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Thread: Problems with WVN #125 11/17 Email

  1. #1
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    Default Problems with WVN #125 11/17 Email

    It is difficult to respond to the Wayland Voters Network article on the 11/14 School Committee meeting as a news article. It contained numerous inaccuracies, and plenty of editorial opinion on what was ostensibly a reporting piece. Since the "reporter" was at the Public Session, he should have made his personal comments there, rather than in a news article. Among his editorializing were comments about what Dr. Burton "apparently believes", that his discussion of cuts "could only be described as a sales pitch", that he was "visibly upset" (implying an unprofessional over-emotional response, which could not have been further from the truth).

    The reporter says: "In last year's override debate, for example, the case for passing the override was presented as a matter of maintaining services, but in fact two new positions (an elementary reading teacher and a high school learning center teacher) were added", but he neglects to mention that other positions (two elementary curriculum coordinators) were eliminated as offsets. The reporter notes that Burton said that the cuts "would degrade the Wayland school system from top-notch to merely very good"; in fact, Burton said that the cuts would "dismantle" the school system.

    The reporter describes the audience as being comprised mostly of new-to-town parents in the Happy Hollow area with preschoolers who moved to town for the schools. While it was certainly true that most speakers mentioned moving to town for the schools, many of them were from other areas of town, most had students already in the school system, and many were long-term residents. It was clearly more than a dozen, probably more like half (of an audience of 60-70), of the attendees who indicated they would consider leaving Wayland should these cuts come to pass.

    The reporter's comments about the appearance and disappearance of schools omitted any mention that these changes have previously only been made to respond to changing school population dynamics, and that our current elementary population is 200 students higher than when we closed and when we reopened Loker in the late 70s and early 90s, and 300-400 students higher than the population during the duration of the closure itself. The reporter comments on the "somewhat mysterious" rise and fall of school populations. Actually, there is nothing particularly mysterious about enrollment dynamics, and details are publicly available at the school committee website on past and current populations.

    Parent volunteers should be insulted by the reporter's remarks regarding "baking cupcakes and wiping noses"; they already provide large volumes of valuable volunteer services to the schools, including constant coverage in the school libraries, assistance to the Kindergarten teachers, the running of a diversity training program for 4th graders, community outreach programs, and fundraising for enrichment programs. While Wayland might want to consider that "athletics and music could be maintained as fee-based programs", voters might also consider that while many parents will be able to afford whatever activities they desire, others would have to forgo these opportunities. A move to a semi-private school should not be taken lightly. Wayland has been increasing fees in recent years, and the School Committee has indicated it is considering a number of new fees (some quite expensive) for the upcoming year.
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 12-06-2005 at 01:30 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thumbs up WVN is indeed incredibly biased

    Well put Kim. I complained to Mr. Short about his biased "reporting" (note the use of quotes, just like Mr. Short loves to do! ) and his response was that he was trying to provide commentary "in context" as opposed to simply repeating the same news that everyone else reports. I'm guessing that his definition of "in context" is "whatever he wants to push as an agenda". I'm really hoping that this forum is capable of providing a more forward thinking perspective of how Wayland should behave going forward. Things like Town Centers and top flight schools should be an obvious given for this town, and I know that there are a LOT of people who believe this. Unfortunately, the loud and repeated shoutings of the nay-say minority rule the day more often than not, simply because they seem to have unlimited time to devote to getting their way. At least we managed to get us a cell tower! Can't wait for it to go online!

  3. #3
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    Default Lookout WVN..we are getting organized!

    My thoughts on the WVN are already posted on:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/United_Wayland/

    I cannot waste one more minute re-stating my disgust for this group! Feel free to go there if you want another personal testimonial supporting the other posts on this topic.

    Thank you to the creator of this forum- nice to be allowed the opportunity to post (unlike WVN). There are a growing number in the Wayland community who are beginning to discover WVN's scare tactics, lies, and completely biased techniques--I'm hoping forums like this can begin to offer Wayland voters the truth about who is hiding behind that curtain labeled "WVN" and how dangerous they are to the freedom and growth of our community. If only WVN could bottle their negativity and time spent criticizing public service/volunteer efforts in town, and put all that energy into constructively building community----just imagine!!!

    There is power in knowledge, so please everyone, spread the word to neighbors/friends that they need to get involved and hear the facts for themselves...attend a meeting, make sure to vote, and understand that the only "meeting minutes" worth believing are those produced by the committee themselves.

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up

    I was thrilled to find out about the Wayland ENews. Two weeks ago I was lamenting to a neighbor that there should be a website with forums for people to get involved and have a voice, given the negativity and bias of the WVN. So many people that I have talked to are frustrated with the current state in Wayland, feeling that the Town Meeting votes do not reflect the sentiments of the whole town population. It is my hope that this site will keep people involved, discuss the issues, and help move Wayland forward in a positive way. I also hope that it serves to make people aware of all the issues, instead of making decisions based on signage alone or biased reporting. Wayland faces many challenges, and having community members at loggerheads or not involved gives us little chance moving forward. The status quo will not hold up well over time.

