Reader: I read Sam Morgen's article on the Bakersfield College student ("BC student believed to be detained by ICE for second time," May 18) and to be honest I found it completely lacking in journalistic integrity and used to promote/incite more on the immigration issue.
It took me all of about two minutes to uncover that Jose Bello and his brother Oscar Bello-Reyes do have criminal convictions in Bakersfield for gang-related activities. Jose’s being significantly more serious than that of his brother.
Simply stating that he is mixed up with another person is the worst kind of journalism. As a former journalist, Morgen's article makes me feel sad for the state of our industry because it goes to show that there truly is a bias instead of truth reporting.
Immigration is what this country is founded on. But it was not done in the form or fashion that it has come to today with people illegally crossing our borders. If you think about it, we are all immigrants. And yet Morgen just chose to glorify a person who has already been a part of our criminal system on a very serious charge for which he willingly pleaded guilty, to push an agenda.
Why not interview a person or persons who got into America the legal way, and see how they feel about all the illegals. I bet that would not help the agenda Morgen is trying to push. That article only showed me how much “truth” I can put behind anything on Bakersfield.com.
— Trish Cherry
Price: Well, you're right about this: Simply stating that Bello has been confused with another person would be the worst kind of journalism. As a former journalist, however, it should have been abundantly clear to you that Morgen did no such thing. Bello's attorney made that statement and Morgen quoted him. And, based on that, you cry for "our industry." I cry for your reading comprehension skills.
I don't see any glorification in Morgen's 234-word article, a brief, as we call it, reporting simply that Bello had been taken into custody and that friends, as before, are rallying in support. Morgen sought official comment; the authorities could not even confirm Bello had been re-arrested.
I assume, because you suggested that we write a story about a person who got into America the legal way, that you're certain such an approach has never occurred to us, much less been written. You would be wrong. Those stories are invariably inspiring; I know, because I've written a few myself over the years.
Reader: It seems like the main point of Sam Morgen's write-up ("Vast majority of officer-involved shootings in Bakersfield involve people of color," May 19) is that the police are not doing their job properly. Instead of responding to all calls for assistance, they should wait to respond until they know they will only encounter the accepted number of combatants from each color group. Or maybe they should not be armed at all so they don’t run the risk of shooting too many of one color. Committing this “crime” is far worse than not protecting the caller(s) or community they live in.
Evidently there is some trust in the communities of color or the calls wouldn’t even be made to begin with. And I am fairly certain they would each expect a quick response with some ability to resolve the problem.
It seems those who write articles such as Morgen's always forget some offense was committed. The police are always the “bad” guys (or girls), and they are all white in color.
I am very thankful there are people willing to face unknown danger. No group is entirely perfect, but it is definitely known there is at least one person who is causing an unlawful act which needs to be stopped by whatever means necessary whenever a call is received.
The police need lifting up. Our communities need protection. The color of anyone’s skin should never be the issue.
— Karen Lawson
Price: The main point of Sam Morgen's write-up was that blacks and other people of color are shot by police at a rate not commensurate with their percentage of the population, and that the rate in Bakersfield is even more skewed than the overall U.S. rate. Those are simply what the statistics say.
Having established that, a responsible community and its police force must endeavor to discover why this may be and whether steps should and can be taken to rectify the apparent imbalance.
The BPD, to its credit, is trying to identify issues and make adjustments where it can, through training, that do not endanger officers or public safety.
The job of a U.S. police officer has to be the hardest job on the planet. I can think of no other that combines its levels of ever-present danger and relentless public scrutiny. Cops deserve our respect, gratitude and support. But that doesn't mean we should just accept the status quo and be grateful for what we get. Scrutiny sharpens performance.
Is there a better way to train officers or evaluate the data? Are other factors at work besides race? Are there underlying issues? To say no, shut up and let cops do their jobs, is a disservice to law enforcement and to the public. Let's all work on this. These studies are relevant report cards.
Reader: Quit milking the Monsignor Craig Harrison story thinking you will sell more newspapers. This is absolutely ridiculous. My husband showed me the paper this morning because I don’t read your damn paper. Why don’t you go after somebody else for a while?
You're printing stuff that has nothing to do with with this investigation. You and reporter John Cox have helped destroy Father Craig's reputation by looking up anything you can find and printing stuff that has already been found to be untrue. (2004? Really!)
Shame on you, Robert Price, on what you think will sell more papers. It won’t work. People will continue to quit taking this biased paper. Why don’t you write about the damn Democrats who are trying to destroy this country with all their lies and deceit?
— Norma Sacchini
Price: OK, Norma, no more stories about Father Craig. When his lawyer calls and says Craig has a statement defending himself, we'll say, no, we've been milking it.
When one of Craig's sons decides he wants to tell the story of what a great dad he was, we'll say, no, Norma says we're milking it.
When Craig's congregation rallies behind him with overflow gatherings of support, we'll ignore it so that we're not milking it.
And when the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno makes an announcement, we'll let TV cover it because we don't want to be milking it.
Or, alternatively, you could read this damn paper once in a while. You might see that we're trying to be as evenhanded as we can be in a situation that, frankly, seems fair to no one. Or, more likely, you won't see.
Reader: Once again, Trevor, you have elevated track and field, but especially throwers, to a new level in Bakersfield. Our throwing fraternity thanks you for your great effort.
— Ralph Fruguglietti
Reader: Not since Phil Klusman has track and field had such great coverage. The athletes appreciate it and deserve it.
— Scott Semar
Price: Comparing the work of our enthusiastic prep sports writer, Trevor Horn, to late, great Californian sportswriter Phil Klusman, who was literally killed while covering track and field, is high praise indeed. But Trevor deserves it. His BVarsity webcast, "The 5th annual BVarsity Live State Track Super Show," was awesome. Just be safe out there, Trev.