Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2001 14:28:29 -0800
From: [a friend]
Subject: Marin News - IN - SF Chronicle
Dear Mr. Doyle,
On behalf of many Marin County residents I would like to thank you for your Feb. 22 story,
"Surprising Twist In Illegal Bike Path." As you doubtless know, illegal bike paths are nothing new
to Marin. Acts of vandalism by mountain cyclists, along with trespassing, harassment of local
residents and park visitors, assault, and injuries to horses and horseback riders have also become
increasingly frequent. However, just how extensive and serious these problems are is difficult to
gauge since our own newspaper, the Marin Independent Journal, has demonstrated a bias favoring
To stem the tide of illegal bike path building, the Marin County Open Space District began not long
ago to consider a proposal to increase law enforcement. The Independent Journal subsequently
printed a series of letters to the editor from cyclists highly critical of the plan. Mr. Michael
More, then a member of the Countyís Open Space and Trails Committee, also condemned the proposal,
insisting that simple "education" was the only means to bring the problem to an end. Upon learning
of Mr. Moreís arrest I e-mailed a letter on February 12th to the IJís editor, discussing cyclistsí
opposition to the plan, and pointing out that Mr. Moreís strident condemnation of the proposal was
easily understood given that he had only just been caught red-handed digging an illegal bike trail
by federal rangers.
It certainly came as no great surprise to me or my friends that while the paper published the
letter, it conveniently omitted any reference to the newly discovered illegal trail, or to Mr.
Moreís arrest. Because many of the IJís staff are avid cycling advocates, including Mr. Rick Polito,
whose endless bike pieces litter the paperís pages with such frequency that one could mistake the IJ
for a bicycling magazine, those in Marin not consumed by an infantile preoccupation for bicycle
riding seldom are given an equal voice. Consequently, none of us were surprised by the IJís failure
to inform its readers about the Michael More incident - until AFTER the San Francisco Chronicle
released the news the day before.
My friends and I certainly are thrilled that the Chronicle has printed your story. It seems that
although yours is located in another county, a newspaper staffed by grownups who take their
newspaper's responsibility to its readers seriously has far more to offer Marin residents than one
which, although local, is run more as though it were a day care center for spoiled brats. My
friends and I look forward to reading more about what is going on in Marin - in the San Francisco Chronicle.