Fallacies, Inaccuracies, and the Very Modern Ms. Burcham

(if you feel so inclined - check the chatbox to the right as you read this. Im there if there's anything you wish to say)

So the City's own Hillary Burcham, Grand Dame of High Social (t)reason and overall deep-thinker has shown how little she cares to understand Roanoke.

What-Who-How? you ask.

Well, let's start back a year or so. When I was searching for a new location for Forgotten-HQ, I was advised to stay out of certain areas of the city. NW and SE to be precise. But knowing that the city reported crimes online by location, specific enough without divulging the actual address - I knew that the old NW-SE myths were false. And SW and NE had just as many problems as any other sector. It did give a good general guideline as to what specific areas to avoid in each, and combine that with some good old Common Sense - and behold - a happy and secure resident of Southeast.

And I, for one, am glad that the "certain individuals" within the city decided to ignore Ms. Burcham's orders to cease and desist reporting Quadrants. Without that information, it might have taken longer to find a home - might have cost me time and money, and I might not have been so lucky to find the HQ high atop a hill overlooking Roanoke.

What we really need to examine are Burcham's reasons for cutting off the quadrant system.

From the article (and the heretics mouth): Under a directive from City Manager Darlene Burcham, officials are not allowed to provide quadrant designations in news releases reporting crimes or fires.

To include the quadrant portion of the street names, Burcham reasons, could fuel negative racial and socioeconomic perceptions about certain areas of the city.

The city administration prefers to think of Roanoke as one community, she said, and believes that dividing it into quadrants would create barriers.

And these are exactly the leadership skills that got her the job in the first place. Of course, that's not the entire story. I have it on good word that Ms. Burcham quite often gets lost going places in the city, and blames it on the quadrants (as well as whomever gave her the directions). Not that she has the best driving record going anyway. How many city vehicles has it been now? Not to mention the untold amounts of man-hours spent dealing with her bi-polar decrees.

But she means well - with the line about the "perceptions of certain areas of the city." So I guess the West End will be renamed Disney Land to avoid any stereotypes too. Will Old Southwest become the Monarchy of Reichert?

But I digress.

The real story here is the fact that Ms. Burcham has seen fit to quash the free-flow of information coming out of the city. No longer can a citizen get reports of crime, now it must come via official channels - and even those are limited to an e-mail (with little information) or a news story (which is usually just the e-mail copied).

And then there is this gem: A document explaining Burcham's position provided to The Roanoke Times adds that "we do not want citizens to show up at the scene of an accident or crime and interfere with police or fire operations."

Considering the speed at which the city releases any information, the likelihood of someone rushing down to a crime scene, or a fire based on the city releasing information about it is marginal at best. Due to the topographic terrain of Roanoke, it is often hard to determine where an event is taking place. You might hear sirens rushing this way and that - but unless you are in direct line of sight of the event, there is rarely the chance to see what is happening. Our local news stations and news papers sit complacent waiting for the official word from the city, rather than gathering information on their own.

In other words, most citizens do not get the chance to ever discover what all the fuss was about. And thus, we are in the dark. Just as they want it.

I said it yesterday during council sessions - they love the fact that the citizens are so ignorant of what they are doing, they can do what they wish and get away with it.

This is just an extension of that.

Special thanks to reader R. Provolone for the heads up on this. There's still more to be said, but I'll be back later.

check for me in the chatbox today - I'll be there on and off.

1 comment:

Jen said...

I guess when WDBJ and WSLS send news alerts by text messaging or emails we can figure out what's going on where in our fair SCHIITY....