Monday, March 31, 2008

Reader wants more online newsletters and puzzles

Q. I receive daily the online version of The Tribune. I have a couple of questions: First, why don’t I get the online version sent on the weekends? Second, when I am traveling I would like to access the daily Jumble word puzzle and crossword. I can’t seem to find them on your site. Can you direct me?
-- Marla DeMarco

A. We created our online newsletters for the weekdays, when more readers seek to access our stories online. We haven’t seen a similar demand for the weekends, plus there’s less breaking news then. That said, we do send out breaking news alerts on Saturdays and Sundays when warranted, just as we do during the week, according to Online Editor Sally Buffalo. Similarly, we haven’t seen reader demand for online Jumble or crossword puzzles, so we have not bought them. Thanks for your keen interest in The Tribune, however, and for your suggestions. We’ll keep them in mind as we continue to expand our news and features content on

-- Sandy Duerr

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Reader praises photo pages

Q. I just wanted to thank you for the beautiful photo page in Saturday's Tribune! Truly wonderful photographs within the theme, “Order to the Chaos.’’
-- Janice Peters, Morro Bay

A. You are most welcome. All the credit goes to Joe Tarica, our presentation editor who envisioned the concept, then selected and laid out the photos. “When we have enough room in The Tribune, pages like this are a nice treat to offer readers, providing a look at some of the unusual pictures that wouldn’t otherwise make it into the paper,’’ Tarica said. “When I was perusing the images from last week, a nice pattern (literally) developed. In addition to combining effectively under a common theme, each one tells a mini-story that can be appreciated essentially from the photo and caption alone.”
-- Sandy Duerr

Monday, March 17, 2008

Thanks for Tribune's series on poverty

Thank you for running the series on poverty in our county. It’s certainly something that needs to be shown to all of us.
-- Jesse Arnold

I wanted to write to commend your series about the struggles of those who live below the poverty level. Your words touch us all and your statistics are heartbreaking. … Every American deserves a chance for a roof and a toilet and some food. I know we can all work together to make it better for all, to simplify the system, to not make them invisible, to appreciate what potential they might have that could help our world as well.
-- Judie Najarian

Our thanks to you – and the others who contacted us – to let us know how much you appreciate our efforts to deepen readers’ understanding of our community. As Janice Fong Wolf, director of grants and programs for the SLO County Community Foundation, wrote us, “we all need to be aware of what is often an ‘invisible’ population.’’
_ Sandra Duerr

Friday, March 14, 2008

Identifying men arrested for alleged lewd acts in Atascadero park bathroom

Q. Why didn’t you print the names of the three men arrested at Atascadero Lake Park last week on suspicion of lewd acts?
-- Several readers

A. The three men were all suspected of misdemeanor crimes, and The Tribune generally does not report the names of those arrested who face misdemeanor charges. If we do, we’re obligated out of fairness to follow that person’s case through the courts and report the outcome, particularly if the person is found not guilty.
“The Tribune’s staff time is limited, though,” said Matt Lazier, our local news editor. “There are many more misdemeanor crimes than there are more severe felonies. So when we do cover a misdemeanor case, most of the time we do not name the person arrested.”
There are exceptions, however -- for instance, if a prominent local resident is accused of a misdemeanor. A good example is a case July 18, 2007, when the Sheriff’s Department arrested three men on suspicion of lewd acts after a sting near Pirate’s Cove nude beach.
The Tribune first reported the arrests July 20 without the names of the three men arrested. However, our staff learned that morning that one of the men arrested was Geronimo Enrique Cuevas, who was a priest at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Nipomo.
“Because of Cuevas’ standing in the community and the trust inherently placed in priests,” Lazier said, “we felt we needed to print his name.” Cuevas’ case is still making its way through San Luis Obispo County Superior Court. He has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of committing a lewd act in public, soliciting a lewd act in public and sexual battery.
We followed this same reasoning today in identifying one of the men, Larry Arnold Starling, because he works as the concessions manager at the Mid-State Fair. He holds one of the key jobs at the fair, which is one of the county's major events of the year.
_ Sandra Duerr