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Thread: Sos

  1. #1
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    Default Sos

    In reading the WVN e-mail today, I was struck by the story linking SOS and YES4WHS and interested in what the take was on this. I've copied the bulk of what was written below for reference, and included an attachment of the letter filed with the Town Clerk.

    My questions are this

    1. How do people feel about having their e-mails sold/given away to organizations in town without their permission?
    2. Why did SOS feel the need to hide behind YES4WHS to advocate for the high school?
    3. What is the future of this group in the eyes of Wayland citizens?

    First off, this has nothing to do with the HS Vote.

    I'll be up front in saying there is no love lost on my part for SOS. Just the pure division their presence has created in town politics has fundamentally changed the Town of Wayland for the worse, in my opinion. This post, though, is for the purpose of hearing all sides of the argument.

    As for my answers:

    1. I would be quite aggravated knowing an organization that expressly states that they "will never share, sell, or rent individual personal information with anyone for their promotional use without your advance permission or unless ordered by a court of law" turns around and does just that. On top of that, to value SOS' e-mail list at $150 is absurd. Anyone who has bought a list of e-mails could attest to that.

    2. I really can't imagine why SOS did not lead the charge here, unless what was written by WVN below rang mostly true.

    3. The future of this group -- I imagine they're here to stay. I don't believe unity in town politics and dissipation of division matters much to these folks. Their marketing presence has the ear of the people currently sitting on the BoS and the SC. Current SC Chair Lou Jurist referred to "the SC's most ardent supporters" -- a euphemisim for this group that has been used before -- only weeks ago when discussing the planned override for 2011. They will only go when those sitting on the committees/boards stop turning to them or when new/unencumbered folks are elected to replace those currently sitting.

    From 1/27 WVN Newsletter

    At least one citizen raised the matter with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance. As a result, the OCPF ordered YES4WHS to amend its financial report to include the fact that its email distribution list came from the nearly-five-year-old political action committee SOSWayland. In-kind contributions, such as that valuable communication asset, must be declared.

    YES4WHS Treasurer Nancy Funkhouser wrote to the Wayland town clerk on Jan. 15 to amend its financial report and assign a cash value. The $150 listed would be a huge bargain in the business world, where a targeted mailing list might sell for several dollars per address.

    Sharing the email list with YES4WHS also violates the stated policy of SOS, which tells its readers, "Our spam-free email list is used solely to keep you informed about issues relating to Wayland services." Email you didn't ask for can be considered spam. (Also, the policy fails to disclose that the email list is used not simply to inform but to urge voting for SOS-endorsed issues.)

    SOS' published Email Privacy Policy says in part, "We will never share, sell, or rent individual personal information with anyone for their promotional use without your advance permission or unless ordered by a court of law...If you believe you have received unwanted, unsolicited email sent via this system or purporting to be sent via this system, please forward a copy of that email with your comments to abuse@constantcontact.com for review."

    Asked for details of the arrangement with YES4WHS, SOS leader [name deleted] replied by email: "The public records address your questions."

    The records answer few questions, but they do show that the leadership of the two organizations is much the same.

    SOS is registered as a PAC with the OCPF. According to its website, it also files as a Ballot Question Committee "during election season when we are advocating for a question on the ballot. We then operate as SOS-BQC, and per the Office of Campaign and Political Finance we dissolve the BQC after the election."

    Before the November election there was no "SOS-BQC" but essentially SOS under a different name.

    [Names deleted here] SOS Co-chairs -- were identified among co-chairs of the YES4WHS campaign. Three of them received reimbursements for expenditures on behalf of YES4WHS totaling $1752.71.

    Before dissolving, YES4WHS reported collecting $6,922 for its campaign. There was no organized opposition.

    More than 99 percent of the total raised came from the 29 persons who were required by law to provide names and amounts for donations exceeding $50. The largest donation was $1,000. Filed reports may be seen at the town clerk's office.

    Why didn't SOS follow its stated policy of registering as a Ballot Question Committee before the November election? [Name deleted] didn't say. A look at SOS' history suggests one possible answer.

    SOS was formed after voters rejected an earlier high school proposal in January 2005. A School Committee member at that time, Bob Gordon, commented that school proponents needed someone "like[name deleted]" to do "marketing" for future proposals. [Name deleted] became a founding leader of SOS. (At the time, some residents with children in Wayland schools said they wondered how they got on SOS' email list to begin with.)

