What’s this in our mailbox? (Part III)

To: Humboldt Mirror
From: bluelakepd@aol.com

Yo yo bug homes, what up? Jus got back from So Cal. Wuz hangin with the hotties and muling some off-market Lunesta from TJ. Gotta help the girlz getta good nights sleep, no what I mean? Heh heh.

So, jus wanted to give yuz a shout out for keepin it real and shit thru all that court BS. Gotta quick trip to the iron city to chill with the space dockers, but its all kool yo. Back out in no time and we’ll be chillin with some porn and PBR like in the day. Remind me to send that fucktard Gayegos a thank you card.

Moms sez hi,

Today in awesomeness

Former Blue Lake police chief David Gundersen is in the wind after blowing off a court appearance Wednesday, Times-Standard ace reporter Thad Greenson went all the way to Long Beach to write about men’s restroom conversions, and a new clothing store in Fortuna was treated to the most ass-mangled headline we’ve seen in a long time.

Awesome!! We love today.

Amen, sister

The following is a letter to the editor which appeared Thursday in the Eureka Reporter.

Plea bargains, deals kept street racer on roads

Dear Editor,

The tragic death of a 9-year-old girl on State Route 299 because of a drag race once again points out the deplorable judgment of our district attorney.

At the same time Paul Gallegos was prosecuting members of the Eureka Police Department (whose charges were dismissed), he was cutting deals and plea bargains with one of the drivers, who has 17 criminal cases on his record.

Yet this man was free to drive the streets and kill a child.

Susan Dodd

ECONOMIC CRISIS HITS HOME: Times-Standard lays off headline verbs–with update!!

In a sign of deepening financial turmoil, Humboldt County’s oldest daily newspaper confirmed Tuesday that it has laid off virtually all of its headline verbs.

Times-Standard Managing Editor Kimberly Wear additionally warned that gerunds and present participles could be next.

“Of course it’s sad whenever any part of speech loses its job,” Wear said, “but we’re adding slots in other departments. For example, while we’ve had to let our news headline verbs go, we’re employing an obscene number of colons in sports.”

[Hey sports dudes--lighten up. You're writing sports stories, not doctoral dissertations.]

The effect of the layoffs was immediately noticeable. One story Tuesday was entitled simply “Economic politics,” while another, called “Columbus Day?” similarly skimped on both verb and object but managed, in the end, to find work for an odd but fortunate question mark.

In the Times-Standard’s top story, “County unemployment at highest rate in decade,” the cash-strapped fish-wrap couldn’t afford even one little form of be.

But tough economic times may have temporarily cooled the usually white-hot rivalry between the Times-Standard and the Eureka Reporter.

In an unprecedented show of support, Eureka Reporter Publisher Judi Pollace offered to loan her competitor a dysfunctional website, three car-wreck photos, and an entire issue filled with other stories no one gives a shit about.

UPDATE: Pleads, Goes, Faces and the Draws twins return to work Wednesday!! Insiders say the county’s paper of record dipped into the Fat Guys’ Emergency Donut Fund to pay the bill. Way to take one for the team, guys. Now if only we could get the sports colons to cut back a little. (Dressage? Really?? Is that even a sport?)

County residents struggle to remember why they’re not at work today

Columbus Day?


Is that still a holiday?

Too bad Columbus didn’t discover a day on which kids go to school but parents get to stay home and drink.

That’s what we would consider a holiday.

Campaign in crapper, McCain resorts to civility

Interestingly, supporters of the Republican presidential nominee were having none of it, and booed John McCain at a campaign stop when he referred to Barack Obama as “decent.”

We say suck it up, whiny right-wingers. Now you know how we’ve been rolling for the past eight years.

Of course it’s hard to say whether McCain’s new-found respectfulness marks a change of heart or simply a change of strategy.

The good news is that one way or the other, it’s likely not enough to save McCain’s McCrappy McCampaign.

Go Obama!!

Alleged asshole arrested

The driver of the second vehicle involved in a drag-racing collision that killed a little girl and seriously injured her mother is now enjoying the hospitality of the Humboldt County jail.

Here’s hoping the accommodations are not to his liking.

The 19-year-old Eureka resident reportedly attempted to elude the long arm of the law by cleverly spray-painting black his now-infamous silver Mustang.

How did that not work?

We’re surprised the suspect didn’t get away completely after donning his own brilliant disguise.

Drag-racing douchebags kill 9-year-old twin

Ah, the joys of drag racing on a public thoroughfare. It’s all fun and games until you accidentally kill the 9-year-old niece of one of Humboldt County’s most popular and respected cops.

But that’s apparently what happened Monday afternoon, when one of two vehicles involved in a little drag-racing frivolity on Highway 299 clipped a car carrying at least three little girls, including a set of twins.

One of the twins was killed in the wreck, and her mother is said to be in critical condition.

But here’s our favorite part: The driver of the vehicle that caused the wreck reportedly has two DUIs to her credit, and her passenger was a parolee who had already racked up an impressive string of criminal offenses all his own.

The Times-Standard reported Tuesday that police are looking for the driver of a Mustang that fled the scene following the collision, but we doubt he’ll get far.

Sources say that driver has been identified, and we’re willing to bet every law enforcement officer in the county is keeping an eye out for him.

Our condolences to the family and friends of the child who died.

Update: The Times-Standard reports Wednesday that the mother’s condition is improved. And a law enforcement source tells the Humboldt Mirror that investigators have not yet ruled out the possibillity that the felon, rather than the drunk, was behind the wheel when the accident occurred.

PULP FRICTION: Newspaper war gets all bitchy and kind of lame

We’ve heard repeatedly that competition between Humboldt County’s two daily newspapers has been good for the community. The Eureka Reporter’s advent roused the Times-Standard, which had for decades celebrated its monopoly by loafing off, screwing up, and depriving the community of meaningful daily news.

The awakening was by all accounts a rude one. But after many months of whining and name-calling, the Times-Standard slowly, reluctantly did step up and even man up.

All that’s needed now is for the county’s oldest daily to finally grow up.

Citing an unnamed “press report,” a breathless Times-Standard missive appeared this morning refuting the assertion in today’s Eureka Reporter that Deirdre Peterson, the Fortuna teacher accused of having a sexual encounter with a student, had turned herself in.

In fact she had not–yet–and this was inarguably an error on the part of the Eureka Reporter. A mistake of this magnitude would typically warrant a brief correction–in the Eureka Reporter–not a snarky 300-word smack-down on the Times-Standard’s website.

So why did the Times-Standard go nuclear?

Was Peterson’s precise custodial status really all that important? If left at liberty, would she pose a threat to public safety? Evidently not. She turned herself in within minutes of the Times-Standard’s over-excited exposé, and was quickly processed and released on bond.

A more likely explanation is that Karen Wilkinson, the ER reporter who made the error, is a former employee of the Times-Standard, an organization she left on terms that could cordially be described as uncordial. Relations are said to have been particularly cool between Wilkinson and Kimberly Wear, who is now the TS’s managing editor.

Insiders on both sides today have speculated that it was likely this lingering grudge that caused Wilkinson to cut corners trying to scoop the TS on Peterson’s release–and also caused Wear to set aside her better judgment in favor of rubbing Wilkinson’s nose in the mistake.

In short, today’s news was not about either paper’s readers. It was instead another play in a game of insider baseball that has gone on for so many innings no one outside the two newsrooms even gives a shit anymore.

Still, we think the critics are at least partially right: Competition has made both newspapers better. But competition taken too far can also make both newspapers a complete waste of time.


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