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Thread: Wayland Voters Network needs to declare its biases

  1. #1
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    Default Wayland Voters Network needs to declare its biases

    I have been reading Wayland Voters Network newsletters since they first began. I've read every word, not because I am learning much of anything, but because I know there are others reading it and believing what they read. I have a serious problem with a newsletter purporting to be delivering just news and information, when they are really behaving as a political action group.

    Laughable is the fact they have been making occasional pokes at WaylandeNews trying to discredit us. As Selectman Alan Reiss commented to me: "I think you do a good job in organizing various media links with local opinions. Now even though it is clear that we are on different sides of the override issue this year, I think the waylandenews.com has done a good job in making sure many points of view are expressed and posted."

    We have worked very hard to present the news fairly, and have provided every opportunity for those with opposing views to present them. Wayland Voters Network, on the other hand, has a history of ignoring emails sent to them with opposing views, and provides readers with corrections no outlet to get to subscribers. WVN frequently point outs the past views of members of Wayland's community without ever bothering to point out their own biases/positions taken/views.

    Their last few newsletters have been typically preposterous, and I'd like to make a leisurely review of the most recent here. Below, I reprint in its entirety (with a link to the original source) their most recent newsletter, with commentary interspersed in red.

    Newsletter 168: Behind the Town Center Vote

    Dear Wayland Voter,

    Only the size of the vote for the town center surprised political
    observers.

    What political observers?

    What is behind the record vote, and what lies ahead? Michael
    Short reports.

    MOBILIZATION EFFORTS TRIUMPHED

    An overflow crowd of Special Town Meeting voters
    overwhelmingly approved zoning for a $100-million
    retail/office/housing development on Route 20, the climax of a
    campaign that changed the political face of Wayland.

    If by changing the political face he means that a record number of voters came out to Town Meeting, that sounds like something WVN, which was founded they say to encourage voter participation, should be very pleased to see.

    Why did this campaign succeed, with votes to spare, six months
    after a plan for a larger development failed? Aside from the
    possibility that the smaller size overcame some voters' doubts,
    one obvious factor was the strong and well-coordinated effort of
    advocacy groups and town officials. Another was advocates'
    linking the town center concept with the April 25 tax override vote.
    A third was the implied threat of the alternative, 200
    condominium units.

    Other possibilities would be increased voter education and the support of numerous town boards, including the Planning Board, which had previously led the change against the project

    A record number of voters approved the mixed-use zoning on
    May 3 by a 4 to 1 margin, 1753-431. The turnout was more than
    800 greater than in November 2005. As voters lined up to
    register, officials scrambled to save the meeting from
    postponement for lack of space. The selectmen had designated
    one of the three venues at the High School for families with
    children, but with no way to participate.

    I'm not sure why Mr. Short mentions the third venue here, as it did not interfere with voting in any way; it merely provided the possibility for some with children to attend who otherwise might not have been able to (much as the rides provided by the CoA would provide seniors who might not otherwise be able to attend to make it to Town Meeting).

    The victory was the second in eight days for political groups that
    outspent and outnumbered opponents. At the April 25 annual
    town election a record vote approved a $2.1 million tax override
    and elected candidates favored by the groups.

    I'm quite sure Mr. Short has no any idea how much the various groups might have spent supporting or opposing the Town Center project.

    After failing to gain the required two-thirds majority in November
    for a larger mixed-use proposal, activists launched a campaign
    of mailings, email blasts, leaflets, signs and phone calls aimed
    at getting out the vote for the town center as well as the override.
    They organized more than 40 meetings in residents' homes and
    the town building where officials and other advocates pushed
    the project.

    Though I did attend a neighborhood gathering that was focused on the override, I'm not aware of any such meetings regarding the Town Center.

    The basic idea of the town center appealed to many voters. The
    prospect of added commercial tax revenue seemed to make
    intuitive sense. The Planning Board's majority report predicted
    that at worst the project wouldn't cost the town money. (The
    board endorsed the zoning by a 3-2 vote.) The immediate
    tax benefit of the project is in the neighborhood of $40,000
    annually, though within seven years it could be much more than
    that. For those who liked the idea of new shops and restaurants,
    there didn't seem to be much of a downside except increased
    traffic caused by out-of-towners patronizing large chain stores,
    and the developers said they could handle that.

