Wednesday, January 19, 2005

"The Home Stretch"

The Times has come out with a very interesting personality piece on our fiber controversy, if you don't try too hard to read it as an accurate recounting of the news story but instead look at it as a kaleidoscope of various ways to look at the issue.

The story, as I understand it, started out as an interview-based overview of the contending partisans (and not LUS/LCG). But with the emergence of a series of petition missteps, it looks as if it were incompletely converted into a news story.

What's missing are the perspectives and words of Huval and Durel, both articulate men with a distinctive point of view and an original voice. But what you get is interesting enough in its own right: the voices of those who are passionate about the project, both pro and con.

You'll get some definite opinions from Doug Menefee, Neal Breakfield, Mike Stagg and me. Not all partisans on either side fully agree and you'll get a taste of that, too. All in all, it's well worth reading. Nobody will really like this version, but it should inform us all about the way folks are thinking.


Anonymous said...

hey there, thanks for plugging the story. you were right, it started as an overview of the internet debate on the issue. however, I couldn't resist starting it off with the gloomy fiber 411 forecast for their petition. (which they now say they have completed.) sides, it was - i think - a boiling down of the latest standpoint on the petition issue.
from the get-go, i wanted it to be from the people, not the companies. i feel they, LCG/COX/Bell, have spoken enough in local media. i wanted something in real words, from real people, not spokespeople. I find that is an easier read. companies can talk all day about the pros or cons, but real people getting involved, speaking real speak has always meant more to me. readers have told me the article presented all sides in a clearer voice.
as far as no Huval, i did a sidebar about his take on rumors. what he says to the charges of a lack of programming, the "high" cost, etc. I don't know if that made it on the site, but it is available in the print edition.
all in all, i wanted this to be a numskull's read on the issue. speaking as a numskull, my talks with the three factions helped me formulate an opinion on the issue. (i don't live in Lafayette, so it is not as pressing that i have an opinion until they loop Ridge.)
anyway, hope you fellows enjoyed it, or at least saw where i was coming from. i appreciated all your help. stay dedicated!
- Nick Pittman

John said...

Hi Nick,

I thought it a good story,like I said. We haven't had anything that let shine through the passions of the sides since the Advertiser did a good story on the internet side way back when. And the passion, hopes and fears, is a chunk of the story that needs to be told. I do believe that the anti-guys are sincere...if a bit willfully obtuse about issues that should be central to their declared cause. --I think they are being deliberately evasive when the tell anyone that they are for LUS providing fiber while carrying out the central incumbent strategy for preventing LUS ever accomplishing that.

I held a bit on any critique because I've blasted the Times in the past (rightly and righteously) and wanted the praise to be unmistakable--but in the comments I'll say that I would have preferred hearing more from Bill and Tim, who I think, are pretty different from each other and Neal. Perhaps by accident all the words seemed Neal's. Of course I would have wanted that to come out of Neals already over-large portion of the piece.:-) But that is the old copy-editor in me and not a critique of the concept.

But that said, it was a real relief when we all talked that day to be able to talk mostly about what we hoped for instead of what other people fear. That is where the conversation ought to be. And, in more places than most, your piece moved that forward.