Email: Jason.Lea@patch.com Phone: (440) 391-7889
Hometown: Garfield Heights, OH (but I tell anyone who lives more than an hour from Northeast Ohio that it's Cleveland to keep things simple)
Birthday: December 18
Bio: I spent three years covering crime, courts and calamities in the communities of Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties for The News-Herald before becoming the local editor for Mentor Patch. I won a couple of awards for breaking news coverage; but the best reward is when a reader tells me, "You got it right. Other people got it wrong, but you got it right."
I love reading (which I do too much) and running (which I do too little.) My favorites writers are Thomas Hardy, Italo Calvino and Gabriel García Márquez.
I admire people who can speak more than one language. I have taken classes for Spanish and Italian but barely have the fluency of a studious tenth-grader.
I volunteer for the United Way in Mentor and Project Hope in Painesville. I don't volunteer with them so I can tell people about it. I do it because I think they (and many other charities) do important work, and I like to help however I can.
My wife's name is Jenny. She is way too good to (and for) me.
At Patch, we promise always to report the facts as objectively as possible and otherwise adhere to the principles of good journalism. However, 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 you to inject your beliefs into stories or to dictate coverage according to them. In fact, the intent is the opposite: we hope that the knowledge that your beliefs are on the record will cause you 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.
Like 98 percent of the population, I consider myself independent politically. However, I tend to vote on the liberal side of issues -- not always, but more than half of the time. (Granted, that is becoming less true now that I have a mortgage.)
I believe in social liberality and fiscal conservatism. These two stances do not always dovetail comfortably.
I am not registered with a political party, nor will I ever.
I support anyone's political stance as long as they can defend it.
I am agnostic.
I want to be clear what that means when I say "agnostic." Sometimes, "agnostic" is code for "afraid to offend anyone" or "too lazy to have an opinion." For me, agnostic means "undecided."
My family raised me as a Christian. While I respect the religion of my progenitors, I did not want to assume it was true simply because I was raised in it.
I have read the Bible, Qu'ran, Tao Te Ching and Bhagavad Gita in their entireties, as well as writings from Farid Ud-Din Attar, Khalil Gibran and St. Augustine. (Obviously, the Bible includes a translation of the Torah.)
I take the question of religion seriously and appreciate people who have found an answer that works for them. I have not.
Local Hot-Button Issues:
I think Mentor has a small-town, suburban mentality with a growing-city population and industry. Most of the city's biggest issues either derive directly or indirectly from this dichotomy. Frankly, I think this is what makes Mentor such an interesting place to work and live.