    SOS has supported every big-ticket recommendation of the School Committee and the selectmen. It also routinely advises readers to oppose any budget amendments on the floor of Town Meeting.

    Some voters indeed see SOS as the marketing arm of the these two powerful boards. For those who worry about rapidly rising taxes and controversial decisions by officials, SOS could look like part of the problem.

    Particularly before the current deep recession, officials talked about a pattern of biennial tax overrides. Substantial pluralities voted against recent overrides.

    Some school parents objected to the School Committee's decision two years ago to close Loker School to reduce the size of an override.

    Though SOS says it supports not only the schools but all town services, it backed override proposals that were sold with fear tactics. One example: If you defeat the override we'll cut emergency service. The cost of leaving the Cochituate fire station open at all times was small, but the override choice was yes or no to the entire override.

    SOS also has remained silent when changes to other important town services have upset affected residents. When landfill sticker fees shot up over 30 percent for Fiscal 2009, SOS said nothing. When the water department imposed a new flat surcharge of $236 per customer in spring 2009, regardless of water use, not a word from SOS. When selectmen voted to close the town's septage facility by the end of 2009, SOS was silent about the loss of that local facility and the prospect of resulting higher costs for Waylanders. The latest budget cuts for Fiscal 2011 by the town administrator recommend closing the library two nights a week. Not a word from SOS on that.

    Last winter SOS created a controversy when it held a private meeting to discuss the "state of Wayland" at [name deleted]'s house, inviting top elected officials and town employees but not the public. Even one selectman was left off the invitation list. Those without invitations were turned away.

    With its reputation as an unswerving ally of the establishment, SOS may be acquiring many silent detractors.

    The high school proposal last fall asked voters to take a big step and incur an average of hundreds of dollars per year in additional taxes for about 25 years.

    One tactic that might increase the odds of success at the polls would be to create a campaign group that seemed new and independent. In fact YES4WHS was not what it seemed to be.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 02-01-2010 at 11:50 PM. Reason: [Names deleted at request of those named], replaced with "SOS Co-chairs" or [name deleted]; one name restored by request

  2. #2
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    Default Hmmmmm?

    Well, apparently people read this board but don't want to post. They do want to e-mail the adminstrator, though, and ask for their names to be deleted, even though they've already been published on WVN and are available to anyone in the world who wants to go to the Town Hall and request the YES4WHS campaign finance report and see who contributed. One can only speculate as to why these folks are so concerned about being connected to this story.

    Anyway, since I'm happy to abide by the administrator's request to remove the names on this forum, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waylan...sage/401?var=1 as this provides the unredacted version of the WVN story I had quoted from here.

    Redacting sure is becoming popular in these parts

  3. #3
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    Default

    Jeff B., thanks for posting this kind of stuff (even though I had to look up redaction), I would never have known about it otherwise (not redaction, silly). Of course, I’d see all the above as deception. Didn’t somebody in another thread comment that even the good guys in Wayland use deception? The same people, differing “fronts” as suits their purposes. Where’s their honesty about putting their beliefs forward and depending on the weight of their good arguments?

    I also don’t understand about taking the names off. Luckily I read the original post when the names were still there, and certainly don’t see what harm was done by having them there. In my efforts to try to understand what’s going on around town, it helps to connect real people with their beliefs, associations and actions.

    Kim, what was the rationale behind removing the names? Especially since this website purports to be about “news” ( “eNews” eh?). Were the names inaccurate or false? Weren’t they already part of the public record? Methinks, maybe, not done so good.

    donBustin@verizon.net

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    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    I also don’t understand about taking the names off. Luckily I read the original post when the names were still there, and certainly don’t see what harm was done by having them there. In my efforts to try to understand what’s going on around town, it helps to connect real people with their beliefs, associations and actions.

    Kim, what was the rationale behind removing the names? Especially since this website purports to be about “news” ( “eNews” eh?). Were the names inaccurate or false? Weren’t they already part of the public record? Methinks, maybe, not done so good.
    Don, there is no reasonable rationale. I'll give Kim the courtesy of a little while to answer your question herself. However, if by tomorrow she has decided not to do so, happy to log on again and fill everyone in.

