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April 30, 2015


I hope this doesn't mean you're going to suspend writing! Your voice is truly an essential support for all of the thoughtful residents of Salem.

Maren, not at all. It wasn't my choice to discontinue the Salem Weekly column. I'll keep on blogging, along with posting on my Strange Up Salem page.

I have closely followed local politics for many years. Thanks for saying what I think.
It takes courage to do what you do. The people you criticize do not like to be criticized.
I admire and sympathize with AP - he knows the reality of the situation. A watered down semi-weekly is better than nothing at all. It is not far fetched to believe that the powerful people who feel threatened by your opinions would do what they could to deny advertising dollars to SW.

Kurt, thanks for saying what I've been thinking, but didn't know if it warranted saying by me.

I have no idea whether the sometimes acerbic tone of my column (I've done my share of insulting the Mayor, City Council, and Chamber of Commerce) turned off current or potential Salem Weekly advertisers.

Like you said, it isn't far-fetched to consider this possibility.

Print publications of all kinds, including the Statesman Journal, are struggling. Revenue is harder to come by in these online times, when people can put a free ad in Craigslist instead of buying one in the newspaper.

But I need to say this: A.P. Walther, the Salem Weekly publisher, never complained about anything I wrote or edited me in any fashion. I'd just check with him and Helen Caswell to be sure there wasn't going to be a news story in Salem Weekly on the same subject as my column.

So doing the column was a writer's dream, for which I'm deeply thankful. I'd done a lot of other sorts of writing, but had never done a regular column.

One more thing to tick off the old Bucket List. Just a thousand or so to go. Hope I live to be a hundred...

Well Brian, I would hate to think that I might have had something to do with your firing. Here is a comment that I posted on their website about Helen's article on minimum wage:

"This is the best article I have ever read in your publication.
Every month we attend a play at Pentacle Theater and read Salem Weekly.
We could not believe that an actual, factual news piece like this could ever appear. Good job! No pie-in-the-sky, cockamamie, glass house nonsense just a solid piece of reality. Please write more articles like this and less of the brain-dead fluff."

Just say the word and I'll jump off the Union St bridge.

Brian, thanks so much for all your columns in the Salem Weekly. It was the first thing I turned to in every issue. You will be missed in the SW. Of course I will continue to be a faithful reader of your blog.

Keep up the affectionate critique of our hometown. We need it. And we are going to change Salem in the years to come. People who think like you and me are the majority and not the minority. That will be the key to our ultimate victory.

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