Letters to the Editor


Frivolous lawsuits?

I worked with [managing editor] Bob Swofford from 2006 to 2008 and observed how he acted with others in the newsroom (“Two Towers,” May 13). I always found him to be professional, fair and a true gentleman. The allegations set forth in the lawsuit seem preposterous to me. I think we all lose when frivolous lawsuits are filed, and that’s just what this seems to be.

Michael Shapiro

Risk-taker rebuffed

Re the Press Democrat lawsuit, Leigh Behrens intimidated even the big boys in New York. In Santa Rosa, what she may have lacked in approach, she made up for taking risks, which the PD needed to do. The “boys club” didn’t like that, nor were they able to be cutting-edge for their online product.

My job in recruiting was eliminated. I loved working for the PD and for the New York Times. I brought new ideas and felt the resistance toward fast change. I felt and saw first-hand the weaknesses the PD has, and how a select few run the joint in advertising, which, in the end, pays all the salaries. And, yes, they don’t spin on a dime to make or correct changes that could relieve those who padded the profit centers for years, especially in recruitment. The deep pockets of the New York Times are no longer.

I wasn’t part of the “girl’s club” nor did I kiss anyone’s butt, but I’ve got stories and can tell you that Leigh was too cutting-edge, and she was a woman. The news guys just couldn’t take the heat.

Name Withheld


Dirt made my lunch

Ari Le Vaux’s article “Regulating Dirt” had me sympathizing (May 13). Who doesn’t like small family farms, backyard gardens, farmers markets, “your flock of backyard chickens,” etc.? After all, writes Le Vaux, our right to grow our own food is “as inalienable as the right to bear arms.” Those evil lawmakers better not screw with that right. I’m gonna stand guard in my back yard. They’ll take my home-grown turnips when they pry my cold, dead, fingers from them!

Philip Ratcliff

One word: Ouch

I have something to get off my chest with Thomas M. Harrigan, who responded (Letters, May 6) to Tom Mariani’s April 22 Open Mic column, “Words Fail.” Mr. Harrigan, sir, did you even read Mariani’s column before you went off half-cocked? Mariani wrote about the Orwellian manipulation of language or “double-speak” that can, and does, unfortunately occur all too often in our society, both in and outside of our penal colonies.

Mariani wasn’t whining about anything. With all due respect, Mr. Harringan, sir, the only whiner I hear is the one standing in your corner. Yes, I called you a whiner, and, as a friend, I’d like to recommend that the next time you blow your stack, why don’t you read the editorial first and compose your thoughts well enough to make an adequate and appropriate response before taking that mad cow rush to get your name in the paper.

David Madgalene


Sonoma County Library