the right choice, the only choice, doesn’t make it any easier for me, or for my family. The Chronicle has been owned and operated by a Darling since my ancestor Kensington founded it in 1862, after all.

Now, the question on a lot of your lips is probably, how did it all come to this? Well, in recent months, I’ve been candid on the Twitter about the paper’s financial difficulties. And, truth be told, I wasn’t making the situation out to be quite as dire as it even was. We were maybe just a few months out from me having to close the doors to the Chronicle for good. And the fact of the matter is, I’ve got my employees to think about, some of my closest friends and kin, and some of the best newspapermen and women that I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. They’re the crew members I talked about in the boat metaphor, the ones I can’t bear to see go down with the ship with me. But even more than that, The Kensington Chronicle is a Neverland institution. When we’re at our best, we’re providing the kind of relevant, hyperlocal news that I truly believe every Neverland resident has an inalienable right to. So even if there wasn’t a whole staff of people whose livelihoods depended on the paper staying open, I couldn’t be so prideful as to deprive my community of its lifeblood just because I don’t want to see another man’s name on the masthead.

Mr. Jas Hook, owner of JH Media, and now, by extension, the Kensington Chronicle, has a reputation as a bit of a shark in the corporate world, but I think that reputation is undeserved. For the better part of the past year, my daughter has been working at JH Media’s corporate headquarters in New York City, and what Jas has done for her since she got there, both personally and professionally, is something I don’t think I’ll ever be adequately able to thank him for. And this was by no means a hostile takeover, not by a longshot. I wouldn’t even say it was the best of some bad options. Ultimately, I believe it’ll be a privilege to work for and with Mr. Hook, and that the JH Media name will give our local rag more resources than we’ve ever had before. I’ll still be in charge of the day-to-day operations at the paper, and I’ll tell you this much: Not that much is going to change. Not if I have anything to say about it. Guess pretty soon we’ll see just how much my word still counts around here.

Oh, and lastly, a few of you have been asking after John. I gotta tell you, he’s taken the news of the Chronicle sale harder than anyone. Harder than I ever could have anticipated. Suffice to say, me writing this week’s column was about more than me wanting to have a heart-to-heart with all of you loyal readers out there; John is also not in a great headspace at the moment. I suspect he’ll resume his regularly-scheduled editorials soon, as he starts to come to grips with the new status quo around here. He’ll be okay, we’ve weathered worse than this. But thank you all for your kinds letters, on his behalf and mine.  We’re all still here, and we’re going to work just as hard for you as we did before. Because when you get right down to it, no matter who’s signing our paychecks, The Kensington Chronicle is about Neverland. And outside of my family, there’s nothing in this world I love more.

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on August 31, 2015

Neverspeak Weekly 8/25/2015

New Paper. If you haven’t already heard, JHMedia has bought the Kensington Chronicle. It’s definitely a little weird around here, but we are optimistic that the new merger will allow the Chronicle to keep both its integrity and its place in the hearts of Neverlandians. It’s pretty well known around town that the paper has been going through some hard times. While it’s difficult to imagine the paper being run by anyone but the Darlings, the important thing is that it’s still here.

Reapply Your UnBlock. The members of the local band Fish Girl Pond were seen with some friends at the Jolly Roger taking a break from touring and songwriting for some much needed R&R. Nanny Ams, Mia Rivers, and Rowan O’Connor joined them over plates of nachos and bowls of ice cream. Word has it the band is working on some new material. Perhaps they will debut a new song at Sarah-Jane Lakewood’s engagement party this week?

Sign Language. Wendy Darling started her book tour here in Neverland last week. Locals lined up outside of Neverland Books to get their hands on some of the first copies of her new book “Ask Wendy!”. The local, soon to be national, celebrity was gracious and charming as she signed books for everyone who showed up and a few extras for those who couldn’t be there.

