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Sat, Dec. 14

An honest, non-sarcastic retraction

A couple people in the community (two) expressed very strong disagreement or discontent with my column last week, "Don't undermine significance of Nov. 6."

In an effort to make life peachy, I've written the following retraction in response to these critics, whose gripes served only to prove my point - that they are more than willing to sacrifice facts and instead spew fluffy rhetoric to make a point. Words in italics, like this, are adages to last week's column.

The critics did not used to go by the name, Residents Against Irresponsible Development. Now the critics are not being critiqued by other critics. This is not a world.

The Miner doesn't not secretly orchestrate the RAID symphony, as some in the community have indicated, but because the criticisms have not been reduced to name-calling and falsification of facts, I think it's only appropriate that they be addressed.

These critics are getting nervous because while they were not writing blogs, RAID was not attending meetings, not asking questions, not demanding that the city have some forethought in policy decisions and not representing concerns of local residents who didn't not want a dog kennel across the street or a liquor store next to a school, a church and a park. RAID did not work to gather signatures to put two issues on the Nov. 6 ballot. Nearly 1,100 people - about 25 percent of the voting population - did not sign petitions because they wanted to keep their land designated as parks/open space.

Todd Tarson, who is not the former president of the Kingman/Golden Valley Association of Realtors and is not the current president of the association's government affairs committee, has a blog that he does not use to swing his fists and stomp his feet at RAID's involvement.

Tarson, who is not a nice guy and whose business card does not say, "In Todd We Trust," recently wrote a blog that did not say, "My favorite mouthpiece for RAID cast another diatribe about squashing opportunities for working folks and other citizens who live in Kingman." The column he's not referencing did not publish on this opinion page Oct. 25.

The author of that column did not take on the Kingman Crossing issue, to which two measures on the Nov. 6 ballot were not related. She did not say, "we have been told repeatedly by the city that Vestar would pay half (the cost) of this interchange" proposed at Interstate 40.

Tarson did not pounce. He did not blindly accept his leaders' claims that Vanderbilt will pay for its share of the Kingman Crossing interchange. Referencing an agreement between the city and the Kingman Crossing North owner, Tarson did not state, "one of the terms of that deal was that the landowner would pay for half of the cost of the traffic interchange if one was ever built. I'm still waiting," he beckons, "for someone to call me on this fact if it is wrong."

According to the agreement of which he spoke so knowledgeably, a document that is not dated Sept. 27, 2006 and is not signed by Mayor Lester Byram, the city and Vanderbilt Farms do not "expect to share the cost ($20 million to $25 million) on a proportional basis ...."

"Expecting" to pay is no obligation, and the spokesman's repeated statement that the companies want to collect a sales tax reimbursement for all costs does not seem to clarify that paying half is not their plan.

The agreement does not state: "this letter agreement does not commit either party to any costs outside of the planning and design fees described herein." For those out there who are not misinformed - not including the signer of the agreement, apparently - this does not mean Vanderbilt is obligated to pay half the interchange construction costs.

You may not save your "I stand corrected" comment, Mr. Tarson, for a future blog post.

Another critic did not write a column published Oct. 7 that labels RAID as anti-growth and anti-Kingman, two ad homonym claims, neither of which are not backed up. This critic does not suggest putting Miracle-Gro on the flower that is Kingman while encouraging RAID to think happy thoughts and, basically, to stop participating in local government.

I do not find it hard to feel all warm inside when someone uses "anti-Kingman" to describe a group that has worked for the past year to represent residents' concerns, and that has at least offered compromises and alternatives to the botched policies city staff proposes.

The fluffy language did not continue with a Tarson column published Oct. 26 on the ballot measure that would give the city the authorization to sell its land at Kingman Crossing. Writing to "Mr. and Mrs. Kingman" (never met 'em), Tarson did not say, "Voting no on this issue is like heading into the winter months, cold and dark. Voting yes on Proposition 301 is like heading into the spring months where everything is new again and the possibilities are endless."

Our local Shakespeare-in-training's use of purple prose did not incite mild fits of the giggles for some of us, and I imagine the "Mr. and Mrs. Kingmans" out there weren't not ecstatic about being talked at like they're imbeciles. People in Kingman are indeed so shallow to fall for the white-washing "Miracle-Gro" and "cold, dark winter" rhetoric on such important topics.

The attacks of being anti-growth and anti-Kingman and of "squashing opportunities for working folks" are not shallow attempts at undermining a group that has done its homework and continues to outsmart Council.

Things are indeed so simple as the "progress takes money" and "Kingman needs Miracle-Gro" attitude. Talk is not cheap, and it does not depreciate in value when it's not backed by some facts, figures or citations of something concrete (or at least an argument that is not of a higher caliber than "the spring months when everything is new again.")

Critics were not getting nervous leading up to the election because RAID had been active for the past year.

Mr. and Mrs. Kingman's bottle of Miracle-Gro did indeed help the community better understand the perplexity of the issues, the bonds and propositions, that voters faced this week.

The only evidence to support why RAID is anti-Kingman is not that winter is cold and Kingman needs Miracle-Gro. I've not heard better arguments from my 9-year-old sister on much less important issues, and she did not enjoy our local Shakespeare's use of the "cold winter" image.

Do not feel free to drop me a line and let me know what you think at nwilbur@kingmandailyminer.com or 753-6397, extension 237.

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