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Today's word on journalism

Monday, November 5, 2007

On Objectivity:

"I still insist that 'objective journalism' is a contradiction in terms. But I want to draw a very hard line between the inevitable reality of 'subjective journalism' and the idea that any honestly subjective journalist might feel free to estimate a crowd at a rally for some candidates the journalist happens to like personally at 2,000 instead of 612 -- or to imply that a candidate the journalist views with gross contempt, personally, is a less effective campaigner than he actually is."

-- Hunter S. Thompson, from Fear & Loathing: CORRECTIONS, RETRACTIONS, APOLOGIES, COP-OUTS, ETC., a 1972 memo to Rolling Stone editor Jann S. Wenner, excerpted in the current (November 2007) issue of Harper’s Magazine (Thanks to alert WORDster Andy Merton)

Hyde Park city council candidates answer questions from public

By Angeline Olschewski

October 12, 2007 | HYDE PARK -- It was Meet the Candidates Night Tuesday, where each of the six city council potentials introduced himself and then took questions from the public.

On the ballot are two incumbents, Charles Wheeler, who has served two terms, and James Skidmore, who has served one.

The newcomers are Bob Christensen, a retired Thiokol associate scientist; David James, currently serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission; Brent Kelly, co-owner of Alvey's Candies; and John Younger, a civil engineer.

After brief introductions, the public was invited to pose questions. The first question asked what plans the candidates had for the commercial areas. Several suggested an expansion of the commercial space and a beautification plan so that new businesses will be lured to the area. Many used the word "landscaping" as a possible improvement.

Another citizen wanted to know what ideas the candidates had that would maximize the current space in order to pay for the expected growth. While Councilman Wheeler, James and Younger responded by addressing the roadway system and the citizen's mobility throughout the city, Kelly tackled developments.

"We need to do a study to determine the strain of growth," Kelly said. "We don't have to annex property if we don't have the ability to service the development."

The final question brought a mix of replies. A citizen stated that there's a perception of Hyde Park residents as being "anti-change" and "elitists," who don't want to accommodate low-income families. Currently Hyde Park ordinance states only single-family homes can be built.

"I have been a proponent for affordable housing for a long time," noted Skidmore. He further suggested that those residents who come to the meetings do have "an elitist attitude, better than most."

According to the state, Hyde Park city meets the housing standards, but Skidmore disagrees. "It needs to change," he stated.

Christensen admitted his concern that "developers will want to develop the same atmosphere as the northwest corner of Logan."

Wheeler suggested establishing ordinances that will not allow duplex homes to be built too close together, thereby avoiding "a great concentration in any one part of the city."

Younger added that spreading it out will keep it from affecting property values. "If planned properly, it can be a great enhancement," he said.

James said the planning and zoning commission has been working on an ordinance for multi-family units for two years.

Kelly commented that there are people who will not live near a multi-family unit. He suggested it "should be zoned for" so that residents wanting to build will know where the units will be allowed. "Spreading it out is a bad idea," he concluded.

The moderator ended the evening by inviting those in attendance to return for the second Meet the Candidates n ight on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m., and to bring friends.


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