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I “heart” Rob Dennis

rob.JPGThe fellow pictured on the right is our city editor, Rob Dennis. Sadly for us, this is his last day on the job.

Loyal Tri-City Beat readers might remember Rob as the angry guy whose lone venomous post about a bogus BART parking ticket triggered an avalanche of anti-BART rants.

But Rob is more than just a hater. He’s our best investigator, most seasoned reporter and sharpest editorial writer. He’s also our resident beer guzzler, chain smoker and card shark.

Rob has shared major awards for a series about mortgage lenders discriminating against minorities, and coverage of the Rodney Blach trial. Later this month, we’ll print a four-part series that is mostly his work.

Rob came to The Argus eight years ago after a distinguished tenure as a Wal-Mart sales associate and several years living off the dole in his native Ireland.

Starting Wednesday, he returns to his roots — mooching off other people’s tax dollars.

Rob was one of about several MediaNews-East Bay (our parent company) employees who took a buyout last week.

He’ll collect unemployment, freelance a little and eventually head over to Prague to work on a documentary film. He says it’ll be about Eastern Europe 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but we’re worried that it’s really a first-person piece on how former Communist bloc countries have kept beer prices under $1 a pint.

We might have to start a liver transplant fund for him.

In case anyone cared, Rob never did pay that parking ticket. BART backed down in the face of Rob’s irrefutable evidence and exasperated sighs. It was a big pain in the butt, but in the end, it was worth it. We hope that’s how Rob will come to look back on his time at The Argus.

Take care, buddy. We’ll miss you.

Matt Artz