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When you spell “truth” it has no “I” in it

By   /   November 29, 2012  /   5 Comments

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The difference in Journalism of Rebecca Unger or Dan Stork and the stuff Gary Daigneault and I do is apples and well… road apples.

This is professional Example A:

Reporter Dan Stork was there and tells how it all went down…
The Twentynine Palms Water District Board of Directors, encouraged by vociferous public comment and a presentation by Fire Chief Jim Thompson and Finance Director Wayne Jones, voted 5-0 to put the brakes on the divestment of the Fire Department. It directed staff to hold off on preparing the application to LAFCO, the Local Agency Formation Commission, that is the first step in transferring responsibility for local fire protection to San Bernardino County.

And then there is example B my emotional take on the meeting:

A standing room only crowd at the Twentynine Palms Water District tonight as Citizens came to ask the Board to suspend the decision to transfer Fire Protection responsibilities to the County.

Councilmen Mintz, Corbin and Councilwoman elect Heiser attended.

Cactus Thorns was well represented with Steve Urban, Ben Holstum, Kim Ortamond, Herman Platze, Pam Shannon spoke and Steve Spear had a letter read into the record (If I forgot anyone I am sorry) all to save the Fire Department and keep it local.

Then you have Rebecca Unger, maybe the most professionally mature of the bunch of us. Here is her take Example C:

….Present in the packed meeting chamber were city councilmen Daniel Mintz and Jay Corbin and the presumptive councilwoman-elect Cora Heiser. While Mintz and Corbin stayed silent, Heiser spoke during public comment.

“I agree we need a pause,” Heiser said, echoing the public sentiment of the evening. “I would like for us to find a way to work together to reach a sustainable and sufficient model that provides public safety to our constituents. I believe the answers are here, and I believe in the people of Twentynine Palms.”….

Then you have Gary Daigneault’s added paragraph to the morning story by Dan Stork Example D:

…Nine speakers from the public urged the Board to stop and step back on the transfer process. Among those speakers were City Council Member-elect Cora Heiser and several frequent critics of city government. Some speakers said that when they voted NO on an increase in the fire tax earlier this year, they did not realize that rejection would affect fire services, and blamed officials for not making it clear. Other speakers and the board members expressed astonishment at that perception….

We got two journalist and two blowhards…. I’m going to let you decide who is whom.

Two of us have an inability to keep personal feelings and prejudice out of our writing. The other two must scratch their heads as they often see events that they report twisted into something that they never attended.

This time I attended the meeting… my story while not as professional or clearly not as complete as Unger’s or Stork’s is still pretty much what happened in a nut shell…. but Gary? …. really since when is being a watchdog of city government or being involved in local politics considered a pejorative? It is the duty of every citizen to be critical of government action.

It used to be the job of the press as envisioned by our founders to be that watchdog but it would seem that some in our local press corps have corroborated with sometimes less than open and fair local government… All it took to win these fellows over was a Park here and a promise of a”theatre” there. It is amazing how easily some in the press can be bought. But that is a discussion for another day.

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  • Published: 2 years ago on November 29, 2012
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  • Last Modified: November 29, 2012 @ 4:40 pm
  • Filed Under: 29 Palms, Opinion

About the author

Dan OBrien


Cactus Thorns has been online in one form or the other since 2001. What started as a personal blog documenting the corruption and lack of Due Process of the 29 Palms Community Development Department has turned into over these many years into a hugely popular Independent Alternative News Media Outlet. We have partnered with other media including The Desert Star Weekly, Joshua Tree Star, other blogs, indie media and an incredible staff of volunteer Reporters, Commentators and Opinion Makers to create one of the most read, honest and dependable alternative to the Local traditional Media services in the country. Thanks to you the reader we are in the 5% of most read sites in the World.


  1. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    Let’s be thankful for the 1st Amendment. I had one attendee tell me that she was under the impression that the City ran the fire department before she came to the meeting.

    • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

      Well Larry…. did you take the time to tell the obvious newcomer that the city was not the one who took responsibility for the health and welfare of its citizens and it was always up to the….. water district? Excuse me Larry don’t you find it peculiar as did the newcomer that the city refuses to accept any burden for Fire Protection what so ever? Seriously 29 Palms is the only city in California that does not contribute a single penny to fire protection from its own general fund.

      • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

        The city has NOT refused to accept “the burden’ for fire protection. The fire department has been under the water district long before we became a city. Get your facts straight. The Council is formulating a policy to alleviate this situation. Also I’ve never heard you complain about this fiscal arrangement ontill measure H andI failed.

  2. Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

    Speaks real well of the city for a citizen to have that thought. Jeesh!

  3. Steve_In_29 Steve_In_29 says:

    Larry, what does the First Amendment have to do with a City resident being under the (albeit mistaken) impression that her City was providing the NORMAL service of fire protection that EVERY OTHER City in California provides it’s residents??

    As 29 Palms is the ONLY City in California to depend on a separate Water District funded Fire Dept she should be forgiven her misunderstanding.

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