Saturday, September 22, 2007

Editorial: "Border control only way to stop tragedy"

First, thanks to the unnamed Courier editor for mentioning that "Not every illegal who makes it across the border" is a cop-killer. It would have been nice if the quote were more on the order of "Vanishingly few illegal immigrants are cop-killers or violent criminals of any kind," but the truth on this issue would be a lot to expect.

OK, editor, you and grandstanding Phil Gordon want to exhort the country to "secure our borders," and you malign every elected official in this country by implying corruption that keeps them from doing it. In your world, that's logical. So do your readers this respect: show, in detail, how that job can be done, with numbers and engineering.

A whole lot of very smart people have been working on this problem for decades and conclude that not only is it not practical in economic terms, it's not possible, period. You think you're smarter than all those experts, fine: put up or shut up. I think you're blowing smoke up the asses of your readers just to keep them stirred up and fearful enough to keep voting Republican. Prove me wrong.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Talk of the Town: "Defensible space code infringes on rights"

Carla Renak rails against the nanny-state idea of requiring her to maintain defensible space against wildfire. I'm with you, Carla, if I don't have to pay for the fire department to defend your home when the flames are coming.

This is the point. We have rules because people aren't sensible enough to be responsible with their freedom, and they wind up costing us all.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Editorial: "Democracy depends on voter participation"

Hmm, nice juxtaposition. ON A1 we find that the challenger squeaked past the three-term mayor, and on the editorial page we have the unnamed Courier editor complaining that only 53% of voters were involved. Could it be that the editor figures that more voters would have changed the outcome, since obviously the result was the wrong one? Interesting idea, since most cities are ecstatic to see 30% turnout for off-year council polls.

I'll say what would choke the editor: Good job, Prescott voters. You're more involved than most, no thanks to your "Agenda of Excellence" paper.

A1: "High school sex-ed play stirs discussion on drugs, pregnancy"

The lead -- did Shari Lopatin really write this?

PRESCOTT – Sex, drugs, pregnancy, abortion. It sounds like the recipe for a film festival in New York or Los Angeles.

I almost choked on my noodles. What a slap in the face to the high school and to the students who are working hard to help inform their fellows about really hard subjects, just to work in a jab at -- who? People who make films? People who live in big cities? Gack. A high-school paper wouldn't stoop to this.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A1: "Council pulls plug on traffic-calming barricade"

I was at the meeting because I live in the neighborhood affected by this issue. First I'd like to say that I'm pleased the Courier didn't feel the need to cover the excessive, racism-tinged ranting about the brown peril that we all had to sit through before Council could get to its agenda.

Cindy Barks' story focuses on the specific barrier on Prescott Heights Drive that focused discussion, but she apparently ignores the real issue that got Steve Blair hot and actually moved the Council to talk policy: that the advisory Traffic Control Committee was effectively setting policy on its own, and the barrier went up without input from Council or the city manager.

What's funny about this is that Blair admits that he and Council voted to set things up this way, assigning policy power to the committee by default if Council didn't object. They apparently didn't read the memo the TCC sent them, and everyone just did their jobs -- except Council, of course.

Cindy writes, "'When somebody closes a road down, it's not traffic calming; it's traffic closure,' said Councilman Steve Blair, who allowed that such measures had been 'a sore spot with me for a long, long time.'" Here she or the editor distorts what Blair meant. I remember him saying it, and the "sore spot" was the way the TCC is handling policy decisions. He doesn't like closing streets either, but let's try to keep the quotes straight. This concern will lead to a larger change than removing a street barrier, but the Courier story doesn't tell us that.

I'm not dead

I just needed some time off. I'll try to get back into the rhythm here, but it'll probably be gradual. Thanks for hanging in.