Local editor for Wheaton (Md.) Patch Email: Esther.French@patch.com
Hometown: Colesville, Md.
Esther has lived in the Silver Spring area all her life. She graduated from Springbrook High School, where she played basketball, competed on the quiz show "It’s Academic" and wrote for the student newspaper. During her college years, she wrote for various campus newspapers at the University of Maryland and worked as a reporter for Capital News Service's Maryland Newsline. After graduating with degrees in journalism and Spanish, Esther reported on food safety as a News21 fellow before coming to Patch.
Esther has road tripped around the United States, traveled to Egypt and studied abroad in Spain, but she always loves returning home to Montgomery County. Wheaton Regional Park and Brookside Gardens were some of Esther’s favorite childhood haunts, but she’s looking forward to getting to know a different side of Wheaton, particularly as she reports on redevelopment and revitalization projects.
At Patch, we promise always to report the facts as objectively as possible and otherwise adhere to the principles of good journalism. But we also acknowledge that true impartiality is impossible because human beings have beliefs. So in the spirit of simple honesty, our policy is to encourage our editors to reveal their beliefs to the extent they feel comfortable. This disclosure is not a license for them to inject their beliefs into stories or to dictate coverage according to them. In fact, the intent is the opposite: we hope that the knowledge that their beliefs are on the record will cause them to be ever mindful to write, report and edit in a fair, balanced way. And if you ever see evidence that we failed in this mission, please let us know.
I am registered as a Democrat, but I don’t toe the party line. I would probably have registered as an Independent if Maryland would allow them to vote in the primaries.
I’m a Christian, and my faith is important to me.
Local Hot-Button Issues
What do you think are the most important issues facing the community?
As Wheaton’s various committees and associations pursue a new direction and vision for businesses, we’re going to see and have already seen redevelopment and revitalization efforts that must consider the needs of the neighborhoods against the need to strengthen the local economy. The Montgomery County Council’s deliberation over Commercial-Residential Zones could have a big impact on this balancing act.
Wheaton is home to big businesses and small businesses, and keeping them all happy and thriving is obviously tricky. Residents of Wheaton are busy discussing the arrival of Costco, especially the potential impact of a Costco gas station.
With a new mid-county director and no more support staff at the Mid-County Regional Services Center, relations between Montgomery County and Wheaton are entering a new stage. Wheaton wants more of a voice on the county council, especially as the council reviews the Wheaton Sector Plan.
Wheaton has a strong Hispanic population--the highest concentration in Montgomery County--and involving their voices in revitalization and redevelopment will be important as Wheaton moves forward.