Good points, Pilot, and I'll agree. But, still, for some reason this once a month story really seems to get a lot of folks going.
Solution for those bothered by the continuous Fatal Funnel series. Skip the story, don't read it.
Chris and Gabe: I'm not saying it WAS NOT a bad story. It was well written, but, to me, it was about as drawn out as the Anna Nicole death and the crying judge who had to preside over who gets custody of her child.I'm finished! I'm going to sleep---Good Night!
I read all of the anti-Fatal Funnel comments on here, and for the life of me, I cannot figure out what all the fuss is about.
Since everyone in South Texas over the age of 12 knows that illegal aliens cross the Rio Grande in various ways every day and try to make their way northward, is the rub that we haven't been successful in stemming the immigration, or is it that we can act like we don't have a problem as long as no one mentions it. Is it easier to be all 'up in arms' on this issue if it doesn't have a face?
Honestly, I'm 50+ years old and I don't know how I feel about the issue. On the one hand, I can understand risking everything, up to and including your life, for a better life. Most of us would never be willing to take that degree of risk, or anything near it, for anything. I think I can appreciate their thinking. I know, you all would like to make it a legal/illegal behavior issue. And I can see that. I agree, they were breaking the law. Anne Frank's family broke the law, too.
On the other hand--stay put. I'm sorry your country sucks, but we're full. But if I stick with that attitude, I'd be back in Ireland and Wales. However, my ancestors immigrated leaglly, but also at great risk.
So that brings us back to risking it all. This is as far as I can get. I don't know the answer. I'm still trying to figure it out, as are a zillion other folks. I beginning to think there is no answer.
Back to the series. Why is it so awful that Gabe has done this series? I have found it extremely interesting to read the various angles of the story. All the differnt perspectives give a complete picture. Oh, but it also humanizes the participants.
Like it or not, this was a horrible tragedy, and I hate it for the community that it had to end in Victoria. But it did. Folks died trying to have what you have. They bet it all , and they lost.
TrulyTwisted, agree.thewaywardwind, agree.jenna, agree.
And--why does the Advocate have to only print what readers want to read? Geez, in my house they would only deliver the Sunday puzzle page. The rest of the paper, the rest of the week wouldn't matter.
Gabe the series was very well done! congratulations on the quality of the series!
Thank you, N4. Actually, we've written more about the topics I mentioned than the Fatal Funnel. I don't know when we'll write the last story about nuclear power or uranium mining, for example. I hope we carry Myra's columns for a long time to come.
In terms of chapter 11 in our series, http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/..., I encourage you to take another read. I didn't see anywhere that the man profiled was bragging about beating the system or that we were celebrating his presence in this country in any way.
Rather, the story ended with the man wondering whether life in the shadows was the best option for him and his family. He was beginning to realize his future was bleak. Of course, the life he left in Mexico wasn't much either. I found the story to be thought-provoking and balanced.
Chris: VERY GOOD POINTS ! BUTAll of the topics you have mentioned are not as long and drawn out as the Fatal Funnel. I do not think, in my own opinion, publishing an article about a gentleman in Houston who is "flying under the radar" to make a living is appropriate. Is that exploitation or someone bragging how they are beating the system? Why not write an article about a thief who's beating the system? Why not write an article about a perpetual speeder who never gets caught speeding? I'm sure that some of your readers who were affected by that day are TIRED of seeing it in print!It's time to close the wound, please!
I commend Gabe for his remarkable work on this series. We hear from many readers who thank us for this series of unusual depth and understanding. We think tackling important local issues in depth is what will continue to set us apart from other media sources. I also encourage you to review the many thoughtful and insightful opinion columns on the topic. Good journalism forces you to reconsider what you think you know and explore a world you've never known.
To add to what Gabe mentioned about the other stories we've reported on in the past year, here's a quick list of topics we've written about more frequently than "The Fatal Funnel:"
-- UHV expansion
-- Proposed nuclear power plant and uranium mining
-- Law and Disorder
-- May elections
-- November elections
-- City Council meetings
-- County Commission meetings
-- Aprill's funny columns
-- Regular features about people around the Crossroads
-- Our Schools features
-- Myra's Wednesday food columns
-- Master Gardeners' Thursday columns
-- The chupacabra
-- New movie releases every Friday in M3
-- Lunch menus
-- Your Photos on A2
-- Town Talk
I could go on, but my point here is we think there's plenty of room to tackle an important issue in depth and do plenty of other reporting, too. For those who don't like this series, rest assured it will end soon.
