Editor-Publisher of ROTW NEWS, passed away Monday January 30, 2017.

As a pioneer in online news reporting, Michael Neufeld blazed the trail in the San Bernardino Mountain communities. He and Dave Henderson teamed-up and established Rim of the World (Rimoftheworld.net) a new techy-way to deliver the news that encouraged computer owners to refer to the computers for the most current news of the day. Hard work, long hours, venturing into strange or unfamiliar territories, risking possible danger were only pieces of the job for a middle-aged man. And, not to mention getting comfortable with the new technology matched with Neufeld’s professional history, he conquered the challenge.  


(This is written with heavy-heart, about my dear friend.  I’m sharing a few moments of an incredible life that influenced my life and many others. I looked to Michael as a master, a teacher, a guru. I looked up to him as the elder of journalism. Much to my surprise, I am the older by 13 months and I’ve been in journalism the longest …. 50+ years!  E T Russell)


Fortunately, for you, readers and for me we’ve found a common bond in our friend, Michael Neufeld. He truly was a most unique person that everyone related with, no matter the pathway we walked.  Many refer to their friend as Mike, but sense I was first introduced to him as Michael; in 2007 he has remained Michael to me. Ironically, Occasionally, Michael noted to me that he was Michael Perry and found it interesting that he’d become acquainted with Michael Perry of Big Bear Lake. 

Born July 23, 1942 in Lindsay, California, young Michael’s parents relocated the family in Porterville.  There the teenager heeded to the calling as a journalist, especially the news business and during his high school years, became an on-air personality for the local radio station, KTIP.

As a graduate of the prestigious Dwight Bentel School of Journalism at San Jose State University, Neufeld earned a double-major, received Speech & Drama, as well as Radio & Television Degrees.  (Another connection: Michael’s professor Dr. Jack Holland at San Jose State, later was my teacher years later.)  


Married fifty years, wife Susan and Michael’s family includes, son Ed Neufeld, daughter Michelle and son-in-law Brandon Knapp, and four granddaughters. Living in the mountain community of Crestline, the Neufeld’s are members of an extended family.

Neufeld possessed a foresight into others and saw the potential of like-minded businesses, organizations, and individuals that come together to share business, community, and nonprofit goals and issues, can turn dreams into reality. With those thoughts in mind Neufeld with Penny Shubnell, co-founded Crestline Connect. The networking group of businesses and organizations meets weekly has more than thirty members.  I’ve visited the group a few times; once I accompanied Assemblyman Jay Obernolte, when he was the guest speaker.  What a great idea for all our mountain communities! 


Previous to Neufeld’s venturing into the new online media, ROTW NEWS (Rim of the World) I was an associate with Rimoftheworld.net. Editor Neufeld divided up his time and efforts covering the Big Bear Valley, Lake Arrowhead, Crestline areas, as well as San Bernardino County and City incidents and events. I recall assisting with assignments such as: the collapse of the SR-330 culvert, the construction of the new Big Bear Lake Bridge, the adventure of Jordan Romero’s conquering the climb to Mount Everest, the Dorner trail of crime, our Sheriff’s recovery, several Big Bear Airport Air Shows, Old Miners Parades, Special Olympics, Bear Valley Hospital, the construction and dedication of the Brenda Boss Facility, and many other events.  

As with other press agencies, we rely on Public Information Officers (PIO) to submit press releases to keep us informed of incidents, press conferences, etc but together we develop close working relationships and dependency on each other. Editor-Publisher Michael Neufeld had great respect for all agencies:  San Bernardino County Supervisors, San Bernardino County Fire Departments, CAL Fire, San Bernardino County Sheriff, Twin Peaks Sheriff Station, Big Bear Sheriff Station, CERT, ECS, COAD, California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS), California Highway Patrol (CHP), State Assembly, State Senate and U.S. Congress, as well as posting Public Service Announcements (PSA) and supporting many non-profit organizations.  

Neufeld’s mission was to bring closer communications together with all San Bernardino Mountain communities and the unique survival lifestyle we ‘mountain-folk’ share. He saw the importance that we not be isolated when critical events occurred as with the mountain fires of 2003, 2007 and more recently with Lake Fire and Summit Fire. Dave Stuart with Hearts and Lives coined the words ‘We have many post offices on the mountain, but we are all one community’.  

Michael was a unique individual, a husband, a father, a brother, a son, a friend, a Californian, a true American.

In honor of Michael Perry Neufeld, a Celebration of His Life will be February 12th Sunday afternoon at 2:30 P.M. in Crestline, California at the San Moritz Lodge located at 24640 San Moritz Drive.    


Thank You, for letting me share my Friend with You!  E T Russell