Whiners beware: Another reporter is on the job

I had a talk with my boss just the other day about the constant barrage of complaints, false accusations and outright threats the anti-incorporation faction has launched against me over the past few months.

Let me say right from the start that it's only a handful of particularly vocal, particularly negative people who have been causing all of the ruckus.

Most of the residents I've spoken to or dealt with who say they oppose incorporation have been nice, normal people, and I've enjoyed our conversations.

I can handle complainers: I'm a mom and I'm accustomed to having to wipe noses and roll my eyes heavenward.

But things were getting way out of hand. That horrid handful of hatefuls were writing viscious letters to other newspapers and screaming every time an article about the proposed incorporation appeared in the Gazette. They felt they were not being fairly represented, etc., etc.

They even dared to try to drag my personal life and my integrity into the mess they were attempting to concoct.

Haven't those individuals and those other newspapers ever looked up the definition of the word "libel?" That's dangerous ground, and they were stomping all over it.

This is the bottom line on why the issue has been covered as it has been since the beginning: The incorporation opposition doesn't have public meetings and the pro-incorporation folks do.

I offered frequently over the past year to attend anti-incorporation meetings and report on them, just as I did with the pros.

When the county Board of Supervisors unanimously approved sending the incorporation issue to the ballot in a few weeks they also suggested the antis might want to consider having public meetings if they hope to garner support for their cause.

Whether they have listened, I have no idea. I'm not on their guest list.

I mentioned my offer again last week to one outspoken anti-incorporation gentleman. He said the antis don't have group meetings. And he informed me that he has relayed my offer more than once to those who supposedly lead that faction.

Their "leader's" alleged reply? "I wouldn't have that woman in one of my meetings."

So, there you go. They whine and kick their heels on the floor, screaming for "fair" treatment, then refuse to cooperate.

I think I feel my eyes rolling heavenward. Anybody got a hanky?

Newspapers go where the action is and where the crowds are in situations like this. We don't have time to do all of those of interviews with individuals.

I have tried to balance the coverage by printing the letters from those of you who don't want to see Golden Valley incorporated.

I've said it before, and I'll very likely say it again: You deserve to have your opinions heard.

Granted, there were some letters that were aimed primarily at denigrating individuals, harming reputations and blowing smoke screens to confuse the issue, rather than keeping to the incorporation. Those I refused to print.

At first, I allowed some of the lesser volatile personal slams to show up in the Gazette, but that seemed to open the door to nastier and nastier letters.

My boss received many of the same letters, and those never saw the light of day in the Miner for the same reasons they didn't make it into the Gazette.

As loyal readers will recall, I even printed a couple of particularly venomous poison-pen letters aimed at yours truly.

And you'll recall that I finally got fed up and came back with a heated reply. Even saints have their limits, and I lay no claims to sainthood.

The kind of baloney they were pitching around gets old very quickly, and the letters policy printed on this page stands.

Keep those letters aimed at the issues and you'll see yours in print.

Start attacking individuals with unsubstantiated accusations and innuendo, and those letters will not appear in this newspaper. That's libel, plain and simple, and I won't be part of it.

But back to my conversation with my boss.

I could have sworn I heard the "Hallelujah Chorus" when he asked me if I would like for him to assign a reporter from the Kingman Daily Miner to take over the incorporation coverage.

I practically jumped for joy!

He said he was concerned at the amount and intensity of the heat I've been getting, and the pot continues to boil and will keep boiling until this incorporation question is answered at the polls on Sept. 11.

When he made the offer, I started to quote Mr. T's "I pity the poor fool," but stopped and simply heaved a deep sign of relief and said I would love to have this particular albatross taken from around my neck.

So, from this point out, the lion's share and possibly all of the coverage concerning the Golden Valley incorporation issue - whiners and all - will be handled by reporters from the Miner, my sister paper.

That frees me up to take a fresh look around at the communities under the Gazette's coverage umbrella, so I'll see you as I'm out and about.

Those who have story ideas should, as always, feel free to call them in to the Gazette office at 565-9700; e-mail them to me at dnewman@kingmandailyminer.com; or fax information to 565-2398.

Hallelujah, halle-e-e-lujah!