    By the way, of course everyone knows the names of the people who asked to have thier names deleted. Not only are they publicly attached to the story via th WVN link posted above, but two of them discussed above are perfectly fine with listing their names here (http://soswayland.org/About%20Us.htm) as the first and fourth co-chairs, and here (http://yes4whs.com/WhoWeAre.htm) as the second and last member of the steering committee. These are, of course, both sites that they control the content of and show nothing unfavorable. I think this directly points you to why they might be concerned about having their names attached this story.

    By the way, the Yes4WHS treasurer is listed here (http://yes4whs.com/Donations.htm) as the person to send donations to. I have no particular beef with her, as she served as the legitimate treasurer of a BQC. Nothing wrong with that. Not even sure why she wanted her name deleted as she really didn't do anything wrong, except maybe unwittingly fail to post an in-kind donation which she has since corrected.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    Kim, what was the rationale behind removing the names? Especially since this website purports to be about “news” ( “eNews” eh?). Were the names inaccurate or false? Weren’t they already part of the public record? Methinks, maybe, not done so good.

    donBustin@verizon.net

    Don, I appreciate the question. Our policy has been that when an individual who is not participating in the Discussion Forum (other than people who occupy or are running for official Town, State or Federal positions) requests that their name be removed from a thread, that we will comply. In this case, I received a request from an individual (and not from all named individuals, so we need not speculate on one any particular name was removed) to remove the names in the thread. I forwarded that request to the editorial board for their opinion, as they serve as both legislative and judicial branches of this website (I would be the executive). They voted unanimously that given the request, the names should be removed.

    I agreed with their decision (not that it mattered), because:
    1. the names of these individuals were not material, the questions really were about the organization,
    2. the information is readily available elsewhere anyway (including in the link Mr. Baron subsequently provided),
    3. it was consistent with past precedent. An example thread where an individual requested that information be deleted (ironically, Jeff Baron) is available here. In both cases, the involved individuals sought to protect some aspect of their privacy in the event of Google searches. And while Mr. Baron may argue that he did not request that his name be removed, the redaction is just a matter of degree, and readers may want to draw the line in different places.


    Here, I cite my own personal opinion only as an individual, not as moderator of the site. The purpose of this Discussion Forum is not to enable people to attack or embarrass others. It is to enable discussion of issues to further people's understanding and for neighbors to be able to help one another.

    Further, I personally feel no obligation or requirement to reprint opinion pieces or articles that were published elsewhere in their entirety. Perhaps there are even copyright reasons why such "reprints" might not be allowable? I'll allow one of the several lawyer readers to weigh in on that.

    Readers were not denied access to information. We did not, for example, remove the WVN link, which contains the complete original. Anyone can go read that if they want. Or they can go check out the SOS website which contains all the information on names. The information is readily available. The request was to us for Google search privacy only, and we honored it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron View Post
    Don, there is no reasonable rationale. I'll give Kim the courtesy of a little while to answer your question herself. However, if by tomorrow she has decided not to do so, happy to log on again and fill everyone in.
    "if by tomorrow she has decided not to do so"? Gee, thanks for the several hours leeway there, Jeff. If I hadn't answered by tomorrow, it might not have been that I had "decided not to", but rather that I had my daughter's swim meet to attend, a birthday party to prepare for and attend (involving a couple of hours of cupcake making and decorating), and several hours of work for my actual job (I am a management consultant). Please don't forget that this website is a volunteer effort; I do this in my spare time only because I love the town and want to provide a service.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    [*] it was consistent with past precedent. An example thread where an individual requested that information be deleted (ironically, Jeff Baron) is available here. In both cases, the involved individuals sought to protect some aspect of their privacy in the event of Google searches. And while Mr. Baron may argue that he did not request that his name be removed, the redaction is just a matter of degree, and readers may want to draw the line in different places.
    Just to be clear, Kim stated exactly what I asked for. My home address and telephone number to be removed, not my name which is what identifies me. I think there's a big difference between what I asked for and asking for your name to be redacted. I also find it ironic the lengths to which you go to hide the idenitity of the person who requested the redaction, but you're ultra-quick to name me as "an individual" above instead of just leaving that anonymous too. Can anyone say double-standard? Can anyone see why these SOS folks felt so comfortable asking for the redaction here but never even consulted WVN for the same request, knowing it would never be considered? Friendly territory here!

