Friday, April 27, 2007

Letters: Environmental impact over breakfast

AS Russi refers to this from April 11 in calling out City Manager Norwood for doing no more than toe the legal line on water impact assessment. I think Russi may be overstating the City's position somewhat, but we've still had no fact-finding by the Courier about this, going back to the Renzi quote covered on April 3.

Following that we have a fascinating little movie script about breakfast at an unnamed local elementary school, not to be missed.

Editorial: "Wastewater treatment costs are adding up"

The unnamed Courier editor correctly points out that the numbers on City wastewater services are mounting up. Lay those numbers next to the proposed costs of diverting the base flow of the Verde River into Prescott toilets and you do indeed start to talk 'real money.' But conveying that information is a news-beat job. Editorials are about taking a position, and in this case the editor missed an opportunity. I get the feeling there's a certain unease about all this in the Courier office, but he's not willing to go further.

There are plenty of people in town who've been expressing unease about this issue for years while the Courier poo-poohed them. Now faced with the hard numbers, the Courier goes wishy-washy. Progress?

Oh, and guys, I know the Senate Minority Leader has been much on your minds with the Renzi thing going on, but our public-works director is still called Craig McConnell. You knew that, of course.

A1: "Nurse treats abused children with smiles"

Departing from recent practice, in its obligatory page-one picture/fluff space the Courier today is carrying a human-interest story that angles in on the very real public issue of child abuse. Here's a cookie for Mirsada Buric and the editors.

Talk of the Town: "Life’s not a beach thanks to council naysayers"

Earl Burden gets in a massive whine because the City isn't buying into his wacky dream of artificial beaches on our lakes. Oy.

A few years ago, when the water was almost entirely drained from Watson Lake, I hiked with a pal across the center of it. It's an impressive landscape, ringed with weird rocks, dotted with the ghostly white heads of still-rooted trees draped in lost fishing gear, all buried dozens of feet deep in stinking black muck. Why anyone would think it safe to swim in that cesspool is utterly beyond me.

Then there's Willow Lake, nothing more than a marshy floodplain, more fit for grazing pronghorn and cattle than swimming -- well, wading, really. A beach on the edge of this puddle makes about as much sense as socks on a chicken.

Thanks to the Courier for showing us just how out of touch some of our neighbors are.

A1: "Parking system strives for flexibility"

Leaving aside the dumb headline, in which a thing can somehow 'strive,' Cindy's coverage points out very clearly how short-sighted codes impede useful downtown development, and how pressure from downtown landlords and businesses may be turning that around. Good stuff.

A1: "Prescott lags behind in public transit"

No kidding.

Cindy Barks' story has a lot of good, clear info. But what's going on at the end? Of the 15 pitiful souls who managed to show up for this meeting, only one appears -- the guy who thinks that this should all be handled by private companies. I smell something missing here.

A1: "Parties float names as Renzi probe heats up"

Joanna Dodder mixes it up with the wire reports to provide a good overview of this breaking situation. What was a blog rumor early yesterday has developed into Arizona pols on both sides lining up for a possible special election. Renzi's not dead yet, but his pals have already rented the hearse.