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Veeferguy

Local Publications

Postby Veeferguy » 2008 Aug 21 12:19

On the Rockbridge Advocate ...

I just wanted to know how the people who read the Rockbridge Advocate feel about the paper in general. I’ve been reading each issue from cover to cover since May and find it amazing that the pulse of the area really seems to be captured by the publication, or does it? Maybe I’m just naïve, but it does seem informative. Does the paper represent the factual side of the stories it covers or is the other side of the story covered with fairness? I’m not asking for a dissertation on any one story, just a few opinions from some of you who are native to the area. I realize that one of you might even write for the Advocate but I don't mind reading your opinion. Thanks

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Uji
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Re: The Rockbridge Advocate

Postby Uji » 2008 Aug 21 16:37

For what it's worth, I think the Advocate is great. (I even took out one of their life-time subscriptions.) "All the News that Fits" is worth the price of admission. The film reviews are pretty silly, all and all -- but aside from that, I'm a fan.

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Juggler
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Re: The Rockbridge Advocate

Postby Juggler » 2008 Aug 26 11:22

Me too!

And its "The News" section is just about the only place to find out what's really happening around here.

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Juggler
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Re: The Rockbridge Advocate

Postby Juggler » 2008 Oct 07 13:53

I was reading through my latest (October 2008) issue, and I came upon a letter entitled "Stop trusting the bandits."

It covers subjects, in a tone, that remind me of a very distinguished participant here on the Rockbridge Forum. Does anybody else see this, or am I cuckoo?

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fangz1956
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Re: The Rockbridge Advocate

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Oct 07 17:27

Is this the letter of which you speak?

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

"We the People". What does that mean anymore? I don't know that it means anymore to the average American citizen than it does to our impotent Congress, our self-seeking Executive Branch, and slanted Judiciary.

I've been reading with interest news reports from around the world regarding the recent Wall Street bailouts. Thanks to the likes of Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke, the fear card has been trumped in a major way.....perhaps in a more major way than the invasion of Iraq.......and Congress simply took the bait. There was no debate, no public discussion.....just another done deal. The end result appears to be what some South American newspapers are calling "Socialist Capitalism". Is this what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they framed the Constitution? I highly doubt it. They actually warned against things like a central bank (the high and mighty private bank known as the Federal Reserve). Here we have a private bank essentially dictating to Congress......that same Congress that is supposedly elected by the people and for the people....and robbing the public coffers to bail out private, wealthy financiers. And this is the same Congress that has capitulated to every edict from the current White House Administration. They have failed and are continuing to fail in their duty and responsiblity to "We the people."

The upcoming election in November is nothing more than another hand in a high stakes game of Texas Hold 'em. The cards are already stacked against "we the people" and only "we the people" can change that. We must stop buying everything that Washington, the Fed, Wall Street, and the establishment media outlets are trying to force down our throats on a daily basis. The time has come to put aside petty differences and ignore the non-issues in this campaign. Abortion is a non-issue. Gay marriage is a non-issue. Celebrinews is a non-issue. All of these are put forth by the powers that be to keep "we the people" divided......and the elite rob us blind while we sleep. The boys on Wall Street, along with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, should have been allowed to fall flat on their collective faces. Instead, Congress has rewarded malfeasance and mismanagement and greed with hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money. The debt ceiling has been raised to over $11(eleven)TRILLION dollars. This is money that should be going to projects maintaining infrastructure, providing helathcare to the uninsured, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, and job creation to alleviate the ever-rising unemployment rate.

This upcoming election is also boding badly for the poor and recently foreclosed upon citizens of this land. The party operatives are putting (and have already put) things into place that will effectively bar millions of Americans from voting this November. Think about it.......voting machines with no auditable paper trail. There is no way apparent way to audit any of these new machines. I, as a citizen implore you to become engaged and encourage everyone you know to do the same. Write to your Congressman. Write to the editors of newspapers. Get mad and get moving.

I don't write this letter so much for myself as I do for my friends, my family, my children, my colleagues, the poor, the homeless, and all of the disenfranchised and potentially disenfranchised voters in this country. I implore you to educate yourselves. Investigate and question everything!! The vote of "we the people" is the heartbeat of democracy and a free society for all. Don't let that heartbeat die. It is the responsibilty of each and every one of us to step to the plate, unite, and send a loud and resounding message to Washington and to the world:

"WE THE PEOPLE ARE TAKING OUR COUNTRY BACK!!!"

Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Juggler
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Re: The Rockbridge Advocate

Postby Juggler » 2008 Oct 07 18:29

That's the one!!!

annehewitt

Re: The Rockbridge Advocate

Postby annehewitt » 2008 Nov 02 18:37

Doug is a witch hunter. He does not tell both sides of the story and lives for the ugliest news. He delights in screaming headlines about the downfall of local citizens. If there is no conflict or controversy, he will invent one. Maybe because he came of age in the Woodward and Bernstein era. Perhaps he is a frustrated lawyer who has never learned the rules of evidence.

Subjects of his schaenfreude are guilty until proven innocent and after being pilloried in his paper, their guilt is indelible in the community. His campaign to implicate the Sheriff's department in the death of a troubled young man admitted to Western State years ago was truly unconscionable.

Reading the Advocate one would think this area only produces, murderers, child molesters, con artists, book burners, brutal police and a host of other depraved criminals.

Also, his reprints of civil war accounts don't help the image of a community considered to be stuck in the past. His Nov. 1 issue on the eve of election, mentioning a century old murder by a young black man with... African savagery in his genes, and the receding forehead of a West African... made me cringe and hope that the people in Lexington from West Africa do not read the article. (there are several)

Another problem is that he seeks out letters written to other people and prints them as letters to the editor. Many writers have been surprised and unhappy to find their letters printed in the Advocate.

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Wise One
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Re: The Rockbridge Advocate

Postby Wise One » 2008 Nov 02 20:33

Huh? I'm not tracking on your points.

It's a news magazine, for pete's sake ... not all news has "two sides."

And sometimes the news is not quite as cute as butterflies and little girls, which would be pleasant but rather dull. I can get plenty of that in Disney movies. Doug seems to have a pretty good nose for the cover-up, so I'm grateful that one medium in our community has the courage to blow whistles.

I want the real local scoop, right up front. I rather like Doug's practice of printing letters from all, even when they are too long and poorly written ... that way he gives writers enough rope to hang themselves! And printing relevant letters from all available sources is often illuminating ... a nice journalistic practice.

There's no shortage of rags printing puffery, sanitized pap, media often serving as mere stenographers to self-serving press releases. I love the Rockbridge Advocate because it prints the news that people really care about, and talk about, and argue over at morning coffee.

:tongue3: Well, at least until the day he chooses to print a story about me! :tongue3:

PS. Perhaps you didn't get the memo, but in centuries past a rather nasty streak of racism abounded in these parts. History is an account of past happenings, so expurgating it of a central reality would serve nobody.
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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fangz1956
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Re: The Rockbridge Advocate

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Nov 02 20:53

annehewitt,

Let me send you a copy of the Salem Times-Register. They don't print anything about crime, malfeasance, or any of the the other ugliness that is the underbelly of every small town or city. Why, I think it would be right up your alley. They most assuredly promote the image of this place being a safe and crime-free community. If you believe that this place has no warts, I have some beachfront property in Arizona to sell you. What that has done is close the eyes of people like my teenage daughter and her peers who believe that nothing bad ever happens in this town. The "news" that is printed is of the Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm variety. If that is what you look to a newspaper for then you are not looking for real news or truth in any manner or fashion. At the time of the incident at Western State, The Advocate was NOT the only paper or news source in the state trying to get to the bottom of the matter. As I recall, the media down here did not paint your Sheriff's department in any kind of good light.....and other papers across the state reflected the same ideas. Fault of The Advocate? I hardly think so. I think some further investigation is in order on your part before you go screaming that the sky is falling and it is all the fault of Mr. Harwood.

I find it interesting that people are offended by what papers print. The Advocate is one of the very few that has the brass to print the truth. And you know what they say about truth? It will set you free, but first it will piss you off. So Lexington and her high & mighty attitude has an image to protect and project? The image that we who live to the south of you have is not a pretty one. That image does not come from sources such as The Advocate. That image comes from personal visits to YOUR community. We find Lexington to be arrogant, snobbish, anally retentive, cold, and unwelcoming. These are images formed by those of us who have lived here all of our lives.......natives of the valley and the Commonwealth. Doesn't say much for Southern hospitality now does it? Seems that you folks might wish to write a little revisionist history while you are at it. Heaven forbid that you would embrace your heritage and your past rather than run and hide from it.

