Reader Defends Letters 
 Valley Times                                    7/7/01

I would like to address Mr. Bill Pucciís comments toward me in his June 9, 2001 column in The Valley Times. If the publisher and editor of this newspaper would like me to leave, then I will. That will be another voice silenced, and then we can have the same practice of censoring letters the way the other newspapers do. That is what makes this paper so unique. You are able to write under pen names, and you are able to have your voice heard.

However, in this day and age of political correctness, that is fast becoming history. Mr. Pucciís own paper was asked to censor the Guest Editorial, and how many times has HE been asked not to print certain items in his column because people disagreed with his viewpoints.

Years ago I used to patronize Fire Island in Derby. In fact that was my second home. I gradually saw this beautiful area start to deteriorate back in the early Ď90ís. I didnít like the cars dumped in the pond, clothes strewn all over the trails, and rusted piping all over the place also. 

I wrote a letter to the Evening Sentinel under my real name. You would have thought I committed a crime. My family was insulted over it, my mom and dad were reduced to tears by neighbors who thought I was going against the city. My older sister suffered verbal abuse at the hands of her friends.

No, Mr. Pucci, it isnít easy writing under a pen name, but unlike you, I havenít any other choice. When Witek Park became an explosive topic, I could have remained silent; but I didnít want to see that beautiful land turned into another dump like my beloved Fire Island was. So I wrote about the land, the wildlife, the fish and all the rest of it.

And because the editor of this paper is fair, I also wrote about the school issue, and MY STATISTICS were CORRECT. They had to be because I was only debating statistics that the proponents of the school put out. I also gave all my statistics to the editor so her paper would be covered. Iím not a fool. These people go in one paper and give one set of statistics, and then when you debate them they turn around and try for another set in another paper. I know the political game. 

I urge people to continue to write this newspaper on any issue, and I hope both the editor and publisher will continue to cover all Valley issues, from both sides of the spectrum.

There was a woman recently who apologized to the Ansonia girlsí softball team because her West Haven team beat them and then proceeded to run up the score. Because she was a mother of one of the West Haven players she chose to go into this other newspaper with a pen name; but she wanted the Ansonia players to know she was sorry. She had to use a pen name because she feared retribution. You canít blame people for that in todayís day and age. I hope we will continue to debate which is the American way.

Thank you.

 THE WORRIED WOODSMAN
  Derby