I have had the unusual pleasure of working both with and for the City Pulse as an advertiser, writer and editor. I’ll never forget the transition from music writer to Arts & Entertainment editor. Elaine Yaw was departing, and was leaving big shoes to fill in a very short amount of time. I was suggested to Berl as a potential replacement, interviewed, and quickly signed on with his confidence-inspiring words, “I really wish we had time to find someone more qualified, but we don’t, so you’re hired.”

But that’s the real strength of Berl and of the Pulse in general: They’re going to tell you the truth and offer no bullshit. The Pulse is the only paper in town giving you a thorough breakdown of so many aspects of Lansing life, branching from local politics to theater to revitalization efforts. (And Schuler Books is endlessly grateful for the Pulse’s ongoing literary coverage in an era when book reviews have all but disappeared from newsprint.) We’re so lucky that we have someone like Berl, who is willing to put his entire life into creating an alternative news source. I saw him coming in to work almost every day — including Sundays — and while I was there because I’m a wait-to-the-last-minute kind of girl, Berl was there because he was looking ahead to the next important story, because that’s the kind of man he is.

Whitney Spotts, a former Arts & Entertainment editor at City Pulse, is promotions coordinator for Schuler Books.