Daily Archives: May 26, 2015

After the Pendleton (OR) city council amended its nuisance ordinance to ban marijuana odors, Peter Walters suggested in a letter-to-the-editor that the politicians “move on to restricting the other offensive smell that plagues our community: farts.”

He writes in the East Oregonian: “Too often, homeowners and businesses fail to contain farts to their property, forcing the rest of us to put up with the smell. Some habitual farters argue that they need to fart for medical reasons but that doesn’t mean my kids should have to smell their farts. The city council should stop looking the other way and pretending not to notice.”

Walters’ letter has been picked up by the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Oregon Public Broadcasting and other news outlets. His reaction? Walters tells Romenesko readers:

Oh man. It’s been a surreal day. I really just expected it to get some laughs out of my friends and some funny comments on the East Oregonian’s Facebook page. … Yesterday morning it started getting crazy and this morning my phone, facebook, email even work phone have been blowing up. I guess people love a good fart joke!

I write letters to the EO [East Oregonian] every once in a while and I usually try to make them kind of amusing because most letters to the editor are just angry and boring. I’ve put more thought into letters than this one but never have I had a response like this. It’s just crazy to see how excited people are about it.

In the end my real point is that our local government and our local citizens seem to be at odds about this city’s actual priorities: Lingering pot smells or lingering pot holes.

I regret, a little bit, that my broader points have gotten lost in the joke. But if it made people laugh I guess it was all worth it.

* Letter: Farts should be city council’s next order of business (
* Earlier: “I was the band nerd, angry punk-listening kid every high school’s got” (

In a Friday CommonWealth opinion piece, executive editor Michael Jonas wrote that Boston Globe business columnist Shirley Leung “has emerged as the undisputed cheerleader-in-chief for the Boston 2024 effort” and that “more than any opinion writer in town, Leung has been carrying the torch (water, her critics would say) for the Olympics effort.”

Here is Globe editor Brian McGrory’s response to CommonWealth publisher Greg Torres and editor Bruce Mohl.

Dear Greg and Bruce,

I’m stunned that you saw fit to publish Michael Jonas’s juvenile opinion piece about Globe columnist Shirley Leung on Friday. It’s certainly not the vapidity of the post that’s so concerning, though let’s take a look at that as well.

On that front, Mr. Jonas seems shocked that Shirley would deviate from the deeply grooved mindset of virtually all local opinion writers that the Olympic bid is an awful idea that will lead to billions of dollars in unplanned public spending. Mr. Jonas, from the safety of the press pack, implies that Shirley is in some bizarre way a shill because she chooses to have an open mind. He spends the most words regretting that Shirley, unlike past Globe business columnist Steve Bailey, doesn’t give cutting little nicknames to, say, the governor of the Commonwealth – as if that would somehow prove her worth. I know Steve Bailey well and admire him very much, but those nicknames never actually caught on with anyone (Mr. Jonas aside) and were hardly his high-water mark as a columnist./CONTINUES Read More