Published in News and Citizen 10-14-14

Check Your Paper

     When I spout off in this column please keep in mind that I realize for the most part I am addressing the already converted. I’m preaching to those who already have religion from the viewpoint of a newspaperman. Still, here goes...
     This week I have heard from quite a lot of good folks, who I can readily understand, are suddenly concerned about the multi-million dollar plan for HPES. When I am approached by someone with this concern I am actually a little shocked – not by their concern, but that they haven’t (apparently) been concerned for the past three months or more with the current plan and the past two years or more with whatever plan was progressing from an earlier plan.
     The fact is this newspaper has been publicizing HPES’ Next  100 group’s findings and meetings since its inception starting nearly two years ago. We have published at least seven of our own stories about HPES building plans since August 2012. Then we can cite a number of Neighborhood Commentaries and submissions of the Next 100 group. Here, at the paper, we feel this group has been quite public and open about its activities, findings and plans. Other pertinent events have been publicized in legal advertisements in this paper.
     Why has this paper not published information in opposition to the Next 100 groups findings and plans? We would have, if any had come forward. Several letter writers have addressed the plans and several have been generally concerned with school issues. But, no group or individual has submitted anti-HPES buildings articles to the paper. Of course, now that people are tasked with voting, the issue assumes a more than visionary reality. It’s a big new bill to pay. That always draws and concentrates focus and attention.
     We don’t and shouldn’t make the news. I stand by that. We don’t commit the front page crimes, nor do we automatically oppose or support whatever public project is proposed. If you have a different opinion, we will publish it as long as it is printable.
      As for a short answer to the question, “Why haven’t I seen more about the Hyde Park School plans?” I can only respond, information has been made available; it has been placed in public places, it is on this paper’s front page. It still is available, better get it fast! Your vote will count – if you cast it.
     Meanwhile, in passing, I might mention that Morristown is facing a lesser bond vote for a long considered purchase of their town clerk’s office. In case that’s news to you, we’ve been writing about the lead up to this vote for a year or more, too. Please say you read of it here! Once again Election Day will tell the story. Get informed, cast your vote, and all will be well. To build or to buy, those are the questions.