By: Tom Duggan – July, 2012
Several readers of The Valley Patriot who also read the Bi-Lingual newspaper in Lawrence called “Rumbo” contacted the Valley Patriot last month complaining that the paper was not only targeting people based on their race (racism by definition) they were printing falsehoods in order to do it.
The owners of “Rumbo” have long told their readers and the community they serve that they believe in free speech and they welcome opposing views.
But our mutual readers say that Rumbo refused to print their letters to the editor critical of their factual errors in their reporting. In the case of the person they were maligning last month (Frank Incropera, President of the Mount Veronon Neighborhood Association) they quoted him from a meeting they never attended, and falsely claimed he made racist statements, and advocated violence.
But when Mr. Incropera wrote a response to corret the record, the owners of Rumbo (Dalia Diaz and Alberto Suris) not only refuse to print his letter, they never even opened it, it came back “return to sender”.. twice.
The Valley Patriot finds this kind of behavior troubling.
Those fortunate enough to own local media outlets ought to welcome criticism, relish in our First Amendment, eagerly accept responsiblity when they are wrong, and sleep at night with the moral satisfaction that their readers get to decide for themselves who is right and who is wrong.
Since Rumbo is now empoying a Fidel Castro style of propaganda in order to malign people while at the same time censoring their own readers displeasure, The Valley Patriot has afforded them the opportunity to address RUmbo Newspaper’s actions in teh pages of our paper.
Here is the letter Rumbo returned to sender;
To the editor
Re: Rumbo article “From my Corner” June 1st 2012
I have to admit I am a bit puzzled that Dalia would comment on hearsay that supposedly happened at a meeting she did not attend. She always prides herself on never printing anything without verification. She never called me to ask about this situation, subsequently there is very little truth to what she wrote. I never said “kill robbers on the spot”. Nor did I question the Chief about the Dominican election. A councilor was questioned by someone else. He stated “I don’t know but I will get back to you”. I have to wonder why she is upset that someone should ask if taxpayer money paid for the Dominican election. I guess in her mind no one has a right to ask questions concerning the Spanish speaking Lawrencians. She needs to be reminded this is America.
This is not the first time Dalia has stooped to malign the Mt. Vernon Neighborhood Assoc. A year ago she printed that she was at a meeting and heard members say, we don’t want those people in our assoc. I had to remind her at the time we had 40 families of Spanish decent in our group.
Unfortunatley, the racism in our city exists because of people like Dalia who seems to enjoy race baiting. I am an avid reader who cares about our community, and read most of the papers published in our area. Rumbo is no longer on my list. I shall only read those with credibility, who verify what they print, such as the Valley Patriot.
Frank J Incropera 3rd
Here is a letter that was not returned to sender. The author is among several readers who say that their letter was never published, nor was any letter critical of the article that maligned Mr. Incropera.
TO The Editor RUMBO Newspaper
I take exception to an article you wrote in your June 1, 2012 newspaper which painted a dear friend and superb man is a most unfavorable light.
The man is former Lawrence Police Lieutenant Frank Incropora. I have known Lt Incroprera in both a personal and professional capacity for the better part of my adult life.
In that timeframe I have never hear Lt. Incroprera to make ANY type of disparaging or off color remarks about ANY individual, criminal or not. He is a gentleman through and through; so you bias is more than obvious.
This policy is quite consistent with your clear bias toward critics of the current administration. Of whom you are nothing more or less than an “unpaid’ flack. While it is obvious you are a shill, your so-called devotion to accuracy should have driven you to one of your fellow Lantigua hacks, Deputy Chief Melix Bonilla who was hired and mentored by Lt. Incropera for many years.
In conclusion let your own biases stay where they belong; think long and hard before smearing a man who is admired by many and respected by all and who has served this City with honor and distinction for over fifty years. It is more than you can say.
Very truly yours.
DANIEL FORD, 6 Ledgewood Dr
Brunswick, ME 04011