Molester likes Newsday
Regarding Bill Jensen's cover story about me [A man among boys, Dec. 9, about Long Island man Steve Simmons' sexual relationship with New Jersey teen Sam Manzie, who later murdered a boy named Eddie Werner]:
I'm used to front pages and I'm used to being hacked up by writers. I'm used to lies, I'm used to being misquoted and I'm used to being taken out of context. I had always thought the Voice was above cheap thrills. Apparently I'm wrong.
I know you think you got what you wanted, but in truth you got a mess that is about 50 percent accurate, and when the trial starts in L.I., you won't have anything. Newsday will, but the Voice won't.
I have right on my side. I'm glad Bill thinks I have no remorse. I'm glad he is now judge and jury. Sure, I'll make money, but you failed to write that one-third goes to Sam's defense fund and one-third to charity in Eddie's name. You also forgot to mention that I will take this case to the Supreme Court in order to get those responsible for this mess in jail.
Remorse? I'm full of it because I must live with it. You missed the point entirely. There are 6 million gay teens in this country who are treated like dirt. They have no rights. When law enforcement gets involved they get destroyed. Most kill themselves, so we never know why. No parent would say it's easier to blame the "pedophile." Sam killed another, but it isn't the "pedophile's" fault. It's time we looked at the methods of the police.
You "stroke" kids online because they have low self-esteem. You try as best as you can to help them. I don't need stroking. Obviously Bill Jensen does, because an inciteful [sic] piece doesn't sell as well as a controversial piece, which is why my book will sell.
Why don't you do something useful for the gay community and tell about the gay teens? After all, one day they will be your readers.
You have a responsibility to the community. Handle it, don't abuse it.
I've always wanted to say this: I've upped my standards, now up yours. (Sorry about that.) I just want you to know I'm not crazy. I hope you do respond and I hope we get on the same wavelength.
If you write any more about me, send me a copy.
P.S. Happy New Year
Monmouth County Jail
I cannot applaud you enough for writing this article [ Road kill, Dec. 16]. This topic is long overdue for people to take notice.
In March 1997 I lost my sister. She was struck by a car while crossing County Road 83 in Coram where it crosses Hawkins Path. If my memory serves me right, one week later another teenager was hit at the next intersection, where the county road crosses Pine Road. My family have joined the Adopt a Highway program and have signs northbound and southbound on County Road 83 between Old Town Road and Hawkins Path in memory of my sister, Allison Mele. About a month ago I noticed another sign like ours over by Bald Hill, this time with two girls' names on it.
How many of today's youth have to die on this stretch of road before they make it safe? I guess it would have to be the son or daughter of a state or county official before they will really take notice.
Until then I have to hope that people driving who see our signs will maybe slow down and be more careful. Thank you again for this article.
Dead people walking
This article [ Road kill, Dec. 16] has done a good job at calling attention to an environment that, despite being considered a haven for families, is very unsafe for walking and cycling (and which makes taking a bus unsafe, too).
My 90-year-old mother-in-law, who does not drive, lives along Route 109 in West Babylon but is lucky to have a shopping mall half a mile away and on the same side of the highway. I am a pedestrian-rights advocate who visits that area of Long Island every year to visit my wife's family. For five years, our family has lived car-free.
Please follow this up. Encourage more readers to come forth and put in time to pressure officials to improve things. With the aging of the population, it will be sad to see those who can no longer drive become virtual prisoners at home, dependent on friends and family for completing the simplest of trips.
If they want to join an international community of concerned pedestrians, tell them there is a free mail list, PEDNET, that they can join very easily. (Send the message "subscribe pednet" to firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.ottawalk.org/pednet/).
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