Congratulations on your typically sober and informative coverage of the controversy over the sheriff's fender-creaser last fall and the decisions of local media not to consider it newsworthy at the time.
This is hardly the first time that the Humboldt press has kept a discrete distance from stories that might embarrass law enforcement. A few years ago an acquaintance of mine was being prosecuted with what he thought was undue zeal on a marijuana matter when he heard through the grapevine that a ranking member of that year's CAMP team had gotten well-tanked on our society's legal intoxicant and then went out and totaled a state racer.
My informant took it as ironic that he was being hounded for something that posed no inherent public threat or even cost whereas the guy sent up to fight the hell weed had not only cost the state a cruiser but also demonstrated in the most convincing way that he was thoroughly out of control on public roads and could as well have hit an innocent citizen.
Mark Drake, Leggett
While reading the April piece on Sheriff Dennis Lewis' traffic collision, I was amazed to learn that the sheriff's failure to notice that he had hit the other vehicle could be excused in part because "the siren was whaling."
I had long believed that sirens were mythological critters. This is apparently not so or how would the sheriff have one? If this siren possesses the talents attributed to the species, might not the sheriff's momentary distraction be better explained as a response to the seductive airs of the critter rather than from "fidgeting with a spotlight?"
The disturbing aspect to this story was the siren's alleged activity at the time of the sideswipe. I thought the United States had thoroughly banned the slaughter of these inoffensive marine mammals by international treaty.
I detect a real story here! I look forward eagerly to your May issue.
David R. Young, McKinleyville
Editor's note: The whaling siren wasn't the only error in the April edition.
In an Upfront report on the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. power plant it was reported that substantial amounts of groundwater had been leaking into the pool that holds the spent nuclear fuel rods. In fact, water had been leaking into the basement of the facility where the pool is located, not the pool itself.
Also, Samuel Lewin was incorrectly identified as the news director of KIEM-TV Channel 3 News. He is executive producer.
Thank you for sending George Ringwald on assignment to "Book Clubs" (March cover story). He wrote a wonderful story. ...
When we talked a few weeks ago, I got the feeling that you might not continue The Journal forever. I plan to last another 20 years or so and I want to read The Journal each month for all of those years. Then the Arcata Eye newspaper reported that there is a chance you may become a weekly which would yield quadruple pleasure for those 20 years.
Thanks for contributing to the good life in Humboldt County.
Fred Cranston, Trinidad
Editor's note: The Journal has no plans to change frequency at this time. How's that for a Clintonesque response?