The WSEE family lost one of the pillars of its history this week with the passing of legendary investigative reporter Carol Pella.
Carol came out of Penn State about the same time Watergate came out in the open. That reaffirmed to her what she wanted to do, to hold the powerful accountable for their actions and provide a level playing field for society's debate.
The problem was, in the early seventies local news was still a place for white men, with women usually relegated to weather appearances or feature work.
Carol would have none of that and fearlessly plunged into the rough and tumble of politics, cops and courts.
She stepped on toes; she barged into meetings and she reminded those in office that they work for the people, not the other way around.
Did she alienate some? Yes, but she also knew that if she was right, if what she reported was accurate and true and she could back it up, the opposition wouldn't hold up.
Within days those very people targeted were calling her back, if for no other reason than to try to figure out who was in the sights next.
What many viewers didn't know is that the professional no-nonsense exterior was belied by a warm and expansive heart.
For a wedding present Carol gave us a picture of the tree we planted at the church along with a poem about how caring for a tree is like caring for a marriage.
Carol had hand drawn the words using calligraphy; it was beautiful and so was the sentiment.
Young people in my business, especially young women owe Carol Pella a debt of gratitude whether they know it or not.
In fact we all do, because her work made Erie a better and more accountable place.
She set a standard I'm still trying to reach today.
One thing is certain. I'm not there yet.