    I will choose to not to argue back and forth on the merits of what happened cause that will go nowhere. This was ridiculous, plain and simple, in my opinion. It wasn't in yours. Since it is your board, you get to win. I still get to think it is wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    "if by tomorrow she has decided not to do so"? Gee, thanks for the several hours leeway there, Jeff. If I hadn't answered by tomorrow, it might not have been that I had "decided not to", but rather that I had my daughter's swim meet to attend, a birthday party to prepare for and attend (involving a couple of hours of cupcake making and decorating), and several hours of work for my actual job (I am a management consultant). Please don't forget that this website is a volunteer effort; I do this in my spare time only because I love the town and want to provide a service.
    Cool your jets, Kim. You're being far too literal. My point was to allow you the courtesy of responding for yourself, even though I knew the answer. I wasn't putting you on the clock. I do know, however, you monitor this board fairly frequently and I don't think a whole day was out of bounds in what I was trying to extend.
    Last edited by Jeff Baron; 01-30-2010 at 08:37 PM. Reason: Added some more thoughts...

  7. #7
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    Default Protecting Their Own

    It is interesting to note that SOS, like Jeff Dieffenbach, has a friend in Wayland eNews.

    Nowhere was this more evident than when Jeff Dieffenbach posted something which was rather offensive and insulting to many people, and he was advised to remove. He asked Kim to delete it and sure enough, she did.

    Would the Crier do this?
    Would the Globe do this?
    Would WVN do this?
    Would any other news agency of any stripe do this?

    For as much as Wayland eNews claims to pride itself in being unbiased and fair & balanced, its actions remind me of Wayland’s School Committee and Administration who constantly throw about the word “transparency”, and claim that it applies to them and all that they do.

    I’ve been saying for years, that this is not at all the case and that in fact just the opposite it true, and now things are coming to light that prove my point – Louis’ email, Heather’s scathing review of Gary Burton, Jeff Dieffenbach's failed attempt to keep emails from the public, which by law we had every right to see and which cost the town thousands of dollars.

    I am not at all suprised that the Wayland eNews board voted to protect SOS, just as they've always protected Jeff Dieffenbach, by deleting what he wants them to delete, and by not giving much coverage to stories that would be damaging (albeit completely honest and true and newsworthy) to the School Committe, like some of the recent events referenced above.

    Like Jeff, like the SC, like the administration and like SOS, Wayland eNews prefers to hunker down and ignore these stories, wanting them to just whither away quickly and for people to take no notice. Too late for that.

  8. #8
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    Default The name redaction is a side show

    This name redaction is a side show compared to the real issues here. Obviously, the ladies of SOS | YES4WHS don't want their names to be google searched in connection to this event and most probably because there just isn't a good explanation for it. But more on this later.

    The real issues here are these:

    1. SOS found it necessary to setup what attempted to be an arm's length BQC to lobby for the $70M project.
    This was pretty obvious to even the casual observer since the officers of both SOS and YES4HS made no bones about hiding the fact that they were the same people on in both groups.

    So the first question is: Why was it necessary to do this? Why couldn't SOS simply be the BQC? WVN took a stab at the theory and I tend to believe what Michael Short wrote.

    2. In order to pull off this arms length BQC successfully, a 'transfer of power' had to occur. The first transfer was first the brain trust of the ladies and that was quite a brain trust !

    But the ultimate power that needed to be transferred was the ability to get to thousands of known loyalists and/or interested Waylanders over and over and over without using paper, envelope or postage. So this transfer of power occured very quietly on 9/29/2009. Its reasonable to assume that 100% of the SOS email list was transferred to YES4WHS on that date... I mean why transfer only 50% or 80%? And how many emails does that represent? Well thats a tightly guarded secret but based on voter turnout on the past 5 overrides and elections I will estimate this list to be about 3,000 email address's. And anybody is welcome to correct me if I am wrong on this estimation.

    The market value of this list was noted on the filing to be $150. So either my 3,000 estimation is wrong or that $150 is a gross undervaluation. But the good news for YES4WHS is that for a BQC, the contribution in kind is unlimited... it only matters if its a PAC (for a candidate) and then the limit is $500. So no further detailed information can be gained by seeing the $150 figure.

