– After covering news in a village of 5,500 people, there seems
to be a lot happening in Gilroy for Peter Crowley, the new crime
and courts reporter for The Dispatch.
By Lori Stuenkel
GILROY – After covering news in a village of 5,500 people, there seems to be a lot happening in Gilroy for Peter Crowley, the new crime and courts reporter for The Dispatch.
“There’s more going on here, it’s a faster pace,” said Crowley, who moved to Gilroy last month from the rustic Saranac Lake, N.Y. “There’s more big news.”
For more than two years, Crowley was the only reporter covering Saranac Lake for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, a six-day newspaper that also covered neighboring Lake Placid and Tupper Lake.
“I wrote about everything that had to do with the village of Saranac Lake – everything but sports,” he said.
Crowley, who grew up in Montgomery, Ala., began his journalism career as a reporter and arts and entertainment editor for The Mike, the student newspaper of the University of Toronto. He graduated from Toronto in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in English and anthropology. The university attracted Crowley because it was his parents’ alma mater and offered a change of scene, he said.
“It was out of the state, it was out of the country and it was out of the South,” he said. “At 18, these things are important.”
After graduation, Crowley briefly worked at a youth homeless shelter in Toronto before moving to Saranac Lake, where he had spent most of his childhood summers.
“I decided I was going to move somewhere that I liked,” Crowley said.
Crowley took a year off from journalism beginning in March 2002 to volunteer with his wife at a camp for refugees from war-torn countries. At the Georgia camp, Crowley taught English and grammar, as well as myriad other subjects, including carpentry and car repair, to hundreds of refugees.
Following his hiatus, Crowley returned to Saranac Lake and worked as a freelance writer while conducting a four-month-long job search that eventually led to The Dispatch.
“I was looking all over the country,” said Crowley, who turned down an offer from another New York paper in favor of heading west.
Crowley’s willingness to make a long-distance move pleased Chief Editor Mark Derry, who sent Crowley several editions of The Dispatch to acquaint him with the paper and Gilroy.
“Peter has good experience, he was willing to move across the country to pursue his professional aspirations,” Derry said. “His writing was what drew me to hire him. He is a careful, thoughtful writer who obviously cares about what he does when he sits down at the computer.”