Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Editorial: No easy solution for septic dispute

Western PV residents don't show up when officials summon them to talk about their septic tanks. I'm so surprised.

It does no good to speculate on whether they'll support a plan to improve their waste systems, editor. You and PV and county officials ought to go out and talk with them.

These largely lower-income residents are struggling already, holding multiple jobs or hunting for work, juggling kids at the same time. I expect a larger than usual proportion of homeowners are non-resident or in foreclosure. It makes no sense to conclude anything from a small turnout at an obscure public meeting.

If the editor would like to contribute to resolving the problem, he could do more to publicize both the problem and the community's efforts to resolve it, as well as to urge PV and county officials to be more proactive and circumspect with their outreach to the affected homeowners. What he's done here is lame.

The continuing hassle over comments

Promoting this from a comment on the previous post, by "Coyote Contraire™":

Mr. Ayres,

I know this is off-subject to memorial day, but the cartoon reminded me of the subject of comment burial by the Courier, and I've nowhere else to turn.

The majority of my recent comment submissions have been "disappeared" by the Courier ed. staff. None have been in violation of their Terms of Use, and most have been relatively on-subject. Navigating their capricious minefield of approval is tricky at best, but would probably be less difficult if only I would just type really nice, soft things -- like, "I like bunnies and kittens". Sometimes they quickly post stuff I'm sure they wouldn't touch, then they disappear something utterly innocuous.

To wit: I wrote a comment to this article, and it got posted.

Two commenters made inquiries to me about the recent addition of the ™ symbol to my pseudo. I wrote and submitted five different comments in attempting to respond and they all have been s**t-canned. The Courier, of course, is a private enterprise and is therefore under no obligation to consider the principles of freedom of expression.

What bewilders me, though, is that all five submissions were inoffensive, vaguely humorous, and in no way in violation of the TOU. I'm beginning to think it's personal.
I appreciate your concern, and it's this sort of arbitrary and apparently capricious interference with comments that led me to begin this blog in the first place. It's impossible to determine why this is happening, but from other comments it's clear to me that it is and it's obviously not good.

My response is to repeat my open invitation to any Courier commenter to post deleted, censored or edited comments here. Post them as comments on any entry, regardless of topical pertinence -- I'll create a pertinent thread and move them to it. Make a habit of copying your comments before posting them to the Courier and saving them as backups until they appear.

My own experience has been that since I started raising a regular stink over it, editing and disappearance of my comments has ceased. Interference also seems to have lessened since Ben Hansen left, but it's difficult to guage.

NB: I notice that comments frequently appear on unrelated stories, implying that the editors (or perhaps commenters) may be mistakenly attaching them in the wrong places, and that could account for some 'lost' comments.