You Look Mahvelous, Darling
Thursday, March 23, 2000
Ever wondered why, when you look at the obit section, the photo of the 90-year-old who just passed away shows him as a 19-year-old soldier? I've often marveled at this phenomena. Why can't we all be more honest: Joe was once strong, proud, young. But he got old.
I get the same feeling when I see photos of our local politicians. Is this photo the contemporary Rep. Sam Farr or the Sam Farr from his glory days on the county Board of Supervisors (over ten years ago)? Is it the current Leon Panetta, or a photo taken before he was one of the first to know about Bill Clinton's fondling of Monica Lewinsky?
Alas, this week I received a refreshingly honest photo from Fred Keeley, our esteemed state assemblymember. "Another year (and more hair) gone," Keeley writes in an attached letter, "but I am optimistic about the progress we are making in California on education, the environment, and social justice."
Good spin control, Fred. You are the beacon of inspiration. You are a shining example of leadership. But please...start wearing a hat!
And They Wonder Why They Have Poorly Attended Council Meetings
A chain of coastal community newsweeklies in San Luis Obispo County apparently forgot what the word "community" means. It seems that the newspapers' founder and owner David Weyrich, a wealthy winemaker, doesn't think the weeklies should promote pro-gay or pro-choice events.
It all started in mid-February when Atascadero Gazette publisher Steve Martin was told to remove a calendar listing for a meeting of PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). Martin did the right thing: He resigned, along with 14 other staffers.
So much for covering the community. Where will Weyrich stop? Will his papers continue to list city council meetings in their paper? Or school board meetings? Better watch out, gay people might read those calendar listings and want to attend those public events, too.
Guess the grape-monger would rather gay people stay home (and do those naughty things in their bedrooms).
At Least They Run Comprehensive Calendar Listings
Last week, the Monterey County Herald published a lead story implying the city of Seaside was engaged in a cover-up of a crime. It got my attention. It probably sold some extra papers. But did the newspaper jump the gun?
The editors of the Herald criticized Seaside police--no, they slammed 'em--for failing to comply with the law that requires police to publicly release the name of an adult suspect being held for a crime (in this case, the brutal rape of a Seaside women). Even though the cops were proceeding with the investigation, they still have an obligation to follow the law (they are cops, after all).
It's fair for the Herald to criticize the police. They should have released the information pronto. What bothered me about the story was how quick the Herald was to imply that the city was engaged in a cover-up because Wanda Tharpe, the mother of the accused Julius Dewayne Tharpe, works in the city's building department. The March 15 front-page headline read: "Seaside denies cover-up."
It turns out charges against the accused young man were dropped one day after the Herald's headline.
The police defend their actions of non-disclosure, claiming they had reasonable cause to believe Julius was only a witness. They made a mistake. And so did the Herald.
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