Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Jonathan Kahane: Other issues deserve coverage besides trial

To the editor:

I have recently turned 68 years old, and after reading the Gazette for the last month or so, I now am absolutely sure that my idea of what is interesting and worthwhile in the world is completely different from what most others must believe is so. I wish I had found this out sooner!

For example, I am an experimental psychologist and read with great curiosity about how rats run through mazes. Most other people look at me like I’m crazy. I teach my students about some of the wonderful breakthroughs these rats have afforded us in our knowledge of learning theory and motivation. My students are usually sleeping, doodling or texting at supersonic speed. (How do they do that?)

But the coup de grace came this month as I was reading the paper. The Rintala murder trial has been reported from every possible angle, has included every detail, and has examined the minutiae of every statement of the proceedings ... and of those surrounding it. The ongoing story has covered the front page of the first section of most issues and has commanded headlines day after day for the last month. I recognize that this is a horrific story and is of paramount importance to the families concerned. I am also aware that this is the first time that a lesbian marriage, which has ended this way, has gone to court.

But is this really the most significant news story in The Valley today? Does it have to be covered at the same intensity as the “Sequester,” the “Fiscal Cliff,” and Kate Middleton’s “baby bump?” (Don’t get me started on that one.) I recognize that the Gazette is a regional publication, and it is incumbent upon it to cover the big stories in our area along with national and world news. But is this the most critical issue that Valley residents should be concerned with at this moment? If it is, I am even more out of step with the rest of the world than I thought.

Jonathan Kahane

Westhampton

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