Superintendent shouldn’t be bothered with book

I find it ironic that the book in question (“Persepolis”) about being banned or restricted is about the life of a young girl struggling in a country under an oppressive government that has morality police and strict government censorship. Mr. Francois, it is commendable you took time to hear the complaints. I hope you don’t have to spend more time on this because the budget issues in the district and state are the biggest threats to the education of our children. I hope you can spend most of your time on that.

I find it ironic that the book in question (“Persepolis”) about being banned or restricted is about the life of a young girl struggling in a country under an oppressive government that has morality police and strict government censorship. Mr. Francois, it is commendable you took time to hear the complaints. I hope you don’t have to spend more time on this because the budget issues in the district and state are the biggest threats to the education of our children. I hope you can spend most of your time on that.

John Shinner, Bothell

Too often, too many people today are self-appointed “experts.”

Parents complaining about school-district use of any literary material should first have to establish their credentials as “literary experts.”

Otherwise, one example of the absurdity that occurs involves the complaints about the use of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Those complaining generally scan the book and find a few (derogatory) references, and then declare the book “racist” when it is probably the most racial damning book in American literature.

Parents have similarly gone through books like Doestoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” and found references to “God,” and then made the case that a teenager should not have to read it because “it takes the name of God in vain” despite the fact that the book is a powerful affirmation of belief in God.

I suspect that the parental experts of the use of “Persepolis” novel are in the same category: People who think reading is just recognizing the denotative meaning of some of the words.

Richard Pelto, Kenmore

Newspaper chatter

We’ve all heard the chatter of our once mighty newspapers starting to go under. Be it the L.A. Times, the Chicago News-Tribune and our beloved Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Well, if ever there were a case for shooting one’s self in the foot, this is it. Many are saying the Internet killed the printed newspaper, but I say newspapers killed themselves.

Lets look at the Seattle Times and the Seattle P-I. Their downfall started years and years ago, way before the Internet news was that much of a factor. I’m talking about their switch from an evening paper to a morning paper. I’m not sure what “New Coke” circulation wizard thought that it was a good idea to switch both papers to a morning publication, but if I had been the publisher, I’d have chucked him off the top of the P-I globe into Puget Sound.

I don’t care what their people have said ever since the switch, but print news in Seattle has been 24 hours behind everyone else. We are literally readying yesterday’s news. That was just the first nail of many in their coffin. The latest nail goes by the name of The Associated Press (AP). Now I don’t have any problem with the AP, but in the Feb. 4 edition of the Seattle P-I, 90 percent of the first two sections were all AP stories. Even a front-page story was an AP.

What happened to the pool of P-I writers? Did they all start working for the AP? No, the answer is quite simple. It’s cheaper for the P-I and the Times to pull stories off the AP news-wire and print them than it is to pay staff reporters to go out and cover the news. Problem here is 90 percent of the non-local news in the P-I and the Times I can get for free online from the AP long before the P-I or the Times can print it.

So I have to ask myself, is it worth 75 cents for the local and lifestyle section of the P-I? No, it’s not. To be honest it’s not even worth the old newsstand price of 50 or 25 cents.

The Bothell-Kenmore Reporter has 20 times more local news for FREE than the P-I or the Times does and with about half of the annoying ads (I’m talking about the full-page department-store ads in the P-I and Times every few pages).

So, how can the P-I and the Times stay in business? Simply switch back to an evening edition so we can actually read the day’s news on the day it happens, and hire back some of your great staff reporters so we’re all not reading the same AP copy that’s in every other newspaper and online.

Matthew Kirchner, Bothell

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