Jay Thorwaldson, editor of the Palo Alto Weekly, is the newest member of the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club’s board of directors. The club’s membership elected Thorwaldson and reelected Peter Cleaveland and Jennifer Aquino as directors. Also reelected were President Jamie Casini, Vice President Dave Price, Treasurer Ed Remitz and Secretary Jon Mays.
In the 1960s and 70s, Thorwaldson was an award-winning reporter and editor with the Palo Alto Times and Peninsula Times Tribune.
Information he uncovered in 1967 helped Menlo Park police infiltrate and break up a neo-Nazi terror and bombing group in early 1968 — he received an award for his coverage of the arrests. In 1970, he drafted an editorial suggesting creation of an open space district to preserve Skyline Ridge lands, which led to creation in 1972 of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. A 1971 series on ambulance-service problems resulted in creation of the Palo Alto Fire Department’s paramedics team.
From 1977 to 1982, he taught journalism at Stanford part-time and in 1980-81 he helped oversee the effort that ultimately contributed to the preservation of the historic Stanford Theater in downtown Palo Alto. He served as director of public affairs for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation for 18 years.
In 2000, Thorwaldson returned to the newspaper business as editor of the Palo Alto Weekly, which has won numerous awards under his leadership. He points out that this fall marked the 50th anniversary of his first byline, in the El Gato student newspaper at Los Gatos High School.