Wednesday, November 30, 2011

National media guide for the Sandusky Trial

Updated June 11

With all the sudden media attention on the Centre region, I thought it would be appropriate to create a User's Guide (or cheat sheet) for the national media to help clarify a few things.

The town is State College.
The campus of Penn State is University Park.
College Park, on the other hand, is where the University of Maryland is located.
University City is in Philadelphia.
The courthouse is in Bellefonte, pronounced “bell font.” The “e” in the middle and end is silent.
We are located in Centre County. I don't know why it's spelled like that, it just is.
Although you’ll see it on t-shirts and bumper stickers, no one here calls it Happy Valley. It’s like calling New York “The Big Apple.”

Like most towns, a few people have most of the money while the rest of us are middle class to upper middle class. For that reason, you'll see many of the same names on the benefactor lists of local charities. This does not mean that a relationship or conspiracy exists if Mr. Q gave money to both the Second Mile and American Red Cross. The same goes with volunteers. Many of the same people who volunteer their time at one organization do so at others.

The Second Mile was/is a legitimate organization dedicated to improving the welfare of children. It was run by good and decent people. It is sad that the good will of so many people has now been tarnished and that the children who need the programs of the Second Mile will no longer receive it.

Jerry Sandusky is (allegedly) an evil man. His name, however, is not Jeff (I'm talking to you, Reuters).

Joe Paterno was the head football coach at Penn State. He was not, however, the moral barometer for our town. Nobody walks around with “what would Joe do?” bracelets. He is just one man.

Final Note
This is a sex abuse scandal, not a sex scandal. Sex scandals happen between adults. Sex abuse, especially rape, is entirely different.

NBC news van spotted Tuesday, November 29, outside the Hampton Inn.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Update--Alums raise more than $502k for victims

Update--congrats to everyone involved in the #ProudPSUforRAINN...The original goal of $500k has been surpassed and we're closing in on $503k!

I’m in awe of Jerry and Jaime Needel, Bob Troia and Larena Lettow (PSU '98). While most of us in the Penn State family were wringing our hands and constantly hitting refresh on our IPads, these alums organized a fundraiser to benefit the victims of sexual violence and to restore some pride to Penn State.

These Penn Staters organized grassroots, online fundraising, to benefit #RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network.
The. alumni organizers gathered up the Penn State family and has so far raised $481,182 from more than 11,000 donors.

If you would like to make a gift, please use the link on the upper right side.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sour Grapes—Vicky Triponey Throws Fuel on the Paterno Fire

Remember that kid in kindergarten who always chimed in with irrelevant facts when someone else got in trouble? If a student spilled his milk, this is the one who yelled “And he broke my pencil last week!” If someone forgot their homework, this is the one who said “And she threw the ball too hard at recess!”

That kid grew up to be Vicky Triponey.

A former vice president of student affairs at Penn State, Triponey butted heads several times with football coach Joe Paterno over how to discipline players. Despite having left the university in 2007, Triponey held on to a series of email exchanges that demonstrates the power struggle she had with administration. The emails don’t paint a rosy picture of the relationship between Joe Paterno and Triponey. Although Triponey has no ongoing association with Penn State and has no connection with the recent scandal, she's sent those emails, some going back more than five years, to the Wall Street Journal this week.

Bitter, much?

The problem is, of course, that her story is one-sided. None of the people who were involved in these exchanges, including former Penn State President Graham Spanier and Athletic Director Tim Curley, can comment on the situation because they are consumed with other, more pressing issues. Paterno’s lawyer released a statement saying that these emails were “out of context” and “misleading.”

He’s right. There are two sides, sometimes more, to every story. What most of the news articles about Triponey leave out is that many members of Penn State’s staff and administration struggled with her and had a general feeling of distrust in their dealings with her. One student group posted a “Vicky Triponey Timeline of Terror” on their website and her public problems with many campus groups were well-documented, especially after her sudden resignation.

Whether Triponey is justified in her assessment of Paterno and the football program is irrelevant. Instead, she simply shows up now to grab headlines and add to the media frenzy around Paterno. Onward State was correct in calling out the Wall Street Journal for this sensationalist reporting. Just because Triponey has something to say doesn’t mean that it deserves attention. In fact, the only thing Triponey seems to have accomplished is to take focus away from what really matters—the victims.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Penn State

I am a mom, a writer, and a State College resident. And I'm pretty pissed off about this whole Sandusky mess, aka "The Penn State Scandal" and I have some things to talk about.