The Shinbone Star is written and edited by a staff of more than 20, most of whom have worked or are still working as professional journalists. In the newspaper business, there are many talented behind-the-scenes people whose names never get in the paper but whose contributions are vital to the operation, and so it is here. Our staff includes, but is not limited to:
- Glenn Redus worked 33 years as a copy editor, news editor and executive news editor at The Santa Fe New Mexican, Austin American-Statesman, The Houston Post and The Star-Ledger of Newark. He now blogs extensively and freelances occasionally, winning honorable mention in the 2016 Folio Magazine Ozzie Awards for the magazine article summarizing his long-form project, A Year in the Death of One Man. He and his wife have three adult children and six grandchildren.
- Masta Talka is a journalist who began his career in the repressive Reagan ’80s and channeled his angst through Hip Hop. Also a traditional reporter, this New Jersey born-and-bred head began his career at The Passaic Herald & News before moving on to cover city hall for The Newark Star-Ledger. When he began the general assignment portion of his life at the Ledger, he also served as a monthly contributor for The Source magazine in New York City. He worked as a managing editor for a chain of weekly newspapers in New Jersey and was a contributor for thepatch.com. He currently spends his time blogging and podcasting about Hip Hop music and politics for his website, boombapradio.com.
- Robin Dalmas is a former journalist for MSNBC, The Houston Post, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. She is now working as a writer/editor in corporate America. Dalmas recently published her first book, Boisterous Bird of Paradise: Nonfiction tales of travel, sailing, swimming, and love.
- Anne-Marie Cottone was born on Election Day and according to her father, a family friend went out later that day to vote on her behalf. That was the start of a lifelong interest in politics. Cottone worked for The Star-Ledger of Newark for 35 years as a reporter and editor.
- Deborah Quinn Hensel has worked in communications for nearly 25 years — as a reporter, magazine editor, publicist, and media relations trainer. She began as a police reporter for The Houston Post until it closed in 1995, and now provides content for a variety of freelance clients. She and her husband, Bill — also a former journalist, live in Southwest Houston. They have two daughters, two grandchildren, two dogs, and a getaway cabin on the outskirts of Austin.
- MACinelli was political editor for The Houston Post during the early 1990s. He had the privilege of talking with a number of notable politicians, including one-time Texas Gov. Ann Richards and Rick Perry during his campaign for state agriculture commissioner. He also covered former Houston mayors Kathy Whitmire, Bob Lanier and Lee P. Brown.
- Lin Lofley’s journalism career began as a sportswriter for the Waco Tribune Herald and spanned nearly 30 years until ending on a contract at the Fort Worth Star Telegram. He also worked in that time for the Beaumont Enterprise and Journal, the Austin American-Statesman, both Houston papers, and both Dallas papers. Yeah, those two cities had two dailies during Lofley’s career (he is that old). Since 2005, Lofley has worked for The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, first as editor of the campus newspaper, called Center Times, and now as Senior Communications Specialist.
- Fred Bunch began his newspaper career as a “printer’s devil” in his home town of Leonard, Texas. He hand-set type, performed job printing and ran the press. He went on to work as a printer and photographer at the Commerce Journal while attending and graduating from East Texas State University with a major in journalism/photography, minoring in art. After several more stops along the way, he was hired by The Houston Post as a staff photographer, and ultimately became assistant chief photographer. After The Post closed in 1995, Fred moved across town to the Houston Chronicle, where he worked as a photographer for 12 years. He is now retired and living in Albuquerque, N.M., but has reached the pinnacle of his career as the brains behind the Seen & Not Heard page here at The Shinbone Star. In his spare time, Fred enjoys life as an itinerant artist.
- Deconstructing Doctor What happens when a family physician, mom, and wife finds herself at a crossroads with her career? When corporate America creeps into a small town country medical practice? When the bottom line is no longer just about keeping patients healthy, but about turning a hefty profit? You would probably say screw it and start a blog. That’s what I did, and that’s how Deconstructing Doctor was born. I still work in the same medical practice, taking care of patients just like I always have, and use my blog to come to terms with the changing environment of healthcare. I also moonlight at The Shinbone Star, giving my two cents (maybe not even worth that much) about the changing political environment. Sometimes the worlds collide.
- Christine Lavin is a former newspaper copy editor, photographer, editor and reporter for the Oakland Tribune, Houston Post, San Francisco Chronicle and other publications. She lives in a redwood grove in Northern California, in a small community full of chickens and free-ranging horses. She is not to be confused with the folk singer of the same name, who actually has some talent.
- Debbie Dowling’s journalism career spans more than 20.years as a political and business reporter for The Star-Ledger and The Asbury Park Press in New Jersey. She also was a part-time on-air TV business reporter for NEWS12 NJ. More recently, she worked for the Omaha World-Herald. She lives in Nebraska, where she divides her time between teaching at the Literacy Center for the Midlands, raising her family, and acclimating to life away from the ocean and New York. She won The New Jersey Press Association’s first prize for Business Reporting, Opening The Books on CEO Compensation for The Asbury Park Press in 1993.
- Don Lessem is a recovered Boston Globe reporter, dinosaur explorer and exhibitor, Genghis Khan expert and the founder of TheDumpTrumpDump.com news and anti-Trump merchandise site. He was adviser to Steven Spielberg on “Jurassic Park” and to Disney and Universal Studios rides and films. From Patagonia, he reconstructed the world’s largest meat-eating and plant-eating dinosaurs and has mounted more than 30 dinosaur exhibitions on three continents. As “Dino” Don, he is the author of more than 50 books on dinosaurs and natural history, and has answered more than 11,000 children’s letters during his long-running “Ask Dino Don” column in Highlights magazine. The large-belled, small-brained dinosaur, Lessemsaurus is named for his efforts in raising more than $3 million for dinosaur research.
- Madmeg hails from British Columbia, Canada. She is definitely no journalist but has always been a political junkie, wannabe writer and a somewhat, tired yet passionate advocate for social justice. When she’s not ranting and raving, she’s working in healthcare (for the past 15 years or so) and saving her and the other half’s overtime money for traveling. Who needs renovations done when there are places to see and people to meet in this wonderful world we all call home? She has two kids, a 22-year-old daughter who is currently moving to Australia, and a 16 year-old son who has currently moved into the basement. That leaves two empty bedrooms and two empty couches for any American refugees seeking asylum! Our door is always open (except in winter, it gets a bit chilly).
- Gaynell Terrell, also known by her nom de plume, Bluebird: Gone from these pages but not from our hearts, Gaynell worked for the now-defunct Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, the now-defunct Houston Post, The Associated Press and others. On the theory that people may stop reading newspapers but not stop eating, she also earned a culinary degree and worked for high-end resorts and private lodges. She left us in July 2018, and we wrote about her HERE.