Huh. Ellen Goodman, whose tepid, mushy column can be found in Dean Singleton's newspapers, is hanging it up after four decades. Good. It's not that Goodman was particularly predictable or repetitive (that honor belongs to Bob Herbert), but almost every columnist starts repeating the same tropes, in the same voice, after a couple of years. Best to give it up and find something fresh to do. Otherwise, you find yourself writing the same old piece forty years down the road. Just like Ellen Goodman.