Editor's Reply to Reader has isue with Beer Festival article

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Dear Melva,

Thank you for taking the time to write to me with your concerns.

I want to assure you that it gave me great pause to be putting the beer festival article on the front page a week after putting the story of the accident that took those three girls’ lives on it the week before. I was not blind to the irony of that moment. However, I am not able to predict how a news cycle will play out and the timing of events.

I do understand that there are people who choose to abstain from consuming alcohol and take issue in our city holding an event that promotes it. However, there are other people who appreciate being able to responsibly enjoy a libation from time-to-time. I can assure you that most of the people who attended the beer festival did just that, not a single DUI arrest occurred that weekend. I also think it is probably safe to assume that a large number of those people had either gone to BrieSta and donated money or purchased the coffee drink that was made in the girls’ honor that morning or they took their dog to be washed in the fundraiser that was held for them the next day.

I also think that it is important to remember why we hold the festival, not only does it bring in and promote breweries from here in Idaho, but it brings in local food vendors as well. It is organized as a family event with activities geared to children throughout the day. The whole reason why the festival began was in order to help support the buying, maintaining and powering of the beautiful Christmas decorations that fill Carl Miller Park in the ‘Light the Forest’ display each holiday season. I don’t know about you, but attending the yearly lighting of our holiday trees, listening to the Christmas music and seeing the children’s eyes light up as they wander through the decorations and take a turn sitting on Santa’s lap fills my heart with joy.

This in no way lessens the impact of losing those beautiful girls and we will continue to promote any type of fundraiser for them and do everything we can to support their family during this awful time. As parents, all of our hearts here at the newspaper ache for them. We cannot even begin to fathom what their family is going through and we wish no one would ever have to experience that type of loss.

Thank you for taking the time to read my reply,