Goncharoff Responds
Re: “Puppet Show” (Briefs, March 5): I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that there are people who want to tarnish my character and reputation. After all, when you enter a campaign for public office, you have to expect such things. But it’s hard to express my disappointment that the Santa Cruz Weekly would be a party to such spurious attacks. Supposedly there are people with fake Facebook accounts who have said some positive things about me while also posting some questionable photos. Maybe so. Social media is rife with such things. But claiming that these people are avid supporters of my campaign in one breath, while in the next acknowledging that these accounts seem to have been inactive for a year or more is stretching reality to the breaking point. It is even more outrageous to claim that I have had something to do with this, based on no evidence at all.

The campaign season is a long and hard one, and serious scrutiny is to be expected. But I hope in the future we can expect a higher journalistic standard from our local papers than that practiced by the National Enquirer.

Tim Goncharoff
Santa Cruz

Like a Weiner
Re: “Puppet Show”: I’m a pretty liberal guy. Bill Clinton was the best president of my adult life. I think Howard Dean got a raw deal and I’m tickled pink that Alan Grayson is back in office. However, I was also a big fan of Anthony Weiner until he completely self-destructed in public. Tim’s behaving like Anthony Weiner right now, IMO.

And Tim is too small potatoes for some sort of grand conspiracy to dazzle him with fake Facebook beauties in an effort to discredit him. He seems more like the type that discovered the Facebook, and he didn’t understand the power of Google image search to unmask what went on here. It’s not like this sort of thing hasn’t happened before with seemingly respectable sorts.

And his flat-out non-denial denial isn’t helping matters. His response to this article tells me he’s either guilty as sin, or he’s a Ted (“The Internet is a series of tubes”) Stevens of the left. I’m not particularly fond of his competition, Ryan Coonerty, either (and especially his whining about online forums), but at least he lives in this century and he possesses relevant experience as a founder of NextSpace.

John Locke
Santa Cruz

On Rittenhouse
Re: “Big Empty” (Cover, March 5): Although the article has my two comments that put Louis Rittenhouse in a negative light close to accurate, I think it unfortunate that none of my positive comments about Louis R., including his what I consider positive community motivation for keeping the building empty until he found a major anchor tenant. Louis always felt that the downtown needed a major department store, a view shared by most of the council and all of the redevelopment staff, and he was going to hold out until he could get such a tenant rather than leasing his building out to a bunch of smaller retailers, which I am sure he could have done if all he was concerned about was his personal bottom line.

Mike Rotkin
Santa Cruz