I attended the dog park meeting that several writers referred to on your Letters page last week. For the most part, the meeting was cordial. It was just a bit startling to hear the low growls from the WOOF (Well-Organized Off-leash Friends) crowd when opponents of the Sunnyside site spoke, but then again, they were not biting anyone. Defending Aggie Stackhaus is futile. Anyone with a complaint about her is probably justified.
I fully support having further discussions regarding the placement of dog parks. The financial side of who would be responsible to maintain these amenities has not been resolved.
Kansas City, Missouri
What a repulsive article about Bill Laursen. Reporter Peter Rugg spends way too many column inches playing up how prominent dad Laursen is in the Kansas City jazz scene and not nearly enough on the child porn in his possession and the various implications.
I really don't give a rat's posterior about how gifted Laursen is. And I'm a big local jazz fan, too. Laursen is just another sleazebag with child porn, as far as I'm concerned, only he just happens to play the piano well. And does anybody raise the question of whether he ever molested any of the kids he worked with?
I'm really sick of the media glorifying child-porn possessors and tripping all over themselves with the professional accomplishments of these guys. Meanwhile, Rugg makes very perfunctory remarks about the harm to the kids who are raped, abused and tortured, only to have the crime replayed on the Internet seemingly forever. But then, your reporter's denial is echoed by the local community, so what can we expect.
While some readers may be lulled by your sympathetic treatment of a pedophile, others are not so easily led.
Pedophilia and pornography are not delicate matters that don't hurt anyone. Women and girls' (and sometimes boys') inferior positions are exploited by these behaviors. A pedophile's account of these behaviors to "help people understand" succeeds in showing his arrogance, selfishness and rationalization process. It may have fooled the editors but not all the readers. Where are the victims' voices? Why does sympathy lean to the accused and not the abused?
Takoma Park, Maryland
Peter Rugg responds: I believe thatPitch readers do not need to be reminded of everything that is wrong about child pornography. I quoted at length from Bill Laursen's letter because I believed that it offered insight into the mind of an admitted child-porn user, and I trusted that Pitch readers would come to their own conclusions about his crime, his explanations of his behavior and his punishment.
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