Scabies and the Dayton VA

In today’s Dayton Daily news, the leading non-news story was about failures at the Dayton VA. Not statistically relevant failures, not showing a real systemic series of failures (like the very real story of the dentist who was failing to properly sterilize his equipment and spreading hepatitis) but, just random whiners about their perceived lack of care.

However, one thing caught my eye:

Darrell Rodin …The self-employed handyman also claims the VA misdiagnosed a scabies infection.

via ‘They blew my trust’ | www.mydaytondailynews.com.

My father contracted scabies a few years ago- and it went misdiagnosed/mistreated as well. For almost a year, he and my mother, both struggled with the horrible itch of scabies. Considering they don’t get out much- the question of where he contracted it is still in question. He thinks a visit and overnight stay at the VA caused it, and here is another veteran complaining of the same thing.

For those of you who don’t know what scabies are-

Scabies (from Latin: scabere, “to scratch”),[1] also known colloquially as the seven-year itch,[2] is a contagious skin infection caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei. The mite is a tiny, and usually not directly visible, parasite which burrows under the host’s skin, which in most people causes an intense itching sensation caused by an allergic response. The infection in animals other than humans is caused by a different but related mite species, and is called sarcoptic mange.

Scabies is classified by the World Health Organization as a water-related disease.[3] The disease may be transmitted from objects, but is most often transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact, with a higher risk with prolonged contact. Initial infections require four to six weeks to become symptomatic. Reinfection, however, may manifest symptoms within as few as 24 hours. Because the symptoms are allergic, their delay in onset is often mirrored by a significant delay in relief after the parasites have been eradicated. Crusted scabies, formerly known as Norwegian scabies, is a more severe form of the infection often associated with immunosuppression.

Scabies is one of the three most common skin disorders in children, along with tinea and pyoderma.[4] As of 2010 it affects approximately 100 million people (1.5% of the world population) and is equally common in both genders.[5]

via Scabies – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

It’s not that common in older people.

Scabies is contagious and can be spread by scratching an infected area, thereby picking up the mites under the fingernails, or through physical contact with a scabies-infected person for a prolonged period of time.[15] Scabies is usually transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact. It can also be spread through contact with other objects, such as clothing, bedding, furniture, or surfaces with which a person infected with scabies might have come in contact.[16] Scabies mites can survive without a human host for 24 to 36 hours.[17

via Scabies – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

My question is are you a veteran, who has received care from the Dayton VA over the last 3 years, who has contracted scabies? The question of reporting of infectious disease to someone like the Center For Disease Control (CDC) is being followed by the VA and if scabies is one of the tracked maladies is something I think would be useful information.

I had asked Director Costie if there had been an outbreak of scabies at the VA- and received a prompt reply of no. And while two misdiagnoses of the same illness don’t make it news- if there were a lot of other cases maybe social media via this blog can bring them out.

Please respond in comments- or by contacting me: david at elect esrati dot com

Thanks

What brings people to esrati.com?

One of the advantages of having a website with a ton of content about Dayton, going back to 2005 is you can sense what’s going on by seeing what people are searching for- and bringing them to the site. I check my stats almost daily, and if I see a lot of searches for someone, or something, usually it means something’s up.

Google does the same thing on a macro scale with their zeitgeist. One of the best definitions of Google is that it’s the “database of human intentions.” We google about things we’re about to do- see a movie, invest in a car, vote for someone etc. This is all part of what I teach in my monthly seminar, Websitetology.

My stats have told me when various people were interviewing for a new job (people thinking of hiring a school superintendent, city manager, police chief etc) or when someone changes jobs- like Commissioner Williams leaving Chase Bank, or when there is something about to happen with a local company.

Almost always- my post about the cost of three stitches at the ER comes up- it’s been one of the most popular posts for years.