Beyond the Pale.  Even though it’s the end of summer and most of us are sun-kissed or just downright red, there have been a few new residents of the paler variety. Maybe they’re Scandinavian? But I never knew Scandinavians to have such a thirst for tomato juice. Well, thankfully, Teresa Delacruz seems to know how to keep those Scandinavians in line.  And don’t worry, she’s back from her vacation to Chicago with Neal.  Even Scandinavian wranglers need a little fun in the sun.

Bagha Tricks. Local entrepreneur Lily Bagha is having a bad week. Just as word leaked that she and Peter Pan were all but finished, her company was taken over in a hostile move by JHMedia. Bagha Industries had gone public earlier this week, flooding the market with its stocks. Apparently, this was a gamble. The company stood to make a huge profit while they risked someone buying up all the stocks and have the controlling share of the company. This is exactly what happened when Jas Hook swooped in and immediately booted Lily Bagha out.

Star-crossed. Sarah-Jane Lakewood and fiance Alfie will be celebrating their engagement this Friday. It should be a swanky party – the only catch is that it is taking place in New York.  The couple’s families and circle of Hollywood friends will be in attendance.  Word has it they are flying in Mermaid Lagoon for the occasion. The party will be a throwback to 1920s glamour with New Orleans cuisine and endless champagne.  So, if you can hop a plane (or convince Sarah-Jane to share her jet), you probably should!

Boy in Blue. Neverland couldn’t be happier with its new Deputy Sheriff G. Harrison Lestrade. One resident said, “I feel safer knowing that Deputy Sheriff Lestrade is on the case, keeping our town safe. And it helps that he’s cute.” Another pledged to make him her famous chili cheese tacos stating, “Well, that’s his nickname isn’t it?” Yes, yes it is. Thanks for your constant vigilance, Deputy Sheriff Tacos! Let us know how those chili cheese things turn out!

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Posted in Neverspeak
Posted on August 25, 2015

A Nickel’s Worth of Free Advice

Stop the presses! I’ve learned that my sister Wendy Darling’s book tour begins this Saturday at Neverland Books! So I figured I’d use this week’s editorial to talk a little bit about it. In case you haven’t read any of my earlier editorials on the subject, Wendy has written a book called “Ask Wendy: Advice on Life, Love and Living,” which is being put out by the publishing division of JH Media. We’re all familiar with her storied career as advice columnist during her tenure running “Dear Darling” for the Kensington Chronicle before she moved on to bigger and better things, and this book is a must-have for anyone who enjoyed that feature! Click on over to the JH Media site to read a few excepts, in case you’d like to try before you buy. And using the form right below that, you can sign up to have free excerpts delivered right to your inbox.

I, for one, couldn’t be happier that our brief and unfounded estrangement is at an end, as I find myself in dire need of advice in the “love” category. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little guilty asking about my love life when I know hers is currently in such bitter turmoil. I gather an ill-fated double date ended with her current and former beaus coming to blows. And given that several of the players in this drama are near and dear to my heart, my brother and I have been put in the unenviable position of having to navigate this interpersonal minefield. For the record, I personally have nothing but respect for Jas Hook, and based on what I’ve seen, he has comported himself as nothing but a perfect gentleman in regards to my sister. And a part of me regrets my involvement in a recent community theatre piece that shall remain nameless; to say it amounted to little more than a thinly veiled attack on the current object of my sister’s affections would do thin veils an injustice. [I should note that this is not meant as a slight against anyone but the play’s author; the cast and crew were nothing if not consummate professionals]

But I digress. While this won’t cure all of my sister’s woes, I suspect that all we need to do to take her mind off her troubles is to make her first book signing first book signing a rousing success. To that end, I hope all of you will join me this Saturday, 8/15, at 1:30 p.m. EST at Neverland Books. For more details, feel free to reach out to John Smee, Neverland Books proprietor Bri Valdivia, Cindy Sue, Constance Moriarty or any of the store’s other amazing employees.

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on August 13, 2015

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