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December 17-24, 2008

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Letters to the Editor

Honig's Fairy Tale

I JUST READ former Sentinel editor Tom Honig's piece on the state of local journalism with absolute astonishment. I suppose if one lives long enough, one will indeed see everything. And it's simply too bad that hypocrisy is not horse manure, else we could fertilize a continent with Honig's musings.

When the Sentinel was purchased by Community Newspaper Holdings in 2006, Honig's published response went as follows: "The ownership is less important than the people who work here."

Then when the paper sold to his pal Billy Dean Singleton at MediaNews, Honig had this to say: "This will improve our content simply because we will have so much good journalism coming in from all over California. Our technology and online journalism will probably be improved."

Talk about writing in a "minor key." Honig wrote in a minor key his entire career. If nothing else, Honig was always a dutiful corporate hack. And when Honig kowtowed to corporate pressure and, in one feel swoop, unceremoniously fired Matt King, Roger Sideman, Soraya Gutierrez, Daniel Lopez, Kate Falconer and Isaiah Guzman, there wasn't bleep about it in the paper, and Honig pulled King's blogs about the bloody hatchet-job from the Sentinel website. So much for his commitment to the First Amendment.

As someone who has slogged in the trenches of Santa Cruz's alternative weekly media for 35 years--and as someone who led a community effort to buy the Sentinel in 2006--let's just say that Honig was never an ally along the way. Far from it. Honig wouldn't know a "call to arms" if it were standing right in front of him.

Someday I will write a full and detailed response to Honig's fairy tale. But I do want to note that his little cheap shot thrown at current Sentinel editor Don Miller was truly a low-class act. I've had my disagreements with Miller over the years around issues of substance, but when it comes to pure journalism, Miller is 10 times the journalist that Honig ever was--and a far better baseball analyst than Honig could ever hope to be.

 Geoffrey Dunn,
Santa Cruz


Desperately Seeking Donations

THE NEED for food aid in our community is greater than it has been at any time in recent history. Second Harvest's Holiday Food Drive is still short of its goal of 1.8 million pounds of food, and we challenge readers to help us meet the needs of our friends and neighbors.

Community food pantries and soup kitchens are observing an increase of 30 to 50 percent in clients since September. Among over 47,000 people who receive aid from Second Harvest every month, 50 percent need help for six months or less. These are people dealing with the loss of a job, loss of a spouse or sudden illness. Recently unemployed service workers are many of the 4,000 new individuals served, 90 percent of whom have never received food aid before. Second Harvest expects to see more seniors, children and working families as the full extent of the recession is known. Your donation can make a huge difference in the lives of all of these people. To find out how you can donate, go to

Sandi Eason and Annie Morhauser,
Co-Chairs, Second Harvest Holiday Food Drive

Flim Flam Film Man

WOULD IT BE too much to ask Steve Palopoli to actually view the movies before he writes his reviews? I'm fed up with his phony reviews; they aren't as funny as he thinks, and week after week they are a disservice to the movie-going public. If he had taken the time to see Cadillac Records he would have seen that Beyoncé was a superb Etta James. Spring for a matinee, Steve.

Ruth Fisher,
Santa Cruz

Buy It Locally

IN HER FINE ARTICLE "Liquid Assets" (Dining, Dec. 3) describing great holiday wine values--and I agree with her on all her selections--Christina Waters suggests that "friends don't let friends drink Two Buck Chuck!" Good advice. She also recommends the Crane Lake Cabernet for $2.99 to be found at that same store. Alas, you will not find any Crane Lake wines at TJ's. You will find the Crane Lake Cab, and many other Crane Lake varietals, at New Leaf Community Markets, as well as at a few local liquor stores, all selling for $2.99. Now, you are not going to confuse a Crane Lake wine with a Storrs Chardonnay or a Bonny Doon Cigare Volant, but for $2.99, they are all great wine values, and to answer Christina's question of where to find them, "you know where"--at your locally owned New Leaf Community Market.

Scott Roseman, Owner,
New Leaf Community Market

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