    I'd add to the benefit list a green, a gazebo, a canoe landing, a skating pond, a spot for a municipal building (perhaps a library?), jogging trails, and at least a part of a bike path

    Wayland Citizens Against Reckless Development was the only
    organized opposition, concentrating largely on traffic and safety.

    I believe Citizens Against Reckless Development employed virtually every tactic listed above for the pro-Town Center group -- they had a website, sent emails, mailings, distributed leaflets, and placed lawn signs. Not that there's anything wrong with doing these things - just odd that he mentions it regarding the pro-Town Center people, but not the anti-Town Center people.

    At meetings and in the press, others continued to say the project
    was too large and out of character for Wayland, inconsistent with
    the Master Plan and harmful to the historic district. Independent
    consultants predicted horrendous weekend traffic and said that
    most towns of Wayland's size do better with a proportionally
    smaller commercial component. (The Planning Board favored
    commercial space about 50,000 square feet smaller than the
    165,000 that the selectmen and the developers ultimately
    agreed on.) (and the Planning Board as well)

    Formidable concerns involving pollution, water and sewage
    were raised by opponents, minimized by proponents. Skeptics
    decried the rushed pace of the process, the lack of a definite
    plan for the development and the selectmens' diminished
    negotiating position in wooing the developers back to the table.

    COORDINATED GROUPS

    This was overwhelmed by the volume of material from project
    supporters. One example is the full-page ad in the Wayland
    Town Crier that reproduced material in leaflets comparing the
    town center with the 40B affordable housing project. The ad
    referred voters to SOSWayland (which championed the override
    as well). It was "paid for by Colleen Sheehan, 16 Springhill
    Road"; OneWayland and Waylanders for Smart Growth were
    listed as sponsors. Since organizations dealing only with a
    Town meeting decision don't have to disclose their finances, it's
    difficult to say what the campaign cost and where the money
    came from. At this point it isn't even clear what Waylanders
    for Smart Growth is. Note that unsaid is that we also have no idea how much CARD spent, or where their money come from.

    The leaflet and ad characterized the all-housing alternative in a
    way that an official of the Massachusetts housing agency
    described as seriously misleading. That's a strong accusation: I think that it would be important to supply a source and to indicate precisely what was misleading. Further, based on my experience with people at SOS, if they believed anything in their material was misleading, they would have changed it. Mr. Short should have alerted them to any issues. Perhaps because WVN ignores such email (and RSVPWayland as well), they perhaps think others ignore such emails - not the case with SOS.Though 150 of the 200 units
    would be sold at luxury prices, some voters at public hearings
    described the development as "low income."

    The advocacy groups urged voters to plan ahead to vote for the
    override on April 25 and then the mixed-use zoning at special
    Town meeting. That would be advocacy groups on both sides of each issue.

    During the May 3 meeting, casual conversations indicated that
    many voters may not have been well acquainted with the details. This is the beauty of Town Meeting, that voters have a chance to hear all the discussion and learn more about issues before voting.
    "What does it look like?" one voter asked another during a break,
    obviously unaware that the decision was not on a specific plan,
    but only limitations on the developer.

    A STRONG POLITICAL BASE

    Much of the effort was directed at, and by, parents of Wayland
    school children. The result may be a lasting political base
    representing less than half of the population but able to swing
    an election. Energizing a political base is nothing new at the
    national and state levels, but Wayland has seen nothing on this
    scale. The items Mr. Short cites were NOT passed by so-called "school parents" but the population at large, including substantial numbers of voters whose children are long gone. WVN does a terrible disservice to the town and insults these people repeatedly by affirmatively neglecting (and implicitly rejecting) the generous contributions that they make. Once again WVN is intellectually dishonest and purposefully divisive. It is not the parents that pass overrides, it's the general population that sees the direct link between our level of services and the well-being of the town.

    A precursor appeared in the spring of 2004 when a new political
    action committee in which Selectman Betsy Connolly was
    involved, Citizens for Wayland's Future, advertised heavily and
    distributed leaflets endorsing a slate of candidates who were
    associated with the existing power structure. The PAC was
    dissolved after state officials ruled that it appeared to be
    inconsistent with state campaign finance law. Connolly dropped
    out of a race for re-election in 2005 and later resurfaced as a
    founder of WaylandeNews.On our website, we list contributors, not founders. To be clear, Ian Hecker and I founded WaylandeNews, then brought in Larry and Betsy to help review material and provide content suggestions.

