The Journal cover story about Bridgeville (Feb. 4) is a pile of lies where it mentions the Lapple family. Writer Linda Stansberry tries to shield her fantasy by saying, "We attempted to contact Mrs. Lapple. ..." Really? We advertise in the Journal; they've no problem contacting us to buy ads or for paying invoices. But, when they are publishing an article slandering us; we just couldn't be found. This is the same level of journalistic fact checking that Rolling Stone did in its UVA rape article.
With almost 3,000 words they smeared my family. I wrote a 1,200 word response. It was rejected, they allow 300. Imagine a debate; you spew any lies you like for a minute and a half and your "victim," gets nine seconds to respond. That's the Journal's idea of fairness.
The Journal quoted Jessie Wheeler saying, "They tried to take over everything and just let it go downhill." She's implying we made a major investment so that we could lose money. Yeah, right! We put a fortune into restoring houses, water and sewage, which were all built before there was a building code.
The Journal also added, "... drugs began washing through the town." What does that mean? Continuing, "the postmaster, called Federal agents when she suspected controlled substances were being sent through the U.S. Mail." Wow; she was also the person we purchased the town from, could there be a conflict of interest there? Also, I don't recall any of our welfare tenants driving BMWs or Jags. Bridgeville was not Garberville. Nobody grew pot in downtown Bridgeville. Can anybody buy into the fantasy that we brought the drug problem from Los Angeles and it festered into today's Emerald Triangle?
There was no breaking news imperative that required this "hot" hatchet job to get out without checking the facts. Shame on Stansberry and the Journal.
Edward Lapple, McKinleyville
Editor's Note: Journal staff writer Linda Stansberry tried to contact Elizabeth Lapple, leaving a message at Lapple's business and two voicemails on a cell phone number provided by Lapple's assistant. The calls were never returned.