I have witnessed your very attitude right here in this Forum more than once. People looking to move to your area came here asking about services and community life. They were ridiculed, sneered at, and generally ignored. Hmmm......sounds like a visit to the town itself. They certainly were not made to feel welcome. Some of those fine folks opted NOT to move to your fine community.........sarcasm intended.

And just for the record, I have read the other rags that pass for newspapers in your town. Not much news there that I can see......more Pollyanna stuff and sticking your heads in the proverbial sand. And annehewitt, remember that you and your town live in a glass house before you decide to throw any more stones.



:angry4:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Coondog
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Re: The Rockbridge Advocate

Postby Coondog » 2008 Nov 03 11:27

Well.....somebody has to hunt down those pesky witches! We can't have them flitting about on their broomsticks, unregulated, like those Warlocks in the Banking Industry.

At the risk of being turned into a newt, I applaud the Advocate's efforts to seperate the natural from the supernatural. Two headed goats are an affront to the sensibilities and luring lost children into gingerbread houses for culinary purposes is simply wrong.

Coondog :joker:

...........and your little dog, too!

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notwaldo
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Re: The Rockbridge Advocate

Postby notwaldo » 2008 Nov 03 21:08

I don't know witch hunts from witch hazel, but i doubt an account of an antique murder is going to cause a riot or change any votes. What ought to have caused a riot was the paper's account of the horrible murder of the patient at Western State... and (i do believe Anne misremembers) the cover-up of that murder, complete with the state's – not the paper's – efforts to blame it on the sheriff's department.

The Advocate broke that story and the story defended the sheriff's department (using dispatcher logs and Western State records to do so). A few years later the Roanoke Times rewrote, updated and embellished the piece after Doug nagged them to do so and sent them a box full of documents and records. After that, some TV stations and other papers jumped on the bandwagon. Some of them, unlike the Advocate, hedged their bets on the sheriff's department by swallowing some BS from the state that Doug had completely discredited.

The Times won a $10,000 prize and a bunch of awards. I doubt if they shared the money.

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fangz1956
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Re: The Rockbridge Advocate

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Nov 04 11:23

Bravo, notwaldo!!

You said it best and you said it all.

:encore: :encore: :encore: :encore:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

10thFO

Re: The Rockbridge Advocate

Postby 10thFO » 2008 Nov 04 14:11

As a one time aspiring journalist, or writer, in the mode of Lewis Grizzard, Jr. I find Doug's work to be very worthwhile, and a breath of fresh air into the journalism of today. Doug still does it the right way. he gets out, and finds out information, through lunches and coffee's with people in town. He doesn't make up articles, or do it the lazy way. He actually researches his stories.

I'd hate to be the subject of one of his articles, and my father always said he advertised with Doug to keep his name out of his periodical, jokingly. I sincerely find it to be the one piece of news literature that I can find these days, that is professional enough, to make money, and do it the right way.

You can find all kinds of blogs up now to push one's point of view, but it's rare to find a publication that does it this well.

Keep on keeping on Doug. Your a good stalwart of the past.

Veeferguy

Re: The Rockbridge Advocate

Postby Veeferguy » 2008 Nov 24 09:30

Well, it took awhile to pick up a head of steam, but I think most of you have put down what needed to be said in your many opinions. Thanks for all the news about the news so far. :cool:

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Neck-aint-red
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Re: The Rockbridge Advocate

Postby Neck-aint-red » 2008 Dec 01 12:30

Somehow I missed this topic, but I am happy to join it even if I am late.

The Rockbridge Advocate tickles me no end. It is unique among area publications, indeed among all publications.

In this modern era, when "the-only-thing-in-my-postal-mailbox-is-junk-mail", the Rockbridge Advocate's plain brown wrapper always puts a smile on my face.

:clap: Go get 'em, Doug. :clap:

    My enthusiasm varies, of course, within this magnificent publication. I love The News, the Editorials, most front page articles, the Letters, and the statistics (though lean).

