Cincinnati Enquirer abandoning city interests

Today the Virginia-based Cincinnati Enquirer has published yet another hit piece on the proposed Cincinnati Streetcar project.  The Gannett-owned newspaper sponsored a telephone survey of 600 adults in Cincinnati between Tuesday, May 18 and Wednesday, May 19.  The survey concluded that those who plan on riding the modern streetcar system were in support of the project, while 61% said that they were opposed to borrowing $64 million to build the initial system.

Now I could go on and on about the survey itself and about how telephone surveys are historically unreliable and undercount certain demographics, or about how borrowing money is par for the course in any local-level expenditure even though the survey presented it differently, or about how the Enquirer decided to use one of their patented misleading and sensationalist headlines for the story on their sponsored survey, but I won’t.

Instead I want to look at the disturbing trend that the Enquirer has of putting down the city to appeal to their suburban audiences.  Through the middle of May, the Enquirer has ran 56 negative letters to the editor and just three positive letters on the Cincinnati Streetcar.  Tom Callinan, Editor and Vice President of Content for the Cincinnati Enquirer, stated that these letters are simply representative of what is sent in, and that the Enquirer simply “takes what you send.”  Interesting, because I find it hard to believe that the disparity is that great, but I digress.

The coverage goes much farther than the outlandish publishing of anti-streetcar letters to the editor and includes editorials from Mr. Callinan himself that either directly bemoan the project or passively attack it.  The daily beat coverage of the topic has also been fairly skewed to appeal to these anti-streetcar readers in the suburbs.  Why is this the case though?  Why does the Enquirer feel the need to criticize and attack the city while boosting the suburbs in the region?

Recent letter to the editor in the Enquirer

The answer to that may lie in the conversation I had with a content editor at the Enquirer three years ago where he said, “We tell the stories our readership wants to hear.”  Encouraging right?  The Enquirer does not care about providing fair/balanced news coverage, they care only about their bottom line and telling the story they feel their readers want to hear.

At that time when I spoke with the content editor, not Mr. Callinan, the Enquirer had made a focused moved towards Cincinnati’s northern suburbs where the population growth was/is occurring, and where they felt they might be able to pick up new readers in the increasingly merging Cincinnati-Dayton metroplex.  And by no coincidence, it was around this time that I started UrbanCincy to start sharing the good stories happening in the city that the Enquirer cared not to share with its audience.

Since that time UrbanCincy has flourished beyond what I ever thought it would become.  Thousands of readers come to the site weekly to stay plugged in with what’s happening in Cincinnati’s urban core, and get news on things that quite frankly are not either covered in the Enquirer, or barely at all.  I do not take joy in this, nor do I make any kind of profit from this website, but I do find it telling that the readership continues to grow as more and more people get fed up with the Enquirer’s anti-city bias.  It does not have to be this way, but the Enquirer has chosen their side, and that is the side of the suburbs.  I truly wish there was not a need for a site like UrbanCincy as I would much prefer the daily print newspaper to cover these issues.

Going forward, UrbanCincy will no longer link to the Enquirer and I would like to encourage you to no longer buy the print edition, cancel your subscription if you have one, and even quit visiting their website.  If Mr. Callinan and the content managers want to position themselves against the city, and only exploit it to their suburban audience’s delight, then they should go right ahead, but those of us that love this city should make them aware we do not approve by hitting them where it counts – their pocket book.

If you feel so motivated to write the Enquirer so that they can simply “take what you send them” and have it published, you can do so by emailing letters@enquirer.com, sending your letters to “Letters, Enquirer Editorial Page, 312 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202,” or by fax at (513) 768-8569.  You must include your name, address (including community) and daytime phone number.  Also please limit your letters to 100 words or less.

  • http://urbancincy.com/ Randy A. Simes

    For some further reading on this, check out CincyVoices for an analysis of the Enquirer’s sponsored survey and its shortcomings here:

    http://cincyvoices.com/2010/05/23/a-land-line-only-poll-how-quaint/

  • http://acrutch.wordpress.com Adam Crutchfield

    Interesting points made there…I (living outside of the 275 loop in the suburbs but downtown 2 or 3 days a week) seem to be one of the few who understand why the streetcar project will actually help. I must admit it does take some research to understand the full benefits of the proposed system, and after the research I DO support it. However, I do not think that there enough sites, pages, or papers displaying these benefits with a cost-benefit analysis. Maybe the papers feel that we as readers do not want to see charts and graphs (maybe most readers don’t). If you know of any links that would be great to spread to show the benefits please let me know and I will be happy to share on twitter (@a_crutch) or Facebook.

