Tuesday Mar 22 2011
Editor's View: Reader roasts editor; marchers take to street
By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
Our reader feedback this week ranges from sports coverage to someone leaving me an expletive-laden voicemail as well as a colorful comment online. Let’s start with sports. Mary McCants, grandmother of Vista del Lago baseball player John McCants, asked why the story posted Sunday, March 13, at FolsomTelegraph.com wasn’t identical to the one she saw in print on the following Wednesday. The online headline, “McCants lifts Vista off Folsom,” certainly differs from the print story, “Eagles get best of Bulldogs, 10-1.” It’s a valid question, Mary. Online, we have unlimited space. We view our website and newspaper as complimentary products, allowing us to react more quickly to game coverage (or breaking news) online. The best of what’s online generally makes it into the physical newspaper. We make some edits to ensure we get the most compelling information into your hands. Regarding my story, “Two men, one name,” Keith M. had this to say. “What a ridiculous article. … How is Justin D. (Bolton’s) poor mother supposed to feel reading this article? What purpose does this serve? To glorify one family and hurt another? (Justin A.) is a productive member of society, good for (him),” Keith posted online. “(His) parents don’t deserve a medal, trophy, or newspaper feature just because their kid didn’t fall into a life of crime. It’s called being a parent. Thanks for doing your job.” Keith doesn’t see the need for a story. “I’m sure if you opened a phone book (in New York City or Los Angeles,) you’d find about 250 Justin Boltons, yet real newspaper writers see no need for a front page article detailing the differences in their life paths and slandering a struggling young man’s family. … Lots of people have the same names … and there’s plenty of stuff to report on in this declining town. You’re a disgrace to journalism Don Chaddock.” In his voicemail, he also slammed me for being in the industry so long and “only” ending up at the Telegraph. “It must be because you’re writing s**t like this,” he said. “You’re a f*****g joke, Don.” Keith, I appreciate the feedback. Our newspaper isn’t reporting on L.A. or New York. We are Folsom’s newspaper and it’s still a small town. There was confusion locally regarding the former star athlete and his namesake who is accused of numerous crimes. The day after the paper published, Justin D. was scheduled to be in court. It is a relevant story. I’ve been aware of the two Justins since I took over as editor of the paper in 2008, but after this latest arrest, which garnered news coverage across the region (including TV), I believed it was the our responsibility to set the record straight. Another comment, posted online by dkearney, confirmed the confusion. “We knew Justin A. from the days when he wrestled at Sutter Middle School and his dad coached. Although my son stopped wrestling after (that), we stayed in contact through Bulldogs football. … (Justin A.) was a class act and the news about another Bolton having trouble with drugs and the law was disturbing as we thought it was the Justin we knew. Thanks for this story and the clarification. (He) is still a class act.” Another online commenter, ddpepper00, also thought the story was warranted. “If I were the parent of the young man whose reputation was put into question by mistaken identity, I would be very upset about the mix-up and extremely thankful for this article. Good job, I say.” HITTING THE STREET St. Patrick’s Day came a little early to Folsom as AppeteasersUSA offered their first pub crawl on Saturday, March 12 along Sutter Street in Folsom. Not just featuring beer and appetizers, the day also featured a small parade, including pipers (as shown in this week’s photograph). Bob and Chris Quinlan organized the festivities. To learn more, visit AppeteasersUSA.com. The group plans many more pub crawls in the near future. TOY STORY Talya-Ann Hupe, a student at Vista del Lago High School in Folsom, is trying to gather 5,000 toys this week to donate them to the Shriners Hospital in Sacramento. The toy drive ends March 25. She said drop-off locations for new, unwrapped (original package) toys or blankets, scarves or hats, include Vista, Folsom High School, Folsom Lake High and Folsom Middle School. Hupe has been a Shriners kid since she was 2, when she burned her hand in a camping accident. “My burns were so severe that I was sent to the UC Davis Hospital for treatment and I was admitted into ICU Burn Unit where I stayed for nine days,” she wrote in an e-mail message to the Telegraph. “From then on I became apart of the Shriners family. I have had three surgeries with them and I am going in for my fourth surgery within the next few of months. Without Shriners I would not be able to open my hand. The burns went all the way down to my cartilage, and my hand was curling inward to where I couldn’t even get close to put my hand down flat.” She credits Shriners with helping her live an active life. “If it wasn’t for the surgeries, I believe I wouldn’t be who I am today. I would probably be a totally different person, considering it was my left hand and I am a lefty,” she writes. “I have been in competitive cheer for nine and a half years. Without Shriners Hospital, I would be at a huge disadvantage.” So, why toys? “Every time I went in for surgery, the people of Shriners would give me a blanket or a stuffed animal that (I got) to keep and call (my) own. It was something that I would go into surgery with, and come out with. When that happened, it soothed me; it put a smile not only on my face but my mother’s too.” Good luck, Talya-Ann. To learn more, visit http://support.shrinershospitals.org/site/TR. ROLLING THE 'DICE' On Saturday evening, Sports Editor Matt Long and I watched foul-mouthed comedian Andrew “Dice” Clay take the stage at Tommy T’s in Rancho Cordova. While there, I spotted Powerhouse Pub owner Murray Weaver in the crowd. To read my blog post about the show, visit folsomtelegraph.com and go to “staff blogs.” Reach Managing Editor Don Chaddock at firstname.lastname@example.org.