    In a letter last week in the Town Crier, School Committee Vice
    Chairman Bob Gordon thanked some of the key players in the
    successful 2006 campaign. He named the four co-chairwomen
    of Save Our Services, Superintendent Gary Burton and the entire
    School Committee, the Finance Committee, four of five
    selectmen (omitting Alan Reiss, who advocated a menu override
    vote and showed evidence that some residents struggle to pay
    their taxes), WaylandeNews and its staff, OneWayland, newly
    elected Planning Board member Dan Mesnick (but not other
    board members), High School Building Committee Chair Lea
    Anderson, town center developer Chuck Irving and Betsy
    Connolly. I spoke with Bob about his Thank You as regards WaylandeNews as were not advocates. He said "having a credible distribution vehicle for getting reliable information to the town is huge. You have done our town a truly extraordinary service"

    The town center seems to have won wide support from a variety
    of voters. But elected officials may now feel free to ignore some
    segments of the electorate. Advocacy emails criticized
    Selectmen candidate Mark Santangelo for "anti-school"
    positions. He lost. Before the override vote, four selectmen
    ignored pleas from citizens and Selectman Alan Reiss to
    declare public safety the top priority of local government and
    maintain $300,000 in basic services regardless of the override.
    Because of the prospect of closing the Cochituate fire station at
    certain hours, the issue alarmed residents living nearby, who
    account for two-thirds of emergency calls. The four selectmen
    repeatedly said that all town services would have to be cut
    proportionally if the override failed, in effect equating a file clerk
    with a fireman. Whatever their motive might have been, it
    evidently wasn't fear of the wrath of voters in the southern
    precincts.

    Recent Emails alerted residents to unfinished business:
    rebuilding or replacing the High School. The High School
    Building Committee is talking about asking voters for design
    funds in the fall. Don't be surprised at the next mobilization effort.
    I hope voters will remember that our school is in need of some kind of fix, and that our accreditation is at risk. I am sure that there will be supporters and opponents who will mobilize when this issue arises. And shouldn't they? I am proud to live in a town that cares.
    Last edited by Administrator; 05-11-2006 at 09:12 AM.

  2. #2
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    This issue seems to be resurfacing since my original post (above) over four years, as Michael Short declared on the Letters to the Editor page at the Town Crier that his newsletters take no positions ("As WVN readers are aware, the 359 newsletters and scores of alerts issued since 2004 have taken no positions.")

    Michael Short's letter is in this link
    Michael Tichnor's response letter is in this link

    For Jeff Dieffenbach's blog covering WVN (which he links to in the second link above) go to this link

    There is interesting debate after each of these, even including a comment by a former Selectman finding very low bias at WVN but far closer to Attila the Hun bias here at WaylandeNews (I found that comment sad and was surprised it was not followed up with an apology). I also found it ironic given that all opinions at WaylandeNews are issued here on this forum and open to public debate.
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 07-28-2010 at 06:41 PM. Reason: to add note that the original post in this thread was from four years ago

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    Kim,

    I wholeheartedly agree with you about WVN's consistent anti-BOS/SC/TC -- and generally anti-progressive -- "point of view". Indeed, the reason that I agreed to join the WaylandeNews Board was that it successfully isolated and labeled opinions in this Discussion Forum and in its rare editorials, where reader feedback and discussion are not only allowed but encouraged. Not so for WVN.

    And don't take Alan Reiss's "bias" comments to heart. As a frequesnt contributor to WaylandeNews, and as his comment to you (quoted above) attests, he knows better than that. His "Attila the Hun" comparison was, in my opinion, ludicrous, unworthy of him, and just plain dumb.

    Steve Perlman
    Last edited by Steve Perlman; 07-28-2010 at 12:36 PM.

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    "The lady doth protest too much".

    WVN is one of the most biased, unfair publications I have ever had the misfortune of reading. Their choice of words is almost always inflammatory, but oh-so-carefully chosen to appear "fact" based. Waylandenews does not need to defend itself, for all that does is lend credibility to the lies that WVN spreads about their unbiased "journalism". Take the high road, and continue to be transparent and open, and don't worry about those who don't have the integrity to admit when they're inflaming.

