Dear friends, neigbhors, and comrades-in-arms,

I have always been highly critical of the Union and Jeff Ackerman, but Jeff's editorials and the paper's handling of local and national news in the last few months has spurred me to take action. Maybe it's just a fantasy, but I think that with enough public outcry we can actually get Jeff fired. The Union is owned by a company (Swift Newspapers, Inc.) based in Reno that owns a number of other small- and medium-market papers. It is conservative leaning, but as for any business, profit is likely to trump ideology. I think it is possible to make a convincing argument that under Mr. Ackerman the Union can never grow its readership and ad business as much as its parent company wants because Mr. Ackerman pisses off a huge number of potential readers--readers with both money and influence. If this argument is presented to the management people at Swift Newspapers, and echoed by a fair number of Nevada County residents, they might actually take the suggestion of replacing Jeff seriously.

I have written a rather long letter than I am sending to the personnel manager at Swift. It is attached for you to read (it is also included below as email text, in case you have trouble opening the attachment). If you want to see Mr. Ackerman fired as much as I do, I encourage you--I plead with you!--to write a similar letter in your own words and send it to Swift within the next few weeks. A letter much shorter than mine will do fine. I've listed some main points below. You may think of others.

If you have cancelled your subscription to the Union, be sure to mention that. Talk about the people you know who are similarly offended and have cancelled, or are threatening to cancel, their subscriptions. It is probably a good idea to emphasize that it isn't the paper's conservative orientation that angers you, but the way Jeff abuses his power as publisher.

Whether you can write a letter or not, please forward this email message to as many other like-minded people as you can think of. Feel free to print my letter and share it with your friends if you think it might inspire them.

Thanks so much for your efforts!


Eric Engles