It appears that Matt Erickson has successfully completed the Renee Richardson business journalism course in tactless reporting. I am referring to the continued reporting, or attempted reporting, of the financial costs relating to the story's subject. In the May 12 article on the proposed mining in Emily Matt asked about the sale price of the property that may be developed.
In other stories Matt and Renee have asked the cost of the W.W. Thompson addition, reported on the new upholstery shop that wanted to buy Mike Hamad Upholstery but the price was too high and many other stories that I have now forgotten. But they all showed a lack of common courtesy.
First, it is in poor taste to ask anyone how much they paid for anything that they have bought with their personal financing. Would the editors or the reporters of the Dispatch be willing to tell us how much they paid for their home or car? Can you tell us how much money you make each year and what are the sources of this income?
Second, if the tacky question was asked and the subject properly refused to answer, the question should be dropped from the story. To report that the subject refused to answer the question appears to be an attempt to portray the response as less than complete.
Perhaps it is time for the Dispatch management to review with the reporters the limits of proper etiquette when conducting interviews. No one should be asked what they paid or received for a private business transaction. If you need some guidance, please refer to the May 11 Dear Abby. She says, It is bad manners to ask people what they paid for something.
If it's all that important, go to the county courthouse and look up the records.
Editor responds: Sorry, but our reporters are trained to ask questions about the cost of transactions. We think our readers want to know. And, in this case, we think the members of a member-supported utility are interested to know how much money is changing hands. - R.F.M.
I was misquoted in the May 12 Dispatch regarding the OPEB bonding and would like to present my entire statement in this letter.
I am not anti-teacher. I consider many teachers my friends. Both my parents were teachers and my kids have had some wonderful teachers in this district. I volunteer, I'm a PTO treasurer, I do school picnics, carnivals, book fairs and fundraisers. This is not about disliking teachers, this is about financial reality in today's world.
Current health benefits received by the union are unsustainable. Everyone in the private sector is struggling to pay for more of their benefits and it only makes sense that we demand the union do the same.
I understand why the board is going to vote for this levy, but I sincerely hope that the board demands significant concessions from the union in future contract negotiations. We don't want to end up here again and it is necessary for the financial health of the district.
My biggest fear is this because of this yes vote by the board, this district will not be able to pass any sort of referendum in the foreseeable future, even if the failure of that referendum would be devastating to our schools.
For almost eight years the Open Forum was filled with letters bashing President Bush. Far-left extremists? I often wondered what the Bush bashers would do when he was no longer president.
Guess what? They are alive and well and still playing the blame game. I say get over it! You mention the torture of the prisoners after 9/11. I'm not an authority on torture but at any given time they could have cried Uncle and given up information! Would those who are bent on prosecuting men whose ultimate goal was protecting the citizens of this country have felt the same way right after 9/11? I doubt it.
Don't you wonder why we have not been attacked since 9/11? (Perhaps the terrorists are on vacation?) Some are so shocked at the (so-called) torture and inhumane treatment of those who would harm us, but I'll bet those same people voted for a president who thinks nothing of killing babies. Maybe they don't consider that torture. Maybe they don't want to think about it. Maybe they just don't care. You also say that fewer people are comfortable with identifying themselves as Republicans. Says who?
Also, the Open Forum is open to anyone who wants to express an opinion. A Democrat is in the White House now and there are going to be those who oppose him just as there were those who opposed President Bush. Get used to it! What goes around, comes around.
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