    Carl

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    I don't mind WVN's subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) "anti-establishment" bias. Clever/careful word choice should be the objective of all writers wishing to get their point-of-view across, as well as for those (vanishingly few) wishing to convey only facts. And the same applies for choice of what they report--it's fine with me if they have no interest in covering "town wins."

    That is not to say that WVN has no room for improvement. My suggestions:
    1. Have a regular "corrections" feature, and publish ALL corrections that hold water
    2. Add a "letters to the editor" and/or "discussion board" section

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    Default Are you folks, like, “Pleasuring Yourselves”?

    (I wrote this before Jeff D’s thoughtful response, so my sentiments aren’t directed towards his comment. WVN would be better for doing the simple things he suggests. Perhaps if they had a real website, and more help, they would.)

    My apologies for not reading or posting lately, I’ve been on break. But last night I stopped by and see what? I’d be embarrassed if I was you. It’s one thing to read Michael Tichnor’s divisive rant about “bad WVN” (he’s being true to form), but for eNews to participate in this finger pointing, is, for me, not understandable. I can’t even see what you’re trying to accomplish through it. Just disparaging some of your neighbors who put a lot of effort into creating something that they think is of value to the people of Wayland.

    Let’s look at WVN’s current newsletter (#362, here), the piece by Betty Salzberg. For all WVN’s faults, this is depthful reporting. Can you point to anything else (or anyone) in town that comes close to providing this kind of information? Can you name any board or committee member or town administrator who in the newspaper, on the town’s website, or in any manner, tries to explain what’s going on in town? Michael Tichnor? Please. Jeff D. (ex officio) does engage with the public (but he’s kinda odd, so perhaps he doesn’t count… grin). There’s nothing else like WVN in town. I can’t understand your lack of honesty.

    When I read WVN writing, I do use a “pinch of salt”. Like we all should with anything we read. It’s almost impossible for writers to separate who they are, what they believe, from what they write. We know this right? We are adult readers after all?

    Kim, it’s a good question, “Why don’t you link to the Betty Salzberg piece on the eNews front page?” Is it not as newsworthy as (what are today’s lead pieces) a run, and a lost dog? And for all you nay sayers, what’s that old bible adage about some kinda mote and log?

    So what’s the issue

    Is it too much to hope, that mature, intelligent people might move beyond this “bad guy” mentality? The people at WVN are sincere, contributing neighbors who try to do the best they can to create something of value. As are the people here at eNews. And to make the point, so are they at SOS. (I do find it harder to include Michael Tichnor, but let’s assume that’s just me.) So, what’s the problem? Hello, is there anybody in there?

    A digression, Kim, where can I find a copy of the final report of the Electronics Communication Committee? Their website had a weird name (what was it?), is it still up?

    And why can’t this Discussion Forum be considered WVN’s discussion forum (or the whole town’s for that matter)?

    Hope everybody’s having a great summer!

    donBustin@verizon.net

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    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    (I wrote this before Jeff D’s thoughtful response, so my sentiments aren’t directed towards his comment. WVN would be better for doing the simple things he suggests. Perhaps if they had a real website, and more help, they would.)

    My apologies for not reading or posting lately, I’ve been on break. But last night I stopped by and see what? I’d be embarrassed if I was you. It’s one thing to read Michael Tichnor’s divisive rant about “bad WVN” (he’s being true to form), but for eNews to participate in this finger pointing, is, for me, not understandable. I can’t even see what you’re trying to accomplish through it. Just disparaging some of your neighbors who put a lot of effort into creating something that they think is of value to the people of Wayland.
    Don, you perpetuate an error when you describe eNews as "participating in this finger pointing." Wayland eNews is in essence a news aggregator. They have an executive director and a 3 member board. As an organization, their activities are limited to eNews "proper" and to occasional editorials on the Discussion Forum. What I think that you mean to say is that "for *Kim Reichelt* to participate in this finger pointing is, for me, not understandable."

    That important detail out of the way, you are the proverbial pot calling the kettle black. The main point that has been going around is that (a) WVN has a point of view while denying same and (b) WVN does not act like a real news organization by not having a way to correct errors or write a letter. You and everyone else who's commented on WVN on the Town Crier board and here has basically agreed with this. And I don't see what's wrong with this. Why is it that when Kim calls it as she sees it, it's finger pointing, but when WVN does the same, it's reporting?

