Letters To The Editor 01-27-11
The Public Voice
Thursday, January 27, 2011
FLASH AND BANG
The newspapers that endorsed Scott Miller for sheriff did not throw the bomb that killed Rogelio Serrato (“Investigators try to determine what went wrong in death of misidentified man,” Jan. 13-19) but I find them deeply complicit in his untimely death.In dozens of letters over a decade I warned that Miller was a dangerous liability. The Weekly and the Herald endorsed him anyway!
Excuse me asI puke from disgust as the same newspapers that endorsed him persistently ask whyMr. Serratodid not leave the house.I have no personal experience with police raids, but I have seen how dangerous police can be when they don’t get what they want.It does not take a genius to figure out that Mr. Serrato stayed in the house because he was afraid of trigger-happy cops in a very bad mood.
Condolences are not nearly enough.This is going to cost us, and the family deserves every cent.Sheriff Miller came out of the gate all bomb first and ask questions later.Let him pay the settlement.Will anyone be punished for this?If police are not held accountable, what incentive is there for them to follow the law?For police to bomb a house, call it an accident and blame the victim is despicable.
I usually feel smug about I-told-you-so’s, but this is just painful.I bet that if Mike Kanalakis were still sheriff, Rogelio would still be alive.I think that Scott Miller should resign before he does any more damage.Between the loss of life and the settlements, we can’t afford to have him as sheriff. - Kelita Smith | Carmel
TRAVELS WITH STEIGERWALD
It was an honor to be included in your Steinbeck cover story this week. (“Bill Barich retraced the literary icon’s famous journey,” Jan. 20-26.) I’ve sat at the counter in Pepper’s and read the Weekly several times in the last year while on my three research trips to Steinbeck country. I was always impressed.
I only wish your editors had asked writer Paul Wilner to give me a quick call before he let Steinbeck scholar Susan Shillinglaw discredit me as a journalist.
I’ll forgive Wilner for characterizing the eight months I’ve spent researching Steinbeck’s Charley trip/book in libraries from coast to coast and on my recent 43-day, 11,000-mile drive down the Steinbeck Highway as a “mini-jihad” – whatever that means.
But a quick look at the opening page of my web site (and former blog site) “Travels Without Charley” at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette might have proved to Wilner that I wasn’t a jihadist or a goof or a Steinbeck-hater.
My trip in pursuit of Steinbeck’s ghost – which did not start out as a fact-checking mission – was a serious act of journalism by me, a veteran journalist.
I also would have asked Wilner to be a teeny bit skeptical about the dismissive reaction of a Steinbeck scholar when she is faced with evidence that much of what Americans have thought about the truth and accuracy of Steinbeck’s iconic “nonfiction” book has been a myth bordering on fraud.
Shillinglaw pooh-poohs what I did with my research, which shows in numbing detail that Steinbeck’s actual trip is not accurately or honestly represented in Charley.
She also makes silly/fallacious points to try to make me seem like I cared more about where Steinbeck slept than what he wrote about the issue of racism.
I understand Steinbeck is your local hero. And Shillinglaw, whom I’ve met and exchanged emails with, is your local Steinbeck expert. But you unfairly let her do a disservice to me and my hard, honest work. - Bill Steigerwald | Pittsburgh
(Note: Steigerwald’s work can be viewed at www.travelswithoutcharley2010.com)
TALE OF TWO WEEKLIES
In your Jan. 20 edition, former Weekly editor Paul Wilner uses Steinbeck’s Travels With Charley – now over fifty years old and set in various locations very far from the Central Coast – to fashion a cogent and compelling article for our time and place. In contrast, Tony Seton’s attempt to make sense of California’s admittedly convoluted drug laws (“One friend’s experience explores weed legalities,” Jan. 20-26) comes off as redundant, pedantic, and utterly uninformative. - Hal Ginsberg | Sand City