Opinion » Letters

Stop kissing up to developers

San Luis Obispo

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Kudos to New Times for its hatchet job on the dratted democratic rabble’s audacity in challenging the infallible wisdom of SLO City Hall’s elite and their obsequious developer butt-kissing. There is no journalistic calling nobler than afflicting the afflicted and comforting the comfortable.

 To put the facts bluntly, developers get whatever they want in SLO, at the expense of residents. To concoct a story about Prado Road (“Not in my sports field,” June 17) in which long-suffering developers are set upon once again by no-growth hordes is ritualistic journalistic nonsense, not news.

 Deliberate construction of the story to belittle the very residents who keep New Times in business is unmistakable:

The story is built of factual errors, non-factual assertions offered with no supporting evidence, and opinions and biases spun as fact.

• Citizen volunteers gathered 3,200 voter signatures, a remarkable achievement. This democracy in action merits recognition, support, and decent reporting, not denigration.

• Those interviewed on the “con” side are either irrelevant (the ever-aggrieved Ernie Dalidio), oddly chosen (inflammatory engineering department factotum Tim Bochum lecturing on the General Plan—why not ask a planner who knows what he’s talking about?), have a vested interest (developers Davis and the Damon-Garcias), or are paid anti-democratic propagandists (homebuilder spokesman Jerry Bunin). Reporters who know, or care about, the community would have better, more reliable sources to question about the merits of the initiative.

• Initiative proponents, on the other hand, are caricatured and made to look silly; their brief, clipped quotations buried beneath piles of propaganda, pseudo-facts, and distortion.

The story should be about kids’ health (not just those on the playing fields, but also in neighborhoods along the diesel-drenched truck route the city wants to build), about yet more of the city’s typical abuse of its designated open space, and about a traffic mess created by a third major signalized intersection along a quarter mile of Broad Street. Only by accepting distortion as what the story should be about does New Times’ screed add up.

-- Richard Schmidt - San Luis Obispo

-- Richard Schmidt - San Luis Obispo

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