Thursday, September 20, 2012

Vermont Reporter Alan Panebaker Died in a Kayak Accident

Panebaker from twitter.
Vermont Digger has a more recent picture.
Alan Panebaker was a reporter with Vermont Digger.  Everybody agrees that he was a terrific reporter: fair, thorough, readable.  He covered energy at the State House, and I saw him at many meetings.  Sometimes he interviewed me briefly.  He was always smiling, friendly, and professional.

That doesn't explain it. He was "smiling, friendly and professional". He was also --always warm.  I always felt sort of cheered-up and warm when I saw him.  Many people have said the same about him.

Panebaker left Vermont Digger to join a not-for-profit, American Whitewater, a river conservation group. Kayaking was his passion, and he was on the local rivers as much as he could be.  I was sad when he left the Digger and wondered if they would ever get such a good energy reporter again.  We all wished him well in his new job.

Panebaker died in a kayak accident Wednesday morning. He was 29 years old.  The Digger article starts: regrets to report that Alan Panebaker drowned on Wednesday, Sept. 19, doing what he loved best.  Look at the comments on the Digger article. In those comments, from every side of the energy debate, people shared their respect and love for Alan Panebaker.

We will all miss him.  I saw him at hearings, and I read his work. He was so young and had such a bright future ahead.  I mourn for him.

His work

I link here to two Panebaker articles, so you will how careful and fair he was.

PSB approves merger of GMP and CVPS
A dozen industrial wind farms underway in Vermont despite intense local opposition

(Note, the second article is almost a full report, not just an article.  It is very long and complete.)


Mary Gerdt said...

So sorry for your loss and journalism's loss. mary

Meredith Angwin said...

Thank you, Mary. I only knew him professionally, but I liked him a lot. I just had to say something about his passing. His work was an honor to journalism.