My biggest story was: PP&L Fires Newly Rehired Ex-President
Hooker's Union: Coyote / My First Oregon Journal Story
City Editor Peter Thompson attached this memo to a wire service story about Margo St. James, founder of the Prostitute's Union COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics).
This afternoon will you try to place a call to this woman in San Francisco. I believe she was in Oregon two weeks ago and delivered a lecture at the University of OREGON (I may be wrong, it certainly was SOME hooker from S.F.). I want you try to get out of her an assessment of the situation in Portland. She may not know anything about it of course. Has she had any communication from hookers here...what does she know of the pimping situation, is Portland a good town for hookers.
Here's my version
Schindler Whore 5/29 
San Francisco prostitute (retired) Margo St. James said today she was "pleased" to hear that Portland offered citation as an alternative method of punishing prostitutes. The other alternative for punishing perpetrators of the serious misdemeanor of prostitution is a jail term. St. James is working in San Francisco to form a craft guild for prostitutes called "Coyote." Part of the group's effort is to get police there to issue citations instead of arresting women. Coyote is also agitating for decriminalization of prostitution allover the country, as well as spearheading an effort to tell women on the street about their rights. "I haven't heard much from women working in Portland," she told The Journal, "but I did hear that last winter was bad for prostitution up there. Winter is bad for prostitution all over."
A high school graduate who has since passed a college equivalency test and two years of law school, St. James said she was encouraged by the Supreme Court abortion ruling and the Equal Rights Amendment to "stir up a little trouble." At the University of Oregon recently, she told a mixed crowd of 200 that "prostitution is essentially a service, not a crime," and that "whores must a have a voice."
Legislation now being considered to arrest tricks as well as prostitutes won't be enforced for long, she predicted: "The men scream too much." St. James said her efforts to organize prostitutes had. met with "great media coverage and a lot of enthusiasm from the women.
Here's Peter's rewrite:
A former San Francisco prostitute said Wednesday she hoped that city's police would follow Portland's lead by giving prostitutes "tickets" instead of arresting them. Margo St. James, who says she has retired from a life of prostitution, heads an organization called coyote which seeks to organize the nation's prostitutes and to inform them of their rights. Ms. St. James told The Journal that she has not yet been in touch with Portland prostitutes but that she was familiar with the proceedure of issuing citations instead of automatically arresting suspected prosrtitutes. Her organization, she said, is agitating for the decriminalization of prostitution throughout the country.
A high school graduate who passed a college equivalency test and completed two years of law school, Ms. St. James said she was encouraged by the Supreme Court ruling on abortion and by the Equal Rights Amendment to "stir up a little trouble" on behalf of prostitutes. At the University of Oregon last week she told a mixed crowd of 200 that "prostitution is essentially a service, not a crime", and that "whores must have a voice."
In any case, no story ever ran; it was deemed "not suitable for a family newspaper."
My first byline was on a story about three gas stations on one corner in SE Portland. It was a sidebar to a gas shortage story. Very few stories get bylines.
Intended to refute the contention of a writer to Ann Landers that 90% cheated, it came out looking like a positive article that only 40% do. A semi-apology appeared soon thereafter, written by someone else.
The managing editor later admitted: "It was a mistake to assign it to a newcomer, it was a worse mistake to run it, it was a disaster to put that headline on it."
Anyway, there was something of a semi-apology in the paper a few days after the original article cited here (even though my name is spelled wrong, it is me they mean) appeared. This attack was reprinted in the weekly "shopper" newspaper, the Community Press, where it received much wider distribution. The Rap Sheet is a monthly publication of the Police Benevolent Association. The chaplain was trying to bail out. The original article is best left unduplicated. It would have been better never published. I did identify myself as a reporter. The reverend did suggest the figure.
The positive power of misspelling: to date two major errors on that front. The first came in a concert review. Kris Kristofferson introduced an unexpected guest from the stage, but failed to spell his name. No one had ever heard of him, and no one was allowed backstage, I guessed how his name was spelled, I was wrong, It was not Bobby North, it was Bobby Neuwrith.
The second misspelling, while worse, was not my fault. The medical Examiner (equivalent of a coroner) read me the name of a two-year-old drowning victim, and spelled it the same way twice: wrong. It appeared in 3 out of 4 editions that way, but fortunately a relative called before the largest edition, the home delivery (4 dot) was run. The error was corrected.
Another retraction, beyond my control, may have to be printed eventually because of a police report typographical error which reported two men in the same apartment, when actually one lived in 35 and the other in 36.
There is an Oregon law which requires retraction of defamatory material. Interesting point: it requires that the newspaper express regret over publication of the error.
The other paper in town [The Oregonian] beat us on the story of an old time postman (27 years on the same route) retiring. There was only one fresh piece of information in my story, the fact that he had delivered 6 million pieces of mail, a calculation based on his route statistics which the other reporter had not thought to make.While I was out following him on the route, for a story to be filed the next day, an ad came in which created an odd-shaped hole. When I returned, I was told I need a 20 inch story (five typewritten pages) in 20 minutes. It says a lot about a small-town newspaper that this piece of fluff was treated as urgent; it was that, or fill a local news page with wire copy, a sin considered worse than death. For the only time in my career, the city editor sat next to me, taking each page as it emerged from my typewriter and sending it to the press room. It is a miracle the story made any sense, and a shame I forgot to put my byline on it.