My column tomorrow is an interview with Gib Wallace, the retired Bureau of Reclamation planning engineer who spent the last 20 years or so designing and helping build the trails that we all love. It was a fun column to do because one of the more enjoyable things about being a columnist is the chance to talk to people about what they enjoy, or what they value, wehther it is newsworthy or not. In Gib’s case it is, but he’s the exception.
You will note, as you go through the column, that Gib avoids discussing the political storms swirling around the trail thing. The Weber County Forum is alive with rumor and supposition, but Gib is a “let’s just do this” sort of guy and is trying to avoid getting into the middle of all that. I don’t blame him.
I’m happy to get into the middle of it all, of course, with the caveat that I don’t print anyone’s rumor or supposition as anything but that, and then only with care. Rumors, frankly, give me the fantods, and I’ve got a very very sensitive “fantod detector.”
People who post stuff to the WCF, or other places, often wonder why I, or some other reporter, doesn’t just grab their posts as revealed wisdom and run with them. As I explained in a previous reply to a post, we don’t do that for a very good reason: It’s our name on the story and we have to be careful about what we run.
Listening to President Obama last night tell a reporter that he’d taken a couple of days to express his “outrage” over the AIG bonuses because “I wanted to know what I was talking about” was good to hear, and expressed my attitude precisely.
I do think Ogden’s administration needs to do a lot more public information work on this trail construction thing and other east bench plans. A situation where members of the press, and city council, get angry phone calls from people because of perfectly legitimate water line work is proof, on its face, that someone did a bad job of informing the public of what is going on.
But that’s what we’re here for at the paper, which is also a topic of another column, probably Sunday.
And, yes, when I told my wife I was a twit she said “and this is news, how?”