Wednesday May 04 2011
Editor's View: Reader takes jab at city manager's column
By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
Folsom resident Les Shifler sent an e-mail questioning the column by City Manager Kerry Miller published in last week’s paper. “It is interesting that The Folsom Telegraph is starting to print fictional pieces written by the city manager,” Shifler wrote. “I say this as it looks doubtful that the Telegraph bothered to check his facts before printing his fictional account of what really has been going on (with Sutter Street construction). … It is time that the Telegraph stopped being a mouthpiece for whatever bull the city wants to put out.” In a series of back-and-forth e-mails with Schifler, I explained that Miller’s column is just that — a column. He has a regular opinion piece in the paper and it publishes the last week of every month. I make space available to local leaders (from nonprofits to schools to public safety) to give our readers another option to learn what’s happening directly from the people responsible for those happenings. He also claims we are ignoring stories in town. “There are many other important issues that your paper glosses over, or ignores,” he writes. “I can send you a detailed list. I am not taking swipes at you or the paper; I want you to investigate the truth, and report facts, nothing more and nothing less. … You may feel that your approach is balanced, but I see gaping holes in the story, the tone of the story, and the desire to tell the real truth.” I don’t change the tone of submitted guest columns or try to insert my own opinions. The opinions expressed in those columns are strictly those of the person who wrote them. We strive to present both sides of the story. The Telegraph has published many stories over the last year focusing on those who are resentful of the construction and those in support of it. As a balanced newspaper editor, it’s something I will continue to do. Les, I appreciate your input and am interested in the list of story ideas you mentioned. ... Barbra Jacobs gets an official nod as the first person to respond to my column last week, utilizing the tips I suggested. “I hope my keywords get your attention,” she wrote. “Saw the article in the Telegraph about how to get items published and thought I’d give it a try.” She’s with the Folsom Flash Softball Team and, because she used the proper keywords in the subject line, I see her group is holding a Community Shred Day Fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 14 at the Home Depot parking lot on E. Bidwell Street. It’s only five greenbacks to get your bankers’ box of papers shredded. The Shred Biz is providing the muscle and equipment. Thanks, Barbra. ACCIDENT IN THE MAKING? As I sit at my desk at the Telegraph office, I often look out the window at the light rail station and the Sutter and Reading streets intersection. One thing I see frequently is driver confusion when trying to turn left onto Sutter from Reading (heading west). Reading Street boasts three lanes. There is a solid white line on one side of the center lane and a solid double-yellow line on the other. This is confusing and many attempt to make the left-hand turn from the far right lane. There have been many near accidents when two vehicles are attempting the left turn — one from the center lane and the other from the far right lane. A simple fix would be to paint an arrow indicating the center lane is meant for turns. Also, break the solid white line so drivers are aware they can enter the lane. In fact, as I typed in this column, I just saw a Folsom Police car make the same turn, from the far right lane. If it’s confusing to law enforcement, think about the average driver. I hope this is something easily rectified. Those are my two pennies. Don Chaddock is the managing editor of The Folsom Telegraph. He can be reached at (916) 351-3753 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column publishes weekly.