I was away during the Pal’s kerfuffle, but I have since read the BHC’s coverage and am very disillusioned. The paper carried five pro-Pal’s articles — a couple, virtually free advertising for the chain — plus three editorial-page columns, one by Del. Todd Pillion. The BHC put the issue in terms of five people’s aesthetic tastes against the world and tried to make the petitioners look silly. The latter’s concern is not with Pal’s, per se; it is with the fact that by ordinance, contract and covenants, every Meadows structure is obliged to conform to designated architectural standards, and Pal’s design does not. If the Town deems it wise to act otherwise, it is obliged to first change the laws and contracts; it is not permitted to approve a design simply on the basis of anticipated revenue and of orchestrated packed public hearings — which seems to be what some Town personnel are attempting to do — and in the process, misinforming the Planning Commission and the Council. Our economy is important, but it must be fostered legally and honestly.
The Herald Courier’s motto is Truth, Accuracy and Fairness. But instead of taking advantage of teachable moments in civics, the BHC ignored rather than explored the legal issues as well as ridiculed rather than applauded legitimate civic action. Its coverage came across as more an attempt to sway opinion rather than true, accurate and fair reporting. Further, the paper failed to deplore the xenophobia expressed at the public hearing.
This whole flurry of pro-Pal’s activity gives the impression of scripted coordination. Why this big tempest in what could be seen as a (Peachie) teapot? Think about it.