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    Let’s look at WVN’s current newsletter (#362, here), the piece by Betty Salzberg. For all WVN’s faults, this is depthful reporting. Can you point to anything else (or anyone) in town that comes close to providing this kind of information? Can you name any board or committee member or town administrator who in the newspaper, on the town’s website, or in any manner, tries to explain what’s going on in town? Michael Tichnor? Please. Jeff D. (ex officio) does engage with the public (but he’s kinda odd, so perhaps he doesn’t count… grin). There’s nothing else like WVN in town. I can’t understand your lack of honesty.
    I've never heard anyone say that WVN is always bad. Some of their reporters to a better job of being objective than others. And some of the work of their reporters is better than other work by those reporters. So what? That in no way proves that they haven't crossed over the line into opinion and error on far too many occasions.

    As for examples of town officials providing information, the School Committee distributes a frequent newsletter. The same is true of the High School Building Committee. You write, "There's nothing else like WVN in town." No disagreement from me.

    But please, if you are going to accuse Kim of being dishonest, please back up that libel. In fact, I would argue that you've just violated the first rule of the DF, "1. Do not engage in personal attacks, defamation, libel or flaming." However, I'm of the opinion that leaving your bad behavior in place is better than removing it, as it says far more about you than it does about Kim.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    Is it too much to hope, that mature, intelligent people might move beyond this “bad guy” mentality? The people at WVN are sincere, contributing neighbors who try to do the best they can to create something of value. As are the people here at eNews. And to make the point, so are they at SOS. (I do find it harder to include Michael Tichnor, but let’s assume that’s just me.) So, what’s the problem? Hello, is there anybody in there?
    So, you want to move beyond the "bad guy mentailty" in practically the same breath that you trash Michael Tichnor? Nicely played. When you've contributed 1/100th of the positive service to the town as Michael has, maybe your words will carry some weight.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    And why can’t this Discussion Forum be considered WVN’s discussion forum (or the whole town’s for that matter)?
    In fact, that is exactly what the DF is, good of you to notice. The presence of the DF is particularly laudable given how the WVN refuses to provide same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    My apologies for not reading or posting lately, I’ve been on break. But last night I stopped by and see what? I’d be embarrassed if I was you. It’s one thing to read Michael Tichnor’s divisive rant about “bad WVN” (he’s being true to form), but for eNews to participate in this finger pointing, is, for me, not understandable. I can’t even see what you’re trying to accomplish through it. Just disparaging some of your neighbors who put a lot of effort into creating something that they think is of value to the people of Wayland.
    Don, I probably should have started a new thread, rather than adding onto an existing one that is over four years old. My original post was made at a time during which I had issues with bias with most of WVN newsletters. I then ignored this issue pretty much for a long time. It resurfaced because of Michael Short's "we take no positions" letter. It generated a lot of discussion on the Town Crier site, discussion which will, inevitably disappear into the hard-to-retrieve archives of that site. So I opened up the discussion here.

    I will say that I think that WVN has a done a somewhat better job in recent months than they did back in the 2005-2006 timeframe of reporting information. As Jeff D noted, some of their reporters do a better job than others of reporting objectively. I have no objection with their putting out newsletters with their own slant in them. I just think it's silly for them to claim not to have a slant, and I think it's wrong that their corrections have been so infrequent and, in a case or two that involved me personally, so completely inadequate. I think they should provide a mechanism for feedback. They are a Yahoo Group, which are by default two-way streets, but they have intentionally turned off the feedback mechanisms.

    So, anyway, while my original post was to dissect a WVN piece that I found to be quite biased (just short of the point of explicitly taking a position), my later one was to raise the flag that this might be an issue people wanted to talk about.

    WaylandeNews was compared unfavorably to Attila the Hun on one of those Town Crier comments. So while I hear and largely take Carl's advice not to feel a need to defend myself, I thought it worth at least repeating those comments to air them publicly so they can be assessed and, hopefully, dismissed by those who are more knowledgeable. What do you think, Don, of that comparison?

