EDITORIAL: Time to respect the Bernie Fine neighborhood

— The Bernie Fine story is one entangled with supporters, accusers and personal prosecutions of the alleged crimes. Each day, a new leg of the story grows — the taped telephone calls, a third accuser, search warrants executed by the federal government.

But it all boils down to the man accused of wrong-doing, a DeWitt resident with a Fayetteville address. A man who lives in a home, on a quiet street in the Syracuse suburb, with neighbors who didn’t ask for the media stake-out in their development, nestled between Highbridge and Woodchuck Hill Roads.

Each media organization is eager to get the latest news, breaking it quicker than their counterparts; particularly as the local media battles with the national, even international, attention the alleged sex abuse story is receiving.

But when is enough, enough? The media has become a circus, setting up outside the Fine residence since the day the story broke. News outlets were there as agents searched the home — lingering, loitering and certainly reminding residents that their neighborhood is no longer normal. Live trucks and photographers attract attention, bringing in even more people to the quaint, upper-class neighborhood.

We feel for the neighbors plunged into this ongoing debacle. As evidence mounts and the story continues to expand, we’re sure this is not the last attention the neighborhood will see. But we do hope that members of the media and public, alike, have respect and common courtesy for the area’s residents. They didn’t ask to be put in this mess — they didn’t ask for their neighborhood to have the nearly constant hum of live trucks, lit-up streets from portable light supplies, vehicles coming and going to see if the driver can catch a glimpse of unfolding drama.

They didn’t ask for it, so we should respect them.

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