Of course, the complex issues surrounding illegal immigration probably won't.
I want to address some of the comments YOU'VE made here. The advocate is a newspaper in challenging times for newspapers. If you really care about success, you will listen to your customers, many of whom are very tired of this story. Maybe you should instead cover something relevant to Victorians and our daily lives.
I want to address some of the comments you’ve made here. Basically, you say you’re tired of the story about the 19 illegal immigrants who died in May 2003.
For the last year, I’ve written 12 installments of a feature series called the Fatal Funnel, a project that stems from the tragedy. Keep in mind, we’ve published 12 installments in a year’s time alongside the thousands of other stories we’ve published.
I encourage you to read our Fatal Funnel series. From your comments, it appears you have not. So far, not one of the installments published featured the illegal immigrants from May 2003.
The Fatal Funnel so far has:
1) Detailed, in three installments, what that tragic night was like for two first responders, the fire chief and sheriff.
2) Chronicled the life of Eloy Garcia, the Victoria clerk who called 911. He saw the bodies. The tragedy forced him to quit his job and seek mental health care.
3) Documented the rebirth of the Sanctuary Movement and its criticisms.
4) Featured Falfurrias, a South Texas town besieged by border crimes and human smuggling.
5) Featured the Texas Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. We spent three days on the border with the anti-illegal immigration group.
6) Detailed the Gulf Cartel’s power in Nuevo Laredo, and how this drug cartel presence may affect Victoria.
7) Investigated the dangers of the international bus system. Buses that travel from Mexico through Victoria are often under-regulated, dangerous and act as seedy storage places for drugs and illegal immigrants.
8) Featured Craig Washington, the famous Texas lawyer who defended Tyrone Williams, the tractor-trailer driver who is in prison for life.
9) Chronicled the life an illegal immigrant in Houston to learn how current-day illegal immigrants exist underneath the radar.
10) Reported never-before-told details about how the smugglers operated before the tragic trip, how they recruited drivers and remained under the law enforcement radar.
Again, I encourage you to read the stories. We didn’t take this project on to win awards or to romanticize illegal immigration. Because Victoria is obviously in the path of illegal immigration and other border issues, we felt it necessary to better understand those forces.
We also think it’s wise to learn from history.
Gabe Semenza / Advocate public service editor
Today's print journalism is all about winning awards, impressing colleagues, and padding resumes.Print media stopped caring about satisfying readers a long time ago. That's why it will soon be extinct.
The Advocate just loves stories about this one incident, but they are just beating a dead... horse
Move on VICAD. COngrats on getting a few nods from the journalism community. Now, get back to who you are serving which should be the community and not your award hungry selves. Listen to the people. They are tired of this story about illegal immigrants who died. They broke a law. Same as death penalty. Move on.
The deaths of these people was a very sad thing, but it's time to move on. Illegal aliens are being glamorized by this newspaper. The Advocate ran a story a while back supporting an illegal alien in Houston who bragged about how he stole I.D.'s and went into business where he hires more illegal aliens. That's when I canceled my subscription. When the Advocate decides to support AMERICAN citizens, of ALL races, maybe I will subscribe again.
On a previous post, I stated my opinion on illegal immigration and the "Coyote." Now, with that aside:I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH ANYONE coming to the US to make a better life for themselves, as well, as their family. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE people not having to resort to the extremes and suffering and sacrifices they go through in order to come here to work. WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE is anyone coming over be documented and pay theirfair share of services they receive such as Health Services. It may be a small percentage, but how many Americans go overseas to earn BIG TAX FREE BUCKS and then return home? AND HOW MUCH OF THAT IS NOT DECLARED? It's more than you think!I AM TIRED OF SEEING THE ARTICLE "THE FATAL FUNNEL." It is an unfortunate and tragic event that occurred, but why keep the wound open? Then again, let's not forget what happened: just like 9/11, THE HOLOCAUST, WW1, WW2, THE KOREAN WAR, THE VIETNAM WAR, THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES, THE GULF WAR, IRAQ, AND MANY MORE INCIDENTS AND CAMPAIGNS. Remember them on their anniversaries. Oh yes, let's not forget the Alamo, Gonzales, and Goliad. And, we don't!It's time to give this a rest! It's time to let those who perished to rest. It's time to let those who were involved in ANY WAY to rest!So, TO THE VICTORIA ADVOCATE: PLEASE, GIVE IT A REST! Remember this incident annually on it's anniversary. I will because:--------------- I WAS THERE AS A RESCUER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!---------------
Well said Waywardwind! Well said!! I only wish more people had this way of thinking.
