To The Daily Sun,
An open letter to the residents of Meredith:
There will be an informative presentation regarding the results of the exhaustive work of the Route 3 and 25 advisory committee at our regularly scheduled Selectboard meeting this coming Monday, Dec. 15. This update is to familiarize the board members and the public of the final recommendations of the committee.
I urge you to attend to learn more of this project prior to the public hearing that is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 26, 2015.
Carla Horne, Chair
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 December 2014 09:55
Jackie's shocking account of gang rape at a University of Virginia frat house has been growing holes by the day. And it has put Rolling Stone — the magazine that published it without identifying the accuser, the friends she quoted or the alleged rapists — under a harsh light. It only named the fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi.
Not naming the accusers in rape cases has become a standard journalistic practice, pushed by advocates for the victims. That must end.
Failure to identify those involved, ostensibly to protect the alleged victim's privacy, can't help but undermine the credibility of the reporting. It also poorly serves victims by feeding the idea that being raped is a disgrace. Rape is a violent crime, a felony, and women subjected to it should feel no more shame than those who are slashed or punched in the face.
Sometimes reporters do have to shield the identity of sources, particularly in matters of national security. But letting anyone spread information under the veil of anonymity removes one of the safeguards for reliability.
Rolling Stone has published great work over the years, but for this story, it grievously compounded the error of not identifying anyone by not double-checking Jackie's story. That Jackie asked the reporter to refrain from contacting the alleged attackers isn't surprising. That the reporter did as she was asked is amazing. If Jackie made not verifying information a demand for her cooperation, the magazine should have taken a pass.
The details here were so grotesque that critics would inevitably question them. For example, a friend Jackie contacted after the alleged crime told The Washington Post that she seemed upset but was not bloody or beaten as the article asserted. And he said that Jackie spoke of having been forced to perform oral sex, which is different from the genital torture described in the article.
In this and other rape complaints where some claims come unraveled, the advocates often respond that "something happened." And something very well may have. But unless someone on the scene comes out to discuss what that was, it's almost impossible to get at an accepted truth. There are brutal rapes, false accusations of rape and lots in between.
A man dropping a knockout pill in a woman's drink and then sexually assaulting her has committed rape. That is clear.
But the in-between circumstances can complicate reaching such conclusions. In campus cases, the man and woman are often friends. Two students getting mutually drunk or high and not clearly communicating their level of sexual interest leaves a murkier picture.
The gray areas may help explain why some accusers ask college officials not to ruin their alleged attacker's life with expulsion from school. A savage rapist shouldn't even be on the streets, much less on campus.
Do some women fear retaliation by the men? They may, but that can happen anytime someone charges another with a crime.
Rolling Stone did itself no good by briefly blaming Jackie for the inaccuracies. The magazine quickly recovered its senses and put the blame on itself.
In a long note expressing regret, Rolling Stone Managing Editor Will Dana wrote, "In trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault, we made a judgment — the kind of judgment reporters and editors make every day."
That is true, but reporters and editors should expand their sensitivities to include the reputations of those accused, not always justly. Finally, everyone — especially advocates for rape victims — should work at countering the notion that women traumatized by a violent crime need to hide in shame.
(A member of the Providence Journal editorial board, Froma Harrop writes a nationally syndicated column from that city. She has written for such diverse publications as The New York Times, Harper's Bazaar and Institutional Investor.)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00
To The Daily Sun,
On Dec. 4, the Lakes Region Sled Dog Club held its 15th annual auction to raise funds for the World Championship Lakes Region Sled Dog Derby, scheduled for Feb. 13-15, 2015. This derby holds the distinction of being the longest-running sled dog race in the world. It is with the generous support of the citizens of the Lakes Region and patrons of our auction that we are able to keep sled dog racing alive in Laconia.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who made our auction such a great event and we appreciate your help in keeping the "Greatest Show on Snow" running. Contributors were:
Shea Concrete, Kitchen Encounters, Inn Season Resorts, Devin Jewelers Inc., Curt's Caterers, Norvik Kennels, Del R. Gilbert & Son Block Co., John H. Lyman and Sons Inc., Lahey Landscaping, Ambrose Bros., Fashion Forward Salon, Greg Miner, Belknap Tire & Auto Repair, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Watermark Marine, Amoskeag Beverages, MB Tractor & Equipment, Cybertron, Water Industries, Sanel Auto Parts, Airport Country Store & Deli, Jordan Equipment, Dan Mather, Winnipesaukee Truck, Repair Service of New England, Lowe's Home Improvement, Sidney Frank Importing Co., All Brite Cleaning & Restoration, E.J Prescott, NH Distributors, Local Eatery, Laconia Athletic & Swim Club, Piche's Ski & Sport, Trudy Kenny Therapeutic Massage, Smoke N' Barley, Gilford Hills Tennis & Fitness Club, Granite State Glass, D & D Country Market & Deli, Baron's Major Brands Appliances, Nutter Enterprises Inc., Patrick's Pub & Eatery, Suddenly Still Photography, Terry Wilson USPTA, HK Powersports, Cherish LaBelle ReFresh Salon, Laconia Car Wash, Stafford Oil Company, Trustworthy Hardware, Laconia Ice Arena, Winni Paw Station, Winni Girl, J.P. China Restaurant, No Weare Else, Miss Lakes Region Outstanding Teen, Ashley Conrad, Volunteer Members of LRSDC.