But today’s seemed pretty diverse- and I thought I’d share:

watch planes take off in Dayton
what money could you get for a broken finger and three stitches
jesse huff vet
er stitches cost
midmark bicycle
dayton daily news opinion garden station
how much do emergency clinics charge for stitches
ohio license plate stickers cost
ballad of the green berets “died in grenada”
bill nuti
states of america
floor plan for miami valley sports bar ohio
brian higgins dayton ohio
davion lyons
ohio liquor laws
trash can art
the foundry dayton ohio
architectural screw ups
stuart patterson recreation center
why wont congressman mike turner hold a town hall meeting
ohio laws for bars serving alcohol
francis mcgee cromartie
francis mcgee cromartie
richest people in dayton ohio
is open carry legal in Ohio
shery oakes
how much do they for stitches on finger
niggers ruin salem mall
yamaha 180 scooter fuel starvation
ohio open carry law

This is just one reason I feel I’m more connected to the community than other candidates- as I have a unique window to what people are thinking about and talking about in our area. No other candidate for office in Dayton has anything like this.

I’ve not seen a bunch of searches for Frances Mcgee Cromartie lately, so don’t assume since you see her name twice, that something is up. For years, “Bill Nuti, divorce” has been high on the search meter- but, since he’s taken NCR to Atlanta and helped devalue the company, I don’t follow up or care. Each of these links is answering a question for someone. Was it you?

How to organize your neighborhood online: NextDoor.com

In South Park we know our neighbors. It’s one of the incredible things about living in this neighborhood. Not only do we know every neighbor on the block, we know their cars, their kids, their pets. And even blocks away- we all know someone. Tonight, we’re having one of our famous Porch, Patio and Deck Parties- or PPD’s in the local lingo- where we start at one house, potluck- and then move to another. We buy beverages, the door charge is $5 a head- and everyone is welcome.

However, getting the word out requires a bunch of work. We have a neighborhood website done in WordPress, we have a listserve currently running on PHPlist and then there is a Facebook group. We also end up printing flyers and having block captains deliver them door-to-door. Some of these work better than others, but all have pluses and minuses.

Recently, I ran across Nextdoor.com which is a really great intra-net solution for neighborhoods. The reason I say intra-net is it’s really built for knowing your neighbors and only your neighbors. It has real privacy controls and doesn’t require Facebook membership as so many other sites do (but it does work with a Facebook signin).

The beauty of NextDoor is that it’s based on real geography, with verification of members by your actual residence. Taking info from several sources, it verifies identity and geo-maps you to your neighborhood- which a group of you can define the boundaries of. It allows for notifications like a listserve, discussions, classified ads, recommendations and makes it easy to connect neighbors without worry of it showing up in search.

In less than a two weeks, our stats: “28 neighbors (25 of 1111 households) have joined Nextdoor South Park.” What is even cooler is that it also allows you to share info across your neighborhoods borders to your next door NextDoor neighborhoods- so we can reach out to Oregon, St. Anne’s etc and they to us. Apparently Oregon has had theirs up and running a little longer.

As a tool for helping neighborhood organizations in Dayton, be they neighborhoods, block clubs, watch clubs, or even what’s left of the priority boards, NextDoor is a free tool that helps you connect with everyone- without them having to be on Facebook.

The one thing that’s missing is how to invite honorary external neighbors – like our Community Based Police officers, or neighborhood champions/developers like Theresa Gasper who would be registered by NextDoor in Beavercreek. NextDoor is on it-

We are planning on creating a way for public safety officers (and potentially other nonresidents with an important role in the community, like HOA management company staff) to have access to NextDoor websites if the Leads in the neighborhood agree. However, we don’t yet have that option developed.

Until then, with the approval of your NextDoor neighborhood Leads, you can invite the community leader and have them register using your address. Then, they should add a message to the bio section of their profile to explain who they are.

I’m also thinking about how to turn it into a way for elected leaders to effectively be included in conversations- in the future.

This could be a powerful way to improve communications between voters and candidates.

Please try NextDoor for your neighborhood- and see if you can build critical mass and create an effective forum and report back in comments.