Honestly, people! This was loss of human life!
If a group of Americans were tragically killed in Mexico, or any other country, legally there or not, and you saw similar comments from natives of THAT country talking about the Americans that died there, how would you feel?
If you talked to an Iraqi that said something similar to "good riddance," in reference to the mass of US soldiers that died, what would you feel? Just a guess, from the way people talk on here, but the majority of you people would get up in arms about it.
Yeah, illegals may be a strain on our economy, that is true, but does that really make them sub-human enough for you to justify talking about them and in perhaps some cases, VILIFYING them in such a manner?
If we were to build a wall, yes, that would keep them OUT of our country, but it would also keep them IN their country, where they have less opportunity to better themselves than here, not just oppressed by their country, in ways, but ours as well. I've never heard of an incident of two wrongs making a right, but if you have, please, feel free to put it on the table.
Perhaps people that watch or read international news in other countries get tired when they hear or read about the tragedy in the USA on September 11th every year. Perhaps they make similar comments.
Jenna wrote: "People you should be ashamed of yourselves!!!! People come here to make a better life for themselves and their children."
You know what, Jenna? You're absolutely right They are coming here to make a better life for themselves and their children...just like my ancestors did. The difference is that my ancestors jumped through all the hoops placed in their way by the government. They immigrated to the U.S. legally, registered their intent with the government, learned to speak English, sent their kids to school, assimilated into the AMERICAN society, BECAME CITIZENS, and left their loyalties to the old country and its society behind. They didn't demand free anything except the opportunity to live their lives AS AMERICANS. They didnt' sneak in through a back door to live an underground existance to maintain their loyalties to the old country.
@Defender...... You know what just forget it your not worth the time
Jenna you lost me on your last comment, Maybe do youhave kids that wont cut the grass and you cant be an adult and take the video game away from them.
People you should be ashamed of yourselves!!!! People come here to make a better life for themselves and their children. I can guarantee you that any of you folks would do the same to help have a better future for your children and that's all these people are doing. Where are your hearts at? These are human lives here, people!!!! Do you not understand this???? They come to this country and do the jobs that we won't do.....think about this next time you walk in the house and see your teenager sitting playing video games all day long, while an illegal is outside mowing your grass, because YOUR teenager can't be bothered to do it!!!!! CHEW ON THAT !!!!!!!
We've become overly sympathetic to the plight of illegal aliens thanks to the media romanticizing their struggle and making them out to be heroes or equating them to the millions of immigrants who came to the U.S. LEGALLY from Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries.I am tired of our country and our tax dollars taking care of Mexico's problems. Many of the illegal aliens who come here also wind up in our prison systems for committing far more serious crimes than illegally crossing the border.I do feel much sympathy for the children of illegal immigrants and the teachers in our state who have to try to teach them a new language and have to answer to their superiors if they don't pass enough of them to the next grade level.Build a fence along the border and have the national guard secure it. I have to laugh when I hear critics of a fence compare it to the Berlin Wall. The big difference they miss is that the Berlin wall was built to keep oppressed people IN. The border wall will be built to keep people OUT and prevent them from becoming a drain to our economy, and educational, medical and penal systems.We have become the only country in this world that doesn't put itself first and we'd better wake up before it is too late.
I have to agree with Imagine, the adults knew what they were getting into. People sometimes you just have to step up to the plate and take responsibility. Stop feeling sorry for everyone thats why this country is like it is. We are not kids we are all adults and sometimes bad things hapen and we need to move on. As for as the article goes enough about this event. In 20 years there will be an article about this again, it gets more attention than anything else going on in Victoria.
think of all the positive things that happened with that tragedy!the resources of many agencies were put to the test and there was plenty of work for all our emergency responders! The hospitals got a feel for what kind of medical emergencies they can handle!
people that make those types of comments are not happy in life and just bitter in general! I don't know them but I just assume they are!the comment is probably from an unhappy conservative still feeling the loss of the White House!
Maybe they lead a happy and upbeat life... Do you know them? I don't. I don't really care to comment on them either.
that is an awful comment to make! you have no feelings whatsoever? you must be a very miserable person and lead a very unhappy life!
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