Thank goodness for Payne

A lot of unkind words have been written about my good friend, Shirley Presley, and I feel compelled to respond to your lack of fairness to her. Your articles have been mean-spirited and hurtful. Shirley is a kind, caring, thoughtful, and Christian lady who has been harassed by many.

I attended the trial between the City of Charlottesville and Shirley, and it seems to me that someone needs to clarify a few things. First of all you mentioned in your article ["Widow's peak: City's Rivanna Trail case crumbles," November 4] that Fred Payne, Shirley's attorney, spent nearly an hour "chipping away" at the testimony of Jerry Tomlin, City Inspector.

From what I witnessed, Tomlin's defiant attitude was not only "chipped away" by Payne but also by the Judge who frequently had to tell Tomlin to answer questions he was being asked. Tomlin was quoted in your newspaper dated October 7 as saying that the Rivanna Trail is 700-800 feet from Shirley's property. However, upon questioning by Payne, Tomlin admitted it is actually more like 200 feet from the trail to her back door.

Thank goodness for Payne's spirited defense of Shirley. Between the untruths, broken promises by City Officials, and your bias and obvious lack of fact checking, it is fortunate that Mrs. Presley has somebody in her corner.

Waller Norford