Guest Letter – Responding to Reporting


****Editor’s Note: We are publishing this letter because it’s an important community issue, and we would like to ensure that community voices are heard. We have heard that some letters submitted to the Santa Clara Weekly are not published. We welcome opinions from all views.  This letter was sent to the Santa Clara City Council and Santa Clara Weekly on Jan. 29th.****

Mayor and Council:

I don’t how many of you read the Santa Clara Weekly. After the December 13, 2016 City Council meeting, David Alexander of the Santa Clara weekly wrote an article entitled, “Council Approves Housing Ratio for ‘Agrihood.'” While there were some factual errors in the story (e.g., I did not propose this idea 15 years ago as he stated), I’m more concerned that there was the complete failure and lack of understanding of what I have been advocating for over the past three years. Even more insulting is that it’s printed as a direct quote from me.

The article states: “This is not the concept I put forth. This is not the direction of the concept I put forth.”

What I said was: “This is not the concept that I put forth. This IS the direction of the concept I put forth.”

More than being factually wrong, what frustrates me most is it’s the exact opposite of the spirit I’ve been verbalizing for years. The Weekly was present for all the meetings and events that have taken place over the last 15 years this property has been in the public light. They should know what I have been advocating for on this site.

The author is new to this paper and might not know what is happening with this project or what my views and ideas are. But the Editor knows. For something as profound as a new kind of development on a site that has been at the heart of much controversy over the years, the facts and quotes should be accurately written and edited.

You can’t ‘undo’ a story in print. And no retraction or correction was ever published even though I requested it. So, I want to make sure the City Council knows the true story.

I believe we are headed in the right direction, but we are not there yet.

Finally, what also disturbs me is that It is very hard to read the Weekly, knowing how biased they have become over the last year. If they have journalistic standards, it’s not apparent. I know many in the community feel this way as well. I hope anyone who reads the publication does so with extreme caution.


Kirk Vartan


  1. Note to Kirk: In response to your statement: “It is very hard to read the Weekly, knowing how biased they have become over the last year.”
    It isn’t over just the last year that the Weekly has been biased – the bias has been there for many years. Go back and look at the pro-49ers coverage during Measure J in 2010, for example. It’s just that now more people have noticed, and are asking questions about why our city tax dollars are being spent on the Weekly.

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