Former local newspaper editor likely dead


Jim Kravets, a Fairfax man who played a role in the history of West Marin newspapering, has been missing since Aug. 18. According to his wife, he had been struggling for years with chronic pain and, before disappearing, indicated his intent to take his own life. Two weeks ago, his car was found on West Cintura Avenue in Lagunitas, prompting the Marin County Sheriff’s Office to launch a search with the Fairfax Police Department. The 53-year-old had made his intentions clear in notes he left behind, though what specifically happened remains unknown, his wife, Kristan, said. Mr. Kravets’s career in West Marin newspapering began in 2004 when former Light publisher Dave Mitchell hired him as a reporter. “I remember him as a cheerful guy to have in the office,” Mr. Mitchell said. “He was diligent. I counted on him to do what he needed to do, and to do it right.” Mr. Kravets’s tenure at the Light spanned a change in ownership. Robert Plotkin bought the newspaper in 2005 when Mr. Kravets was the news editor; a year later, he made him managing editor. In 2007, along with others from the Light who disapproved of Mr. Plotkin’s leadership, Mr. Kravets helped found a rival publication, the West Marin Citizen, where he served as the editor until 2010. Ellen Shehadeh, an Inverness writer who left the Light with Mr. Kravets and worked as a reporter for the Citizen, described the instrumental role he played in shaping the nature of the new publication. “Jim’s vision was that it be a community newspaper, with a lot of different people contributing and people writing stories who weren’t necessarily journalists—that was unique to the Citizen,” she said. Ms. Shehadeh described him as “brilliant” and one of her favorite people. Mr. Kravets, a 25-year resident of Fairfax and a freelance writer, kept close ties to the coast after his time at local newspapers. “He cared so much about a lot of the people in West Marin and had so many good feelings about the community,” Kristan said. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, call Marin's 24/7 crisis stabilization unit at (415) 473.6666.