Meeting Paul Darrow all over again

Even though I know Paul Darrow’s work has graced the COURIER pages for longer than I can remember, it’s been 20- plus years since we spoke in person. 

As I recall, we met with my father Martin, when Mr. Darrow hand-delivered his work directly to the COURIER office. I remember little about the actual meeting (other than we shook hands), but it was easy to see why this editor and artist got along so well.

Humor and/or politics have a way of connecting people, and it certainly was the case here. My father was not known for his conservative thinking, so Mr. Darrow’s liberal take on politics fit right in. But it was humor that bonded them, prompting enormous laughs in what seemed to be an ongoing conversation.

Humor is why the COURIER has published Darrow’s cartoons for decades. What’s ironic, however, is my favorite Darrow work is a lifelike portrait of Martin Weinberger as a young man, bowtie and all. It sits in our study at home next to his old typewriter.

Fast-forward to 2013 and here I stand next to Mr. Darrow at his gallery opening last Friday, taking pictures, listening to my wife tell him, “It’s Martin’s son! It’s Martin’s son!” Some people have been known to call me Peter.

It was great to shake Mr. Darrow’s hand once again. As I followed him through the crowd, even at 91 years, it was easy to see that personality and sense of humor my father connected with.

As usual, Mr. Darrow’s work can be found on page 6 of this edition of the Claremont COURIER. And photos from Mr. Darrow’s exhibit opening can be found on page 11.


Public notice bill axed in committee

You may remember from a previous column the AOL/Patch- sponsored bill AB 642, which was an attempt to classify California Patch websites as newspapers so they could publish (and get the revenue from) public notices. The bill would have eliminated the requirement to publish in print.

There was a reason Patch sponsored this bill. It was literally tailored for their online business. I’ve already gone into details, but the local Democratic Club ought to note a freshman assemblyman wrote it (Anthony Rendon, D-Bell) given this was a classic big business against small business scenario.

In our decades of experience, we have found that because public notices are legal documents with specific publishing requirements, they need to be published in print. With most newspapers, they are published online, too.

Since this bill would largely impact community newspapers, the California Newspaper Publishers Association (CNPA) worked hard to reach a compromise by creating a website specifically designed to publish the state’s public notices ( This seemed to satisfy other committee members in the assembly involved with the bill. So it’s been tabled for this year.

I’m sure revenue-starved AOL/Patch believed these notices should be online, given the digital age. The reality is, most notices were already posted online by individual newspapers. What isn’t being said is that AB 642 would also have wiped out a large percentage of California’s community newspapers that count on this critical source of revenue.

These community newspapers (with their websites) are also direct competitors of Patch websites. So this bill would literally have been a win-win for AOL.





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