    If they should disappear, I would not miss the perennial piece on health department ratings of restaurants, nor movie reviews and cooking recipes (better and more complete elsewhere.)

Veeferguy

Re: The Rockbridge Advocate

Postby Veeferguy » 2008 Dec 10 14:39

I think the Rockbridge Advocate stated the overall feeling towards the Lexington police department this month. I believe in law and order, but I will agree with the article(s) that refer to the overbearing police state. It’s no wander locals don’t want to spend time downtown much less, the tourist. :banghead:

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fangz1956
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Re: The Rockbridge Advocate

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Dec 30 18:12

On December 30, 2008, Glenn Greenwald wrote in Salon:

Several months before he was named as moderator of Meet the Press, David Gregory went on MSNBC to categorically reject Scott McClellan's accusations that the American media failed to scrutinize the Bush administration's pre-war claims. Gregory vigorously praised the job which he and his "journalistic" colleagues did in the run-up to the Iraq War -- the period which Salon's Gary Kamiya called "one of the greatest collapses in the history of the American media." Proclaimed Gregory, with a straight face: "Questions were asked. I think we pushed. I think we prodded. I think we challenged the President. Not only those of us in the White House Press Corps did that, but others in the media landscape did that." Most revealingly of all, Gregory said:

I think there are a lot of critics who think that . . . . if we did not stand up and say this is bogus, and you're a liar, and why are you doing this, that we didn't do our job. I respectfully disagree. It's not our role.



Mr. Greenwald wrote a pair of excellent pieces this week on the pathetic state of journalism in America. When I read the above passage this morning, I about fell off my chair when I saw the last line. I thought about this as I was road tripping today and decided to come here and say a few words.

Kudos to Doug Harwood and the Rockbridge Advocate. Doug knows the role of a good journalist and does his job extremely well.....a labor of love one might say. And in spite of being branded a "witch hunter", he still suits up, shows up, and stays on course. He is head and shoulders above and miles ahead of the rest. I'll take a "witch hunter" of an adversarial journalist like Doug Harwood any day of the week. Here's to a banner year for The Rockbridge Advocate and its Editor and Publisher in 2009!

:clap: :clap: :encore: :encore: :thumbup: :thumbup:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Neck-aint-red
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The News-Gazette

Postby Neck-aint-red » 2008 Dec 30 22:02

Since others have gotten a nice topic going on the Rockbridge Advocate, I thought I'd call your attention to an interesting pair of items I found in the News-Gazette.

The first is a perfectly reasonable column, and the second was written by the kind of moron who thinks anybody who holds a different opinion from his should leave the country. But I have to admit that, taken together, they are pretty entertaining.
Winston Davis, on December 17, 2008 wrote:On Second Thought: Guns, Jails And Judges
During the month following the November election, Virginians bought more than 38,000 guns — more than twice the previous monthly average. Most were handguns, some semiautomatics with magazines. Although it was hunting season, riffles did not sell well. One gun dealer said that the surge in gun sales was “a knee-jerk reaction to the election.”

This bizarre reaction to the election of Barack Obama made me think again of our vacation in Toronto last summer. Toronto is a city that has it all — towering apartment buildings, theaters, concert halls, spacious athletic arenas, a beautiful harbor front and hundreds of parks of various sizes. Subway stations are clean and graffiti-free, trains and buses comfortable and dependable. Toronto may not have the pizzazz of New York City, but you don’t have to worry about being mugged on its streets.

There is, of course, some crime in Toronto, most of it gang-related. But since handguns are illegal, as they are throughout Canada, there is less violent crime. Handguns are used in only 16 percent of all robberies. Compare that to the U.S., where 41 percent of robberies involve handguns.

Here are some other things to remember the next time a glib politician tells you that you live in the “greatest country in the world.” Canada’s homicide rate is one-third that of the United States. Aggravated assault is half the American rate. Every year 1,200 Canadians die because of firearms; in the more populous U.S.A.— where 5,500 handguns are sold every day— the figure rises to 30,000. There are eight times as many murders committed with firearms (of all sorts) in this country, and 14.5 times as many murders involving handguns (in particular) than there are in Canada. (Even though our murder rate has been declining in recent decades, it is still four times higher than Europe’s — where guns are strictly controlled. Chicago, which has one-fourth the population of Tokyo, has a crime rate four times that of the Japanese capital. One reason: since 1588 when Toyotomi Hideyoshi took away the commoners’ swords, Japan has been a disarmed country).

