Missing Mike Miller
I was saddened to learn from Bill Lueders' reporting that Capital Newspapers, in its misguided wisdom, forced the retirement of one of Madison's best journalists, Mike Miller ("More Casualties at Cap News," 9/11/09). In his 40 years as a reporter at The Capital Times, Mike justly amassed a groundswell of admiration from colleagues, competitors and sources.
Mike was my mentor when I was a young police reporter at The Capital Times. He was a careful and generous journalist who taught me how to dig for facts and build trust among sources. He also taught me the importance of showing up and putting in the long hours, to get the story.
During his later years, covering the Dane County courts, Mike was a fiercely independent watchdog of judges, prosecutors and cops. He dug for stories other journalists didn't have the time or inclination to investigate. He knew how to tell a great yarn of a story from a court hearing. Very few journalists do that anymore.
I have no doubt many important stories about the Dane County criminal justice system will now go untold without Mike on the beat. I wish him the best in retirement, but it is sad news for the rest of us.
Jason Shepard, Long Beach, Calif.
Dope fan weighs in
Okay, you said you didn't dump the Straight Dope for economic reasons but to create room. So get rid of your really terrible advice column ("Tell All") and bring back the Straight Dope. If you weren't being honest and did dump the Straight Dope for economic reasons, still get rid of that inane advice column.
Jim Roberts, Evansville
Corrections: In last week's issue, the review of the film The Informant!, which is based on Kurt Eichenwald's nonfiction book, incorrectly said Eichenwald was the corporate whistle-blower. The whistle-blower was Mark Whitacre. Also, the recipe for Magic Coffee was not Cafe Soleil's official recipe but a version it provided that a home cook could make. Proportions should be adjusted to the user's taste.