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    And why can’t this Discussion Forum be considered WVN’s discussion forum (or the whole town’s for that matter)?
    Don, most of WVNs readers probably don't even know this forum exists. But do feel free to think of this as the place to discuss WVN pieces. That is just the sort of openness and transparency I think we can all agree is a good thing. I think such discussion would be terrific.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    A digression, Kim, where can I find a copy of the final report of the Electronics Communication Committee? Their website had a weird name (what was it?), is it still up?
    I'm not sure. When I have another moment, I'll see if I can dig it for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    I can’t understand your lack of honesty.
    Missed this comment on yours in my original response. I welcome an elaboration on my lack of honesty, or alternatively, perhaps an apology.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    Kim, it’s a good question, “Why don’t you link to the Betty Salzberg piece on the eNews front page?” Is it not as newsworthy as (what are today’s lead pieces) a run, and a lost dog?
    The Pan Mass Challenge is a huge fundraiser for cancer, and many Wayland residents participate. I pride myself on the amount of effort I dedicate to the charitable efforts and good things that go on around town that are often overlooked. And that dog was found and returned home -- I don't know if our posting had anything to do with her return, but that is just the sort of thing I am grateful to be able to play a role in. These are among the things that are important news stories in a small town.

    Don, we have discussed among our Editorial Board linking to WVNs reports in the past. Some of their pieces are worthy, others are not. And that is the challenge. We don't link to editorials or Letters to the Editor (except here on the Discussion Forum, where opinion is to be discussed). So, some of their pieces are like editorials and others are like news pieces, and sometimes, unless you've been to a particular meeting, it's hard to know which is which. Further, in news pieces in news websites, readers can add their comments and corrections below in the comments section, which can't happen with WVN. So there's the rub. If WVN allowed for feedback and properly labelled opinion as opinion, we could link to their news stories and discuss their opinion pieces here. In the meantime, we can just discuss all of their pieces here, as you sort of suggested.

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    Note that by bundling reports on multiple topics into a single newsletter, WVN makes it difficult to link to their "articles" the same way that WEN can link to discrete articles in the Town Crier, the Boston Globe, and elsewhere.
    Last edited by Jeff Dieffenbach; 07-29-2010 at 11:04 AM. Reason: Typo correction: I originally mistyped "bungling reports" instead of "bundling reports."

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    Angry I'm hurt

    You know Don, lost dogs are not a topic to be trifled with. As a proud owner of a blind dog, I know that they are as important as children to their owners, and when they stroll off and cannot be accounted for, the panic that sets in is no less traumatic than losing track of a child or other loved one. It's a poor reflection on you to make light of something as important as notifying the public that a dog has gone missing. The more people that are aware of the issue, the higher the likelihood that the dog will be located and returned to the frantic owners. You should be ashamed of yourself - and if you are a dog owner, I sincerely hope and pray that you never feel the pain and panic of losing him or her.

    Carl

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    I know I have a weird sense of humor but I do get a kick out of how you people respond. Makes me happy in a funny way. Make me want to repond like in one of those “dumb, dumber” movies, like, “I just love you guys!”

    That said, Jeff D., I worry about you. Why the “attack mode”? I didn’t think I said anything that bad. To explain plainly. While it’s great that anyone can post, link, and discuss any topic here, something seems askew when a thread focuses on WVN’s bias while ignoring the actual quality of it’s contribution. Betty Salzberg’s article is good reporting that informs about the workings of the Conservation Commission. That is news and it’s of value to Wayland residents. (Michael Short and others who contribute to WVN also write well and, at times, pen pieces worthy of consideration.) That Betty’s piece and ones like it are not included in the “front page” news of eNews is, to me, a curious omission. Combined with the thread about bias, it leaves me wondering.

    One of the things I think Wayland needs is healing. You people here at eNews could do your part by being a wee bit more (consciously) open-mindedly inclusive. Link to WVN. Illuminate all sides of the issues.

    Jeff D., my fear for you is that you really can’t understand what being inclusive means. I think maybe Kim does. And Carl, I bet some people won’t understand me on this one, and I certainly hope you take this the wrong way, but you’ve actually become my favorite poster on the discussion forum. I mean, I ask if Betty Salzberg’s piece is as newsworthy as the two articles that at that moment happen to be on top of the front page, and you turn me into a dog hater, and don’t even answer the question. You gotta love it. I mean, “I’m hurt.”

