Friday, January 8, 2010

Feed-your-head Friday

The sun's low, but spring is ahead. At least it looks like it.

Editorial: HUSD should pick needs over wants

The unnamed Courier editor expresses just the right amount of ironic outrage over HUSD entertaining the idea of building a swimming pool instead of science labs.

This follows the the standard formula of rewriting yesterday's front page, but he covers the presented alternatives that I noted missing yesterday, as well as the astroturf controversy, and takes a firm stand on what he thinks the board ought to do. Much more solid and reasoned than usual. A cookie for you, ed.

Police urge people to lock cars to reduce burglaries

Lisa reports ten car burglaries in two weeks. She doesn't tell us where this is happening. We're left to wonder whether bad kids are prowling neighborhoods or the Row or the nasty dank parking garage or church lots or Wal-Mart or what. This failure makes the story both scary and useless. Ack.

Tourism study: If Prescott spends, people will come

The City Manager spends ten grand on a tourism consultant, who tells us that we need to spend more money on tourism promotion, presumably to some degree on more consulting. Cindy gets the facts right and seeks out more, that's all good. But the most fundamental question remains unexplored: what do we have to sell to tourists?

Everyone who lives here and didn't grow up here understands that Prescott is a great town in many ways, but that doesn't entitle us to any tourism dollars. The Courier inadvertently provides an example of what's wrong in its choice of a photo to accompany the story.

What the City bills as a "bluegrass festival" is one of the most amateurish hick-chic events I've ever seen in a city this size. The organizers take the path of least resistance and least cost, making an event that no one really cares about. Why should anyone come?

The rodeo is a reliable draw, but its demographic is pretty sharply limited, and the town takes on an exclusionary attitude when those people show up.

Meanwhile shows with more openness and vision, like Tsunami, are hobbled by lack of resources and forced to keep their goals attainable -- and second-rate.

If the City, PACT, PDP, the Chamber and our business community at large were to really get behind a quality arts-related event that spreads out over downtown and lasts for more than a couple of days, those advertising dollars could pay off in loyal repeat business. I've seen this work well in cities that had far less to offer than Prescott.

That missing baby case

Our 24/7 newstainment industry spits out hundreds of stories every day. What leads the editors to think that this particular one is more relevant to local readers than any other? There's no local angle, and from the looks of things it's already being covered pretty heavily on teevee (a drug I haven't touched in many years).

I recall a case a few years ago in which a Prescott man stole his child from his former wife, fled out of state, was eventually caught, tried and jailed, with nary a word about it in the Courier.

The only factor I see different here is that it's a woman doing the kidnapping, which leads to the conclusion that the editors are a lot more interested in the father's-rights angle. Gotta keep control of those women. y'know.

Fah. Waste of space.