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NORWALK, Conn. – When last we wrote about San Diego’s accused Groper in Chief, Mayor Bob Filner, on Aug. 23, his 18th accuser had just come forward. Sexual harassment and outright groping had just brought the city’s first Democratic mayor in years tumbling down.
And then No. 19 came forward.
No. 19, according to published reports, was an elementary school teacher, Marilyn McGaughy, who introduced the mayor to a classroom full of kids and proceeded to get hit on by the mayor. In this case, getting hit on included, according to the report, overt verbal overtures, a forced kiss on the head and an unwanted brush of the breast as he inexplicably removed her stick-on name tag. Well, inexplicable unless you consider that was a way for him to cop a cheap feel and assert his dominance.
The sad thing is, women are subjected to this treatment a lot more often than is generally known. Men – and sometimes women – use their positions of power to take what they want and rely on intimidation – sometimes subtle, sometimes not – to keep their victims silent. They rely on “what happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors.”
Even if it happens in front of a classroom full of kids. Or at the bar in a nice restaurant.
The San Diego situation shows that women need not suffer these assaults in silence. All it takes is one woman to stand up, and others will follow. The days of blaming the victim – at least among intelligent people – are over.
Why non-Yankee fans hate A-Rod, Reason No. 317
Some background: I am a lifelong Red Sox fan, a Cape Cod native and 60 years old. I started covering sports as a 15-year-old stringer, then joined the business full time in 1978 as a sports writer and editor. I am, when it comes to sports, a semi-traditionalist (resistant at first, I since embraced the designated hitter and helmets-in-hockey rules). I also managed to get through high school in the ‘60s and a year at Berklee College of Music in the early ‘70s without touching drugs.
That is why I am appalled that Alex Rodriguez has entered baseball’s record books as the all-time grand slam king. Rodriguez, an admitted steroid abuser who is facing a 211-game suspension by Major League Baseball that will, in all likelihood, end his career, recently cracked his 24th career grand slam. That broke the record held by Yankee legend Lou Gehrig – LOU GEHRIG – and it was only possible because of steroids and the fact that he appealed his suspension so he could keep playing. Several other players suspended at the same time did not choose to fight it. Rodriguez was the only one to appeal.
Rodriguez’s phony accomplishments include 654 homers, the most ever by a player of Hispanic descent; highest slugging percentage in a season (.631, 1996), and several other lesser marks tied to his chemically enhanced power.
But the Gehrig thing… THAT is what makes this all the more appalling. Gehrig was a baseball god, Rodriguez a whiny, greedy cheat as far back as Texas. Sad, because he was predicted for greatness as a young player still untainted by scandal. Now he’s just another chump who couldn’t be satisfied with his money and success. Gotta have more…
And speaking of success…
Let’s end this on a couple positive notes, closer to home.
The first would be Oak Hills Golf Course. The Oak Hills folks have taken a pounding, not undeserved, over management and financial issues, including having to rework loan repayments with the city and missing payments altogether. In a business most closely associated with green, the Oak Hills Park Authority had been swimming in a sea of red.
That seems to have changed, and we say that with cautious optimism. The OHPA recently made its September loan payment to Norwalk, and officials say the golf course is on track to have a $60,000-plus surplus going into the spring – more if the winter is mild. Not only that – reports are the course is in very good shape.
Now if they can work things out with the practice range…
And here’s a shout-out to the early reports of peace, love and harmony in the Norwalk Public Schools. While we were no fan of the super double-secret search, it did result in bringing in a highly credentialed, veteran school superintendent with experience in the public and private sectors as well as at the government level. Manny Rivera has, so far, proven to be a bull-by-the-horns superintendent who pays no attention to the noise and knows what he wants and how to get. And, this time around, it looks like his Board of Education and community support is pretty strong, which is the only way things will appreciably improve.
Kudos to Mike Lyons and the BOE, and to Rivera. We can only hope things continue onward and upward.
(Mark Chapman is the NancyOnNorwalk editor)