    Now here is the problem: This quiet transfer took place contrary to the sacred policy of email collection of SOS. I won't state it here because WVN did that already.

    Let me take you back one year.

    There was a huge amount of hoopla over a URL spoof of SOSwayland.org which was connected to my excellent youtube creation entitled "Were YOU Invited?" [Which, BTW I still watch every now and then and show to my friends while drinking Sam Adams] [GRIN]

    OK, call that instance one internet infraction.

    This one is 3,000 internet infractions. I would have expected 3,000 times the hoopla ?!
    So where is the hoopla? Oh I forgot this is an SOS friendly discussion board.

    3. Now all of this may have been more innocent if the contribution in kind was initially registered with the Clerk of the Town of Wayland but was only registered after the OCPF got involved and forced their hand in what I have to imagine was an 'Oopps" moment.

    However, this still leaves the problem that the 3,000 emails were transferred without notification or permission of the actual owners of those emails (the people who gave them to SOS) and this is also known as SPAM x 3000. The FTC doesn't like SPAM by the way. Even if one does not want to admit that this is SPAM then we still have that sacred SOS policy and that the email givers were never given a chance to provide their written permission to use them for another BQC... as is the SOS policy.

    But you have to admit, not having this contribution in kind in the original filing is somewhat.... 'sketchy' (as my 19 year old would say)

    Kim you have a pretty solid email confidentiality policy on enews. I'm not aware that you have ever abused it.
    Good for you.

    Could you be so kind as to post your policy on this thread for all to see?

    4. What we have here is a type of monopoly power. One monopoly can beget another and this was done with the email transfer. The barrier to entry of being that monopoly is the ability to reach many people, multiple times with no cash.

    I don't know how many people read enews but if you are reading this then tell your friends to come here and absorb it because its a representation of the monolith of power that has evolved in our piece of suburbia. Something for all to ponder.

    Finally (and I apologize for such a long winded retort), I challenge the ladies (and yes you know who you are - redacted or not, to come onto this discussion board and provide your side of the story.

    This is what I want... but I am quite aware of the fact that...

    You can't always get what you want.
    Last edited by AlanJReiss; 01-31-2010 at 02:00 AM. Reason: Added youtube URL just for the hell of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    It is interesting to note that SOS, like Jeff Dieffenbach, has a friend in Wayland eNews.
    Would the Crier do this?
    Would the Globe do this?
    Would WVN do this?
    Would any other news agency of any stripe do this?
    I'm up early to get to work, and am not going to waste my day on a complete response to this. But a quick answer for you, John: John, if I wanted to "protect SOS", I'd have deleted the thread. I didn't. If I wanted to protect WaylandeNews, perhaps I'd have done the same. But I didn't do that either.

    Would the Crier do this? Are you serious? How many times have you seen comments disappear from the Crier discussions? They aren't edited, with annotations of the edits. They are removed whole cloth. When the Crier gets really annoyed about the commenting, they close down the commenting on a thread completely.

    Would the Globe do this? Are you serious? Here's an example article to check. They remove comments ALL the time! Again, no edits, no explanation of why posts are removed. At least they leave a placeholder (unlike the Crier) admitting that they did it.

    Would WVN do this? Well, that's the funniest one of all. It certainly would be nice if WVN allowed feedback! Why don't you put a comment to that effect on their site and see if they edit it? Oh, right, WVN doesn't allow comments! So how they can they edit them?

    Would any other news agency of any stripe do this? Well, John, I guess you've yet to give me an example of a news agency that doesn't do this.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    I am not at all surprised that the Wayland eNews board voted to protect SOS, just as they've always protected Jeff Dieffenbach, by deleting what he wants them to delete, and by not giving much coverage to stories that would be damaging (albeit completely honest and true and newsworthy) to the School Committe, like some of the recent events referenced above.
    This is not about protecting SOS. We did not edit the names to stop the discussion about SOS. Clearly, despite the editing, the discussion of SOS has continued unabated, and we have made no efforts to squelch it. Looking at Alan's post, I can see at least someone moving the discussion in the direction of discussing the issues. It makes me wonder if perhaps it would make the discussion work better if I moved all the threads complaining about the edits to another thread? We could call it, perhaps, "Let's throw stones at Kim from our glass homes"

    If the Crier or Globe or WSPN covers your suggested stories as news items, John, I would absolutely include links, as we have, for example, on many articles detailing the OML School Committee lawsuit (see here for articles on the School Committee). WaylandeNews does not write news articles, we merely link to those published in news sources allowing reader feedback. We do not include opinion pieces, but people are welcome to include links, or as long as it's allowable, the whole piece itself (as Jeff B did in this case) on the Discussion Forum, where opinion pieces go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanJReiss View Post
    Kim you have a pretty solid email confidentiality policy on enews. I'm not aware that you have ever abused it.
    Good for you.