  • http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kbenfield/ Kaid Benfield

    I’m not going to bash Gannett, since USA Today just gave my work some terrific coverage. But I would be just as frustrated as you are if my local paper were running one-sided, negative stories about a concept, finally coming to life, that holds so much promise for the city *and* its region.

  • Living in Gin

    I don’t buy Callinan’s “takes what you send” line for a second. I know quite a number of pro-streetcar people, including myself, who have sent articulate and well-researched letters to the paper in favor of the project, but I have yet to see any of them in print. Meanwhile, they print sensational nonsense like the letter shown above from Springdale, to pander to the same knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers who populate the comments sections of their articles.

    The Enquirer is the embodiment of all that’s wrong with the traditional print media. I’m coming around to the opinion that only having one newspaper in a city is the worst-case scenario, as the quality of journalism goes down the toilet when a paper becomes the only one in town. Having a lazy and irresponsible daily newspaper is worse than having none at all.

    It may well all be a moot point, anyway, though. At this rate, the Enquirer will be lucky to remain in business long enough to cover the streetcar’s opening day. They’re a buggy whip manufacturer in the age of the bullet train, and they’re desperately trying to remain relevant. The ultimate irony is that both the streetcar and UrbanCincy will be running strong for a long time after the last issue of the Enquirer is sent to the dusty microfilm archive at the public library.

  • http://urbancincy.com/ Randy A. Simes

    You’re right Kaid…I didn’t mean to paint with a broad stroke. I used the Gannett angle to avoid any attacks of those who work at the Enquirer who are simply taking orders from leadership. My problem is with management more so than anything else, and I suspect that Gannett has something to do with this suburban shift…similar complaints have been made in Indianapolis where Gannett owns the Indianapolis Star.

  • Jake Mecklenborg

    The Enquirer needs to commission a second poll of the approximately 400 Cincinnatians who have visited Portland on one of John Schneider’s trips over the past ten years — approval would surely surpass 90%. Many of these people were skeptics but were convinced of a streetcar’s viability for our city after visiting an actual system in operation. Other cities have faced the same problem — their reps have visited Portland, seen how a similar project could help their city, then returned home to be laughed at.

  • http://urbancincy.com/ Randy A. Simes

    Adam:

    The CincyStreetcar website (http://cincystreetcar.wordpress.com/) is a pretty good source. It’s obviously pro-streetcar, but it does provide a lot of data, analysis and case studies for review. Browse through the site if you haven’t already and share away!

  • Mark

    Right on man, I totally agree with your point, but I feel we do need to debunk the lies perpetuated by the article, namely that: “most oppose” the streetcar, that “Cincinnatians have deep rooted objections” to the plan, and that “people’s disdain for the streetcar” is quite evident. Based on their own survey 44% of Cincinnatians are in favor of it as opposed to 48% against. Once you factor in the 4.1% margin of error it becomes clear that opinion is pretty much split down the middle and that the Enquirer article is not only misleading, but clearly contains outright lies.

  • http://cincyvoices.com Loki

    You’ve provided a lot of food for thought here.

    It would fit well with the ongoing trend in media across the board. There seems to be a lot of catering to the suburban mentality combined with a denigration of the city proper.

    I’ve only been here for a year (as of last week) so I hesitate to get too deeply into politics I’m still trying to grasp, but the “war on downtown” mentality I’ve observed among many in the Queen City is obvious even to me.

    I’m a city kid, I grew up in the New Orleans Garden District a mere 5 minute streetcar ride from downtown. I saw the same sort of attitudes coming from suburbanites there. What they don’t get is that the health of the urban core dictates the longterm health of the entire metro area around it.

    A proper news organization would provide a balance of both views, but my research of this morning into the Enquirer’s prior political endorsements has left me with little faith in balanced reporting from that quarter.

  • http://urbancincy.com/ Randy A. Simes

    I agree Loki, suburbs need a successful city to be healthy, and vice versa. I hate that there is this city vs. suburbs mentality out there. I prefer city living and have my reasons for it, but other people have reasons for preferring a suburban lifestyle. It’s just unfortunate that the Enquirer is perpetuating this unnecessary and unneeded division.

  • Living in Gin

    There’s another issue here as well, aside from the Enquirer’s continued hit pieces and their flawed survey methodology.

