Friday, June 22, 2007

An Open Letter to Patrick Lowry, Editor and Publisher of The Hays Daily News

I am writing to express my disappointment in the HDN’s coverage of the industrial wind project. I am disappointed at many levels and will begin by questioning the wisdom of assigning a novice reporter to what is arguably the biggest story to come out of Ellis County in years. Ms. Lyon is a very decent person but seems to lack the experience or the chutzpah that a veteran reporter might need to investigate a story of this magnitude.

Secondly, I question what business the HDN has in endorsing a controversial industry moving into Ellis County. Aside from the belief that any government subsidized industry tends to distort the market, along with concerns about whether this project will even break even, how is it that the HND is willing to take a stand on either side? It appears to readers that it has affected the objectivity of your reporting. By making this endorsement early on in the debate, it has in a sense put you out on a limb. Some people have suggested to me that this breach of journalist ethics could be explained by your receiving some preferential consideration from CPV, such as a lucrative advertising contract. I have no idea whether this has occurred or not, but this scenario would perhaps explain this breach of journalistic ethics.

Finally, by ignoring the conflicts of interest in the development and implementation of zoning, you are doing a disservice to the community. I urge you to go to and study the Ellis County Adopted Zoning Regulations. There is repeated mention of a comprehensive plan, a plan which must be in place prior to inviting a half a billion dollar industry into Ellis County. We have no comprehensive plan! This is disturbing. Without a vision for the county, industry can be placed willy- nilly with nothing to stop it. Why has the HDN ignored this issue?

It is not too late for the HDN to begin investigating the problems with our zoning. This is the first big challenge we as a county have encountered since zoning was established. Though the task is unpleasant, the HDN could actually help the community not only now but in the future by uncovering the problems with our zoning.

Jacinta Faber

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