ROMAN POLANSKI AND SAMANTHA GAILEY: A GIRL’S STARK WORDS STILL ECHO DOWN THE YEARS
This is exactly why narrative journalism matters. In Sunday’s LA Times, writer Joe Mozingo uses uses his excellent reporting and storytelling skills to unreel an account of the alleged rape of 13-year-old Samantha Gaily by Roman Polanski and the subsequent prosecution, or lack thereof. In a narrative that stretches from 1977 until now, Mozingo’s rigorous yet thoughtful article reminds us that Gailey’s clear, stark account of what Polanski did to her has never been refuted. Then he shows how adults with a plethora of competing interests have done much from the beginning to obscure and blunt the reality of what happened to the young Samantha Gaily.
THE UNNECESSARY DEATH OF WOLF 427….AND OF A FIVE YEAR STUDY
As early wolf hunting season approached in Montana, several groups of biologists lobbied the state’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks agency in the hope of getting the FWP to establish a no hunting buffer zone around Yellowstone National Park in order to preserve the safety of the wolves being studied by well-known wolf biologist Douglas Smith—plus other scientists running related studies at universities such as the University of Oregon and UCLA. (Doug Smith has run Yellowstone’s wolf project since 1995, and his work is known all over the world.)
But FWP refused, saying the hunt was not aimed at the Yellowstone wolf packs, but at other wolves well outside the park that had caused problems by killing livestock.
The biologists were most worried about a group of radio-collared wolves known as the Cottenwood Pack, which Smith and his team had been closely monitoring for the past five years in a unique longitudinal study. FWP officials said all would be fine.
As it turned out, the FWP officials had no idea what they were talking about.
Within three weeks of the launch of early hunting season six Cottenwood Pack wolves were dead, among them the very unique alpha female of the pack known as Wolf 427.
It seems that certain hunters went looking specifically for the Yellowstone wolves, which given their experience inside the park, predictably had no fear of humans. The hunter who shot 427 reported later that when he raised his gun, the alpha wolf made no attempt to run.
“We didn’t think that wolves would be that vulnerable in the backcountry, so the level of harvest there has been a bit of a surprise,” says Carolyn Sime, FWP’s wolf program coordinator in Helena.
Right. (Love that use of the term “harvest.”)
The LA Times Kim Murphy has done a great job in following this story.
In what certainly appears to be a disturbing case of excessive force, San Jose police officers beat and tased a 20-year-old San Jose State University Student named Phuong Ho, after being called to the house shared by several students. The call to police occured after Ho and one of his roommate got into an argument and a steak knife may or may not have been brandished. According to the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News (which first broke the story on Sunday), the knife had long ago been put down.
The alleged beating was captured on the cellphone video above.