Our view: Time to calm down
February 27, 2002
Once again, we feature several more letters on the “soccer scandal” in this week’s newspaper, and several more that we were unable to fit are waiting their turn next week.
It’s no secret that having three well-known, respected locals charged with allegedly providing alcohol to minors is a fairly controversial story, and one that has caused clear divides in public opinion.
In the letters page, everyone is allowed to get their two cents in on the matter, for now. However, the debate needs to remain civilized, and it has already shown some signs of becoming disturbingly ugly.
The Sierra Sun is your community forum, but that does not mean there are no rules. When you submit a letter to us, in doing so you agree to the “Submission Policies” printed on page A7 every week. Read them now if you haven’t before.
We urge writers, no matter what their views, to keep a civilized tone.
What do we mean by that? Well, for anyone who survived or remembers World War II, calling our local police department a “Gestapo,” as several letter-writers have, is not only distasteful, it is very nearly obscene. You may disagree with the tactics they use or the merit of the charges filed in this case, but let’s get real DEthe hyperbole of comparing Truckee’s police with the evil of Nazi Germany shows a complete lack of any sense of proportion and undermines the point you’re trying to make.
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On another front, referring to people whom you disagree with as “righteous loud mouths,” as one letter we’re not publishing did, is below the belt, no matter which “side” you’re on. This is not a wrestling match, and we are glad to print your thoughts so long as they are expressed intelligently and without malice.
Even now, before these three men appear in court Monday, it’s fair to say that whatever happens, some people will remain convinced that serving alcohol to minors is wrong, no exceptions, while others feel that potentially bigger problems can be headed off by close parental supervision of teenagers’ urges to drink.
That debate will not be settled in the Sierra Sun, nor probably anywhere else in our lifetimes.
We will continue to print letters regarding this situation until our March 21 edition, and after that issue we will no longer accept new letters on this issue unless we judge them to be adding something truly new to the debate, and not just going over well-worn ground.
We will accept letters on this subject until March 18, and print as many as we can fit in the March 21 issue. Your submissions are encouraged and appreciated, as the community debates a troubling and important issue in our pages.