Call me "Bubble Boy," but I didn't know much about Captain Beefheart until I read Bob Doran's article about him ("The Hum," Dec. 23). Still, I don't fault the Times-Standard or any other news organization for not telling me about his passing. So I agree with the "Media Maven" columnist (Jan. 6) that we're a dysfunctional community, but I do not think the Beefheart story is a good example of that.
I remember the great pall that fell over KHSU the day Jerry Garcia died. But if I had reported the death of Frank Sinatra, I'd have been called on the hemp carpet. That's diversity, and thankfully we live in a time when everybody has a news voice. I don't expect one paper to have everything I need to know nor do I expect hospitals to call editors to say, "Guess who we slabbed today."
So thanks to the NCJ for raising the issue, but I'm not losing sleep over this one. And by the way, if I happen not to wake up, just chill -- because I will.
Dave Silverbrand, Eureka
Please tell me that Marcy Burstiner is a fictional character created by the NCJ editorial staff. I find it difficult to believe that an actual journalism professor could spew the sort of nonsense that regularly fills this column.
Seriously, Ms. Burstiner, you expect the hospital to call up the Times-Standard and inform them when a person of note dies at their facility? A hospital has a single purpose: taking care of patients. Any information gathered in the process should be jealously guarded. A hospital certainly should not be in the business of distributing patient information just in case newspaper reporters are too stupid or lazy to do their jobs. So kudos to the good folks at Mad River Community Hospital for respecting and maintaining the privacy of Mr. Van Vliet.
It is clear to me that Mr. Van Vliet chose to live a very quiet and private life here in Humboldt County. You didn't know him because he didn't want you to know him. And who cares that some paper you worked for in SoCal threw a hissy fit every time a celebrity bit the dust? Are you suggesting that the Times-Standard engage in the same sort of idiotic behavior? I wake up every single morning, look at the perpetually gray sky, and thank my lucky stars that I live here and not in Southern California.
Next time the Journal needs to fill a spare page, just get the Seven-O-Heaven boys to crank out some extra material. By the way, R. W. Evans ("Art Beat," Jan. 6): The Fisherman's Memorial was created by Dick Crane, not Stephen Saks.
Ryan Samuelson, Fortuna