Our view: Why we wrote this week’s lead story
February 7, 2002
The lead story on today’s page one is not going to make very many people happy.
It details charges filed this week against a popular soccer coach who led his team to the state championship last fall, and two other respected community members. All three were charged with “contributing to the delinquency of minors,” resulting from a November party celebrating the soccer team wins where alcohol was allegedly served to minors.
Before the letters and phone calls start, let’s just state the obvious: we at the Sierra Sun officially have no position on the case DEas to whether the charges against the men are right or wrong, whether teen drinking is out of control, or whether the Truckee Police’s actions here were commendable or over-the-top.
We try, and we hope we succeed, just to report what’s happened, what the facts of the case as we know them are and what might happen next. We’re not here to tell you what to think about it.
But perhaps some good can come out of this unpleasant matter, and an honest dialogue about teen alcohol use in our community can start. It’s no secret to anyone that underage drinking is commonplace in Truckee. Is that bad or good? You tell us.
Some parents take the view that the kids will drink no matter what, and that it’s better to have some measure of supervision over their activities to avoid drunk driving or binge drinking. Others note that teen drinking is illegal and say it shouldn’t be encouraged in any form.
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But besides teen drinking, it seems like some parents also want to make this issue a referendum on the new Truckee Police Department, and its enforcement of the law. Since the TPD has been in action for six months now and there has been some controversy about their actions, maybe it’s also time to talk publicly about what Truckee wants and expects from their police.
Some people probably will say we shouldn’t have run a story about this at all.
The soccer party wasn’t the first such teen drinking party in Truckee by any means. But this time, people were caught and charged in a court of law over it, which means it’s a matter of public record and now up to the courts to decide.
We would be failing to do our job as a newspaper if we ignored it.