Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

By Donna Westfall – October 14, 2016 – Are you old enough to remember when American’s felt smug in their constitutional freedoms of the press and free speech during the Cold War? Afterall, Pravda, the official Russian newspaper and mouthpiece of Communist Russia was there to censor anything and everything.

Not so in America.

Well, hold onto your hats because good old censorship is alive and well in Del Norte County by our one and only local printed newspaper the Del Norte Triplicate.

Here’s the official word by Editor, Robin Fornoff, dated October 12th banning me from submitting Letters to the Editor:

“Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately we are not going to allow any letters to the editor from you or anyone associated with your website, Crescent City Times. Robin Fornoff “

Here’s the letter that got me banned:

“When I compare Gitlin to Murray, in my mind there is no comparison.  I witnessed Mayor Murray’s disregard for Free Speech when she stopped people during public comment about fluoride and had their microphone turned off.  When she doesn’t agree with what you have to say, she uses her power and authority to deprive you of your constitutional 1st Amendment rights.

Even though I’m her constituent If I have a problem, concern or comment, I can’t go to Murray because I know from experience she will ignore me. 

I know from experience that when I, as a council member, complained about the $37 million (later increased to approximately $44 mil) rigged bid, change orders, double and triple billing and conflicts of interest on the sewer plant project, she  censured me. Today, we can all suffer with ever increasing, never stopping sewer rate increases because of that.  Because either Murray believes that staff will always do the right thing; or she doesn’t have the nerve to question staff, or she along with others benefited because based on reliable sources up to $15 million was used in kickbacks of one sort or another.

By contrast, Gitlin discovered $25,000 in missing funds at Solid Waste and wanted answers while others tried to shut down his pursuit of answers. He always answers communications. If there’s a problem, he tries to get to the bottom of it and he seeks out a solution.  He understands and supports constitutional rights.

When it comes time to vote, I can support Gitlin for re-election, and encourage people to Vote No on Measure Q to stop another 20% sewer rate increase. Anything else is only an inadequate solution to a long term problem.

Donna Westfall

Crescent City, Calif.”


To conclude:  If you have been banned from submitting Letters to the Editor at the Triplicate, please let us know.



  1. As a casual observer of the escapades of the Triplicate and Donna/Linda, I have two cents to add. Perhaps EVERYBODY is in the wrong. The Triplicate acts like a mouthpiece for special interests in town, and Donna/Linda are a bit on the crazy side. Just how many conspiracy theories and X-File type stories can one on-line newspaper publish? That said, I am in agreement with a lot of what is published on the CCT…..And it is difficult to be critical of the CCT conspiracies while using a false MAC address and a VPN.

    1. Thank you for your comments. Just to be clear, every computer has a “mac address”. But I think you meant IP address?
      A VPN is a “virtual private network”. It’s a way to router your computers traffic through another IP address that isn’t usually directly tied to your home/office/computer et cetera.

      1. webmaster –

        MAC addresses can be faked (so no, I didn’t mean IP address), and VPN’s can traverse continents. Just have to know how. And Larry isn’t my real name. 🙂

    2. Dear “Larry isn’t my real name,”

      You’re right I am CRAZY for wanting to go to every governmental meeting in town to decipher how these elected folks are running our city and county into the ground…conspiracy theory…umm nope, as soon as possible, a case will be released to the public and you can read all about the “conspiracy theory” real soon. The best part of it….it will show the fine people of our county and city just what is going on here.

  2. A few years ago, the Triplicate was successful in placing a 3 year restraining order against me because they knew I had a prior legal arrangement I couldn’t miss. They managed to time it perfectly so I had to choose between going to jail, or taking the restraining order. Had it not been this way, I would have contested the order.

    Due to being restrained by the newspaper, I wasn’t able to legally declare changes to my business and thus, put me into a situation that I couldn’t control. Eventually, Karma is going to put them out of business. I just hope that when it does, it brings down every single employee’s life down to the basics like they did with me. I hope it hurts financially and I hope it humbles them. They do not provide much value to our community. There used to be a time they did. When Western Communications acquired them, in my opinion, it went down hill.

    I noticed they revamped their website and put up a paywall. All you have to do is load the page and hit ESC key about when it finishes loading and the javascript on the page stops working. This effectively lets you read the articles without paying for it. They don’t know how to choose the right technologies to fulfill their goals and in doing so they are already behind the curve. They saw other papers do this and they thought they could just jump on board and do the same. The amount of money they pay for everything from hosting to software and hosted services, they could have hired someone who knows what the hell they are doing.

