Sound Off

Sunday, Jun 16 2013 04:00 AM

SOUND OFF: Readers write about NASCAR, sellouts, wipeouts, grossouts

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    By Alex Horvath / The Californian

    Bakersfield Californian Executive Editor John Arthur.

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By JOHN ARTHUR, Californian executive editor

Our Duck Dynasty story last Monday (June 10) prompted the following question:

READER: Why don't we know about events until after they happen in Bakersfield?!

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The Californian welcomes your comments and suggestions. To offer your input by phone, please call 661-395-7649 and leave your comments in a voice-mail message or send an email to soundoff@bakersfield.com. Please include your name and phone number. Phone numbers and addresses won't be published.

-- Brandi Reiter

ARTHUR: Eye Street Editor Jennifer Self replies:

The event had been listed in our calendars for a while. Our resources are limited but I had a feeling it might have already been sold out:

When tickets are that expensive, the seating is limited and public relations people don't reach out to us, that's usually an indication that they expect to sell out in a nanosecond and that they don't need our help to publicize it. I don't know how quickly they sold out, but it's like some other events we've had here: by the time we write something, it's too late to get tickets.

Metro Editor Christine Bedell concurred: By the time we (at least I) found out about it, the event was sold out.

***

Several readers complained that there was no NASCAR coverage in Monday's paper. They were right. Sports Editor Tony Lacava was quick to apologize and say it was a big goof. We ran extra coverage Tuesday in an attempt to make up for it.

***

READER: Re your photo of girl holding dead mountain lion (in the Outdoors Photos of the Week column on Friday June 7): this photo made me sick to my stomach... Why the lack of discretion in what you publish?

As I understand they are not something to eat, they are just trophy kills. I think what bothered me the most was that when I first saw the picture I was thinking, oh cool, what did she do for it? Then I read it.

I know other people have hobbies that I don't engage in, and I have to respect their choice whether I like it or not. I am an animal lover. I won't even hit the squirrels that are running across our dirt road. LOL.

Two months ago I found a baby bird that was approximately 4-6 days old. I still have her and she is doing fine. So maybe you can understand the sadness I felt when I saw that picture knowing it would be someone's trophy. I guess I never really noticed that part of the paper before. The ones of the fish didn't even bother me. Go figure.

-- Tressa Hooks, Bakersfield

Sports Editor Tony Lacava wrote back:

Hi Tressa,

Thanks for the feedback on the mountain lion photo. Every week, we run fishing/ hunting photos in the Friday sports section. Most of the photos are of fishing (and we've run photos of fish even bigger than that mountain lion). But we regularly run photos of hunting as well -- deer, elk, wild pigs, turkeys, pheasants, moose, bears (and many other species) -- all have been in the paper.

Hunting and fishing may not be popular in your family (I don't engage in these activities myself), but thousands of people do here in Kern County, and also enjoy seeing photos of others' hunts in our paper. Although popular, you're right, these photos can be very polarizing. If people don't love 'em, they probably hate seeing them.

Hunting is an activity as old as time, and is perfectly legal when done the right way. We do use discretion when choosing outdoors photos. I have rejected countless shots that simply were too gory to look at. Sorry you were sickened by the photo we ran, but we do appreciate the feedback.

***

READER: After reading John Teves's letter to the editor, I tried to see the photo and read the story from May 18. Alas, however, the back issues online end at May 27. Perhaps I can find the article and photo with further investigation. However, it occurred to me that a link to the story in Sound Off this morning would have been a perfect way to offer access to the article for those of us who missed it the first time but would now like to see it. This, of course, will be helpful only to those who read the paper online, but I suspect we are increasing in number daily.

While I am at it, let me also request that you upgrade to include the capability of allowing readers to e-mail Californian articles to those they think will be interested in the article. The L.A. Times has this capability, and sometimes we seem to be able to do it with Californian articles, but not easily or consistently. I continue to get the paper version so I can clip stories and mail them to my children (who live in Seattle and Boston). It would be nice to spare the paper. (I know I can print articles, but they come out microscopically small, so that is an imperfect alternative.

Thank you for considering my suggestions.

-- Susan Gill

ARTHUR: Susan, you make some terrific points here. In fact I've been trying to link to all stories I mention in this column but I have yet to crack the technological hurdles to doing so. We also want to allow easy emailing of online stories and are working to make that a feature you can find on each story.

The Missing Link used to be an evolutionary mystery. We don't want to perpetuate the problem in The Californian. We'll fix it as soon as we can. Thanks for bringing this up. 

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