Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A1: "Commission recommends plan for Indigo Resort"

A private franchisee wants to build another hotel in PV. No big deal, no particular controversy over it, and it seems like it ought to be on the business page. But I keep coming back to the lead, and wondering why the story starts with the franchisee's country of origin.

I know, my PC-addled brain is just overly suspicious of any reference to non-white people. But I gotta think that if the franchisee were British, it wouldn't be in the lead. I also wonder whether Ken Hedler wrote it that way, or maybe the editor moved that bit.

A1: "Spending package going to the Senate"

I guess there was a severe shortage of space left over from ads today. There's a lot of important information in this story, but it reads like it was edited with a Veg-o-matic. I'm familiar enough with most of these issues to figure out what's going on, but a less informed voter will likely be awfully confused. No blame for Joanna Dodder, I know she writes better than this.

A1: "City prepares for 'physical availability' application to state"

OK, tell me what I'm getting wrong here: the city is so far along with its pipeline plan that it was ready to put it out for bid, but only now "appears ready to seek a more official determination" on how much water the ADWR will actually let us suck out of Big Chino. Does this seem backward to you?

Another cookie for Cindy Barks.

Editorial: "Rural area, big-city confrontations"

Yup, it's tough to be a cop in PV. I get the impression it can be tough to be a resident of PV too. So the unnamed Courier editor not only repackages page one, he repackages several page-one stories -- gotta hit that illegal-alien angle again -- and leaves us with ... well, nothing.

If it were me I might make a mental connection along the way to the population growth that the Courier has always defended as both inevitable and good for us. But that's just me, I'm sure.

A9: "Recommendations in on revised PV utility rates"

In this interesting nugget, buried pretty deeply in the section, it appears that the PV Council is moving forward on another rise in utility rates, closely following a new rate schedule that just went into effect in October.

This is the regular council-agenda story. The agenda stories for Prescott usually run on A1 or A3 and make the free site. Is there a reason that the PV agenda runs farther back?

A3: "Moore likely edges Schmidt for CV Council final seat"

Doug Cook gets all the numbers in order, I'm just a little confused about their meaning. First, the distinction between the candidates is really vague:

Schmidt touted a conservative “smart growth” plan based on private industry paying infrastructure costs for building new homes and businesses. Challenger Moore advocated shopping locally while luring more small and big businesses to town.
Maybe I'm thick, but I don't get how this delineates a "hot-button issue." Then we read that "Moore barely beat Schmidt" by 3.7%, which would be a pretty decisive split in any other election, particularly the defeat of an incumbent. Near the end we learn that Schmidt drew more votes than Moore in the primary, making this the sort of come-from-behind horse race I'd expect would play in the lead. It sure feels like something is being soft-pedaled here.

Cartoon: Say "mnff"

The artist makes a statement that is highly relevant to our community -- that Big Pharma is controlling the debate -- and one I wouldn't dispute. What bothers me is that the piece also accuses doctors and Congress of acceding to this manipulation because of money, implying venal corruption across the board.

We'd do better to understand that Pharma's money has been carefully targeted, favoring certain classes of politicans it sees as reliable, and coopting medical organizations rather than 'doctors' broadly.

No one expects a cartoon to provide nuance. But let's also recognize that while broad-brushing of this sort puts a sharp point on the message, it also unfairly erodes our trust in people who are generally working in good faith for our benefit.

Talk of the Town: "Lovell’s use of science was misleading, irrelevant"

Now this is really interesting and weird. This piece ran last Thursday in the same space, but under a different headline. It's been very slightly reedited, with no content changes. What the heck is going on down there?

I like the new headline a whole lot better.