<b>"Fatso" reference degrading, offensive</b>
EDITOR: I believe Lowell Cohn hit a low when he wrote his column on the Giants that appeared last Sunday in The Press Democrat with the headline "Giants need Fatso's bat to carry weight."
The word "fatso" was used seven times in the article.
Lowell even used "fatso" when referring to Pablo Saddoval as the MVP of the 2012 World Series.
Lowell could have stated that Pablo was overweight and his editorial would have been OK. Lowell even states that he is overweight. Since Lowell is a professional in his field I guess calling him "fatso" would be OK.
"Fatso" is a word that offends people and Pablo deserves to be treated like a professional just as much as any person who has a weight problem.
Lowell is probably not going to change since Wednesday in his editorial on the 49ers' win against the Washington Redskins he referred to the Washington team and certain players as "clowns" 13 times.
<b>High school athletes don't need protection</b>
EDITOR: Should sports reporters mention the name of high school athletes who make critical mistakes while competing? They already do: the quarterback who throws a key interception, the running back who fumbles, the linebacker missing a tackle.
Scarred for life? Hardly. Stuff happens in sports as in life.
Regarding the Rancho Cotate center who erred on his snap of the ball in the loss to Cardinal Newman, he was undoubtedly attempting to do his best, which is all he can do. In this particular case he was unsuccessful. He is human.
As long as what a reporter eventually writes is factual and does not elaborate in a purposely demeaning way, of course the young man can be identified.
The real question is whether the lineman's name would have been mentioned had he made a perfect snap of the ball. On previous, successful extra-point attempts had he not played an instrumental role?
High school athletics is an endeavor where young athletes can learn lessons about life. They do not need excessive protection. They require proper guidance, feedback and perspective from coaches and parents dealing with adversity as well as success.
Appropriate, objective, and comprehensive sports reporting is part of the process.
<i>(Mr. Alton is a retired teacher, coach and athletic director at Rancho Cotate High School.)</i>
<b>King, coho fishing illegal on Russian</b>
EDITOR: As a fish biologist for the Sonoma County Water Agency, I'm very concerned about the fishing report that was published Tuesday in The Press Democrat. Specifically, the following: " .<TH>.<TH>. there are both kings and coho in the river, since the mouth has been open for 2? weeks .<TH>.<TH>. Remember to release all salmon, and don't mistake an adipose-clipped coho for a steelhead, it will cost you $400."
This implies that it is legal to fish for king (Chinook) and coho in the Russian River. It is not. Both salmon are on the Endangered Species List and it is illegal to fish for them in the river, even using barbless hooks and catching-and-releasing.
Since the mid-1990s, multiple government agencies, nonprofits and private landowners have cumulatively spent millions of dollars on habitat restoration projects and, since 2001, on the state-of-the-art coho broodstock program located at the steelhead hatchery at Lake Sonoma.