Archived Story

Jack Strayer: Bringing cyber justice to the ‘Man of the Year’

Published 11:27pm Wednesday, March 23, 2011

When the opportunity to write a monthly opinion column was brought to my attention by the Niles Daily Star, I jumped at the chance. I really enjoy writing columns. From 1998 until 2008, I wrote a Sunday column for the Knight-Ridder chain and it appeared regularly in about 20 newspapers across the country. On occasion, my column even appeared in the Niles Daily Star. Thanks to the Internet, I have a cyber record of everything I wrote.
Cyber records on the World Wide Web are a great source of research and reference. In the future, cyber records will be our history books. That is why it is critically important to make sure the facts are straight, or an injustice is served.
On March 10, 2011 the Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce named Niles certified public accountant Bill Haslett as its “Man of the Year.” I have known Bill Haslett all my life and I can think of no one more deserving of this recognition. At Niles High School, he earned nine letters in athletics and quarterbacked the football team, was valedictorian of the class of 1969 and sang and danced his way across the stage in high school productions. In college, he played varsity football for the University of Michigan and has basically excelled in everything he has ever attempted. He is a natural leader.
Returning to his home town after college, he built a successful accounting firm and began devoting thousands of hours of volunteer service to the community serving on boards, non-profit organizations and foundations. He is active in the First Presbyterian Church and the Niles Community Schools Foundation.
He is also the most loyal and decent friend I have ever known. And I am not alone. Countless people in Niles consider Bill their best friend, too. He is also a great husband, father, grandfather, brother and son.  Most people who know Bill well will verify that he never says a bad thing about anybody. He always has your back.
Bill, now we’ve got your back. The March 11 edition of the Niles Daily Star misspelled your name in its headline announcing your selection as “Man of the Year.” It went on to spell your name “Bill Hanslett” throughout the story including the name of your firm “Hanslett and Gaynor.” When you are named “Man of the Year” or “Woman of the Year” it only seems just that your hometown paper would get your name right, or print a correction.
There is no cyber record of Bill Haslett being named “Man of the Year.” There is a cyber record of “Bill Hanslett” being named instead. When Bill’s grandchildren go to Google Grandpa, they will find nothing about the high honor his community gave him back in 2011.
As a new guest columnist for the Niles Daily Star, I have a responsibility to write an opinion piece that generates community conversation and addresses injustices. I guarantee that will be my goal in future columns.

Note: Following column submission, the editor corrected the online version, bringing cyber justice to the “Man of the Year.”Many thanks!

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  • bassdad1

    Thank you for your column. I was a neighbor of Bill’s family when he was a child. His parents were genuinely wonderful people, and the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.

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