SOUND OFF: Can trees, newspapers and Trump get any respect? – The Bakersfield Californian

Reader: First, I love The Bakersfield Californian the comics, puzzles, many great columnists, and of course, news. My father was a newspaperman also. He owned his own paper, lost it in the Depression and then worked for several other papers, including lastly, the N.Y. Daily News.

I am a tree lover, have owned several places with many types of trees pine, palm, mulberry, oak, crape myrtle, Chinese elm, maple, poplar, fruit trees, but I really love the Ailanthus. It's a beautiful tree and should not be belittled since it grows easily.

You may want a nice old oak tree, but if you move to a yard that has nothing but dirt, you'll be very happy to grow a lovely Ailanthus, which will give you shade within a year. Just because a tree is hardy and fast-growing is no reason to insult a tree that given the chance, can grow to be large and beautiful.

Joan Owen, Bakersfield

Peterson: Joan, I am thrilled to hear you love The Californian. While I don't come from a family of newspaper people like your father, my mom tells me my great-grandfather read multiple newspapers in English and Polish from cover to cover every morning in Chicago. We like to think that inspired my love for newspapers something in our genes!

I'm not a tree expert, but I think the description Steven gave of the Ailanthus "the back yard sports several so-called trees of heaven, a vigorous invasive species that clones itself so efficiently a sucker is growing from a crack in the covered front porch" is accurate. Some websites I looked at basically describe it as a weed, which seems a bit harsh.

I guess when it comes to trees, it's to each his or her own! We all have our favorites.

Reader: What a great edition of TBC you had on Wednesday, Aug. 5. Not only were there three great philosophical cartoons in the comics section, but that ad asking us readers to help out. You guys and gals are at the center of our big newspaper family universe. I was already going to call all the people you listed in your ad, even before I read the little letters that explained so much ...

Whoever wrote it and gave the final OK is both a genius, and a fair deal-maker. That piece of legislation mixed up the nation's newspaper business with the nation's lawmakers and we citizens, who are the final product. It's going to make newspapers live and thrive until the money that pays for those business and personal ads return ...

After I read the intro, I was going to agree even before I read the details. Not only would I like to thank the wealthy patriots who bought The Washington Post, the not-failing New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, I would like to thank whoever bought TBC. I don't care about any of the changes made when papers were merged to print in the same place. Someone bought TBC for the love of the game. Too bad the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Denver's big guy, and others were not able to last as long.

But, it's like every month you have to PAY people to come through the gates. It's not going to last forever, but there are real American First Amendment Intellectuals who will step up to the plate forever I hope.

Even though a lot has changed both internally and physically, and quickly it's still thrown on my driveway every morning. Life is good.

Thank you for hanging in there and printing that Wednesday TBC.

Peterson: Life is good with newspapers, Matt, and I'm glad you enjoy The Californian.

The legislation Matt's referring to is the Local Journalism Sustainability Act, which, if passed by Congress, would provide a tax credit for local newspaper subscriptions, a payroll credit for compensation of journalists and a credit for advertising in local newspapers and local media.

Reader: There are not many happy headlines to read in the paper these days, what with COVID-19, political wrangling, weather, fires, etc. But on July 31, John Cox made the best of a bad assignment with the headline "Lice become one more head-scratcher during pandemic." Very witty and funny! Keep up the good work, John.

Bob Goon, Bakersfield

Peterson: Believe it or not, Bob, John Cox wasn't assigned this story, which was much different from the business stories he most often tackles. Rather, he came across a news release in his email inbox about the prevalence of head lice as many families with children are staying close to home, and ran with it. And yes, that headline, which he kicked around with News Editor Teddy Feinberg, was perfect for this head-scratcher of a story.

Reader: I have to give you credit for consistency. Letters to the editor supporting Trump always give solid reasons and encouragement. Then there is the obligatory Trump hater or haters who have a lot of emotional problems that they have to vent. Even todays (Wednesday's) editorial cartoon about changing the election date is fundamentally a lie, misleading and contributes nothing to the solution of Californias grossly illegal and unconstitutional voting system. Oh, well, I dont expect you to change. I still enjoy my crossword puzzle.

Peterson: Glad you enjoy your crossword puzzle, Jerry.

For every person like you who says there are Trump haters who have emotional problems they have to vent, I hear similar comments from the other side.

I'm not sure how Wednesday's editorial cartoon, which depicted a woman looking at a photo of President Trump and saying "now he wants to move the election" is "fundamentally a lie" and "misleading." Is it the headlines in the newspaper the man is holding, which also are true?

Did not Trump tweet on July 30 that With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???

According to a July 31 Associated Press report, "GOP officials from New Hampshire to Mississippi to Iowa quickly pushed back against Trump's suggestion on Thursday (July 31) that it might be necessary to delay the November election which he cannot do without congressional approval because of the unfounded threat of voter fraud. They reassured voters that the election would proceed on the constitutionally mandated day as it has for more than two centuries."

Did I miss something, Jerry?

Executive Editor Christine Peterson answers your questions and takes your complaints about The Californians news coverage in this weekly feedback forum. Questions may be edited for space and clarity. To offer your input by phone, call 661-395-7649 and leave your comments in a voicemail message or email us at Please include your name and phone number; your phone number wont be published.


SOUND OFF: Can trees, newspapers and Trump get any respect? - The Bakersfield Californian

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