PulseLine, August 6, 2012

Dear PulseLine, I just read in the 8-3-12 The Westfield News that Agawam, Holyoke, Westfield, Easthampton, Southampton, Chicopee and Montgomery all got millions in state aid. In Russell The Carrington Road that connects Russell to Montgomery has been sliding off the mountainside for the past five years! It was going to be repaired by the state for between $250,000 to $500,000 years ago but was put on the back burner. Why do all the other cities and towns get their projects funded but not little Russell? Maybe its because Jana Chicoine’s Concerned Citizens killed the Proposed biomass plant in our town! They are still trying to drive Texon Paper Co out of town and just have made Indian River Hydro spend money for useless toxic waste testing! The Concerned Citizens of Russell have hung an anti-industry stinking albatross around our necks and we will never get state monies as long as they rule Russell! I agree that the rant against officer Jose Torres was in poor taste! It should not have been in your paper the day of his wake! I have not seen in any paper that the truck driver that killed Jose Torres was charged with homicide!! Why not? If a ten wheeler crushed one of us it would be all over your front page! Also, why has been so very quiet about the accident between two police cars that sent The President of W.S.U. and some of his staff to the hospital? The investigation into the death of officer Torres is currently ongoing and it may take several months before the details of what happened are known. If the driver of the truck was found to be immediately responsible then he/she would have been arrested and charged. We reached out to Rep. Nick Boldyga who to date has not been contacted by any Russell citizens about the Carrington Road issue.  

Why is everyone flipping out about what was written in the PulseLine about if something happens to a police officer when they are employed by someone else they should get the money from the company he or she is working for? He wasn’t working for Westfield.  He was working for a company out of West Springfield. Why should we have to pay for it? This is why police shouldn’t be flaggers. I always see them on their cell phones anyway when I drive downtown but they will give us a ticket for using our cell phones while driving. Cops don’t even have one of the top ten of the deadliest jobs in America.  Construction workers, truck drivers, roofers, farmers, and a lot more have even more deadly of a job and if they work for another company and pass away they don’t get the choice of what company they get their money from.

I want to say that the customer service I received at Comcast on Thursday was wonderful.

I have been reading this banter regarding a comment that was posted on the day of Officer Torres’ service. I have not read that comment but I have read the reactions to it. The Westfield News posted a statement regarding the comment and I feel that was very responsible of them to do so. Although the comment was apparently inappropriate and bad timing, since when should a news media outlet be in the business of censorship? It shouldn’t be. Readers of The Westfield News want to hold The Westfield News accountable for printing a comment (whatever the nature) yet they are allowed the chance to state THEIR opinion through freedom of speech and freedom of the press through the PulseLine; it just seems a bit hypocritical. I have read the PulseLine many times where there have been extremely negative, untrue comments about people in our community and city officials. It is my CHOICE to read the PulseLine knowing that perhaps there could be negative comments that I don’t agree with or that could be hurtful to the person mentioned or his or her family. The Westfield News was one of the many media outlets that transmitted news about Officer Torres, his services and his career to not only the people in Westfield but the people in our surrounding towns, yet people do their job and allow an OPINION to be printed in the PulseLine and they are being held accountable for timing. Sensitivity should not warrant censorship. Not everybody has the same opinion regarding the circumstances of Officer Torres’ death or his profession but having different opinions is what makes our world go round and being able to express them is what makes us Americans. I am sure this will get some reactions, and I will choose to read the opinions you write in the PulseLine.

