To the editors:

One source quoted by Michael Miner in his “A Leaner Lerner” piece (March 26) may have left a completely wrong impression on readers.

Suellen Long, an Uptown PR agent, complained in the article: “I send press releases to Lerner and they don’t get in. My clients don’t get in.” Later in the article, she accused Lerner’s News-Star of ignoring a commercial revitalization project in Uptown. Others in the article slammed Lerner for essentially “writing off” the Uptown community.

As copy desk chief of the Lerner papers I check almost every word printed in the 11 editions. I’ve edited numerous Uptown-based stories and written numerous headlines with the word “Uptown” in them since October.

Those stories include real news we’ve assigned reporters to cover, photo captions, and, yes, even press releases sent to us by Ms. Long and others in Uptown. Interestingly, the week Miner’s piece appeared, the News-Star carried a major Uptown story about Travelers & Immigrants Aid plans to create some affordable housing for people with AIDS and some other social programs. Suellen Long, no less, pitched the story to us, and we covered it.

In any case, I’m enclosing a list of 20 Uptown stories and pictures, which appeared in 14 weekly issues since October 21. Aside from these items, we regularly run news of Uptown interest in our calendar listings and other roundups in the paper. As Ms. Long no doubt is aware, all news releases are used depending on available space, which can vary from week to week.

Seems to me it would be hard for Ms. Long, or anyone else, to say with a straight face that we are purposely ignoring Uptown–or any other community on the north side.

Kathy McClelland

W. Lunt