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July 14, 2019     Sidney Herald
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SIDNEY HERALD,SUNDAY,JULY I4, 20I9 A5 OPINION Svihnrg l-Irralh SERVING THE MONDAK REGION SINCE 1908 Kelly Miller Publisher COMMENTARY A love story Last Friday, July 5, at the humble hour of 10 a.m., in the Rich- land County Law and Justice Center, I married my best friend, Quincy Efta. It was a small and effortless affair, with my sister Amber standing as my wit- ness and her hus- b a n d P a u I stand- ing for Quincy. Judge K a t h erine AMYEFTA Bidega- ray per- formed t h e lovely little service for us and with- in about 10 min- utes, we had be— come man and wife. Big-weddings are not my thing. In fact, being the maid of honor in my sister’s wedding last May about sent my anxi- ety and me over the edge. I wanted to puke before I had to walk down the aisle and almost fainted giving. my speech. There’s a reason my sister’s wedding is almost the only wedding I’ve attended in the last 15 years. The money, stress, drama and complete life-take- over is just .not for me. I don’t know how people stomach it. I’m incredibly lucky to} have the most low-key parents in the world. My mom was just fine with us keeping it simple, my step-dad (a fellow non-lover of crowds) congratulated us and as a gift, bought us matching Montana agate wedding rings. We were both thrilled with the gesture. Having something that connects us as a couple and connects us to Montana is the perfect combination. My dad welcomed Quincy to the family and was thrilled to hear the news. Less is more for our brood. Although it was a cOurthouse wed- ding, it wasn’t void of thought or planning. In fact, with Quincy and I living partially apart these days, it required quite a bit more planning than we anticipated. With me accepting this po- sition in Sidney and Quincy still working as a crew foreman for Mortonfiuildings irtuMinot, juggling our schedules has be- ‘cqme a top priority for us both. Time has become a precious cdmmodity we no lon- gertake for granted. Quincy and I have been together for two and a half years. When I met him,.I was very much not looking for a boy- friend, much less a husband. I was en- joying my time as a single woman, on the brink of finishing myfour-year degree andfiguring out the “Ext leg of my j-our-’ hey. It’s ‘safe to say he crashed into my life like a ton of bricks: People always say the best love happens when you’re not look- aaumxtfis': W'Mrm ing for it and that’s eXactly how Quin- cy and I came to be. Our first date con— sisted of beer and NFL playoff games. The first time he told me he loved me was about a week after we started dating. We talked about get- ting married after two weeks. We moved in together after a month. We moved to a new state togeth~ er after nine months (and have moved a few times since). It’s al- ways been a progres- sion with no rhythm for us, but we’re comfortable with all things off-beat. My new husband is the perfect coun- terpart for me. I am not a romantic. He tells me I’m beautiful every day and sends me flowers for no rea- son. I am not a senti- mental person. His new favorite thing is to call me Amy Efta and he refuses to take his wedding ring off even at bedtime. I love to be home with him and my dog. He gets me out to social- ize. He is eternally proud of everything I do and accomplish. Quincy’s support and adoration has become such a vital part of my journey. I real- ly believe in the life we’ve built together. My husband and I love hard and fight hard. We don’t let each other off the hook. We call BS on things that irritate us. We aren’t ever afraid of speaking the truth to one an- other. It’s a level of commitment and hon- esty I’ve never felt with anyone. I don’t have to be worried about losing him for a single minute. 'We are a team and we face things togeth- ‘er, even when it feels like we are coming from opposite sides. The biggest comfort of my relationship with Quincy is how much we make each other laugh. He can make me belly laugh until I cry and has on so many occasions. We have the silliest nicknames for one an- other (none of which are funny to anyone but us). My sarcas- tic nature catches him off guard to this day and we both get a genuine kick out of one another. It’s made some of thehardest times bearable. We just like each other. I used great care and caution when I picked Quincy to be my partner in life. I’ve experienced a lot of heartbreak in my day — who hasn’t? I was so guarded and on the brink of com- plete shut down when I met him. He pulled me back from that place and we formed an unbreakable bond through it all. I am honored and proud to be Amy Efta. My husband is my fa- vorite person in the whole world. I am so pleased to be able to walk the rest of this life with my best friend by my side. Trump’s Fourth of July Before I give my opinion on the Fourth of July parade in Washington I’d like to re- mind my readers that I didn’t like Trump decades ago when it was still cool to like him, I’ve never watched an epi- sode of The Apprentice, and I always thought he was full of bluster covering screaming insecurity. That said, this past Fourth Trump did everything right and his opponents did every- thing wrong. Furthermore if you want to defeat Trump in the coming election you’d bet- ter learn from your mistakes, though that ship has probably sailed. Leading up to the parade Harvard professor Lawrence Tribe warned of the ominous parallels with Tien an Min Square. An academic of my acquaintance offered a small bet that the tanks would never leave Washington. Many said indignantly that' only fascist dictatorships have parades of military hardware. They are still grumbling that the money spent could have fed every homeless veteran, that Trump made the day “all about himself,” and some even gloated that the (sizeable) au- dience at the National Mall got rained on. No, no and no. Trump’s speech was not the least bit partisan, except per— haps by implication. He did what he’s done before and it worked again. He seldom used the word “I” if at all. Contrast w it h 0 b a m a who habitually used the person- al pronoun doz- ens of times per speech. Trump