Transparency of government, and why we can’t depend on the Dayton Daily News

Almost universally, the Dayton Daily News is hated by our elected leaders. You hear things like “they can’t get it right” or “the paper is biased” or “they misquoted me.”

The paper is also incredibly apt at being negative, name calling and of writing for the lowest common denominator. Maybe that’s why they advertise the coupons instead of the content they generate.

But, through the wizardry of the web and social media, the politicians’ excuses are running thin. If you don’t like what they say about you- feel free to publish your version on the web. So far, the only one to do this is Dayton Mayor Gary Leitzell- but, his posts have been rare.

Recently, my posts about the Dayton Development Coalition compensation recommendations were based on what has been declared- “wrong numbers” as published by the DDN. I’ve also been led to believe that Teradata was handed $500K retention money by the county ED/GE fund- which also seems to be false (I quoted the Dayton Business Journal).
So I sent an email to Joe Tuss, the Deputy County Administrator and Economic Development Director. I asked:

Is there a web location where all ED/GE grant requests and awards are listed?
I spent some time with Bruce Langos yesterday at Teradata-
He says Teradata got $500k the first time they moved- but he handed it back to the state?
And- they didn’t ask for anything to move to the new RG Properties location?

Did Oberer apply for money to keep them- and build an addition?
Was money granted to either RG Properties- or to Oberer? Or Teradata?

I have a feeling the news got some of this wrong.

Thanks in advance.

Around midnight- same day, I got the following response:

Let me try to answer your questions one at a time.

1. There is not a web location where all ED/GE grant requests and awards are listed.

2. I was not involved in the details of the Teradata decision to build at the Exchange when Teradata was spun off from NCR, so I would not know whether Teradata got $500,000 from the State or not. If Bruce says he gave State incentive funding back, I believe him.

3. Teradata did not receive any incentives to move to the new RG Properties location that I am aware of. It was a private sector transaction between Teradata and RG Properties.

4. Miami Twp applied for ED/GE funding to assist Oberer Development in late 2009 to retain Teradata at the Exchange. The project scope was to build an additional 20,000+/- SF building, providing expansion space to consolidate employees here and not in Georgia. $500,000 was allocated to the project in December 2009. The project at the Exchange did not go forward, Teradata chose to build a new, larger building at Austin Landing, and the funds were returned to the ED/GE program.

I hope this answers your questions.

It would seem much easier if the County ED/GE fund, posted all of its applications online, along with status of the decisions- and the terms of the grants, so the public can follow up on them. Additionally, each should have progress reports filed on a regular basis to evaluate the effectiveness of the grants.

If it’s transparent, it’s trusted. If it’s not- we end up with a lot more confusion- in addition to dealing with news reports with numbers we can’t trust.

Social Media is a great way to cut the paper out of the info flow- or at least make sure your side of the story gets out.

I’m not sure we have the whole story on the county’s involvement at Austin Road- but, at least the Teradata part is coming into focus.

Just remember when the County Commission tried to hike the hotel tax to the max last minute to fund a hockey stadium there? This is why we need transparency and journalists both.

When you discuss things in public- good ideas come forward

The reason I hate the City Commission holding illegal work sessions (the Charter doesn’t provide for them, they aren’t recorded properly, and city business is discussed outside the official one-meeting-a-week specified by charter) is that good input might be closed out.

Peoria Police Armadillo

A conspicuous armored police surveillance truck

Discussing things online- in an open forum like this- allows for all to read and contribute. As part of the comments on my “What would Cory Booker do” post- the person who goes by “Civil Servants Are People Too” pointed to a great idea that Peoria instituted over a year ago to deal with nuisance neighbors- “The Armadillo”

A new, low-budget way to fight crime: Park an unmanned, former Brink’s truck bristling with video cameras in front of the dwellings of troublemakers.

Police here call it the Armadillo. They say it has restored quiet to some formerly rowdy streets. Neighbors’ calls for help have dropped sharply. About half of the truck’s targets have fled the neighborhood.

