Opinon Piece by Samuel Strait – October 13, 2016 – Recently, hidden under the title “My View: A Walk in the Woods and a man in a wheelchair” (published in the Triplicate October 11,2016), our venerable Editor of that paper, Robin Fornoff spun a tale of epic proportions in trying to convince his dwindling readership of the veracity of the fairy tale fantasy he and other contributors to the letters section of the opinion page in the Triplicate have spun over the past few months regarding the blight issue at our local Safeway. While it is quite clear that is once again another effort to politicize the issue and claim that “no aggressive panhandling occurs in front of Safeway” , he once again clearly evades the issue that Safeway has a blight problem that is also clearly associated with those same vagrants and transients that hang around the front of the store.
As far as his assertion that “No aggressive panhandlers exists”, I suppose being a male, and going in the early morning and late evening for a few times, it is possible he might have missed that experience. I also don’t recall anyone saying that panhandling in front of Safeway occurs each and every day all day long, but if Editor Fornoff were really trying to determine whether or not it does exist, a half dozen visits hardly supports his case.
As far as the rest of his story, as an editor he should know that to keep a time line in his story is fairly important, and his time line is a walking disaster. In the first place a “hit and run” accident even a month ago in Crescent City, no matter who was involved would be front page news, yet no story. He has his “Homeless Man in a wheelchair” in the hospital in Santa Rosa at the same time the same man is being given four or five sleeping bags by Jerry Johnson. Nice trick if you can do that. He also is interviewing him in the woods when he is suppose to be still in the hospital in Santa Rosa, unless a month is shorter than four and a half weeks.
While Editor Fornoff may have resorted to flights of fantasy in his conversation with the “homeless man in a wheelchair”, his further conversations with “Bill” enter into the realm of creative journalism and lose what little credibility he has remaining. It would appear that an earlier letter to the editor, another grand fantasy, “Homeless person at Safeway sets good example” composed by Nancy Jacomella (Triplicate, letters to the editor September 20,2016) inspired our editor, Robin Fornoff to compose a grandiose fantasy of homeless men picking up trash and returning shopping carts at rates that even exceed the possibility of men who aggressively panhandle in front of Safeway. After all we can’t have any suspicion that this story is anything but, about Robin Fornoff’s faithful and true recounting of his grand adventure in the woods behind Safeway.
And as the curtain draws to a close on Editor Fornoff’s theater, he has our starring actor in his wheelchair sitting down by Coming Attraction Theaters watching people go by without any attempt to panhandle. Of course he can’t have his man in front of Safeway where there actually is a bit of foot traffic. In front of Coming Attraction Theaters, really Editor Fornoff? Never been panhandled at Safeway? I guess you just didn’t do much of a job, because most days they are there.
Western Communications must be truly proud of their hire of Mr. Fornoff as editor of the Triplicate. His fiction is epic.