    Since I don’t want to be sued by them for “libel” or defamation, I’ll just say this: Everything I said above should be considered my own personal opinion.

  3. Yesterday I submitted a letter to the Triplicate’s editor regarding the opinion piece done by Leonard Pitts. I learned that the Triplicate will not accept any writings from anyone who is associated with the crescent city times. I personally called Robin Fornoff to verify this matter.

    Mr. Fornoff was indignant and rude. Told me I was staff at crescent city times and he would not publish anything I wrote regardless. I guess when I paid for my one year subscription a month ago I didn’t get a memo from this editor telling me under no circumstances would I get anything published via his newspaper. He will gladly take my money to support this community but feels I have nothing to contribute. I guess that is also why when people wrote in to show me support during my candidacy for 5th district it was never published, but again Mr. Fornoff enjoyed getting money for my candidate advertisements….well that’s ok Mr. Fornuf I wonder how many more people will not be allowed to submit their ideas and response to your very special editor section because they have submitted opinion pieces or articles in another local newspaper…Pretty soon Mr. Fornoff, nobody will buy your newspaper for fear they may God forbid get caught socializing, writing, or reading another paper. Hello Hitler.

    Once I learned of this new rule and attitude I called the Triplicate and cancelled my subscription and asked for reimbursement for the remainder of the year which is almost a whole year. This behavior is condoned by Cindy Vosburg, whom I thought was a little more mature and professional than that.

    1. The whole point being, that everyone should be able to send letters to the editor and express their opinions without Mr. Fornoff using blatantly artificial standards to deny publication. The standards for one person is often reason for him to deny publication, yet go ahead and publish other letters that violate his identical “standards” simply because he, Mr. Fornoff, agrees with the politics of the letter published.

      Quite often his reasoning is flawed and without merit when responding with a denial of publication. This is not the purpose of an editorial page nor is it the job of the editor to craft narratives instead of news stories for his newspaper. Mr. Fornoff commits both sins constantly in nearly every issue since he became Editor of the Triplicate. He has consistently damaged the credibility of the Triplicate with his clear political bias and only offers one side of each and every story that is produced. It may seem that he occasionally offers the other side of the argument, but if you read those stories or letters carefully, they never are allowed to truly represent an alternative view point, merely the hint of one. Quite often those letters start out promisingly, but invariably lack substance by morphing into preaching to Mr. Fornoff’s choir and come up short. They have to in order to escape Fornoff’s censorship.

      Letter writers should not have to navigate an ever changing set of “standards”, nor should they have to conform to Mr. Fornoff’s personal standards. It is an opinion page that they are submitting letters to after all. As long as they meet a normal set standards and are civil, the editor has no inherent right to deny publication.

      As far as the reporters that write for the Triplicate, they clearly share in Mr. Fornoff’s warped world of how to write news stories and should most definitely not be given a pass. Much of what I see out of his reporters is simply lazy journalism that is constructed around a preconceived theme often identified by the reporter well before he, or she has a story to write. There is very seldom true objective journalism. It seems that many reporters “think that they are writing stories to make the world a better place”. I say to that kind of journalist go sign up to be a volunteer in some third world country, you will be far less of a menace to society. Journalism is not about creating news, but reporting events in an objective, truthful, and honest fashion. Politics and advocacy should not be present. That is not happening at the Triplicate and has not happened for some time. Mr. Fornoff and his current crop of reporters are the antithesis of what real journalism is meant to be……

  4. I was banned twice from writing letter to the Editor at the Triplicate….I just wrote Letters to the Editor Times Standard which were read by lots of people in Crescent City

  5. I have spoken with many people about our local paper and what appears to be a sinking ship. Now they are charging for reading any online stories. They are the only paper in Humboldt and Del Norte County that I know of that does charge. Something I just fail to understand since it is not at the top of the list as far as quality news. They have some very good reporters at the Triplicate. They work hard for little pay. There are just not enough reporters to keep up with all of the local news that we want to read. Instead, the paper is half filled with old national news that most of us have already seen in other papers or on television. More rovers to cover local events could fill that little paper. (just a suggestion)I understand the right to freedom of speech but don’t understand how the Triplicate can manipulate that right. Just giving my “unbiased opinion” please don’t shoot the messenger!!

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