“The truck is meant to be obnoxious and to cause shame,” says Peoria Police Chief Steven Settingsgaard.

The Armadillo has helped alleviate problems like drug dealing that can make neighborhoods unlivable.

via Cops Use Old Brink’s Truck to Shame Suspects – WSJ.com.

And while nothing quite makes up for people on their porches, knowing your neighbors, and living according to neighborhood standards- when the neighbors are scared, there’s nothing like a bulletproof bad-behavior surveillance vehicle.

In fact, we could use it in front of 121 Bonner Street- where the police have visited at least a few times a week for the last two years. The residents are behind on their property taxes (they’ve never paid them since buying the house out of foreclosure) – and costing the taxpayers plenty in terms of constant police and ambulance runs.

Enforcement costs

While we have a fee structure for false alarms for security systems, we should also have an increasing fee structure for repeated police calls. More than 4 a year to a residence or more than 2 in a month- and the next one triggers a fine that’s appended to the water bill. If the water bill isn’t paid, water is shut off. If water is shut off- the house is ruled uninhabitable- and the residents must move within 7 days.

A listing of residents who’ve been forced out by these fines would be made public, and it would become impossible for them-to rent in the community.

A new hit TV show?

Instead of tossing the footage collected by the Armadillo- why not stream it online? Believe it or not- people will watch- and monitor the feeds- and then have a way for them to mark the footage for incriminating evidence. Think of it as crowd-sourced enforcement. It’s how we can identify and hold bad actors in our community accountable.

Will Chief Biehl act?

We know at least the Mayor reads this blog. Will he forward this article to Chief Biehl? Will the Chief respond? Will Dayton get an Armadillo or two of our own?

Why is it so threatening for our elected officials to engage via social media on forums like this? How come they don’t have their own blogs where they can share their years of experience and knowledge with us on how to calm communities? Chief Biehl, we’re asking?

Thanks to the mysterious Civil Servants are People Too we have a tried and tested way to help the people of Pointview, so what now?

The doors open to the back room of international politics

A sea change is coming to international relations- and social media will be the engine driving the movement. The latest release from Wikileaks is a fascinating look at the good ‘ole boy/country club that’s making decisions on how the world turns:

A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at back-room bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.

via WikiLeaks Archive — Cables Uncloak U.S. Diplomacy – NYTimes.com.

Diplomacy is dirty business- and the brave moves by Wikileaks to hang the dirty laundry out for all to see, may give the people of the world a perspective on what governments believe their true objectives are- and world peace and ending inequality aren’t going to make the list.

This is the type of news reporting that can transform society. I highly recommend you read the article in the New York Times- and from other sources to get a feel for the way we project “American Power” throughout the world. [NOTE: Fast company delves into the different ways these leaks have been turned into online materials by the NYT and the Guardian- the presentation of the material is key to letting people get access: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1662770/infographics-of-the-day-whats-in-those-leaked-diplomatic-cables?partner=homepage_newsletter

By contrast- the Dayton Daily News has a story about “Power drills, covered in feces, found in driveway,” Considering there is still a digital divide in our country with as many as 1 in 12 not connected to the Internet, shouldn’t the local newspaper still focus on informing, educating and making the people of our region smarter?

There are back rooms to our local political scene as well. How do some developers keep getting deal after deal, while the taxpayers fully fund other projects that have no guarantee of success? Why is nepotism perfectly accepted in the County building- and in the City of Dayton- while not accepted in any of the well run suburbs?

When will we see the real reporting in our community? When will we realize that the new tools can give the pawns the power to at least question- if not start a movement to overthrow the corrupt private clubs that seem to run our country?

This batch of Wikileaks is more powerful than the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate tapes all rolled into one. Read them. Pay attention.

Change is coming.

Comments on non-moderation of Dayton Daily News Forums

Free speech is a wonderful thing- when you sign your name.

