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By Norb Garrett, owner and publisher of Picket Fence Media

This month marks the 15th anniversary of the first issue of the San Clemente Times, and as we celebrate the accomplishment, it’s important that I take a moment to acknowledge those who have helped us reach this important milestone.

We never would have achieved 15 years without the hard work and support of everyone who has worked at the newspaper since its inception, including original staff members who are still with us today—my wife Alyssa (General Manager), Lauralyn Loynes (Associate Publisher) and Jasmine Smith (Art Director).

These three amazing women have been integral to our success, as have the many other staffers over the years who we have had the honor of working alongside.

Additionally, my thanks and appreciation go out to the local business owners who have advertised in the paper, online and social media channels through the years. It’s truly our honor and pleasure to support our local business community, schools, associations, community groups and sports/youth teams.

The very first issue of the San Clemente Times published 15 years ago this month.

Perhaps most important of all is you, our readers, who have helped us become the No. 1 source for local news while supporting our forward-looking, hyper-local newspaper committed to delivering original “Local News You Can Use.”

Things have changed a lot since we launched our first issue. The San Onofre nuclear plant, the focus of our cover story in our first issue and this week’s cover, has since been decommissioned. The community successfully emerged from the crushing economic recession of 2007-2009 and will do so again as we emerge from the pandemic of 2020.

Some of our first-ever “Grom of the Week” surfers are now professionals, including Kolohe Andino, who will be surfing in the Tokyo Olympics this summer, representing the USA (and all of San Clemente).

The San Clemente Times has been there to chronicle all of it, and we have every intention of being here 15 years from now to be able to look back at whatever changes life brings us.

Some things haven’t changed, thankfully. San Clemente still has its small-town feel despite all of the changes it has experienced. Our friendly little surf-centric beach community has been through many growing pains, but we’ve persevered and hopefully grown a bit wiser along the way.

As we celebrate and reflect on our 15 years serving the San Clemente community, we offer our continued gratitude for your support and encouragement over the years. We look forward to serving you all for many, many more years to come.

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