Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Killing a newspaper's heart.

It was with shock and sadness today that The Santa Barbara Star Free Press learned of Len Wood's resignation. Len was so kind, so soft spoken and part of the "spine" of the old company. He dates all the way back to the time when Bob Ponce held that position with the paper, and they had a real darkroom instead of Photoshop.

It made us sick, all day today, thinking about Len, and the others.

Why would anyone try to kill the heart of a place, person by person?

What is the worst is that whoever is left on the staff bears it, as each one goes.

The paper is part of the texture of Santa Barbara, itself.

This is as bad as cutting into the heartwood of a tree, or cutting the taproot.

And the saddest thing is that those journos worked on things like the Painted Cave Fire together. You'll never know, will you, unless you've been at a place with colleagues like those and hearts like those, what it is even about to be a part of the industry.

Bill Sykes is still in town, and many of the old reporters too. The Santa Barbara Star Free Press asks The Channel City Club and the Santa Barbara Writer's Conference for assistance. We will donate our domain name to the cause, in the interest of The City of Santa Barbara, and volunteer to help get it off the ground.

In the old days, we got little tiny $20 dollar Christmas bonuses, and bags of food and turkeys for the Thanksgiving holiday, so that no one would go hungry.

How times have changed. But not the hearts of Santa Barbarans.

We want to thank The Independent, for informing us of this new sad turn of events this morning regarding Len, via the web. Click the red title above, for the link.
And know that we will contact those that count in town about this matter. Past colleagues. All of whom know Len.
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