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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Allegations & Shame on the Press
By Kelly Ludwig-Johnson


November 15, 2011
Tuesday PM

I have to say that I am shocked to hear of the recent allegations against Jack Shay. I have known this man most of my life, working on my first play with him when I was 17. He has given many years of service to this community and brought Community Theater to life in a small town where distractions from the weather and isolation were welcome.

It reminds me that we are all human and as such we have human qualities that may not be so desirable. I remember when my children were small I used to tell them that I always loved them, no matter what, however I did not necessarily like their actions at the moment. I truly feel that at this point, we have to separate the man from the actions and understand that the person needs compassion, even though the actions are deplorable. We cannot throw out all the good with the bad, even though he will probably not be remembered for everything he did for this town, but for the worst imaginable actions at the end.

I have to say shame on the police or whoever is responsible for the leaks to the press of the details of this case, and shame on the press for not having the decency to keep the details for the jury. While you may think that you are causing Mr. Shay more damage, the damage has already been done. What you are doing is making the young victims in this case relive the humiliation and embarrassment that they had lived through at the time. I would implore you to keep further details to yourself, it is not party fodder and it goes beyond simple gossip. I understand the right of the press to report, but in these types of cases I feel that they have an obligation to the young victims not to publish every sordid detail. God forbid that the identity of any of these young people is ever made public. It is NOT the public s right to know who they may be.

In closing, I am not trying to condone Mr. Shay's alleged actions. It is his choice, his actions, and his responsibility to answer to these allegations and should it come to a trial, it will be the jury's responsibility to determine guilt. Until then, we need to have compassion for the man, indignation for the actions and respect for the privacy of the children.

Kelly Ludwig-Johnson
Ketchikan, AK

About: "I am a long time resident of Ketchikan, graduating from Kay-Hi in 1974. I have three children and 5 grandchildren. "

Received November 11, 2011 - Published November 15, 2011


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