Sunday, July 19, 2009

Election: Katan

In the candidate coverage up to now, it appears that the articles have derived from interviews with the candidates. This time I smell a rat, and I've verified with Paul that Cindy's story includes information from outside that context, reference to his protest a couple of years ago that got some public attention but is probably seen in a negative light at the Courier. That was the only inserted information. From this I think we should be concerned about editorial interference with the election, and watch this coverage more closely for bias.

Verde Independent: Meteor Crater Staycation

I first saw Meteor Crater in 1970 amid a three week-death march around the Southwest plotted by my ambitious but largely clueless dad. It was cool then and it's still cool. It suffers a bit I expect from its roadside-curio image left over from the Route 66 tourist traps, but today besides the Really Big Hole it features a pretty good set of modern museum displays on astrophysics and space stuff. if you haven't been it's worth the trip, and thanks to Steve Ayers for this little feature on it.

Column: Rodeo can help drive economy

Something odd is going on here. Normally a piece like this will be labeled "Talk of the Town." Here it's just called "Column" to distinguish it from the letters. Is this a new idea for the editors, or is it some form of special treatment for George, who I'm sure is not on the editors' list of faves?

As to George's idea itself, I dunno. I would not like to see the middle school grounds turned into a baseball park, and while an equestrian center is more 'traditional' for Prescott, it's still devoting a lot of resources to a sport, exclusively serving the small number of residents who are into it. I gather George is imagining that businesses would lease the City property more or less permanently, and that's better than offering a big developer a sweetheart deal on public land to build something really awful, like say a hockey arena.

Update, 6:30pm: Mayor Wilson, in the comments, says, "With a new multi-use facility, the Prescott Rodeo Grounds could be used for many other functions, such as concerts and other events. The possibility of a permanent “Rawhide” type attraction has also been discussed." Oh, lordy.

Let's see, the City already owns an underused theatre that with some investment and commitment would be great for concerts, etc. There's also a really good facility at Yavapai College that can't draw enough people to break even, and a really big multi-use facility in PV that if it maintains its current success rate will likely be an antique mall in another ten years. Concerts are not turning profits here, Mayor. And a faux-cowboy show for the tourists? Are you serious? Completely apart from the lowbrow creepiness of the idea (sort of an update of the old Smoki shows, I suppose), are you saying you'd sell the fairgrounds to an attraction producer? I gotta wonder whether the voters might like to have word with you about that. With ideas like these floating around I'd just as soon see the whole place in weeds.

But we all ought to notice that the Mayor is describing a process in which the voters are apparently not considered stakeholders, working out what to do with public lands behind closed doors. I for one would like to hear a whole lot more about that.

Editorial: Fast-track tactic means no good

From the comments:

Could you smarten up? It's HENRY. Henry Paulson. As for the speed of legislation --you're probably among those who really don't get what a train wreck we've gone through in the last year, and how urgent was the need for action. None of us will ever know how much worse it might have been if the legislators had dithered. But I am quite sure that if they had, you would have written this very article, but inverted, bizarrely comparing their inaction to some other completely incomparable crime rather than the brutal murder of a civil rights worker. Perhaps those people in Queens who allegedly did nothing while Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death.
I couldn't have said it better. The editor is falling in line with the concern trolls, those who employ the tactic of faked and ignorant objections only to obfuscate, confuse, delay and obstruct. Stick to the local beat, Editor, where you still have a chance to project some credibility.