Much has been written about comments made in this paper with regards to the negative entry on the day we buried Jose Torres. Having worked on the police department 32 years and with Jose over twenty,  Jose and I would expect someone to be negative about us. It comes with the job. Jose, if he was here, would shrug his shoulders and say ” Ya know there had to be one a… hole” and he would have moved on. That was Jose. He would say to you what he has said to me. You know someone had to say something. He would smile and laugh and we would talk about the good things that happened. I ask in Jose’s name, to look at all the wonderful things people have done this past week. The people standing in line to see him and his family. The people lining the streets holding signs or putting them up out side their business. Leaving flowers at the station. Dropping off food at the station and his home. And the funeral.. what a send off. The motorcycles, the cops, the service, the marchers, and the Sons of Erin. That is what Jose wants you all to remember. I have known Jose long enough that I know he didn’t hate anyone. He was disappointed in individuals, but hating was just too negative and not in his nature. Finally if you listen to the police radio you would occasionally hear a dispatcher or shift commander say to a police officer who just completed a call in a fine, thoughtful and correct manner, the comment would be, “GOOD JOB”. To Jose’s parents I say, “GOOD JOB”. To Jose and Kara, after meeting and being with their two fine sons I say, “GOOD JOB” Kara, “GOOD JOB” Jose… You may not be physically here, but I hear you! I always will.  Sgt. Paul Beebe

Being a resident of Westfield for fifty years I have see n a lot of police officers come and go, and Jose Torres was one of our finest. When we finally get the gazebo in our town park , I think it should be dedicated in his memory, as he truly served this town and it’s people.

I love how the computer tough guys gang up on that one guy/girl who rendered his/her opinion on a subject that being the recent death of Jose Torres.  This person was called sick, heartless, cold-hearted, a moron, an idiot, a SOB and an a**hole. Takes one to know one, I guess. It’s amazing how many cowards slither out, spew their venom, then slide back into their holes and you never hear from them again. Personally, I think its hilarious, the banter back and forth, from the shield and cloak of anonymity and one of the reasons I buy this paper and I applaud The Westfield News for standing strongly behind our most important amendment, the First Amendment. I’ll be signing up for another year’s subscription when renewal time comes.

Your publishing the comments on Officer Torres was wrong and your subsequent attempt to justify it was shameful. You called it a controversial letter. It was not. It was a personal attack and it never should have been printed, especially on the day you chose to print it. Every day you make judgments involving a call or letter is too obscene or too inappropriate to publish. You erred by letting this one appear in print, and I for one blame you directly for not following your own policies. After this, until you print an apology to all of us, especially the family of Officer Torres, I will not buy your paper; I will not support your advertisers, and I hope others who are as disgusted by your poor judgment as I am choose to do the same.

I am writing, as so many have, in response to the PulseLine of July 31st. I am in agreement that the man or woman who wrote such words is completely ignorant and clearly has no respect for human life or for those who choose to dedicate their lives to serving their community and the people in it. But I am a firm believer that there is good in everything and here is where I think the good in this evil can be found: ONE PERSON wrote a negative, ignorant, greedy, hateful post. Many, many, many people wrote in to protest his or her words and to support Officer Torres, his family and the Westfield Police Department. It is clear that there are kinder, respectful citizens in Westfield than there are ignorant, hateful citizens. We should be proud to be a member of this city where so much kindness and respect for human life exists. On another note, I do have to say that I feel terribly for the members of The Westfield News staff. I can only imagine what they must have gone through having to print those words. And many of you are disgusted with the fact that they chose to do so. I have to say that I don’t think it was a choice. While the timing was horrific, and I mean HORRIFIC, The Westfield News prints what is written by members of our community whether they agree with those words or not. If they were to begin picking and choosing which submissions to print based on their opinions it would no longer be a community forum and would become a Westfield News opinion forum. What if I wrote in support of a politician or bill that the staff of The Westfield News was against and they chose not to print it? I find it equally as ignorant to blame them. We all have opinions and many times they differ. Not everyone will always agree with what is written in PulseLine but I think it is crucial that people remember that The Westfield News does not write these posts nor do they necessarily support them. The have made a commitment to print what members of our community to write. So we either decide we want this forum to continue or we ask The Westfield News to remove it. Otherwise, continue to support them as a local business working hard to serve the City of Westfield.

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