The percentage of the U.S. population behind bars is also higher than elsewhere. Although we have less than 5 percent of the world’s population, our prisons house onefourth of all of the prisoners in the world — that’s six times higher than most countries. Overall, 2.3 million Americans of all races (one out of every 100) is currently behind bars. Blacks, who make up 13 percent of the US population, make up 37.5 percent of our prison population.

Americans also receive longer sentences than citizens elsewhere. Burglars spend about 16 months in our prisons; in Canada, only 5 months. Prisons here in the South are filled to the brim. For every 100,000 people, there are 1,000 in jail in Texas; 1,138 in Louisiana. Compare this with Minnesota’s 300, Maine’s 273 —or Sweden’s 80! Virginia has recently spent more than a billion dollars to expand its prison system. To keep up with the booming prison population, the commonwealth plans to build six new prisons over the next six years.

Ironically, one reason that our jails are overflowing is the democratic nature of our judicial system. Judges in the United States are often elected.

This makes the bench more responsive to political and social mood swings. When people demand that courts “get tough on crime,” elected judges respond by handing down more and longer sentences than do appointed judges.

There are at least three reasons why Canadians control crime better than we do: 1) racism in Canada is not as vicious as it is in the United States; 2) Canada has a “safety net” that makes its citizens more secure than we are, and 3) in Canada, the ownership of guns is not considered to be a god-given, constitutional right.

The violent nature of American society may also be related to our political philosophy. In Canada, where a third of all citizens are born abroad — and in Toronto where half of the population is foreign-born —government is not based on the rule “winner take all.” Since politics is not a zero-sum game, it is not just about control; it is about accommodation and compromise. Canadians realize that to keep their country together they need to engage in hard, political work, endless dialogue and tedious negotiation. This is especially important in a country that does not claim to be a melting pot, but a rich mosaic of cultures, races and religions.

The surge in handgun sales in this state after the election was a no-brainer. There has to be a better way to keep the peace than guns, jails and the threat of violence. Hopefully, with the inauguration of a more progressive president, the country will begin to move in that direction.


C.J. HALL, Kerrs Creek, on December 24, 2008 wrote:People, Not Guns, Kill People
As incomplete as Winston Davis’s column is I have to call it propaganda, something like Stalin may have had printed. No one has ever been killed by just a gun. A gun requires a person behind the trigger. Mr. Davis really makes me wonder. Why is it that I, being a gun owner, have never killed anyone?

My guns work just fine; am I not doing something right?

In Virginia when you purchase a gun, an efficient background check is run on the purchaser by the state police. This tells me that the 38,000 guns bought after the election were purchased by lawabiding citizens. If 38,000 guns purchased by the citizenry makes me feel something, it makes me feel a little safer.

Is Mr. Davis not paying attention?

His statistics include Virginia only. What about the other 49 states? If even 20,000 new guns have been purchased in each state, there would be a million additional guns in the hands of Americans.

If he is right about gun owners, we will all be dead in less than a year.

But he are not right.

Since he apparently thinks that Canada is a greater country than ours, I wonder why he continues to live here in our United States.

We’re still free. Feel free to leave.

crunch
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Advocates Blantant Disrespect of Irish Creek

Postby crunch » 2009 Nov 08 21:14

Dear Advocate I would like to know who on your staff has an issue with Irish Creek and the people who reside there? Every word in your article titled " Virginia's war on the families of Irish Creek" is disrespectful, and outright insulting to the families who lived and continue to live on Irish Creek. The question and answer part of the article is more like an Interrogation and answer! Your headline say's it all! The advocate owes the good people of Irish Creek an apology and not another article bad mouthing the community.

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Amy Probenski
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Re: The Rockbridge Advocate

Postby Amy Probenski » 2009 Nov 08 22:28

This sounds like a delicious controversy. My issue of the Advocate has not yet arrived, but maybe I have something to look forward to?!