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As my newsroom colleagues and I filed into the mass meeting with the brand-new owners of The Press Democrat, we'd just consented to help the sale go through by accepting a pay cut and freeze, a reduction in vacation and an end to payments into our modest but beloved, decades-old retirement plan.

So why was Darius Anderson, the key member of the buyers' group, the one doing the crying?

It was genuinely touching when the wealthy and well-connected, 48-year-old Sonoma Valley resident recounted his humble beginnings and early connections to this newspaper.

He glanced often at special guest Dee Dee Parman, widow of PD publisher Mike Parman, as he shared how he figured long ago he would follow his father into law enforcement and made it as far as being a Santa Rosa parking-ticket writer.

Anderson said it was about the time his dad, former San Francisco policeman Tom Anderson, became Sonoma County's undersheriff (to then-Sheriff Roger McDermott) in the mid-1980s that the Andersons and Parmans became tight friends.

Darius Anderson made teary eye contact with Dee Dee Parman, whose publisher husband lost a public and good-humored battle with cancer in 2006, as he declared how happy he is to now help return the PD to local ownership.

The mood of the new owners' first meeting with we employees brightened as Anderson singled out Gaye LeBaron, who was there, and recalled the first time his name appeared in his hometown newspaper.

As he'd searched as a young man for a direction in life, Anderson became an intern and then an aide to Doug Bosco. The former congressman sat right behind him at the employees' meeting as the PD's new general counsel.

In D.C. in the 1980s, Anderson persuaded Bosco to let him serve as his driver. The item by Gaye told how the California boy's unfamiliarity with East Coast winters bit him the day he needed to pick up Bosco at the airport but discovered he'd left the Mercury in an ideal spot for it to became encased in a wall of plowed snow.

When it came Bosco's turn to speak at the employee meeting, he said he felt sick the day nearly a year ago that he read the PD was sold as part of a bundle to a Florida media company.

"I thought to myself, &‘We've got to do something about this,'" he said. "I picked up the phone and called my driver."

Oh, yeah, I applauded when the former chauffeur vowed he won't meddle in the newsroom but will drive to make the PD "the best community paper in the country."

TED WILLIAMS was back on KZST on Saturday.

Ted was a classy act on Sonoma County radio stations for a quarter of a century when the attacks of 9/11 helped persuade him he really wanted to work in emergency medicine.

The longtime DJ left KZST/KJZY to become a paramedic, and he has done it well. He's worked some crazy hours over the years, but now his medical duties and his teaching gig at SRJC allow him time off on weekends.

With Jim Grady, the granddaddy of local radio, taking a leave from his Saturday and Sunday morning gigs at KZST, Ted saw an opportunity to get back behind the mike.



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Whether he's assuring a patient or introducing the news, the guy's got a voice that soothes.

OUTSIDE CODDINGTOWN Sunday, the local Goodwill and Red Cross will work together to collect disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

It's a novel and collaborative approach to a calamity that left vast numbers of East Coast folks in dire need.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Coddingtown Mall's north parking lot, along Guerneville Road, the Red Cross will collect cash donations to aid storm victims and Goodwill Industries will accept gently used clothing and small household items.

Goodwill will sell those items at its thrift stores and donate the proceeds to Red Cross disaster relief back East.

The partnering agencies are calling this weekend's humanitarian endeavor "From Sonoma with Love."

(Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com.)

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