Straight Talk

HONEST talk about local issues!

How about some facts in the local news media?

justthefactsFor those of you who rely on the Lakeville Journal for your local news, I should advise you to take what you read with a grain of salt.

The February 2, 2012 edition reports in an article entitled ‘PZC’s chairman points to sign no-nos’ that various zoning regulations were being violated by businesses in the village of Salisbury.  The article is based on a report that was issued on January 17, 2012 following an investigation by P&Z Chairman Michael Klemens and Zoning Administrator Nancy Brusie.  This report is the result of repeated complaints from the owner of the Chaiwalla Tea Room, Mary O’Brien.

Ms. O’Brien made numerous attempts (which were shoved to the side over a period of months) during public comment time at the P&Z seek action concerning her complaints and ultimately confronted P&Z members after their meeting on January 2, 2012.  This finally resulted in action.

Turns out there were violations.

One of the most interesting statements in the Lakeville Journal article causes me to pause and wonder how much follow up, or even ‘fact finding’ is done by this paper when it covers news items.

The article reports:

O’Brien’s last complaint concerned the Ragamont, which she said is operating as a bed and breakfast.

Klemens and Brusie said, “We could not substantiate or refute these allegations. There was no data provided by the complainant that we could independently verify that would lead to this conclusion.”

At the very meeting in which this report was released and discussed by the P&Z, one need only reference the minutes to find out this statement is not quite factual.  Here are lines 28 – 30 from those minutes:

There was some confusion concerning the Ragamont Inn operating as a Bed and Breakfast without P&Z approval. It was determined that since the Ragamont advertises itself as a B&B on its website and in the paper, a citation will be sent to them as well.

(Note:  I was personally in attendance at this meeting, so I know this to be true.)

Further, one need only visit the website for the Ragamont to see that it portrays itself as a Bed and Breakfast.

Once again I am frustrated by the local media and the reporting it does.

It seems that strict standards should be in place for fact based reporting.  Considering this little corner of the world has to rely on The Lakeville Journal and The Waterbury Republican American as their only print sources, one should think we could count on accuracy in reporting of important public matters.  In fact, The Republican American rarely covers Salisbury’s Planning and Zoning Commission at all.

The only other sources are CATV 6, which unfortunately is only in homes with Comcast Cable (so it is not available to everyone), and the nation’s ‘smallest minded’ NPR station, WHDD, which spends most of its time beating up on the Region One Board of Education and its associated Central Office.  I am not even sure they know what P&Z is!

Maybe someday this corner of the world will have some source of news it can count on for truth and accuracy.

For the moment, the facts have been published at this blog for you to read and share.

Now you know the truth!

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One thought on “How about some facts in the local news media?

  1. george parsons on said:

    the ragamont advertises itself in numerous places as a bed and breakfast but before that i believe a place for drug rehab.If you have the money anything is possible in transparent salisbury

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