Letters to the Editor: April 10, 2008


Dear Editor,
The public has a “right to know” the background of all its lawmen. Past behavior can predict the future.
On Oct. 13, 1898, the citizens of Meeker shot and killed three armed bandits who were caught in the process of robbing our bank. Four days later, the complete details of this incident were freely, fairly and proudly reported to the community by the Herald Times newspaper. In 1898, Meeker was a “free and open” community.
109 years later, apparently, a Meeker police officer shoots an apparently distraught father and businessman in his home. For more than a week, the town and county have been “tight-lipped about the incident, releasing the minimum of information” to the press. This “police secrecy” has forced the local press to commence legal proceedings.
On April 2, 2008, the Daily Sentinel quotes the Meeker Police Department as saying (this officer) was highly recommended. The next day, their front page reads “Meeker cop was sued for excessive force wile in Mesa County. [A reported $5.5 million federal lawsuit.] Thank you Daily Sentinel for shining the bright lights of the press not the shadows of another police department blocking embarrassing information. Hiding behind your badge and a wall of police silence does not fool the public. Well done — Sentinel. You have earned the citizen’s “right to know” medal.
There are two time-tested citizen solutions to determine if there is a “fox in the hen house”: 1) If it is in the “public interest,” the district attorney may petition the court to convene a grand jury, 2) When a person dies from “external violence,” the coroner may summon forthwith six citizens of the county to hold a public coroner’s inquest. Citizen-jurors are your “check and balance” on “tight-lipped” law enforcement.
This police/sheriff “ducking and hiding” from reporters and its array of “song and dance” legal excuses is intolerable. Delay is the same as a denial. Voters are asked again and again for more law enforcement funding for more staff, training, equipment and facilities. What we ask in return is an “open and transparent” government and not Star Chamber-like operations.
This week our “tight-lipped” cops earn a “thumbs down” and thunderous vote of “no confidence.”
Thank you Herald Times, for your “109-year-old” backbone.
Joe Fennessy
Meeker

Dear Editor,
I would like to say “thank you” to the peewee wrestling program and all that they do. Todd and Tonya have been wonderful. My son has been in it for four years and without them it would not be a success. There are many wonderful dads that help as well so I would like to say thank you to Brett Harvey, Luke Pelloni, James Amick, Coley Turner, Willy Theos and anyone I have missed who helps out.
Todd has been the head coach for several years and without him there would not be that foundation that he has formed for several young kids. Peewee teaches my son along with others that everyone is equal and no one person is better than the other. My opinion is that peewee is about learning the skills as well as learning that it is OK to lose which is taught well by Todd. My son goes out for peewee because he enjoys it, whether he loses or wins he is there for himself and not to make him or his parents look any better than the others. He always has a smile on his face and loves to hear the coaches teach him what move to make, even if he is on the bottom.
I go to the matches to cheer every Meeker member on, not just certain ones. I hope that my son will learn from me that he needs to treat every one with respect whether he is wrestling against them or not. I hope that this is carried on by all parents as I have witnessed the opposite from many Meeker parents at the recent matches.
Rhawnie McGruder
Meeker