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January 22, 2014 - Steve Schulwitz
I take pride in the fact that everything I write or report my name is attached to. I understand not all readers will agree with what I am sharing, and to a certain degree I expect some negative reaction and correspondence from the "Haters." But things can get out of hand and sometimes scary. Over the last several weeks some people in Alpena have been receiving letters with nasty and demeaning messages that are sprayed with perfume. Others get emails from fake accounts that belittle the recipient. These people need to get a life. If their thoughts and ideas are so good, why don't they take the initiatives to get them implemented? Instead they choose to attack while hiding behind a veil of secrecy.
People who are in the public's eye, community leaders, media, police and many others are targets for such actions, and I'm sure many incidents go unreported. I'm not sure what can be done if they were.
I'm all for people's right to exercise their freedom of speech and to protest, but I also believe it should be done in a civil manner, with a name attached. Unfortunately many people have the bravery to voice their opinions, but lack the guts to reveal their identity. I believe that is what you call a coward.
What the authors of hate mail don't realize is that we have access to many resources that allow us to obtain a person's handwriting. Even though most times the hate mail is written in a bogus penmanship, it is possible for us to determine who the potential writer may be, and then compare the handwriting from two separate samples. As a reporter I'm pretty good at connecting dots and I hope one day a piece of hate mail reveals a clue to who sends some of this junk and if possible expose them.
It is too easy to hide behind aliases today and maybe if one person is publicly identified and humiliated, another may share their views in a more normal and reasonable way.
Do these people think their actions are going to hinder us from continuing to do our job and from making Alpena a better place?
Do they think we will be intimidated and that we will bow to their wishes and demands?
I hope not because it only pushes us harder to fulfill our obligations to our employers and the community that we love, Alpena.
As far as I'm concerned the only love these people know is for themselves and the only passion they have is ridiculing those who are trying to make a positive impact on our community.
I'm hoping the person or people who have been mailing out this garbage read this blog. I hope they contact me.
I'm willing to listen to their thoughts and concerns, as long as it is done so in a mature way, although after reading some of these, I doubt that is possible.
Anyway, if you keep sending this mail, without identifying yourself, there is a good chance you're going to be found out.
One last thing....
You really need to change the type of perfume you use ... Pee Eww!
Not a coward, Steve Schulwitz
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