Your Feb. 19 issue was a real treat for me. I read it from cover to cover, a kind of newspaper detective case investigated during a windy, rainy night, cozily propped up in my warm and comfortable bed.

I have been suffering from the thinning of so many products -- same brand, less weight -- including my favorite newspapers. My regular read, the San Francisco Chronicle, has gotten radically reduced in features, content and sheer volume. The mourning cry is out for the dying print media. Now with such handy web-based devices like the new Kindle reader and all the Blackberries, iPhones and clones of such, newspapers and blogs are there for you in a tap of the finger.

But what did I turn up in my local, right here, right now, hometown paper? A solid 10 rating in form, function and finesse.

Incisive investigative reporting such as the Bob Doran's "Radioland" cover story pulled me in to the page after page of fresh news, with always attractive and compelling layout. The open, and honest self-assessment of the state of the Journal itself by Hank Sims was appreciated. The "Hard Times" column by Jennifer Savage was a welcome hard look at local reality. Fun and relief was on the next page, as I enjoyed every word of "Meet My Moka" by Simona Carini. She was applauding my own, trusted, daily companion -- the European stovetop coffee maker. Yes, I also found interest and some surprising delight in the cartoon, poem, calendar, "Filmland," workshops and classes, the marketplace, "Field Notes" -- and even the ads and legal notices were a hook and a perk.

Case closed: The Journal is an antidote for newspaper blight, cured right here at home.

— Rondal Snodgrass, Bayside

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