Readers Relate Stories and Express Views


Arnold Spielberg

Long-time Palisadian Mary Cole (who has retired to Palm Desert), wrote Circling the News on Monday after reading an obituary about Arnold Spielberg, a longtime Palisadian: “When young Steven Spielberg was about 12, his father and my ex-husband worked together in the computer business. One day Arnie and his then-wife Leah invited my family to dinner. I think they lived up on El Medio.

When we got home, I said to my husband, ‘What a quiet, bright young man Steven is!’ Little did anyone know what was in his future as a movie director. I like to remind my friends, ‘I knew him then!’

Steven Spielberg

“Years later, Arnie and I went to the same eye doctor, the late Dr. Sawusch, here in town. We would chat. Arnie drove kind of an old car, so one day I said to him, ‘It’s too bad that your son Steven can’t afford to buy you a new car.’ He laughed and said that he liked his old car. He was a very nice man, and I hear his son is also a very nice person.”


Also on Monday, one of my 1,500-plus readers was so incensed that I wrote a rather revealing story about Black Lives Matter co-founder Melina Abdullah that she wanted me to return the $25 donation she had sent to Circling the News. Or, I could send her refund to Black Lives Matter.

I realize we don’t all need to agree about the stories I write, and I tried to be nice by suggesting a compromise: donating the $25 to a fund for low-income seniors at Palisades High.

Some readers may recall that a few years ago, I started a “Suitcase Fund” at Pali. I asked people to donate money to seniors who may have received scholarships for college, but did not have enough money to purchase suitcases, winter clothes or various items for their dorm room. Locals sent donations to the Pacific Palisades Optimist Club Foundation, which then presented Target gift cards of $100, via the PaliHi College Center, to those students most in need.

I suggested to the woman who wanted her money back that we donate it to that fund. She said, “Send it back or send it to BLM,” and she wanted proof.

I responded, “So, you don’t want to help Black or Hispanic kids at a public high school?” (Visit:

The woman replied, “I support several local and national organizations that work tirelessly to expand access to education and provide for students in need in myriad ways, including purchasing bedding, clothing, supplies, etc., for all four years of college. Among those local non-profits, One Voice is the obvious choice. Its results are invariably uniquely stellar, by every measure.”

I am aware of One Voice. My three kids and I volunteered annually at the holiday program for years, helping to assemble food baskets in the Barker Hanger at the Santa Monica Airport.

Meanwhile, I appreciate all the people who have donated to Circling the News. I am doing my best to ensure that events and people that have a connection to this community are brought to your attention. If you don’t like some of these stories, then please unsubscribe, but I will not refund a donation just because you disagree with what I write.

Through One Voice thousands of volunteers help assemble packages of food that are given out during the holiday season to those in need.

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4 Responses to Readers Relate Stories and Express Views

  1. Paula H Deats says:

    Sue, You are journalism’s finest side: Op Ed. That’s what we need here in “town”; the rest tends to be fake news.

  2. Thomas M Meade says:

    I second that dear editor!

  3. Joe Somerville says:

    I think your article was terrific. Terribly frightening, but terrific. Frankly, you should send it off to the Wall Street Journal for their opinion page. People talk about her as a Maxist, but without back up. You have done the research and it should be out there. To the women who wrote in complaining, it’s called investigative journalism. It does not happen much now, but this is a great example. And I agree with you, keep the money.

  4. Helen Bloch says:

    Sue, I second on the “you should send it off to the Wall Street Journal for their opinion page”.
    And I’ll keep donating to CTN.

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