Outpost ex John Ross Ferrara is pictured here on his very first day of work. He’s the one on the left. Photo: Andrew Goff.

A hundred years from now, a Cal Poly Humboldt grad student will sit down and write the history of the Lost Coast Outpost. At some point, after spending several weeks in communion with the archives, as she pulls off her vape pen and curses her choice of career, she will come to a realization.

She will realize that few decisions in LoCO history were so momentous as that time in June 2015, when the Outpost’s founding generation pulled an ambitious greenhorn straight off the scrappy streets of Burbank and set him up with an internet connection. The lightbulb will flash atop our grad student’s metaversical head. She has found her thesis topic.

Friends: The Outpost’s John Ross Ferrara, who has delighted you in these pages for the last seven years, is off to bigger and if not better then at least more lucrative things. For seven years he has reflected his light and wit back at Humboldt County, alternately amused and terrified by the things he surveyed here, and now he heads off to a cushy news gig in a very tall building in Portland, Oregon. Today is his last day.

There’s all the boring nuts and bolts stuff Ferrara has done, which we know about but you probably don’t. He single-handedly built the Outpost’s Instagram into a 32.8k-follower behemoth. He most often manned the desk on weekends, and he sieved Facebook and other garbage social media platforms for small nuggets of the human condition that would later blossom into full-flown stories. 

But the real magic of Ferrara has always been the way in which he transformed this dross into gold. His features, especially, were knowing and real and moving and funny and humane, without ever succumbing to either cheap internet cynicism on the one hand or saccharine bullshit on the other. 

You liked it too. Look at any of our end-of-the-year posts, and I bet you’ll find that at least five of the top 10 LoCO stories of the year were his. The Ferrara style will be forever be part of our DNA.

Let’s take a walk down memory lane! Scan your eyes down the headlines below. If we hire again sometime in the future — and it looks like we will! — these are the shoes you will have to fill. Good luck.

And good luck to Portland.



Ferrara tells us that the stories below are also among his favorites, in addition to the ones above. — Ed.

Hello, Portland!