Letters to the Editor: January 2, 2019

In which we are roasted alive and screaming by a former editor

Sad, Perplexing

What a sad and perplexing mess your 40th anniversary (Dec. 19) issue is.

Some corrections: The name of the publication changed from The Paper to the Sonoma County Independent when purchased by your chain and then became the North Bay Bohemian consequently (“Long Live the Alt-Weekly”). I became editor in 2002, not 2004, and I’ve never uttered the word “scuttlebutt” in my life (“Fifteen-Year Spat”).

Altweeklies were founded to offer an alternative to the traditional media of the day. They celebrate the f-word and the calendar section. But most of all, they exist to support, define, and reflect the community back to itself.

Nowhere is mention of being picketed by Joe Manthey, losing offices to the flood of 1986, breaking coverage of Dianne Feinstein’s conflicts of interest, responding to Andy Lopez’s murder, uncovering Frank Riggs’ scandals, or other matters of local interest.

Altweeklies also exist to grow writers and create editors. Dating from The Paper forward, your publication was vigorously helmed by such talented folks as Jim Carroll, Greg Cahill, Davina Baum, myself, Gabe Meline and Stett Holbrook. We all deserve a big hug and a whiskey. We all deserve a mention.

North Bay bylines that were either introduced to our market or grown up from scratch by this publication include Alastair Bland, Dani Burlison, Peter Byrne, Leilani Clark, Daedalus Howell, Heather Irwin, Michele Anna Jordan, Gabe Meline, Sara Peyton, Bruce Robinson, David Sason, Michael Shapiro, Carey Sweet, David Templeton and Simone Wilson. They all deserve at least 10 cents a word. They all deserve a mention.

You have a rare and delicate legacy in your possession, and that is a 40-year commitment to celebrating and informing our community. Please treat it with greater respect.

Former Editor, North Bay Bohemian

Thank you for the shout-outs to many of the talented editorial voices who have worked for the ‘Sonoma County Independent’ and ‘North Bay Bohemian’ under Boland-Carroll and Metro. We’ll extend the hugs and whiskey to staff in all departments. Metro cannot take the credit for renaming ‘The Paper’; that occured under Boland-Carroll, prior to the sale. Following Greg Cahill’s departure in fall 2001, Patrick Sullivan sat in the editor’s chair; Davina Baum edited the ‘Bohemian’ from spring 2002 through the end of 2003. You started in January 2004.—Editor

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Sonoma County Library