News & Record editorial page editor Steven Doyle had a column in the paper on Wednesday, April 25, that made me wonder what planet he is living on, because it’s not planet Earth.
The funny thing is that I agree with Doyle’s premise: Sean Hannity is not a journalist and neither are most of the people you see on network news. But then Doyle goes on to explain what makes a person a journalist, and I have no idea where he got this stuff.
Doyle states, “Reporters are bound by law and process to seek both sides of a perspective, even if that opposing perspective is thin or unavailable.” No, they aren’t. There is no such law, nor could there be because reporters are protected by the First Amendment. The idea that a reporter could be arrested for not presenting both sides of a story fairly is laughable.
He also states, “Journalists disclose our conflicts annually, through formal internal processes that require us to document any area in which our income might be derived from and personal relationships with those we might cover. Journalists are required to delineate stocks holdings, spousal employment and other nuances of relationships.”
No, they aren’t. Some companies might require that, but you can’t say that journalists are because they aren’t. There is no governing body over journalists that has a database of conflicts of interest.
The News & Record ran a big story on hiking trails in the area, including the opening of another portion of the 1,200 mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail across the length of North Carolina. The article raised the question, will the Mountains-to-Sea Trail be complete before the four mile Downtown Greenway, or will the Downtown Greenway win by a nose?
It seems I spend half my day throwing away emails I don’t want, but at least some provide entertainment, like the news releases that say “embargoed” until some date in the future. Do people really think they can send out information on the internet and then embargo it for a week, a day or even a minute?
Once someone sends me that information it is mine to do with as I please. There is no such thing as embargoed information unless the person who is receiving it has agreed to hold the information. Since these emails come unrequested by me, I haven’t agreed to anything. Instead of embargoed, the sender would be far better off putting a note reading: We would appreciate it if you didn’t publish this information before whatever time or date they want. “Embargoed” sounds like an order and it’s never wise to give orders to cranky journalists you don’t know and have no authority over.
The incontrovertible evidence of global warming is piling up. Chicago had the coldest April in 130 years and Detroit the coldest in 143 years. It is funny that in the summer, when the temperature climbs to around 100 degrees, as it is wont to do, it is proof that the planet is getting warmer, but when we have an unusually cold spring, it is meaningless or it also proves global warming – because global warming transmogrified into climate change.
Global warming at least makes sense – the earth is getting warming. Climate change is like weather change, it doesn’t make any sense at all. The climate is constantly changing. The reason the Middle East has so much oil is not because sand turns to oil but because there were vast forests where there is now nothing but desert.
Even during the piddling amount of time man has been able to record his history, we know that the climate has changed.
In the US, we have a problem with age. North Carolina joined the rest of the country with legislation passed last year to raise the age the courts consider someone to be a juvenile from 16 to 18. So in the vast majority of legal cases any person under the age of 18 will be considered a juvenile, which means if convicted of a crime they go to juvenile detention, and once they reach the age of 18 their criminal record is sealed.
But we are also being told that the people in the country who understand gun control issues the best are high school kids who are almost all under 18. So on the one hand we don’t think they have enough sense to be held accountable for crimes, like an adult, but on the other we should do what they say regarding gun control.
So at 18, a person is considered an adult by the courts, can vote, can join the Army, can get married, can enter into a legally binding contract but cannot legally purchase or possess a beer. It seems that all of those aforementioned rights are more serious and possibly life changing decisions than purchasing a beer, but those are the current laws of the country.
The Greensboro City Council talks a lot about jobs, but when was the last time it did anything to help businesses other than offer incentives. Here is an easy fix and it will save the city money: Do away with all the parking requirements in the zoning ordinance. Greensboro currently requires far more parking spaces than businesses need. If you don’t believe it, go to any store built in the past 20 years on any busy shopping day and count how many parking spaces are available. I recommend a calculator or abacus. I’ve never been on Black Friday, but I’m betting there are even empty spaces on the busiest shopping day of the year. But what if there aren’t? Does it make sense to build parking spaces for one day of the year?
Walmart, Harris Teeter, Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Aldi, Publix and all the other big retail chains build stores all over. They aren’t going to build a store that doesn’t have sufficient parking for their customers.
Recently, Greensboro’s first tiny house development was put on hold because the absurd zoning laws in Greensboro required each of these 200-square-foot homes, being built to house the homeless, have two parking spaces. They should have been able to build the tiny houses with no parking spaces, or at most a couple for the entire development. Would it be the end of the world if someone who lived in a tiny house bought a car and had to park on the street?
Doing away with parking regulations would save the city money because there would be less to enforce. It would save developers and business owners money because they wouldn’t have to build parking spaces that nobody ever uses, and it would benefit the environment because the city wouldn’t be requiring developers to grade and pave vast areas of land for no reason other than to satisfy an unnecessary regulation.
It also would help the environment and save the city money because there would be more green space and less impervious surface that requires storm sewers, detention ponds and other means of handling storm water runoff.
Businesses should be behind eliminating parking requirements as well as environmentalists. The only people likely to be in favor of keeping the regulations are city staff members who will have to give up some of their power to tell people what to do.
Other cities have eliminated parking regulations with remarkable success.