    Let’s pretend for a moment the poll is accurate, and a majority of people really do oppose the streetcar project. So what? There’s a reason we live in a representative republic and not a direct democracy, and it’s the same reason voters wisely rejected Issue 9 last fall. Not every citizen has the time or inclination to study every detail of a major project like the streetcar, so that’s why we elect a Mayor and City Council to do that stuff on our behalf. This is an infrastructure project we’re talking about here, not a beauty pageant, and being a good city leader means you sometimes need to make decisions that are politically unpopular in the short term, but are crucial to the city’s long-term health.

    Public opinion is incredibly fickle and can turn on a dime. Remember how many people supported the Iraq War a few years ago, and who now think it’s a disaster. How many people who now oppose the streetcar will be clamoring for it to be expanded to their neighborhood once the first phase is up and running? Has the Enquirer taken a poll to see how many people oppose the Brent Spence / I-75 project, or to see how many people support Duke Energy’s ongoing efforts to turn our city streets into Swiss cheese? If every public works project was made into a popularity contest, our government would be completely paralyzed (which was the exact goal of anti-government zealots like COAST in pushing the whole Issue 9 thing).

  • Nate W

    I agree with y’all.

    I picked up an Enquirer the other day-one of the free ones they put in the UC dorms- and ended up throwing it in the recycling bin in frustration.

    At least we have CityBeat? Though I don’t agree with the spin they put on some articles, it is good to have *some* opposition to the Enquirer.

  • Jim Uber

    I cancelled my print subscription about 3 years ago when the Enquirer was relentlessly bashing the proposed fountain square renewal project. They were having a field day with the plans to move the fountain, and seemed to love publishing letter after letter from outside the city limits, bemoaning the “$50M project to move the fountain 25 feet”. Of course, we all know now, that project is responsible for revitalizing the urban core of our downtown business district. They should have been made to eat crow for that, but typical of the Enquirer they just move on to the next best thing to bash. It really seems to me that they oppose every forward thinking idea that will continue to move our region forward. The streetcar fits this bill for them now, and it disgusts me that they prefer to obfuscate and confuse the issue instead of using their access to information to inform us without bias about the benefits and costs.

    Since I already cancelled my print subscription, I will now vow not to read cincinnati.com ever again. I am a regular reader now of that site, and frequently comment on stories that I have feelings about. No more, if it means putting even one more dime in their pockets.

  • Daniel

    I wrote to the Enquirer. I have expressed my opinion to them, so now they have at least one suburban constituent who wants the Streetcar and wants to see our City back on its feet again.

  • Dan

    We have the same problem in Louisville. The Courier-Journal (also owned by Gannett) has taken a one-sided, anti-urban stance on the Ohio River Bridges Project. We down river will be watching your effort with interest.

  • Dan

    Another tactic. The News-Tribune, a small newspaper which serves the Southern Indiana portion of the Louisville market, took a bold stance on the Ohio River Bridges Project. I signed up for a subscription last week, emailed the editor WHY I was subscribing and asked that he keep up the good work.

  • Al

    Good points all around. I would be interested in how the Editor defined his audience. Is he editing based on the vocal minority or the silent majority? Are people in the suburbs most likely to buy papers anyway? Based on their circulation he may be wrong. Unfortunately they are finding out how the free market treats poorly run organizations. I feel bad for their employees, but what can you do?

  • Ted Turner

    “Today the Virginia-based Cincinnati Enquirer”

    Glad to see the Atlanta-based UrbanCincy pointing this out.

  • Jimmy J.

    Al said, “Is he editing based on the vocal minority or the silent majority?”

    Al, how many polls do you have? Furthermore, while the vocal may be the minority, it’s mainly because the majority is disengaged and unaware of urban issues. Disengagement by the majority does not necessarily equate strong opposition.

  • http://urbancincy.com/ Randy A. Simes

    Just to be clear on this…I do not have major issues with the survey methods used here. All types of polling methods have their flaws, and this particular survey was no where outside of the norm. The problem here is more with the way the message was delivered with a sensational and misleading headline that didn’t reflect the actual data found in the survey.

    My personal concern is also about much more than the streetcar project. I have noticed this trend with the Enquirer shifting towards this city vs. suburbs narrative ever since I had that discussion with the Enquirer content guy several years ago. This is not something new and is something seen in other communities around the country. Newspapers seem to see this as an opportunity to appeal to their base and grow print readership which is where they make their money.

