Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Editorial: Let's think past preconceptions

Hear, hear. The unnamed Courier editor gets a cookie today.

Letter: Sharlot Hall treasures start slipping away

This is an example of an opportunity missed by the Courier editors. A letter like this is a news source volunteering, and a couple of follow-up calls to, say, the museum director and a state representative could promote it from the letters box to the front page, or a talk with a group of volunteers could turn it into a human-interest story with larger implications.

The loss of the museum will have broad follow-on impact for the entire town, and I'd hope the Courier might take that seriously. I dunno what might be on the assignment board for this, but since the Legislature began the process of defunding the museum, it looks to me that the Courier's coverage has been somewhere between diffident and neglectful.

Chief Randy Oaks resigns

Well, here's a surprise. We just had the chief in the studio last week for a wide-ranging talk about his life and work, and it made some pretty good radio. He was enthusiastic and positive about the department, and never gave any indication that a resignation might be in the works. He also came across as a really good, stand-up guy. I'd like to know more about this, and look forward to the comments.

Governor predicts Legislature will change its mind

OK, so Joanna was supposed to be covering the Governor's talk here in town. But the Guv made some news previously in the day by signing 79 new laws and vetoing nine, and questioners at the talk brought up some of those bills, so it would have been a nice segue to the real news, like new restrictions that could effectively eliminate practical access to abortion for hundreds of thousands of Arizonans (thanks to our own Rep Tobin) and add to my professional worries about guns in bars. Maybe that's all just out of the Courier's league.

Scenic and historic route nominations

I'm not sure what this story is meant to focus on. The news seems to be that Cornville is asking for scenic/historic designation for a section of Page Springs Road, and that this is the first application to the county program. But more space is devoted to explaining the program, which became county policy back in April.

The thing is, with all this explanation I can't seem to tease out much about what this designation would mean in practical terms, other than that the county will put up some new signs. If that's the extent of it, what's the point?

At the bottom Bruce Colbert directs readers to the Public Works "homepage" on the county site, which turns out to be a couple of levels down if you know where to look. Here's the PDF on the program. It turns out that the policy does supposedly offer some protection for designated routes from things like power-line crossings, ugly and excessive driveways, and vegetation impact from development using a 'least disturbance' standard. But the Supes can revoke the designation at any time and go around the restrictions when they feel like it, so it's pretty much toothless.

You could have told us all of that, Bruce.