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Posts Tagged ‘editorial’

  1. Editorial: Public Forum Rant – October 2013

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    October 15, 2013 by wcobserver

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    The October meeting was dominated with discussions of wage and hour problems created by Mr. Bartholomew, uncertainty as to the status of the Parks  department in the city organizational chart and a proposal by Alderman Sergeant to “legitimize” the position of business manager. Each meeting has two minutes of designated time set aside for citizen comments. Mayor Hime: The chair recognizes Mr. Winkler, we can count on you.

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  2. Stand Up and Step Aside

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    May 8, 2012 by Steve Winkler

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    It’s time for West Fork’s Water and Wastewater Utility Commission Chair Virgil Blackmon to step down. Under his leadership the commission has moved from being cited and fined for violation of the Freedom of Information laws to actually being unable to state with any certainty how many members are even on the Commission.

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  3. Op-Ed: Risk Pool Needs Expanding

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    April 3, 2012 by wcobserver

    Patterson, Dean

    Regarding the case presently before the Supreme Court adjudicating the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act of 2010, otherwise known as “Obamacare”, the crux is whether the federal government can require individual citizens to purchase medical insurance, i.e., the so-called “individual mandate.”

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  4. Same Thing, Just Different

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    March 26, 2012 by Steve Winkler

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    Reality has overcome optimism … again. Our two year effort to bring quality local journalism back to the small town communities of south Washington County has ended. We were struggling in a business climate where size matters and the economics of scale rules. “Too small to succeed” is no less true than “too big to fail.” Add to that the fact that the newspaper industry has been in a downward spiral for a decade. Experienced newspaper people have always been skeptical of our belief in creating a profitable publication in a sparsely populated rural part of the county. The south part of the county has a lot of good people but is bereft of any of the commercial enterprises whose advertising dollars could fuel our venture. Cost cutting efforts eventually resulted in a downsized product. Going from being a weekly publication to every-other-week along with an increased single copy, vending price resulted in decreased circulation which in turn means fewer papers need to be printed. Our printer in Berryville was recently absorbed by a larger company in Harrison. Small independent printing companies reflect the shrinking character of the newspaper industry as a whole. In the glory days of the Observer …

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  5. Getting Out of the Shade

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    March 26, 2012 by wcobserver

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    Political culture is a curious thing. It always begs the question, “why can’t every- body be like me.” What seems so clear, so obvious to one person can seem so incredibly wrong-headed to the other guy. Democracy breeds ideological diversity. But still, why do we need a law that insists government business take place out in the open, accessible to all. Why do we need Sunshine laws and Freedom of Information statues? Can’t everybody see the advantage of open government? Last week was Sunshine Week. It was created by journalists but is also celebrated by civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others interested in the public’s right to know and open government. The idea of free access to information rests on the belief that people who are empowered will play a more active role in their government at all levels. And a democracy with more citizen participation leads to better lives and stronger communities for us all. For decades the leadership in West Fork has not made open, transparent government a high priority. The town has probably had more Freedom of Information Act com- plaints than Greenland, Farmington, Elkins, Prairie Grove, Lincoln and Winslow. There is a current investigation underway. …

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  6. Rendered Speechless

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    February 24, 2012 by wcobserver

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    Faithful readers of the editorials that ap- pear in this space are probably prepared for the usual arm-waving, bug-eyed rant that we spew forth when the West Fork City Council unleashes some action we judge to be worthy of ridicule. Not this time. This time, we are rendered utterly speechless by the council’s mind-boggling vote to override a judicious decision of the Planning Commission and create a two- acre, single parcel commercial zone in the midst of a residential district to accommodate the owner (who is chairman of the planning commission), because he “Has A Right” and wants a bigger tax deduction. There are few things more harmful to the character and livability a city than spot zoning, not to mention the council’s decision is an invitation to litigation. And there are fewer city councils anywhere who would so wistfully abandon any semblance of prudence. But, representative government being what it is, the decision by the council is the will of the citizens of West Fork. The council’s shortsighted irresponsibility has opened a can of worms. The ramifications of that St. Valentine’s Day massacre of common sense will undoubtedly be the topic of many future news articles and scathing editorial …

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  7. Occupy Doing the Right Thing

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    January 20, 2012 by wcobserver

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    The reason the Occupy Movement will not just blow over and fade into the on- slaught of election year political rhetoric is simple. Americans, for all their diversity, for all their wrangling and ranting, share one basic understanding: fairness. Social movements in this country follow much the same pattern regardless of the cause. They are often sparked by a seem- ingly insignificant event like who gets a seat on the bus, stopping a troop train or a police raid on a bar. For some reason, the “story has legs,” spreads, resonates with people and becomes part of the social con- versation. People debate and argue, offer analogies and give reasons supporting one point of view or the other, until the issue becomes so prominent in our national conversation that it can’t be ignored by the moral and political leadership. We’ve seen it happen with civil rights, the war in Southeast Asia, gender and sexual orientation inequality. After defining the dilemma and wrestling with the possible outcomes, the Ameri- can people often boil it down to “that just doesn’t seem fair.” The Occupy Movement poked its head up only a few month ago when a few hundred assorted activists, hippies, malcontents …

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