singled out or- dinary Americans who do ex- traordinary things for praise. He told us how great we are. What Trump did was posi- tion himself as loving America and his opponents as loathing it. You may think that is a dis— tortion of the opposition’s posi- tion, and perhaps it is. Or perhaps not. Just three days later women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe who has been riding a wave of publicity after a profanity—laced tirade reject- ing in advance any invitation to the White House, posed for a picture with teammate Allie Long trampling on the Amer- ican flag. Worse, she did it in France. Antifa protestors set an American flag on fire and threw it on a Secret Service agent, sending him to the hospital. There is something a great many proud sophisticates just don’t get. While Americans do not think we’re perfect nor above criticism, most of us don’t think our history is STEVE BROWNE summed up by genocide, slav- ery, and imperialism either. We don’t think our country- men are by and large ignorant bigots, and we don’t much like being insulted. Yet when I point out that in- sulting the electorate is poor strategy the response I often get is, “Oh but they are!” If you think it’s unfair that opposition to Trump has been associated with hatred of America, you might want to consider whyit was so easy to do.uAnd you mightread this for a clue. “Thank you. We will always be the people who defeated a tyrant, crossed a continent, harnessed science, took to the skies, and soared into the heavens. Because we will never forget that we are Amer- icans and the future belongs to us. The future belongs to the brave, the strong, the proud and the free. We are one peo- ple chasing one dream and one magnificent destiny. We all share the same heroes, the same home, the same heart, and we are all made by the same almighty God. From the banks of the Chesapeake to the cliffs of California, from the humming shores of the Great Lakes to the sand dunes of the Carolinas, from the fields of the heartland to the Ever- glades of Florida, the spirit of American independence will never fade, never.” EDITORIAL A new dawn in criine cOverage * Last Sunday, read- ers may have noticed a slight change in the Sidney Herald’s con- tent. Instead of the normal Police Beat that has appeared on the pages for years, a dispatch report could be found. This is an intentional and important shift in the Herald’s crime coverage. . This also marks a new dawn in the rela- tionship between the Herald and local law enforcement. Admit- tedly, it wasn’t such a smooth start the last couple months. But since the last police editorial, the‘news- paper editor, county sheriff and under- sheriff and. the chief 0f police have all met and agreed to forge a new path togeth- er. That pathfilstarts with mgreco’nsistent and thorough crime coverage. The Police Beat only told one‘ v'ery small side of the story. After the concern about obtaining complete arrest records was shared with the, pub- lic, the Sidney Her- ald was all earsg'when it came to feedback about that beat. What came up was a consis- tent talking pointy—— just because the Her- ald'can print some- thing, should we? ‘ Professionally speaking, arrest re- cords are public re- cord and the Sidney Herald had every right to print them. Anyone can go down to the police depart- ment or city hall and request them. News- papers exist on the very notion that in- formation possessed by tax-payer funded entities is the right of the public. We are here to report on data and serve as the mid- dle-man between such entities and readers. Newspapers listen when no one else is there to do so. Ethically, it was well past time for a review of how the Sidney Herald was re- porting crime. Print- ing arrest records and providing no fol- low-up on sentencing or hearings was an in- justice to those in the court system. Many times charges were dropped, charges were reduced or peo- ple pled out — but nothing other than the initial arrest re- port existed in the newspaper and on the internet. It was unsettling as the new editor and some- thing that was made clear by people from city council to so- cial media. We need- ed to do better when it came to covering crime. Thus the Police Beat is dead and gone. The dispatch report will now be seen in its place. Also coming to print will be a court report; a list of those actually convicted of crimes and their sen- tences. The Herald will also be making more of an effort to cover court hearings as they come through the system. Goals have been set and to- gether with local law enforcement, justice court clerks, judges, Fairview police and the Fairview court system, the Sidney Herald aims to ,be- come much more effi- cient, consistent and fair when it comes to covering crime; The dispatch report process will work like this: a complete list of all dispatch calls and their responding units of the previous week will be emailed to the Herald Monday morning. On Thurs— day, during the stan- dard meeting time to collect arrest records, a Sidney Herald em- ployee (the editor or a reporter) will ask each department about calls we have determined warrant more information. We will never inquire about ambulance calls. We will not ask about general traf- fic stops. We will ask about calls that we be— lieve are of interest or of note to the Commu— nity. Names will not be reported and only a general location of ' the call will be given. Law enforcement isn’t an easy job. Al- lowing the public to have a small glimpse into what they deal with on a weekly basis is something the Sidney Herald believes can provide some understanding and empathy between the police force and the community it serves“ The Herald will still be collecting arrest reports so .we know which cases to watch for on the court docket, which will allow us to continue to improve our crime coverage. As always, the Sid"- ney Herald wants to hear feedback from readers. We are al- ways here to field comments and ques- tions about content. People can email the editor at editor@sid- neyherald.com, call 433-2403 or pop over to the office at 210 2nd Avenue NE in Sidney. After all, we are your story. You get to help us determine how it’s told. AMYEH’A