  5. #5
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    I think The WVn Does a great service to the voters lets not beat them up ok
    that is not these forums are supposed to be about
    Thankyou

  6. #6
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    I respectfully disagree. I think it would be terrific for WVN to attend meetings and write up summaries if they were fair and balanced in their reporting. And it might even be OK for them not be fair and balanced if they allowed recipients to provide feedback. But, in my opinion, their summaries are not fair and balanced, and there is no way for anyone to correct them. When I've sent them corrections, they have ignored me. Sometimes WVN is completely accurate, sometimes it is accurate, but not complete; sometimes it is just flat out wrong.

    Over 600 people get these emails, and they are often misled by what they read. I read some of those reports and just cringe. I ask myself, "was that the same meeting I attended?" But when they are wrong, I have no way to reach the other recipients, and say, "Hey wait - that's just not true!"

    WaylandeNews takes a completely different approach. We are open and accessible to all. And if WVN was a real news source, they would be, too. They use Yahoo Groups, and most Yahoo Groups are not one-way, they are open groups. WVN intentionally turned that off so they could broadcast their version of the news, and nobody could reply.

    Why not ask WVN to open up their Forum and let people provide feedback?
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 12-07-2005 at 01:08 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Lookout WVN..we are getting organized!

    My thoughts on the WVN are already posted on:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/United_Wayland/

    I cannot waste one more minute re-stating my disgust for this group! Feel free to go there if you want another personal testimonial supporting the other posts on this topic.

    Thank you to the creator of this forum- nice to be allowed the opportunity to post (unlike WVN). There are a growing number in the Wayland community who are beginning to discover WVN's scare tactics, lies, and completely biased techniques--I'm hoping forums like this can begin to offer Wayland voters the truth about who is hiding behind that curtain labeled "WVN" and how dangerous they are to the freedom and growth of our community. If only WVN could bottle their negativity and time spent criticizing public service/volunteer efforts in town, and put all that energy into constructively building community----just imagine!!!

    There is power in knowledge, so please everyone, spread the word to neighbors/friends that they need to get involved and hear the facts for themselves...attend a meeting, make sure to vote, and understand that the only "meeting minutes" worth believing are those produced by the committee themselves.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickypt
    I think The WVn Does a great service to the voters lets not beat them up ok
    that is not these forums are supposed to be about
    Thankyou
    I truly disagree--and I say this from my own personal experience. They do a great service for THEMSELVES and their own SELF-INTEREST. They claim their mission is to ensure that Town of Wayland voters are informed about Town decisions and to increase voter participation. The information they offer is biased and the voter participation they encourage is only that of those who agree with them. Now they may say the same of me, but let's not forget that I am not claiming to be a neutral source of information! Were they to redefine themselves appropriately and honestly as a self-interest group, then I might have some respect for them. Those in our community who are influenced by the WVN's tactics are really the only "beaten up" victims and for that, we all pay a large price.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lglick
    This is my first post, and hopefully not my last. I am appreciative that this forum has been created and am hoping that it will provide a forum for a civil discussion of the issues facing our town. It's a great idea. However, I am not interested in participating in a forum that is essentially going to be WVN vs. WaylandeNews. I am also not interested in being insulted by people who, instead of discussing the town center issue, for example, simply state that it is "an obvious given," and label those who expressed their opposition to it as "loud and repeated shoutings of the 'nay-say' minority."
    Gee. Didn't mean to insult you. Perhaps you could provide me with some evidence that shows WVN providing any sort of balanced reporting. Or perhaps show me some reason why a one-sided reporting structure that consistently takes the negative side of any issue is superior to allowing people to express their opinions. Your re-phrasing of my "obvious given" comment is simply stated an interpretation of what I meant, which was that this town needs to move forward and grow, or it will wither and die. The town center and the schools are just two relevant examples that I happened to choose as "obvious givens" for what healthy, growing towns need to do. If that insults you, then I think you need to re-think what it means to have a discussion.

  10. #10
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    This forum is in no way intended to be WVN v. WaylandeNews -- it is simply intended to provide an open and accessible venue for people to have civil debate.

    However, I think when any news source (be it WVN or the Crier, Globe, WaylandeNews, etc...) issues a write-up that is misleading or incomplete, they are fair game for a response. All the other sources I mentioned allow for feedback, except for WVN. Since WVN has intentionally disabled the feedback mechanism on their yahoo group, I think this forum is a completely appropriate place for it.

    If you disagree, I'd really like to know. Specifically, I am asking what you would suggest as a mechanism for informing people about the "rest of the story".

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