Letters to the Editor

Harassment: A Tacoma success story from long ago

All the current stories about workplace harassment and sexual assault force us to face past failures. However, I am glad to share a success story.

I came to the News Tribune in 1970 as a journeyman reporter at the top of the pay scale. The Tribune was a union shop then, and I received the same salary as other reporters with my education and experience.

I was young and single, and the only female news reporter except for Erna Bence, who wrote farm news. I was surrounded by male reporters, editors and photographers.

From the first day I was treated cordially and respectfully by my colleagues. I was included in lunch groups and invited to shoot baskets at the park when we had time.

Older reporters tempered their spicy language in my presence, and no reporters, editors or photographers ever included sexual innuendos in my hearing.

No one touched me. Every interaction was kind and congenial.

It’s past time for me to thank these men. My years as a full-time reporter and freelance writer are filled with great memories because of them.

Rita (Happy) Wheeler, Steilacoom