Is There a Free Press in Orinda?

    This was a question posed (and in some cases answered in the negative) in early October via Nextdoor. The ensuing discussion surrounded the placement of an ad in our October issue. With the Yes on Measure R ad in the front of the paper and the No on Measure R ad further back, it was concluded The Orinda News and, in particular, the editor had a secret agenda.
    Sorry to disappoint the conspiracy theorists, but there was no payoff, no collusion.
    The two ads should have been placed close to each other or, possibly, on facing pages. Unfortunately, this did not happen, and we missed the oversight during editing.
    While The Orinda News is under no obligation to put opposing ads in similar locations, it has always been the policy to do so. Advertisers may request a specific placement, which we will try to accommodate. Or an advertiser may pay extra to have an ad on the front page (size limitations apply). Neither request was made by the folks placing the No on Measure R ad. Once the October issue was published and mailed, the placement of the No on Measure R ad was brought to my attention. I immediately apologized to the group and promised better placement in our November issue.
    We at The Orinda News work very hard to be impartial and objective in our stories and in our ad placements. Those of you who have submitted one-sided stories or vindictive ads know this to be true. During my 27 years with The Orinda News, I’ve refused to endorse one candidate over another or support any measure or proposition on the ballot. I feel strongly that our job is to present the facts and let our intelligent readers make up their own minds. As one respondent to the Nextdoor discussion said, “If The Orinda News was really trying to influence its readers to oppose your positions on private roads and Measure R, would it have printed over the past two years the many, many letters to the editor your group has submitted to them on these topics?” 
    Why indeed!
    – Sally Hogarty, Executive Editor

(Kathy Enzerink, Photographer)
For many days in a row, the Orinda sky filled with smoke creating hazardous to very hazardous air quality.