The Coastal Post - September, 1996

Falsely Accused

In your August edition you printed a letter in which we were falsely accused of the illegal act of bribing a coach to assure a space on a team for our child who was described as unqualified. It was unethical and completely wrong of you to publish these false statements which impugn our son's integrity as a participant and cast doubt on his ability to succeed. Furthermore the cowardice of this anonymous letter by an adult who thinks nothing of slandering children with the pretense of making Little League a better experience for children does not warrant the paper it is written on. The lack of sensitivity to children shown by your stupidity to print such a slanderous accusation with no effort to ascertain the truth is unacceptable.

As a consequence of this letter our child will be subject to ridicule and embarrassment by his peers for the rest of his life.

Pursuant to Civil Code 48a we demand the following:

1. That our letter be published on the front page of your next edition along with an apology to Jake Bourne for printing false information about him and his family, and apologize for any social embarrassment he will suffer in the future.

2. Acknowledge that no effort was made on your part to investigate these accusations and determine their validity.

3. Promise to never again publish a letter so damaging to a child without first trying to seek the truth.

4. Provide us with the name and address of the person who wrote the letter.

We have personally spoken with members of the West Marin Little League Board and we share the opinion that all circumstances point to the author of this letter residing in Nicasio or San Geronimo Valley and not in Bolinas as named in the paper. We feel that it is unfortunate that this person did not have enough guts to at least sign their name to the letter, if not enough guts to address the Little League Board directly.

Please be advised that we have been in touch with an attorney and will seek restitution if each and every one of our terms is not met.

FRANK and ELIZABETH BOURNE

Nicasio