Monday June 21, 2010

Editorial

Pathetic Parenting

The damage done    Craig Hill/Voice

 

Continued from main page

 

I don't feel like writing this but it has to be done. As a matter of fact, I don't feel like writing at all for the time being because of an incident that took place over the weekend at the Greg Clark Fishing Derby which involved me almost being attacked by a trio of unruly people who are supposed to be parents all because I took three or four photos of their kids playing in the water.

 

I was cussed at, threatened, humiliated, embarrassed and given the finger by them as they screamed "pervert" while their kids and hundreds of people watched.

 

Wonderful parents.

 

I was sick that day and still am as a matter of fact. But I forced myself to go anyway. Just a small sacrifice you make when its something you love to do.

 

At events I take pictures of everything to share with you folks who can't make it there and for people who'd like photos of themselves at the event. This is my job. And for that, in this case, I'm the bad guy.

 

Because of the sensitive nature of taking photos of kids these days, sometimes it can be sticky but if I have to walk on rice paper then I can't effectively do my job.

 

They called the police. Okay, fine.

 

When I photograph a kid, I give a business card to the parent if possible. That's the deal; take a photo give a card. Over the past two years there have been many times where parents have posed for photos for me with their kids and 99.99% of parents are cool. I've handed out probably about 4000 business cards one by one in the last year.

 

However, when someone comes up to me like those loogans did, screaming and ranting, no then they aren't getting a card. The guy was so mad, he was standing there quivering with adrenalin. I don't care if you're the Queen Sheba of Gastown, if you're like that you're not getting a card.

 

On Saturday, I was interviewed by the Cultus Lake Police and the RCMP who took my camera and brought it to me at home, at which time they deleted the photos in question. I didn't like it when the constable grabbed the mouse on my desk and deleted the photos. I am capable of doing that myself.

 

I made a mistake, which the police pointed out, and put my home address on my business cards. The thought that I might be endangering myself never crossed my mind. Not until the police mentioned it. It's about trusting the community and until then I never gave it a second thought.

 

The police were just doing their job. Those parents, who are obviously lowlifes on glue, were overreacting. Additionally, now I fear for my own safety and have to wonder if my door is going to get kicked-in by baseball bat-wielding-gumbies.

 

Time to change addresses. 

 

Parents out there need to pay attention to who they label a "pervert" because they do a lot of damage by shooting first and asking questions later.

 

In this case, I'm shutting it down on the Voice because I feel I am owed an apology by all concerned. Although I don't really expect it and assuredly wont get it, however, I do deserve it. 

 

I have been urged to continue working and bringing stories to you folks but at this point in time, I'm burned out and give up. Perhaps in the fall I'll reconsider my decision to pack it in but for now, it's over. I have much better things to do no offence, than to be screamed at and humiliated by people I wouldn't even sit beside on the bus. This project has cost me a lot of time and money and for what? You tell me.

 

I've locked the Voice's Facebook account down. Below you will find my final posting there and some responses from good people in the city.

 

It may be that the Voice will popup in another city. There are valley's everywhere. Maybe I'll do a Quesnel news site, which would be more of a fit seeing as how they named the city after my family.

 

Thanks for your support. Today, Chilliwack just got a little bit smaller.

 

Best,

Craig Hill

Publisher

 

Steven Just -Tek Computers

Guilty until Proven innocent crap. The cops should really treat accusations differently. I support you on this. Maybe you needed a big sign around your neck saying media. Think you should get a public apology and they need to clear your name. I can't believe they now made some people label you as a perve. People judge so easily and the cops.

 

Brad Stuart - Reader

I don't even know you personally but I added you because you were on a friend list of someone I know. I enjoy keeping up to date with your news articles in this format. I'm always amazed at the amount of events and stories you are able to attend and report on. Don't let one ignorant parent silence you and discourage you from something you are passionate about. The fear that some people live in is ridiculous. Granted we can't live our lives in ignorant bliss of dangers out there, but I believe that the overwhelming majority of people are good a heart. If we live in fear and protect our children from imaginary threats then our kids will end up living life looking over their shoulders, paranoid of everything. Keep up the good work!!! Don't stop what your doing.

