bellaparola | Indy Week

Member since Apr 6, 2007




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Re: “Rev. William Barber III, N.C. Dept. of Correction, David Watts, Sen. John McCain

I completely share the "zero" assessment of Apex and Wake County zoning and law enforcement officials and animal control officers, who felt there was nothing they could do even as this situation spiraled out of control over months and years. But I add to that assessment a new and future zero for the Apex council, for their knee-jerk reaction in banning all livestock in Apex. You're right - some people kill other people driving tractors down country roads. Let's ban all tractors!!! Apex is not Cary, at least not yet, and I think it's really too bad that they would now prohibit someone with a big, fairly natural lot from having a couple of goats to tend it, or prohibit a backyard duck or two. The problem wasn't with the livestock or even the lack of a livestock-regulating ordinance, it was a complete lack of common sense and/or observation skills on the part of those enforcers. The stench described has probably been a public nuisance, regardless of source, for years, and the description of the animals' condition leads me to believe the situation evolved into animal cruelty at least several months ago. If they didn't see or address these obvious violations, why pass more ordinances they can fail to enforce?

Posted by bellaparola on 04/07/2007 at 1:11 PM

Re: “Durham Dems to select Lucas' successor

Mr. McKissick does indeed have significant experience and other qualifications for the job. He also has the significant disqualification of having entered the process under an ethical cloud, which is not a good thing ever, and especially these days. The last politician I remember pulling this trick is Dick Cheney - and he's certainly not the role model for ethical leadership I would want if I lived in the district still. He should eliminate himself as abruptly as he inserted himself into the race.

Posted by bellaparola on 04/06/2007 at 2:57 PM

Re: “What's going on at The N&O?

Thanks for the expanded info. I had gathered most of it from the various bits dribbled out by the N&O, but appreciate the exposure of how badly the whole episode was handled rather than an episode, they stretched it, for no apparent reason, into an arc. You may choose not to include this lengthy missive in your forum I understand that it belongs to you, which many of those outraged by the N&O's deletion of its forums don't. I am not particularly on their side on that issue but I am as one with them on the way the N&O handles input and its users' concerns. My perception is that the N&O is one of those smarter-than-thou, phony-solicitous operations. You know, the ones that collect big bags of input from their viewers/readers/users/visitors and then shred them unopened, because after all, they are the pros and know what's best. I am one of the readers Ted Vaden mentioned in his column, who contacted him about what this article refers to as "nitpicks." He quoted me in the column but made it sound as though slightly nitpicky information I included as background to my complaint, that I detest all jumps in online news items was my complaint. It was not, as can be seen in the email below. It was to complain about the technical execution of their decision to add the detested jump pages, which was as poorly done as I've seen on any newspaper website, even the tiniest backwater burg's. I didn't just lay the complaint on the table, I fully explained it and gave examples of how and where it is done better, in several different ways. But in the column, I came off as a whiner, provided with the patronizing explanation that jumps allow the paper/website to sell more advertising. I would argue with that point, but even if it's true, my complaint was more with the way their jumps are presented and the absence of navigational assistance to use them. My message to him, and to Orage Quarles, the publisher, was the second one I sent. The first, to the management and technical staff of the online N&O, was ignored. Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2007 2:55 PM To:; Cc:;;;; Subject: [Fwd: Next page > NONSENSE] I find it stunning that not a single one of the addressees below could be bothered to acknowledge this message, let alone respond to it or better yet, reverse the exceptionally bad decision to add the Next page > jumps to the online version of the News & Observer. My opinion of them remains the same and I am equally stunned that it's not being done better by now. Date: 2007/01/28 Sun AM 10:53:00 EST > To: , , , , > Subject: Next page > NONSENSE What in the world is this new jump-page nonsense, and why are you doing it both differently and in a less user-friendly fashion than any other online newspaper? I absolutely detest jump pages in online news. There is just absolutely no reason to jump anything short enough to have run in a newspaper. I read about 2 dozen papers online regularly, and your new format is the first I have seen that ONLY says "Next page >" and/ or "Previous page >" in the same size font as the body text, and on my browser a pale blue, with no indication of how many pages there are and where in those pages I currently am. The Los Angeles Times, which runs far more very long-form articles than the N&O, has always had a page-count/position indicator/page selector at the bottom of every page of an article. In the past year or so, they apparently realized that their most desirable that is, brighter and better-educated readers were not amused by clicking through 12-page articles ad nauseam. They have added an icon next to the numbered navigator to allow the reader to select "Single page" instead. The New York Times also offers the single-page option now, and the Washington Post has a red Continued indicator and a clear, numbered navigator. The International Herald Tribune, which used to offer only a very different 3-column format and barely perceptible navigation at the bottom, now offers a choice of one or three columns. Both offer visible and useful position indicators at the bottom of the page, especially the latter version, where they are now significantly larger than the body copy. The only escape from multipage presentations - unless a single-page option like the LAT's and NYTs is provided - is to use the printable version instead. But months ago you made your printable view useless when you chose to include the giant box full of garbage on the right in that view as well. I am one of those select few who was a member of as soon as it was born and have been a loyal reader over the many years intervening, and a print subscriber when I have lived in the actual circulation area. It is true that in the early days, the NandO folks broke ground in online news and its presentation, but that is far from true now. You have demonstrated that with this silliness, which reeks of a desperate attempt to do it differently than the current leaders in the industry while failing to understand that different is definitely not the same as better. You all should be absolutely ashamed of these ill-advised attempts at progress, which instead push your product farther down the slope to irrelevancy.

Posted by bellaparola on 04/06/2007 at 2:20 PM

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