EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


October 23, 2012

Editorial: Some cheers, some jeers for recent newsmakers

CHEERS to Gumbo, a 6-year-old cat who is back home after being badly burned in a fire.

Gumbo has been undergoing treatment for weeks at the Andover Animal Hospital after a devastating fire at the Bedford, N.H., farm where he lives. The fire claimed the lives of 14 horses and injured another cat, although not as seriously as Gumbo.

After the fire, Gumbo was found under a pile of rocks by Miss Colby, the family’s 1,000-pound pet pig.

Gumbo’s paws were severely burned as were the tips of his ears. He has been receiving treatment at the animal hospital to heal his burns and prevent infection.

Thankfully, Gumbo is back home with his owner, Harriet Finks.

“He’s always been a tough kitty. He’s been a tough kitty since the day he was born,” Finks told reporter John Toole.

We’re glad Gumbo survived and made it back home. We hope the rest of his days are peaceful and pleasant.

JEERS to those who equate the pursuit of justice with “snitching.” In Salem (Mass.) District Court last week, a Methuen man was charged with witness intimidation after an earlier courthouse incident in which he called a witness a “snitch.”

Cesar Jimenez, 33, is accused of threatening a witness in the trial of Daniel Lee Lopez, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Thu Nguyen. Lopez robbed Nguyen in 2009 as he delivered Chinese food to an address in Lawrence.

Jimenez, who is the boyfriend of Lopez’s mother, spotted the witness in the courthouse and allegedly shouted, “Chota aqui,” which means “snitch here” in English.

Accusing those who testify or who talk to police of being “snitches” is all too common. It is abhorrent. A person who testifies truthfully to what he or she witnessed is upholding one of the basic principles of civilization — respect for the rule of law. Those who refuse to testify or worse, threaten others more courageous than themselves, are siding with the forces of barbarism and decay.

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