Nisqually Valley News publisher/editor Graves says that my words printed in his newspaper last Friday to fellow Yelm Chamber members were “not-so-thinly-veiled threats to personalize local businesses”. The title of his editorial was “Debate is good, threats aren’t.” A published front-page headline read “RSE officials lash out at interview”
There was no threat of any kind mentioned; rather a clear and concise request to bring out into the open those Yelm Chamber members that are represented by Mr. Cunningham’s malevolent story in your newspaper and would prefer to not have RSE students’ business. You misinterpret through your own veiled view and don’t even call to ask or investigate the context of my letter. Let’s get this issue out in the open once and for all, Mr. Graves and find out who does not want our dollars, for this kind of intolerance and downright bigotry has been expressed here by local officials for far too long; views you demonstrate to uphold.
You say “debate is good”, yet at every turn you squelch any such forum.
You condemn any views not in alignment with your own and attempt character assassination with slanderous comments; a true, modern-day, town-square stoning.
Your bias in your journalism has been evident for years.
Do I expect that to change. No.
Do I hope that changes. YES!
Ever since I went public in Fall, 2005 with the fact that you would not print the news that then-Mayoral candidate Harding declined to participate in your NVN sponsored Town Hall, you have attempted to deride me personally. Was that what a newspaper should do — an editor agreeing to withhold information from the voters and their readers? Fine, a public person running for or in-office should be prepared to take such hits. However, I am not a candidate for any public office now and have previously announced (and printed in your newspaper) I am not a candidate for any public office in 2009. To make note of and publish my patronage of Safeway & Starbucks is indicative of just how personal and low you go. You practice the fine art of prejudicial reporting seemingly right out of Karl Rove’s Playbook.
Do I buy flowers at Yelm Safeway and coffee at Starbuck’s? Absolutely!
And I have been a good customer of Yelm Floral for almost 2 decades, Blue Bottle Espresso & Liquid Soul Cafe, as their owners will attest. And, featured stories about all of them on this blog!
Yet, you failed to note I have never set foot in Yelm’s Wal-Mart.
What about your local spending?
You can belittle all you want, yet you have done little to balance your prejudicial reporting with the contributions my wife and I have made to this community totaling over $110,000 in the last 10 years, distributed to such local organizations as the:
– Yelm Timberland Library
– Yelm Prairie Arts Assn.
– Drew Harvey Theater
– UCBO Thanksgiving Day food drive
– Children’s School of Excellence student Scholarships and a new computer lab donation
– Yelm Dollar’s for Scholars annual Scholarships to Yelm & Rainier High School students
– Yelm’s Pennies for Pupils
– annual gift to the Yelm Tree Fund
– Friends of the Yelm Library
– Yelm City Park flag memorial
– and turkeys for EVERY needy family on UCBO’s list for Christmas, 2007, the largest holiday turkey donation in Yelm history.
These are but a few, in addition to smaller donations for worthy causes all over town.
in addition to serving on the:
– Yelm Library Advisory Board
– Yelm Prairie Arts Assn. Board
– Yelm Historical Preservation Board
Name a few of your contributions you and your family have given since moving to this town?
How much did your newspaper donate to local causes the last 10 years?
You requested your readers go to Safeway, Wal-Mart and others and ask them to place their advertising inserts with the NVN, rather than their choice to bypass your newspaper and advertise via a direct mailing. Why?
Condemning others that have differing views is your modus-operandi.
I am saddened to continue to witness the divisiveness that this newspaper spews forth to area readers week after week. NVN readers are the beneficiary of a lack of thorough reporting on a whole host of issues with bias in not delivering balanced coverage. Our community therefore is robbed by the misuse of the leadership position you have as the only print media in this town.
Where is this newspaper in reporting truly newsworthy issues?
As just one example, I saw no NVN reporter present in the courtroom last week when the City of Yelm was defendant in a case taken out of Yelm’s jurisdiction by JZ Knight and into Thurston County Superior Court. Don’t you and your readers think that was an important case? After all, it centers on what the City of Yelm purports is the ability of the city to provide water for new developments. And, the city came out of that court room with several embarrassments by their attorneys.
Are you going to condemn those who run for local public office in 2009 that have differing views?
Many that would be willing to serve the public do not step forward because they do not want to be subjected to such tactics.
If that happens, the voters of Yelm will be stuck with only the incumbents and have no choice on the ballot for City Council openings in 2009, as happened in 2007. That would be a shame. For instance, will any mayoral candidate come forward to oppose Ron Harding next year and give voters a choice for mayor?
So few people are involved in city government now yet you continue to berate those that speak-up to question city policies. Look what happened because the public was not involved in their government; Thurston County was caught off-guard when the Commissioners announced they did not have their eye on the ball, leaving the county with a multi-million dollar deficit and having to cutback services.
The Constitution of the United States or what’s left of it demands dissent by the public. You and city officials want it squelched at every turn.
Hopefully, the Karl Rove playbook days are soon coming to an end in Washington, D. C. One can only hope those days will end in Yelm soon, too!
As I wrote in my letter you published on October 3rd,
“This town can continue to be polarized based on intolerances of a certain individual or group in judging others’ views or we can see this as an opportunity to put all of these type of distractions aside and join arm in arm to confront the many challenges we have as neighbors in the Nisqually Valley;
funding for a Bypass,
a new Library,
Schools bursting at the seams,
city budget issues,
a county deficit where services are to be cut,
neighboring Roy going broke
and a looming recession where we have sadly witnessed several venerable Yelm businesses having closed and others are on the edge.
United we stand, divided we fall.
The choice is in our hands…. ”