DDN name calling in comments number 1

Up over 24 hours on the DDN site

When you don’t- and can hide behind a nom de plume and spew garbage it’s not free speech- it’s hate speech, and the Dayton Daily News is helping propagate it daily.

Dayton Daily News comments 2

On the DDN site for over 24 hrs attacking the Mayor of Dayton

So- let’s explain it: Ellen Belcher is an inexpensive courtesan, and a bad dancer. The first part- calling someone a cheap whore, is slander if spoken or libel if printed, the second is a matter of opinion. Either, without the force of attaching my true name-is just a cheap shot at the Editorial page editor of the Dayton Daily News. Please note, this entire post is a matter of political satire- and protected under the First Amendment, or at least under the same rules that the Dayton Daily News must use to allow this garbage on their site.

Comment on DDN site about the Mayor

Yet another comment- up over 12 hours

The denigration of Dayton has become sport for the paper- and as practiced by some commentators on the newspaper’s website- an art form. Even when you “report abuse” it’s often a long time before the comment comes down- if at all. These examples that will be used have been up for at least a day.

Dayton Daily News comments - about using your real name

Why use your real name?

Mayor Leitzell called the paper out in a letter to the editor for using the region’s name in bad news stories, is- “Firm leaves Dayton” when in fact, they were leaving Harrison Township.

Responses to Leitzell's invitation to meet

Responses to Mayor Leitzell's invitation to meet

The comments there have been relatively sanitized. Then, Oakwood resident, attorney and former Oakwood Council member, Jeff Ireland, castigates Leitzell for writing a letter to the editor.

I read Dayton Mayor Gary Leitzell’s letter chastising the Dayton Daily News for reporting — inaccurately and misleadingly, in his view — news about businesses leaving “Dayton” when they were actually located in Harrison Twp. and Springboro.

Leitzell criticizes the paper for “bashing” Dayton because it suggests to the public that businesses are leaving “Dayton.”

The DDN is reporting facts that are neither inaccurate nor misleading. The mayor’s reaction, however, is troubling. Dayton is the center of our region. To suggest that the newspaper should refer to Dayton only by its geographical boundaries is nonsense.

via Mayor’s parochial, short-sighted view of Dayton is troubling.

The comments on that letter, would make a solider blush- and did I mention that the Dayton Daily News has a National Socialist on their Editorial Board with a Hebraic name- and that Martin Gottlieb sexually molests infants?

Bold questions to the editorial board- about what you can get away with.

even when the Mayor offers to meet...

The Dayton Daily News sells it’s website as an advertising platform- running ads that generate revenue with every “viewing”- so it is in their best interest to garner as many page loads as possible- leaving garbage like the comments on this letter seem to help generate more views- as the same losers keep returning to add to their pile of manure.

Other publications have dealt with these issues by requiring signing in under a verified profile- or allowing the community to vote comments up or down (as we do on Esrati.com). The Dayton Daily News has a “REPORT ABUSE” button that takes filling in 3 fields for every single instance of crap.

Continuted abuse in the comments

Don't try to reason with us.

The Huffington Post went as far as to buy a comment moderation company. Read more- in this piece on APR Marketplace:

Jeff Horwich: In Internet culture, the tendency of online comments to head for the gutter has a name: “The Greater Internet Jerkwad Theory.” OK, it’s not really “jerkwad” — but what do you think this is, the Internet?

Eva Galperin with the Electronic Frontier Foundation defines it:

Eva Galperin: The theory posits that the combination of a perfectly normal human being, total anonymity and an audience will result in a cesspit.

Read the original theory here

Online comments are a magnet for name-calling, political screeds — nastiness that turns off web surfers…
With 3.2 million comments in June, the Huffington Post didn’t hire a company to moderate. It bought one. This summer, the politics and news site acquired Adaptive Semantics, and its proprietary software called “JuLiA.”

Arianna Huffington is the site’s editor-in-chief.