 

Michael Berger - Chilliwack Learning Community Society

"Hi Craig, Just read your FB posting that the Valley Voice is being parked. My response - Noooooooo! I enjoy reading your take on community events, and I appreciate your willingness to go to events that aren't always covered by the other media. Your article on Hank the Barber and the recent Yarrow Days celebration brought back many fond memories for this former Yarrow boy. Please keep going. You add a valuable viewpoint on happenings in Chilliwack."

 

Susan Federspiel - Stop the gravel pit

Honestly, I am so sorry that happened today, and I really appreciate what you do and how you go about it. You can give a great "picture" of an issue, because you are not biased by advertising pressure and feel free to bring forth the subordinate story. You are the true free press.

You are an amazing person and passionate, and I think the police should be out getting criminals - not a community hero like yourself. There are way more of us who appreciate the work you do, than there are ignorant folks. Really!

 

Gail - Alzheimer Association

Hi Craig. I just read all of the BS that happened to you over the weekend. I actually had to re-read it a few times because I just couldn't bring myself to believe it had actually happened. I really hope you'll reconsider shutting down the Voice although I have to admit I don't blame you. I'm so sorry this happened - you and The Voice are valuable additions to freedom of the press in Chilliwack and it's refreshing to read honest and unbiased journalism for a change.
I hope those fools who call themselves parents are ashamed of themselves and realize what an embarrassment they are to their children. One can only hope the kids don't grow up to be like the parents.
Again Craig, I'm so sorry about this and really hope The Voice will always be a part of my daily routine.

Gail Johnson

To Brad from the Voice: You're absolutely right. Additionally, there are many parents out there who shouldn't be and many out there that should be who aren't. Your comments were inspiring and excellent, Brad, and I thank you for them. And thank you for throwing your support behind me.

To Susan from the Voice: You're the hero. If I was a hero then I just went to zero with Olympic speed. You've always been super people and the CRV is lucky to have such a wonderful, caring person living there. Thank you so much.

To Steven from the Voice:
Thanks for your kind words. You're absolutely right and thanks for the work you did on the computer and for digging up a monitor for me, you're awesome doode. Tek is the best computer store in town, hands down.

To Michael Berger Voice: You my friend, are an awesome person and have supported the Voice from Day 1. I'm posting your e-mail to me here so that the other 4 people here know who the good guys are in town.

 

Gail Johnson

Thanks for your thoughtful words. It's people like you who made the work I put into the Voice all worthwhile. I will miss the project dearly.

To Everyone: The police were cool about it. They invaded my space, took over my computer as I sat in front of it and deleted the photos of the kids playing in the water. They're stock shots and I usually run a people in the park shot, once a week or so, or llamas in a field or whatever. The police saw lots of pictures of kids on my camera but were only concerned with the ones I took of the freaks who humiliated and embarrassed me.

One of the things that ticked me off was that the RCMP couldn't take my word that I would delete the 3 or 4 photos in question, they had to take my camera from me then bring it to me in my home and have me hook it up and then they took control of the mouse.

How many of you out there would put up with that crap?

It's pretty well killed it for me. Now, whenever I take a pic of a kid, I'll have the police over here raking me over the coals which is what they did yesterday. So I can't have that.

My girlfriend, who has 9 grandkids, was in tears and in shock and almost took the day off work because of it.

Boy, you sure find out who your friends are fast and those that couldn't bother to chime in with a comment aren't on my friends list now, councillors included. For some reason I didn't jump out of bed with the same verve as usual at 3 am to get the site updated before anyone is awake. Today it was all different. I didn't even open the site. I'm afraid I've lost the edge now.

I just can't have this happen again. At this point I wouldn't pay another nickel to put the news out there. It's a shame because there aren't many news outlets in Chilliwack and the Chilliwack Today site's whole purpose is to go after the politicians in this town, or so I hear. Not much in the way of news there but Mike's ok, but he's not a news guy.

My gal has urged me to keep on going with the Voice project and without her support, I would never have gone as far as I did with it. Awesome woman. So I'll see in the next few days how I feel about all of this. Thanks again for all of your support, you guys are super.

I may post some photo galleries because I promised and some people asked me to take their photos and I would hate to disappoint them.

Best,
Craig Hill