Lakes Region Sled Dog Club
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 11:49
To The Daily Sun,
It came out recently about the "torture" committed by the CIA. How awful . . . torture committed by the USA.
Kudos to the CIA. They saved lives. They caught terrorists and some before they committed more terror acts against the U.S. and U.S. citizens.
Terrorists that behead people ... people that help other people. Terrorists that strap bombs on children and mentally impaired people. Terrorists that hide behind children.
How can you compare the torture to the acts by the terrorists?
The terrorists have been beheading long before we used waterboarding.
The term "leathernecks" came from the leather collar worn by Marines to protect them from being beheaded by Muslim pirates.
In the late 1700s Muslim pirates would capture European ships and hold the citizens for ransom. Europe paid and America paid, too.
Jefferson asked the ambassador of Tripoli what right the pirates had to ask for ransom or take slaves. The ambassador replied that the Laws of the Prophet in the Koran said that all nations who did not recognize the authority of the Koran were sinners and it was the right of the Muslim pirates to make war on them and to makes slaves on them and that every Muslim would go to heaven if killed in battle.
When Jefferson was elected president, he refused to pay ransom. He sent the Marines, who wore leather collars to protect them from the sabers of the Muslim pirates who would try to behead them in battle. He stood up to the Muslim Pirates and the U.S. went to war with the Muslim pirates. Jefferson did sign a treaty and part of that was to pay ransom for the people already captured, but it stopped the Muslim pirates from kidnapping Americans.
Sound familiar. Kidnapping. Kidnapping innocent people.
Do I want to torture people? No. absolutely not. But these "people" are not like you or me. They kidnap innocent people. They behead innocent people. They hide behind children. They strap bombs to unknowingly children.
I support the CIA. Can you really compare what the CIA did and what the terrorist did and continue to do? I cannot.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 11:44
To The Daily Sun,
Over the past many years I have rather come to doubt the sustainability of newspaper print in modern times. It would seem, given the computerization of information-sharing, that paper-print is a fading industry. However The Laconia Daily Sun has made me a believer again and so I feel the need to express why I believe it is so.
As a marriage and family counselor by trade, I have found the instantaneous broadcast of every place's problems into our living rooms (the Middle East, Africa, Soviet Union, China, Sri Lanka, Ferguson, etc.) to be a major contributor to the anxiety/fear that so many of us wrestle with today. We have come to see the world as a dangerous place and so we distrust each other and live in fear of the future.
Many of the same crises exist in our hometowns, granted, but the daily opportunity to hear about everyone else's hometown problems can be overwhelming. The irony is that nearly every Lakes Region home is aware of the problems of thousands of people thousands of miles away, people we cannot touch or in any grand way impact, but oftentimes we do not know the issues facing our neighbors whose license plates we can read from our kitchen windows.
The Laconia Daily Sun does not help me know my neighbor as I ought, but it does give me enough information about my touchable community that I can do something to impact it if I so desire. I appreciate this about The Daily Sun.
Secondly, the Laconia Daily Sun is a community unifier. Go anywhere in town and you can find a copy. If one store does not have a copy the person walking on the sidewalk is holding one for you to read. Reading The Daily Sun is something for which the phrase "everyone's doing it" accurately applies. Not "everyone" of course, but enough people to make it feel like it is a community endeavor.
Lastly, and most importantly in my mind, The Laconia Daily Sun permits both sides to speak. I have lost confidence in the major news stations available today. CNN clearly points its viewers to see the world from one side only, even going so far as to demonize the other. Likewise, FOX News acts as though it sees the whole truth, all the while leaving rocks unturned for its viewers.
Because of the stark polarization in the news media many people just don't listen to them anymore. But with Tthe Laconia Daily Sun I hear both sides — at least as it pertains to the Letters to the Editor section. The Letters to the Editor section can include heated debate between neighbors for sure. In some few cases one side even demonizes the other. But as far as I can tell each side gets a voice in The Daily Sun. To read some of the Letters to the Editor is to conclude that The Daily Sun clearly does not censor its contributors, and for this I am thrilled.
If this circumstance changes, if one side alone is heard — if the right, the left, the religious or the non are not allowed their voices, but only, say, the left, I shall take back all of my above comments and perhaps never read again. But thus far the debates go on and so they should.
A humble observation for all of us as we continue to contribute to The Laconia Daily Sun — our paper — we are all part of the world-problem, me too. The quicker we confess this the better. As a religious man I once thought I knew it all. It took me five years to go to college and five years to get over it. Now I am sold on a small collection of simple truths and it is these that daily direct my thoughts and actions. Here is one of those truths that I think potently applicable to all. I am in need of as much mercy and grace as the Lord Jesus Christ is willing to extend me. I need no less than anyone else, even than those I vehemently disagree with. I got into trouble years prior when I thought I needed less mercy than others. I could not see any truth in anything the other side said for I was blinded by my own pride. I still hold many of those same convictions I held back then but I hold them without the pride — or at least with less pride than before.
Consequently I can now dialogue with different others and not demonize them for not thinking like me. But I can't dialogue with someone who thinks they know it all, and, in my opinion, both sides today think they know it all. Let us as a community take seriously Jesus' words that "unless (we) repent (we) will ALL likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). That includes me. If you respond, "repent of what sir?!" I trust time will reveal that to you as it did for me.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 11:41