  • Bryon Martin

    Looks like Urban Cincy needs to get a Sports Writer then, since over the last few years that is the only reason I’ve visited cincinnati.com

  • Living in Gin

    Bryon: Check out CNati.com

  • Bryon Martin

    Love CNati.com…was just making a snide remark about how useful the enquirer is to me in daily life ;) Cheers!

  • http://quimbob.blogspot.com/ Quimbob

    FWIW, the Enquirer links to this site quite a bit.
    I was going to say write more letters to the Fishwrap but LiG blew that one out of the water. That’s lame.

  • leif

    Randy– right on, right on, right on. I read that “front page headline” (uhhh… isn’t a multi-national oil spill bigger front page news??) and wanted to vomit. Not only is it misleading, it’s not news. I can’t believe the local paper here. My partner subscribes to it mostly for the local news, and the spin is more than evident. It’s totally distressing.

    I agree that people should quit their subscriptions if they feel the same way (wish my partner would! :) However, i disagree about boycotting Cincinnati.com. That “website” is so biased, sensational, and lopsided that every time i read it, any dissenting (read: Pro-Urban) point of view is a breath of fresh air. If people can make their case on that site, who knows, maybe it’ll be nice for someone who has a differing point of view to realize that maybe the paper is wrong. And that some people actually enjoy downtown, and that it is what draws people to this area. Nothing wrong with the suburbs. But w/o an Urban draw, this “city” will turn into a giant series of rural towns.

    That’s the reason why i still want to debate with extremists. I know i won’t change anyone’s mind, but if we all just shut up, the loudest (and usually stupidest) people win. If y’all can stomach the comments on Cincinnati.com (i can’t any longer), i say More power to you.

  • Miles

    As regards letters to the editor, I’m the organizer at a liberal political nonprofit. Our volunteers submit 5-10 letters a month, of which 1 gets published. As such, I have to monitor the LTE section to track that rate.

    I supplement our writers with about 3-4 LTEs a month, usually off-message but in response to something that just pisses me off. They’re never published.

    Wynne Bittlinger, Paul Bloustein, George Corneliussen (a moderate), Tom Terwilliger, and Paul Kremer are LTE writers who are published almost weekly. Paul Bloustein has letters published multiple times a day!

    Callinan is a lying sack of shit.

  • http://urbancincy.com/ Randy A. Simes

    Miles:

    That’s interesting. I have suspected there is much more to it than simply taking what people send them. And even on their own Letters to the Editor web page they explain that not all letters can be published.

    What this says to me is that there is a decision making process being held by the editorial staff to decide what will actually be published. Unfortunately, it appears that those decisions leave us with “Streetcars as Jails” and the like, while level-headed letters are left out. It’s still speculation at this point, but I am not a big believer of coincidences.

  • http://urbancincy.com/ Randy A. Simes

    Leif:

    Good comments about the website. I am not sure how I feel about it quite yet. My use of their site will definitely be reduced, and I will not be linking to the Enquirer for much of anything in the future.

    I love newspapers and actually am a paid subscriber for some. I really do want the Enquirer to succeed and have staying power locally, but I fear for its future and it makes me concerned that there is even a need for sites like UrbanCincy, Building Cincinnati and Soapbox for example. These sites have succeeded because of the Enquirer’s failure at covering city issues in any decent manner.

  • classicgrrl

    I do have one question that I also posted to CincyVoices.com regarding the poll sample. Were the zipcodes of the sample released? All the data states is “600 adults from the City of Cincinnati were interviewed…”. Does ‘City of Cincinnati’ mean corporation limits? How much of the sample was conducted within the 45202?

    The Enquirer (Gannett) funded this poll. Why? I would be much more open to this if the poll were funded by a third party non-profit organization.

  • http://paperbackfool.wordpress.com/ Laura

    As a lifetime Cincinnati resident and aspiring journalist, I share your frustrations with the Enquirer. Cincinnati is and has always been a conservative city, and the Enquirer aptly reflects that attitude on its editorial page. This attitude is extended toward nearly EVERYTHING they cover, not just the street car issue. I get fed up with it too, but please don’t tell me this surprises you. Of course, if you live downtown it’s easy to think everyone is progressive and left-leaning, but remember this: Cincinnati is more than downtown. It includes the neighborhoods of Hamilton County AND its northern suburbs. These people are annoying conservative, but they’re VOCAL and they count.