    So, can any of you bring yourselves to say that Betty Salzberg’s piece is well written and has newsworthy content? I’d say, it is and it does. And until you at this website can say that, healing will be illusive, and you’re not being completely… oops, I’ll be a dog’s uncle, ah, just sue me.

    donBustin@verizon.net

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    Don, "attack mode?" I made two constructive (perhaps even "inclusive") suggestions for WVN. You, on the other hand, attacked Kim for dishonesty and attacked Michael Tichnor for writing a divisive rant, for being insecure, and for not being a "contributing neighbor." If I recall correctly (and I do), during the campaign, you (with your statement published by none other than WEN) were the only one who was divisive. Sorry, but you're the attack dog of late. Now, if your charge against me is standing up for my friends and colleagues when they are attacked, well, guilty as charged.

    As for Betty Salzberg's piece, I don't recall ever taking exception to it or anything else she's written. Yes, it's well written (not having been at the meeting, I can't speak to how accurately it represents what transpired). Yes, it's newsworthy. Satisfied?

    If your point is why Wayland eNews doesn't link to this piece, I can think of several reasons (speaking only for myself, and not for WEN).
    1. WVN does not routinely publish corrections.
    2. WVN does not have a "letters" feature.
    3. WVN's multiple-articles per newsletter format doesn't lend itself to linking to individual pieces.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Wayland MA
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    1,431

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    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    Jeff D., my fear for you is that you really can’t understand what being inclusive means.
    Rest assured, Don, dictionary.com bailed me out on this one. With that chore out of the way, perhaps you could enlighten me as to what you mean. As town officials go, I think I own the all-time record for engaging with residents of all perspectives. That sounds pretty inclusive to me. Please, share.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    117

    Default Responding to Jeff D.

    I apologize, this will be boring, I promise not to carry it on.

    Jeff, I try not to argue with you, it gets nowhere. You just seem confused to me. You miss points. You read things into what’s said. You pull things out of the air. I’ve pulled some of your quotes from your very recent posts. They’re numbered so I can respond below.

    Jeff’s quotes

    1. “Don, "attack mode?" I made two constructive (perhaps even "inclusive") suggestions for WVN.”

    2. “you are the proverbial pot calling the kettle black”

    3. “But please, if you are going to accuse Kim of being dishonest, please back up that libel. In fact, I would argue that you've just violated the first rule of the DF, "1. Do not engage in personal attacks, defamation, libel or flaming." However, I'm of the opinion that leaving your bad behavior in place is better than removing it, as it says far more about you than it does about Kim.”

    4. “So, you want to move beyond the "bad guy mentailty" in practically the same breath that you trash Michael Tichnor? Nicely played. When you've contributed 1/100th of the positive service to the town as Michael has, maybe your words will carry some weight.”

    5. “You, on the other hand, attacked Kim for dishonesty and attacked Michael Tichnor for writing a divisive rant, for being insecure, and for not being a "contributing neighbor."

    6. “you (with your statement published by none other than WEN) were the only one who was divisive. Sorry, but you're the attack dog of late.”

    7. “As town officials go, I think I own the all-time record for engaging with residents of all perspectives.”

    My responses

    1. My mentioning “attack mode” was about your previous comments about me, and you answer with your WVN suggestions.

    Some of you said about me are in 2-6. Incidently, what I wrote about your WVN suggestions was, “I wrote this before Jeff D’s thoughtful response, so my sentiments aren’t directed towards his comment. WVN would be better for doing the simple things he suggests.” Maybe I should retract that.

    2. Please explain, with examples. Your color is what?

    3. You accuse me of libel – that’s a serious charge Jeff. Please show us what you are referring to? You say I “accuse Kim of being dishonest”, of “personal attacks, defamation, libel or flaming”. Show us this “bad behavior” that you say is in my writing. If you can’t show us these things, I guess that will say a lot about you.

    4. & 5. It appears that you got parts of these two from this paragraph of mine:
    “Is it too much to hope, that mature, intelligent people might move beyond this “bad guy” mentality? The people at WVN are sincere, contributing neighbors who try to do the best they can to create something of value. As are the people here at eNews. And to make the point, so are they at SOS.”

    I think you missed something. And as an aside, I guess that normal everyday townspeople can’t have opinions about their elected officials because their words “carry no weight”?

    6. I would suggest that everybody might reread both your and my posts in this thread and form their own opinions. (of course, if I was everybody, I wouldn’t bother)

    7. Pretty full of ourselves are we?

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