Arianna Huffington: You can program JuLiA to look for whatever you don’t want on your site. For example, we don’t like people comparing either Democrats or Republicans to Nazis.

But JuLiA is way smarter than that. Its algorithms look for patterns that indicate anyone disruptive — veering off-topic, ranting like a zealot, using insulting language. Even mild terms like “moron” or “empty suit” can flag you for a look from a human moderator, who gets final say over whether to ban your comment.

Huffington is also trying to take on the bad seeds by deputizing the best commenters with digital “badges” — like “Level 2 Networker” or “Level 3 Superuser.”

via ‘Comment cops’ help manage websites | Marketplace From American Public Media.

Instead of dealing with the “jerkwads” the Dayton Daily has resorted to closing comments on many articles after initially allowing them (deleting all comments posted). This is often used on crime articles- or those concerning African Americans- as the comments come straight from the local chapter of the KKK. Their other technique- of late, has been to allow comments on Facebook- where identities must be verified (for the most part)- however, they are giving up viewers from their URL and handing the traffic to Facebook (that then gets to make money on the ads).

There have been pleas from readers to clean this mess up, however Kevin Riley, the editor of the paper has failed to respond- probably because he’s a soiled personal sanitary device and a convicted felon.

It would seem that the Dayton Daily News’ refusal to address the communities concerns about the drivel being posted needs an elevation in priority- maybe calling the education writer, Scott Elliot a pedophile online will make it a more immediate concern for those involved, however I doubt it.

The paper also seems to think retribution is OK as well. Right after they published Leitzell’s letter they wrote a tabloid style trash article about Leitzell taking time away from being a part-time Mayor to fix his roof, knowing full well that he is only required by charter to rule over one meeting a week. They made sure to glorify Paul Leonard and Rhine McLin for their dedication in making the position full time- but left out Clay Dixon who held a job with the Dayton Public Schools (that he was forced to resign from when it was finally disclosed that he had claimed sick time when traveling on City Business) and no mention of Mike Turner who was busy working as a corporate counsel for MTC during much of his term. You can read the Mayor’s response and story of his roof on his blog here.

It gives me no joy in writing this editorial- with these sick accusations published for all to see, but it seems that the Dayton Daily News has zero concern for the issue by allowing it to continue for years without an adequate response. Of course, they have been involved in character assassination of this writer  for years without a single acknowledgment of my right to run for office without personal denigration and embarrassment.

If you believe that the Dayton Daily News should be held responsible for the destruction of our communities collective soul through piecemeal attacks and wholesale negativity- please consider signing your name to a comment on this post in support. Please be aware that this site doesn’t allow ad hominem attacks, and is moderated fairly regularly by me- and that readers have the option to vote your comment off the visible comments. Also know, that if you try to impersonate any of the named people who work at the DDN- I will double check and hold those comments.

Thank you

Addition Aug 25, 2010 7:49 am I sent a note to the Editors asking them to address this issue in an editorial on a Sunday. I sent them a link to this post. They deleted all comments from Mr. Ireland’s letter- and then when the jerk showed back up- they deleted it quicker (under 12 hours).

However- they’ve allowed comments to move onto another thread- and they have been up since their post times until now:

Comments on DDN letters to the editor

Screen shot taken Aug 25 at 7:48 am

And- to make Bob happy- yes, this entire post was authored by David “knobhead” Esrati

DDN editorial board finally endorses blogging

In my last two appearances before the Dayton Daily News Editorial Board, I attempted to make a case for this site being an important part of representing the people- of having an open discussion with constituents about the issues facing their representative. I was written off as “a blogger” – as if it was a mark of shame. (City Commission Endorsement, Congressional Endorsement)

However, the rookie member of the board actually complimented an elected official for maintaining a blog the other day- hath hell froze over?

As a state board member, Ms. Haverkos has diligently studied the issues and was a thoughtful voice in debates. She even launched a blog with another state board member (www. stateofohioeducation.com) that tracked state education issues, a great service for constituents.

via Editorial: Voters should be watching school race | A Matter of Opinion.