    That being said, I am hesitant to support your strike against the city’s LAST daily newspaper. Daily metropolitan newspapers are closing all over the country. Just a few years ago, we lost The Cincinnati Post. Does that give The Enquirer an unfair monopoly concerning tri-state news coverage? Sure. But besides independent websites like this, it’s ALL WE HAVE. As a journalist, do you want to imagine Cincinnati without a newspaper? What would that say about Cincinnati readers? What would that do to our reputation?

    And please calm down over the Gannett thing. Nearly every major paper in the country is owned by Gannett or a similar news organization. You’re a journalist, you know this. Stop sensationalizing a non-issue.

    Believe me, I am far from conservative and support a 3C rail system. But frankly, your tirade against the Enquirer sounds a tad immature. So someone disagrees with you–so what? Oldest story in the book. Plus, you realize that if everyone downtown cancels their subscription, that will be MORE incentive for the Enquirer not to care about you. It’s unfortunate but suburban readers keep the Enquirer in business. With newspapers failing every day, I don’t blame Enquirer editors for keeping business in mind. What we need to do is redirect this anger and FORCE the Enquirer to pay attention to you. Rally downtown readers, encourage them to send in MORE letters to the editor, get those subscriptions up. Convince the Enquirer downtown is worth their time. My dad (out in Warren Co.) writes letters to the Enquirer almost once a month. I know he’s not alone. COMPETE with that.

  • Chris Nascimento

    I was extremely disappointed, but not surprised. The story was polarizing and misleading. The poll indicates it was taken from residents of the City of Cincinnati, but didn’t indicate from where. Also, it did not indicate it was a random survey. I don’t believe that COAST has that many members, but how where these “citizens” selected? Did they get a list of “citizens” to talk to that are members of COAST?

    I noted in the online version, the Enquirer has an ongoing poll as well. If this is a sample of the questions that were asked of those who were called, it’s not the greatest of polls.

    For example, question 2 is “How often would you personally ride a streetcar that went between the University of Cincinnati and downtown?” To those unfamiliar with the planned routes, they have no knowledge of any of the great places this will go by, to or the benefit in having it. They simply see this as something to provide transportation from downtown somewhere around Fountain Square to UC, which is misleading and limiting.

    Questions #4 is as follows: “Once the streetcar line is built, should most of the money needed to operate the streetcar come from:

    -Rider fares
    -A tax assessment along the route
    -Local businesses
    -The city’s general fund
    -Not sure”

    This overlooks the possibility of additional tax revenue to help cover it just from increased property values, increased taxes from additional jobs created around the line, or additional income from tax revenue that will come in based on additional sales and services. It’s a very limiting question. Other questions seem to be a bit leading or limited in options for the multiple choice answers.

    For those who doubt the benefit this would bring, research it. But don’t do it from in front of your TV’s or listening to talk radio. Go to places that have a street car, or light rail and try it. See the difference it makes, the jobs it creates, the population density it builds for yourself.

    If you are uncertain about the neighborhoods it would serve, go see them for yourself! But don’t just briefly drive through, you’ll never get to no them. Stop. Get out of your cars. Walk around, talk to people, eat in a few of the great restaurants, have drink at one of the great night spots, check out the shops. If you still disagree with the Streetcar, then at least you have an informed opinion based upon your experiences. I will still disagree with you, but at least I can respect you. I can’t say the same if you base your opinions on rumors & innuendo from the uninformed or because you benefit financially from investments in companies with contracts to widen roads or develop land in Warren County.

    It’s common sense. Don’t just listen to media. Don’t just listen to me. Go out, experience these things and find out for yourself just how great it could be. Consider the increase tax income being created without any additional tax increase. This is generated simply by the great population density being created, the additional jobs created, and more people spending more money on services and goods within the region because they want to. Think to the additional tax revenue generated just by the appreciation of existing properties-their values will go up. It just makes good fiscal sense to do this.

  • Chris Nascimento

    One more thing. Where are these “polls” on other expenditures? I need to share a couple of great examples Greg Harris shared this morning via Twitter:

    RT@GregHarrisCincy: $110 mil to fix mere 8 miles of pavement from Cincy-Dayton Road to Warren/Montgomery county line? I’m outraged! Poll me!
    about 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

    RT @GregHarrisCincy: Can the Enquirer poll me about my opinion on the $30 million being spent on the SR 73 Bypass?
    about 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

  • http://www.hustonstreetracing.com/blog Curt

    Randy, in regards to your comments about Indianapolis, I thought that I should point out that they have dedicated a staff writer to covering transportation here. With the new regional proposal making the public meeting rounds, it has been quite a time to talk transportation in Indianapolis. And while it is not 100% PRO transportation leaning, the writer does give equal due to what is going on and also has been riding our bus system to blog and write print articles about it. So I can’t bag TOO much on them. But the Enquirer has flat out sold out to the CON side of the streetcar. Keep fighting the good fight sir.