    Could you be so kind as to post your policy on this thread for all to see?
    Alan, I thought there was some place that I wrote some specific language for our privacy policy in my Constant Contact account, but I could not find one. It seems on our newsletters, the Privacy Policy you see is standard for Constant Contact accounts, the email manager that both WaylandeNews and SOS use. That policy is available here. The relevant portions state:

    Why did you receive a mailing from us?

    Our email marketing is permission based. If you received a mailing from us, our records indicate that (a) you have expressly shared this address for the purpose of receiving information in the future ("opt-in"), or (b) you have registered or purchased or otherwise have an existing relationship with us. We respect your time and attention by controlling the frequency of our mailings.

    Sharing and Usage

    We will never share, sell, or rent individual personal information with anyone for their promotional use without your advance permission or unless ordered by a court of law. Information submitted to us is only available to employees managing this information for purposes of contacting you or sending you emails based on your request for information, and to contracted service providers for purposes of providing services relating to our communications with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanJReiss View Post
    Oh I forgot this is an SOS friendly discussion board.
    Alan, of the "contrarians*", you at least have a habit of basing your posts on reason and evidence. By that measure, your "SOS friendly" remark above certainly disappoints. By what measure is the Discussion Forum "SOS friendly?"

    Do you mean "SOS friendly" in the sense that the DF is aligned with the SOS mission ("preserve Wayland's services in a fiscally responsible manner")? Well, that's a mission that I hope none of us oppose. SOS' leadership? They don't as a rule participate. In fact, using the "member search" feature, I could find only a single post (out of a total that numbers in the thousands) by any of the 4 SOS leaders. Perhaps you mean that the comments lean in favor of SOS? Well, I don't really have a way to tally that, but there's certainly no shortage of anti-SOS posts. If you disagree, please back up your accusation with some data.

    Perhaps you mean "SOS friendly" in a broader way--a majority of DF participants being "aligned" (by some unspecified definition) with SOS. That accusation has been made before--my response at the time, which I wasn't able to track down, looked at who the frequent thread starters and posters are. It's easy enough to recreate that analysis, however, so here it is. Of the top ten most recent threads, a majority were started by people I wouldn't describe as being SOS-aligned. That's even more true if you filter out the "neutral" threads on topics such as "Beyond Beans" and "Avatar." If you look at the most recent post on each of these threads, you see the same profile--hardly the SOS cheerleading squad.

    That leaves me with concluding that you are suggesting that the DF's leadership is "SOS friendly." Well, that may be--I haven't asked the moderator or the editorial board for their opinion on SOS. But what I don't see, as Kim elaborated on so articulately in her recent post, is any evidence that the DF leadership has used it's position to skew the discussion one way or the other.

    Now, it may be that I simply am not thinking deeply enough about what "SOS friendly" means, so if I've missed an angle, Alan, please enlighten me.


    *"Contrarian" is of course a crude simplification--for that, I apologize, but labeling one group or another isn't the point of this post, and I'd rather not spend the time to come up with a more precise or representative word or phrase.

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    Kim,

    My post is not “throwing stones at Kim” or atttacking eNews, SOS or anyone else. It is merely presenting certain truths, certain patterns and connecting a few dots.

    You’re right that eNews could simply delete posts that it disagrees with. That would be a very overt form of censorship, which I’m glad it does not participate in.

    However, far more sinuous is a covert pattern of behavior that helps certain individuals or groups in ways so subtle it could almost go unnoticed. The claim will be made that eNews is unbiased, an argument which can be supported by pointing to certain larger critical pieces. Yet in making back room deals to help its friends, it is undermining its credibility as an unbiased news source.

