From Wildfire Response to Political Shenanigans, Readers Mark up 2007's Moral Report Card

By Sandi Dolbee
San Diego Union-Tribune
December 29, 2007

First, the good news: You're proud of your community.

"We really proved in that moment that we truly are America's Finest City," wrote Tracy Edwards of Pacific Beach.

San Diego's response to the October wildfires was selected overwhelmingly as the moral highlight of 2007 from readers who filled out the Union-Tribune's Moral Report Card.

In all, we received more than 1,200 responses from readers, who clipped the forms from the newspaper or filled them out online. After quizzing you on eight events, we asked you to come up with your own moral high points and low points.

It was no contest for the top marks, with readers giving kudos to firefighters, faith-based charities and individual volunteers.

Now, for the low point: The handling of the childhood sexual abuse cases by the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego and Bishop Robert Brom.

While the voting was more spread out in this category, almost half the readers who filled in this section mentioned this, from the filing of bankruptcy to the $198 million settlement and subsequent fundraising campaign.

"Breaks our hearts," wrote Mitch and Jen Arnold of Point Loma.

A San Carlos couple, William and Karen Ellsworth, were appalled at asking parishioners to contribute. "Sorry, bishop, sell the necessary property and pay the required settlement," they wrote.

Running a close second to the Catholic diocese was President Bush, with readers lamenting a range of actions.


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