  • Andrew

    I noticed the negative article written today and got a little fired up about it. Makes it a little easier to say sayonara to the enquirer.

  • Allister

    I think another thing that needs to be considered is who actually read the article in the first place? My family still gets the sunday paper every week, but here’s what usually happens. We go right to the middle where all of the coupons, flyers and comics are located. Over the next few days, we might venture into the other sections such as business and arts, but realistically that front section gets little attention. These days, we get our local and national news from TV. While I have no way of verifying whether or not my family’s sunday paper reading habits are the norm, I wouldn’t be surprised if studies found that the bulk of sunday paper purchases were due to the additional sunday material, and not what’s on the headline.

    Filter through everything that it takes for that article to get to residents in the actual city. Of the Enquirer’s readers, how many are actually located in Cincinnati. Of those people, how many actually read the article. Of those people, how many already had a fixed opinion on the streetcar issue? I feel at most it offered a sense of validation to the streetcar opponents and was largely ignored by everybody else.

  • Ryan

    While I do agree it would be a shame for Cincinnati to have no print newspapers, I think it is worse to have one biased newspaper. When the Cincinnati Enquirer reports biased stories like these, even if people don’t read the article, they see the headline and that could create negativity toward the project anyways. If people do not know much about the project, they read this and they may think that the project is a waste of money. Unfortunately there is no alternative, well-known publication like the Enquirer for most people to access. I doubt most people who subscribe to the Enquirer are aware of sites like UrbanCincy, Building Cincinnati, Explore Cincinnati, etc to give them the other side of the story. That is why stories like these are such a problem in Cincinnati.

  • http://urbancincy.com/ Randy A. Simes

    Ryan:

    The worst part is that I personally invited Enquirer editor Tom Callinan to read and respond to the many comments and concerns being shared here. Unfortunately neither Callinan or anyone at the Enquirer has felt the need to address these concerns. Instead their reaction has been, “well progressive urbanists don’t write letters to the edit, so it’s your problem, not ours.”

    They may feel that they have done nothing wrong, or maybe they know what they’re doing and they just don’t care to acknowledge it to a bunch of punks from the “YP/Twitterverse echochamber” as Callinan put it. This goes far beyond the streetcar issue, and if they think this little dust up will go away once this press cycle goes away, they are sorely mistaken.

  • Steven Mingus

    The Enquirer is lame but so is the street car system. Way to spend years developing something that’s not going to do much for increasing intra-city transportation. Why aren’t they allowed to oppose the street cars? Maybe they also think it’s a stupid, wasteful idea. It’s too small to be any kind of solution; I feel like it will last a couple years and then be scrapped. A larger train system would have done a better job of connecting different neighborhoods and thus reducing transportation stresses as well as encouraging growth of those terminal neighborhoods and areas along the train.

    By the way, I’m not a suburbanite. But I’ll likely stick to bicycling/bus riding to get around. Instead of complaining on here, maybe you should write a letter to the editor.

  • http://urbancincy.com/ Randy A. Simes

    Steven:

    Thanks for commenting. It’s completely reasonable for someone to have different viewpoints, but what is not ok is taking a role of impartiality and then skewing coverage to fit a hidden agenda. The Enquirer has consistently said that they’re not opposed to rail transit, but they never seem to come across a plan they like.

    In 2002, the MetroMoves plan was a comprehensive regional transit plan that included light rail lines, streetcars and a completely upgraded bus system. At that time many said the plan was too ambitious and that they could not support the half-cent sales tax increase to pay for it. Now, many of those same people are saying the approach is too small, well at some point you just have to build something and make it happen. It’s been 8 years and it’s time to build it already.

    As for this particular posting, my complaints extend far beyond this particular poll or the coverage of the streetcar project by the Enquirer. Instead, if you’ve been reading along, you would realize that it is a trend of pitting the city against its suburbs and writing a narrative where the city almost always loses. This is completely unacceptable.

    Also, I have written several letters to the editor in addition to letters (not emails or phone calls) to State Senators/Representatives, U.S. Senators/Representatives and City Council members. I also went door-to-door during the Issue 9 campaign and have given presentations on the proposed Cincinnati Streetcar. My efforts extend far beyond the UrbanCincy url, but nice try.

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