Wednesday, February 16, 2005

In the Advertiser

Ok, I know it's a little bit of a strange complaint coming from me since I seem to think that the fiber plan is the most interesting thing going on in Lafayette these days. So it's a little odd that I am made uncomfortable when fiber news is given headline status on the front page of the Advertiser for the first time in a long while.

Maybe giving you a little visual aid as to how that headline looked will help:

Council rejects Fiber 411 plan
Huval: LUS project nearing the point of no return

The introductory paragraph presents what sounded to me—and I was there listening closely—like a pretty hastily assembled, 'look what we did today' (oh, no, we haven't yet called Cox) sort of suggestion as THE story of the night. Granted, it was the most dramatic moment of the fiber evening and I think (as noted in a earlier post on how the issue was handled in other media outlets) that the suggestion was generally given too much credence in all the media. But this is a bit over the top. For one thing, I didn't hear and after reading the article still didn't see anyone 'rejecting' the suggestion. Surely the council was cool toward the petition and the petitioners and surely they made clear their doubt about any compromise offered by folks who just the day before had decided to sue them. Since Fiber411 has nothing to give up in this "compromise" and is suggesting only things that others could do to further their declared goals, some real doubt is justified. Our elected officials are as good politicians as any--and the self-serving part of Fiber411's suggestion is obvious to any well-schooled politician who has learned to be wary of "compromises" offered by supplicants who offer other peoples' advantages in trade for what they want without giving up anything of their own in the compromise. The phenomena is instantly recognizeable by anyone who has been involved with neighborhood organizations.

If the placement and emphasis seemed a mite sensationalistic, what made it even more surprising was that the Verot School/Ambassador Caffery road building conflict didn't make the front page at all--and I can tell you that this issue is why the real crowd was there last night. We had three mayors contending, a lot of public comment and interest, and a very uncomfortable and extended line of questioning for administration employees. Several members of the council stopped just short of saying this was a manufactured crisis. In terms of interest and passion, the fiber story was not the story of the night. Maybe it should have been--I tend to think so, given my interests--but traffic and roads were clearly the chief focus of the majority of the council and the citizenry at the meeting.

I'm not at all sure how the Advertiser editorial staff is thinking about all this....


Neal Breakfield said...

Dear John:

Why is it that you are the only one who posts on your web site?

Oh, wait... Joey has something to say:

"It's a little scary... thinking of government getting into an entrepreneurial role is something that we were all kind of taught in civics that government doesn't do. Government doesn't compete with the private sector."

- Joey Durel, Campaign 2003

John said...

Folks, this is typical of Neal and, I have to say, the folks at Fiber411. If you'll look at adjacent posts you'll see that Neal, instead of actually responding to any of the articles or commentary just repeats himself 18 times. There’s no communication attempted. It's a tantrum; the (im)moral equivalent of pissing on a neighbor's wall because he said something you didn't like.

It would be easier to develop some respect for these guys if they'd show some for themselves.

Likely what is frustrating Neal is the growing wave of formerly silent support made visible in response to Joey Durel's call to action. And likely LPF is a target because he doesn't like what I say about the boys in response to yesterday's tirade posted to our site. (See

He can't answer real questions. He just continues to parrot whatever the last angry thing he or some handler feeds him.

I'll repeat what is obviously a futile plea: Start answering real questions. Quit mouthing nonsense.

I'm out of patience with these guys.

Neal Breakfield said...


People who can beat the message don't waste time trying to beat up the messenger.

WE have thick skin. You have no message.

The community's RIGHT to vote on this is not a luxury, it is a necessity. It is the law.

You want to break the law to ensure that you get your way.

You are entitled to your opinion, but if you try to break the law to infringe on OUR rights, WE can and will do something about it.

And no amount of insults will dissuade US from it.

Neal Breakfield said...


You are absolutely right about one thing: I was rude and I apologize. No excuses. I apologize to you and all the other users for spamming your site.

It will not happen again... with one exception: I will post this where I spammed in hopes that it will clear the air.

I want what I think most of us want: a meaningful, informative and civil discussion where all sides can be heard.

John said...


Thanks, that's a gracious and straightforward apology.


We all get wound a mite tighter than is good for us at times. Myself included.