The 31st annual Lions Hockey Tournament commenced Feb. 15, a gathering of 300 or so children ranging from 4 to 15 years of age. Hockey players, cheerleaders, parents and grandparents participated in opening ceremonies in a long-standing, tradition-rich youth hockey tournament in preparation for a week of competition.

One would think this would be an event significant enough to warrant recognition. However, there was no mention of this worthwhile event on the front page of the newspaper. (Two pictures appeared on Page A2.)

Instead, what did we find on the front page? A hideous picture of a young man wearing an orange prison issue uniform having been freshly convicted of killing a popular Bates College athlete.

Is this story really worthy of front page news? With today’s society we all know the answer to that question is, unfortunately, yes, because negative events like that sell newspapers.

Why not put a positive spin on the front page for a change and give a worthy event, such as the Lions tournament, some front page real estate. Most of us teach our children that it’s extremely important to participate in team-related activities because the lessons learned will be lifelong and instrumental for becoming productive adults.

Two years ago the Lions tournament was deemed worthy enough news to make the front page of the Sun Journal not only once, but two days in a row! Why? Because of an incident that was blown way out of proportion.

I was one of the directors of that tournament and know firsthand what a circus that event turned into because of all the unnecessary media attention, once again sensationalizing a negative incident.

The point here is that we’re teaching our children that you need to do something bad or negative to warrant significant recognition. I think it’s time to send a different message.

Why not accentuate the positive for a change? With the world the way it is and the threat of impending war, our local youths and the people of this community would appreciate it.

Gary Fecteau, Lewiston

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