RSF Post: A Star Is Reborn

One of my last newsletters to RSF Post readers was almost exactly a year ago today. I had described how my trip to India had been cut short due to a family emergency. Unfortunately, that medical emergency was me. I was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma with 10 tumors on my spine, a lump in my armpit, and scans showing a voracious skin cancer quickly consuming my insides. As anyone struck with cancer can relate, there is no such thing as rock bottom when one plummets to a depth far beyond humanity’s conventional conception of despair. But after a battery of radiation, spinal surgery, and continued immunotherapy, my gratitude abounds because I am not paralyzed, nor dead. The medicine is working so far, and I am very much alive and on the mend.

Apologies if this appears as a cringey overshare, but it’s relayed as an overarching theme to re-introduce the RSF Post. It too has cheated its own demise over the years, miraculously survived, and is now being reborn to reassert its original intention: to be an unequivocally independent, influence-free voice of, by, and for the community. Our communal news site will not have any affiliation with the Rancho Santa Fe Association, nor will it be pressured to cancel diverse viewpoints that may not align with those of the Board.

More Alpha less Stepford

This is not to say we’re here to gaslight whiney pseudo contrarian busybodies. But while it is always hoped HOA initiatives and policies will be embraced by members, the reality of our Alpha-steeped enclave is not so Stepford. So, provided there are no personal attacks, neighbors can love bomb, throw a little shade, spill tea, or smudge their outer critic with a submission on anything Ranch-pertinent to the Post. Opinions in all their unfettered glory are applauded here.

This equal-opportunity-critique approach is nothing new for the Post. Indeed, it is in keeping with its inception’s impetus. As many of you may know, the RSF Post was launched in 2014 by local resident, Nick Krnich, who was committed to increasing voter turnout in local elections by registering more residents to weigh in on the candidates and issues critically affecting them. Too much power and information were being monopolized by too few people. The RSF Post was instrumental in changing that.

Diversity of opinion

Just as when Nick originally handed the Post over to me (having now, for the third time, assumed the editorial role), I will continue to be dedicated to encouraging wider community input and open dialogue from all corners – both elements integral to an understanding of one another and overall efficacy for the greater good. Many of you to whom I’ve reached out in the past, know I’ve always tried to procure a diversity of opinion. If speech is imprisoned by a singular narrative or interest, then it’s not free. It’s also hideously dull. Much of mainstream media has sufficiently gnawed our senses raw to the mono-myopic journalism on offer at the moment, so I’d like to protect readers’ bandwidth and sanity from another pile of monotony if possible. 

Thankfully I will not be a solitary outpost at the RSF Post, toiling away all alone in my editorial and production pursuits. Misanthrope, isolationist … it’s all so chicken and egg. So as a precaution, the Post is to be a proper group effort. Our online “kibbutz” has established an Editorial Board consisting of Ranch residents who will chip in, put a check on my balance, and ultimately better reflect RSF demographics and perspectives. 

More to come on this, as it’s still a work in progress. 

We also couldn’t resist indulging the Post in a little rebrand “jeuje,” creating a new look and image that pays homage to two Ranch icons. I hardly have to introduce RSF OG Lilian Rice —  the young master architect and visionary behind Rancho Santa Fe’s master plan, with its Spanish Colonial thirst trap of a village and earthy, Latin-inspired buildings. Together they exude the quiet, sophisticated beauty we residents adore. Like the statue in our village honoring her, our modernized imagery replicates Ms. Rice’s confident, arched silhouette peering out, but now accompanied by the other icon: that ever-ubiquitous species of ours, the eucalyptus tree. It too holds a special place in the heart of Rancho’s historic landscape.

A profound blessing

I feel a little bit like Rocky, other than not being a sweaty, prison-jacked, boxer with a grisly shiner howling for a chick named Adrian. But definitely more for the come-back part. Or maybe I’m having an L.L. Cool J. moment. Regardless, It feels impossibly humbling to beat the odds and survive. It is a profound blessing. Just like what I observed in the people on my trip to India a year ago, there is something inexplicably transcendent and hopeful in the sustenance and regeneration of life and the human spirit – against all odds. 

In the end, as I’ve written before, it’s all about perspective and focusing one’s mind on what really matters. Our bucolic Rancho Santa Fe is a magical idyll and home to some of the most engaging, magnetic and giving people. With a greater breadth of contribution and coverage, I hope this RSF Post reboot is able to reflect how meaningful this community is.

Rachel Laffer is Editor of the RSF Post and a Covenant resident.