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Letters to the Editor

The Alpine Mountaineer was pranked… …and it was pretty funny!

By Aaron Cool Creighton Publisher

On Friday, Aug. 12, The Alpine Mountaineer began to field phone calls, text messages and emails from concerned citizens with questions and concerns about our front-page story about Highway 18 being closed permanently.

We were confused, at first, because our front page stories were about the County Board of Supervisors, Mountain Top Days and the backpack giveaway.

One gentleman from Twin Peaks was quite concerned since he was about to start a new job down the hill and was worried because the article said the only routes that would be available for travel going forward were the 330 and the 138. The caller also mentioned that he obtained this newspaper from one of our news stands in Lake Arrowhead Village at the post office. He said that all the newspapers in that stand had the same articles. We later discovered that this was also true of our stand in Blue Jay.

We were truly puzzled. We thought that he may have picked up some other publication because we did not publish any such thing and it was obviously not true. We requested that he send a photo of what he was looking at and he did. Taped to the front page of our paper was a sheet of paper with a headline that read, “BYE BYE HIGHWAY 18.” Under the headline was an image of a map showing the alternate routes on and off the mountain. Under that, an article titled “THE END OF AN ERA” and to the right an article titled “PROTESTERS SWARM CALTRANS.” Accompanying this was a photo, ostensibly depicting a crowd of people protesting the imaginary closure of Highway 18.

In examining this prank piece of, “news,” we noticed that the articles were attributed to Glen Foster, Sheriff Roy Coffee and Adam Cartwright, all of whom were characters in the television series Bonanza which ran between 1959 and 1973.

In reading the article titled, “PROTESTERS SWARM CALTRANS,” there are quotes from a Jerry Garcia (of the Grateful Dead) and his mother, Ruth (Anne) Garcia. It also contained a supposed quote from a Pernell Roberts, an actor who also starred in Bonanza.

There was a reference to Burger King being next to 7-Eleven and another reference to the wildly (if inexplicably) popular Rosa Maria’s Mexican Restaurant on Sierra Way in San Bernardino.

OUR TAKE ON THE WHOLE THING

We obviously need to start by reiterating to our readers that the page, taped to the front of our newspaper, was not generated by us but by a prankster and does not reflect our reporting in any way.

We also want to point out that vandalism is a misdemeanor under California Penal Code 594 PC. We also do not want to encourage this behavior.

That said, it was pretty funny and we appreciate a good laugh, even at our own expense. The person perpetrating this prank was creative and put a lot of effort into this satire. They provided an article (false as it is) that caught the eyes of readers and resulted in record sales from those news racks. They wrote for us for free and actually had to invest a dollar to do it, which makes it funnier still.

We would like to let the perpetrator know that they don’t have to pay to write for us. If you get in touch with us, we would like to discuss having you write a humor piece in our paper regularly and we will even pay you.

We see your potential.

Thanks for the laugh! It was hilarious. Don’t do it again, but it was pretty funny.

If you want a job, contact us at (909) 589-2140.