    The reason this reminds me of the SC’s claims of transparency is because even though there are examples that they can point to which are, the truth is there are many other examples, as those given in my post above, as well as the $30,000,000 budget, which are not.
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanJReiss View Post
    This name redaction is a side show compared to the real issues here.
    Yup. Agreed. Look back at the original post here and the questions that nobody but Don Bustin has attempted to answer. I focused on the issues around SOS. Unfortunately, the actions of the Editorial Board of this forum helped to redirect the conversation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    Looking at Alan's post, I can see at least someone moving the discussion in the direction of discussing the issues. It makes me wonder if perhaps it would make the discussion work better if I moved all the threads complaining about the edits to another thread?
    I'm sure the redacted ladies would be thrilled with this turn of events. Take away the only thing people are responding to in this forum and move it somewhere else so nobody would focus on reading the thread's original post about their misdeeds. Let's not further the problem.

    As for your statement about someone moving the discussing in the direction of issues, that was and remains my original goal. However, nobody except Don (and now Alan) has been willing to answer the questions. Have at it Kim, Jeff and the rest of the linetoters* lurking in the shadows. What say you about the issues? Where are the people who screamed and cried during the 'soswayland.com' crisis Alan references above now?

    *"Linetoters" is of course a crude simplification--for that, I apologize, but labeling one group or another isn't the point of this post, and I'd rather not spend the time to come up with a more precise or representative word or phrase. [GRIN] (not!)

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Yet in making back room deals to help its friends, it is undermining its credibility as an unbiased news source.
    John, what "back room deals?" Are you referring to the WEN board's policy with respect to removing names? Is that limited only to "friends?"

    Also, it's important to separate WaylandeNews from the Discussion Forum, which is only one small part of the former. WEN is a news aggregator. To my knowledge, WEN has never omitted a news piece because of the slant that such a news piece might have taken. If you are aware of any such omissions, please let us know. It would be surprising if WEN has catalogued every news piece referring to Wayland, but they have always said to let them know if one is missed so that they can add it.

    The DF, on the other hand, is a blank slate *designed* to accommodate bias. But that bias is provided by the people who post, not by WEN (except for the occasional editorial, a practice in line with every major news organization that I can think of).

    You allege that WEN's credibility is questionable. I would be interested to know how many people (by name, not anonymously) agree with this characterization. I certainly do not.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    275

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    John, what "back room deals?" Are you referring to the WEN board's policy with respect to removing names? Is that limited only to "friends?"

    Also, it's important to separate WaylandeNews from the Discussion Forum, which is only one small part of the former. WEN is a news aggregator. To my knowledge, WEN has never omitted a news piece because of the slant that such a news piece might have taken. If you are aware of any such omissions, please let us know. It would be surprising if WEN has catalogued every news piece referring to Wayland, but they have always said to let them know if one is missed so that they can add it.

    The DF, on the other hand, is a blank slate *designed* to accommodate bias. But that bias is provided by the people who post, not by WEN (except for the occasional editorial, a practice in line with every major news organization that I can think of).

    You allege that WEN's credibility is questionable. I would be interested to know how many people (by name, not anonymously) agree with this characterization. I certainly do not.
    Your separation is correct. The Wayland eNews site as a whole only encompasses the board, and not vice versa. I would say that WEN does include most stories (and if they leave one out, it does not appear intentional). However, I have noticed that stories criticizing boards like yours, SOS, and other "friends" appear in less prominent places most of the time in the weekly newsletter (several spots down from the top). No way for know if this intentional, but certainly suspicious.

    As for the editorial board, I absolutely agree that it's credibility is questionable. If there is any question about this, see Yes4WHS' site (http://yes4whs.com/WhoWeAre.htm). 1/3 of the editorial board (Hecker) and the moderator of the site (Reichelt) are listed by name as supporters. I'm NOT saying it is wrong to have supported the cause, but if you are going to give the air of credibility surrounding independence, taking a public side in print isn't the way to do it. Suggestion -- eNews should put one of your so-called "contrarians" on this Board. That way we'd know at least one person in the background isn't publicly aligned with SOS.
    Last edited by Jeff Baron; 01-31-2010 at 09:24 AM. Reason: Incorrectly listed a member of the eNews board as being on the Yes4WHS site. Fixed that here.

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