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