Of course, because “blogs are bad” this is the first we’ve heard about it in the DDN- and, it would seem that Susan Haverkos is no longer involved with the site.

There are very few representatives locally who are blogging. One exception is the Mayor, whom the Dayton Daily News didn’t endorse, Gary Leitzell. Although infrequent in posting, it still serves as a vehicle for hearing positions straight from the horse’s mouth. Of course, when Gary uses it to publish his letter to the DDN that they didn’t choose to publish, you start to understand why the DDN isn’t too happy about blogs- it’s a way around its self-assumed “power” over the region.

Congressman Mike Turner even has a blog- but it’s probably not written by him- nor are there any comments or discussion (in other words- it’s not really a blog). It’s his press releases- on which you may “leave a comment”- but nothing will come of it.

Social media have been used to run campaigns- but almost always seem to be forgotten once the prize has been won. It’s sad that when elected, most representatives stop communicating with the people they represent the moment they start “representing” them.

I almost believe it should be mandatory for all candidates to maintain an active online forum, before and after they get elected- if for no other reason than that we can no longer trust the media to get it right.

(If you know of other local  active blogging elected representatives- please leave a link to their site in the comments- thx)

Is Esrati.com the Wikileaks of Dayton Ohio?

It’s been interesting to watch how Wikileaks made the last big leak available, to traditional media first and the rest of us later.

Wasn’t that the point of the web- access to everybody?

But, in this information overloaded society- we still look to established sources and tools to evaluate and analyze data for us. The New York Times and The Guardian are “trusted sources”- Wikileaks may have the data- but- even they have learned, they don’t have the clout.

I’ve read quite a few essays about how this latest release gained value by limiting access first- and it comes down to the following from The New Republic:

Wikileaks’s highest value is transparency, but the leak suggests that transparency is moot without authority.

via Why Wikileaks Still Needs ‘The New York Times’ | The New Republic.

I’ve broken stories on this site almost since I started publishing- but, even when I’ve beat the Dayton Daily News by days, weeks and even years in on case, that my information still isn’t as valid without the authority of a printing press, or a paid circulation or a hundred plus year tradition.

Same goes for the ideas I present- without being elected- my proposals aren’t accepted, even if they do make it into the “master plan”- like bike share into the Downtown Dayton Plan.

It’s hard to get exact numbers of readers on this site- thanks to RSS, Facebook, e-mail subscribers. I know about 1000 unique visitors come per day on average. I know what they search for, and what gets the most comments- but in terms of the validity of what I do here- it would seem that I’m the answer for about 20% of the voters- and the other 80% still think I’m a loose cannon.

Part of that can come from the digital divide. There are still a lot of people who don’t fully understand this technology- or value it the way the digerati do. I do know that I have a pretty good network of sources built up thanks to my ability to cut through the BS and call things honestly. But- for many, reading this site is something you do in private- and don’t admit to, because of the politics of the powerful in town.

When the Dayton Daily News finally covered the Qbase fiasco, they never mentioned where the original dirt came from. Other news outlets didn’t want to cover it either. The reality is- because of budget cuts, most journalists are overworked and too lazy to do the digging to uncover the real dirt. It’s almost pointless without a whistle blower who can point you to the dirt and then diagram it for you.

I often count on my readers to do the extra digging. I value their contributions as much as my own- because I still believe that their is an absolute need for a strong fourth estate- whether it’s the traditional media, or the new media.

Unfortunately, with the overload of data we all face, we’re getting more and more selective of what sources we trust. I thank all of you for continuing to read and contribute- but, until this site gets some recognition for the real work it does, it may never have the reach or impact it needs to do the work that needs done to uncover the dirty under-belly of Dayton.

If you believe in what we’re doing here- please, send a link to the story you’ve felt connected the most with you to your friends. And consider writing a comment about it on this post- with a link. Somewhere here, we should have a testimonial- and why not right here- today.

Thank you.