Thursday, October 04, 2007

Ignorance and Arrogance...From a Publisher!

Mr. James Preston Allen, the Publisher of The Random Lengths News has once again demonstrated what I feel is an astounding amount of ignorance concerning the Ponte Vista at San Pedro project and an arrogance when he suggests that he knows what should be done with the project.

In the October 5-18, 2007 edition of his publication is a letter to the editor and Mr. Allen's response. I am going to copy it below and then provide some true facts that demonstrate the Mr. Allen seems to not be interested in an issue that is so important to OUR community.

Here is the letter and Mr. Allen's reply:

Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Your publisher recently wrote in his last editorial about the how other newspapers sell out when catering to the whims of big business by giving advertisers their front page. Furthermore, he goes on to clarify that Random Lengths has not sold out, and will let anyone advertise in their paper. But I beg to differ. Ever since Mr. Bob Bisno's Ponte Vista advertising has graced the back page of your paper I'm afraid to say your editorial content has declined. Now when I read Random Lengths I expect to see stories about Ponte Vista and other big developments of this area in the back pages regurgitating exactly what the MORE and the Daily Breeze has already said about them.

And Random Lengths hasn't really been on the forefront of breaking local news in the past several months. Furthermore you criticize other publications for creating "advertorial" articles. And what do you call your development guide? As an independent progressive paper aren't you supposed to be questioning local developments which will greatly gentrify this community rather than giving them a gloss little magazine. You say that, you will not be silenced by people who advertise for your paper, but I think it's pretty clear that Random Lengths has sold out, and has lost some of the integrity that it is reputable for.

Mike Curkovich
San Pedro

Dear Mr. Curkovich,
The salient point you miss in your critique is that we don't sell Bisno our front page nor do we sell him our editorial coverage or position. Ponte Vista advertises when they need to and I have given my opinion on the compromise that needs to happen there which differs greatly with what Bisno desires. It also differs from what the Mark Wells faction insists on, which is R-1 zoning. The decline of our coverage on Ponte Vista is in direct proportion to my estimation of its real significance to San Pedro as a whole, which is that it is a distraction! Settle the damn mess-build 1,000 or 1,500 mixed-use condos or whatever, throw in some R-1 housing too, if you like, but while all of the RPV'ers are wringing their hands over traffic on Western Avenue I would suggest that they take a good long look at Long Point and Trump developments and then tell the residents of this area what their traffic mitigation plans are for San Pedro.

As for our Harbor Living Magazine, development in the greater Harbor Area is a fact of life. It is not a choice of "if it will happen" but rather how much, where and when it will take place. Our goal in producing this supplement to the newspaper is to keep you, the readers, informed as to what is happening and where it is going. And the fact that we accept advertising from all of these developers and corporations has never stopped us from criticizing them when they are wrong or screw up. The best example of this would be the Port of LA who routinely complains about our articles but still purchases advertisements because they know the have to reach the widest and most influential audience in the Harbor Area. Should I censor their advertising? No because they also have a right to express their points of view, that's what happens in a free society. I am sorry that you don't see it that way.
Thank you for your letter.

James Preston Allen,

Mr. Allen, I am Mark Wells and I know quite a bit more about what you are calling a "distraction" and that is a shame. A publisher of a periodical so entrenched in the area should learn much more that you seem to care to learn about Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

Your "distraction" is the single largest building development in OUR community. Your "distraction" weighs much more heavily on the infrastructure, traffic, and economy of this area that all the other developments of residential units, combined.

Not once, it seems have you looked through this blog to count the number of compromise proposals I have either offered up myself, or published as compromises from others. There is probably no one in this community that has thought about, wrote about, and reported on as many compromises as I have.

Had you demonstrated more care in your thought processes and looked at the facts, you would find that I finally signed the R1 petition on May 29, 2007 about two years after the project came to my attention and AFTER more than 4,000 other individuals had already signed the R1 petition.

Mr. Allen, I have no faction. I am a leader of nobody else and a spokesperson for only one person, that being me. I lead no one other than myself and I do have opinions that differ from the more stringent supporters of R1 at Ponte Vista, but because you don't seem to care enough to learn the facts and the issues, you continue to demonstrate a willingness to remain ignorant to many of the issues and especially, the facts.

Mr. Allen, you now believe, it seems, that the Ponte Vista at San Pedro project may not be of "real significance to San Pedro as a whole". This point of your suggests to me that there may be entire portions of the local area you are not necessarily concerned with. Could this be because Ponte Vista is not downtown?

Your crack about RPVers also is another demonstration of your arrogance toward many people who read your periodical. Where were all the San Pedrans at when the issues of Long Point and Trump came before the R.P.V. Planning Commission and City Council? Just as folks living in R.P.V. will be severely impacted by what is happening in San Pedro, I think your periodical should have editorialized on the need for San Pedrans to demonstrate their concerns with their neighboring city. Where was RLN during the planning and approval processes for Long Point and Trump National? Opponents to those projects would have welcomed San Pedrans with open arms, in helping to oppose those developments.

Your arrogance that begins with "Settle the damn mess-build 1,000 or 1,500..." Obviously, by reading what you wrote in your reply to the letter, you now consider Ponte Vista, the largest development, the most costly project, the largest potential single residential source of income to the local area, as a mere "distraction" and really has little significance to our area, as a whole.

Your factual falsehood in calling supporters of R1 as being part of a "Mark Wells faction" also indicates that it seems you still do not care about learning and reporting about all sides of the issues surrounding Ponte Vista.

When you wonder why so many folks consider your publication a pro-bisno periodical, your continued reluctance to learn about all sides of the issues, let alone the basic issues AND your arrogance to claim that Ponte Vista may be of little significance to our area, as a whole, and your compromise proposal, suggests to me that your periodical is a "damn mess" and needs some work to become a more legitimate publication.

Mr. Allen, I do not hide and we have communicated before. I suggest that if you wish to have your periodical become more enlightened about the Ponte Vista issue, you have yourself and/or your reporting staff truly indulge in fact learning, fact checking, and real reporting. Inter view folks on all sides of the issues. Don't tow the Bisno line as so many of your readers believe you do. Mr. Curkovich's letter is an example that many people in OUR community have about your publication. If you can't, won't, or haven't learned this yet, I suggest you open your eyes much wider.

In short Mr. Allen, this blog has reported or endorsed more compromise proposals for Ponte Vista than anywhere and anyone else. Ponte Vista at San Pedro will have an extremely great impact on the whole area. There is not "Mark Wells faction". You again have demonstrated an astounding lack of knowledge for a issues that is as big as it really is in OUR community. You have also, again, demonstrated a startling amount of arrogance, in my opinion, in considering that the Ponte Vista development is a "damn mess", not a significant project, or might not affect the whole area.

Your reply to Mr. Curkovich's letter is another nail in the coffin of credibility, I think, to your periodical.

And yes, Mr. Allen, there is a reasoning by me as to why I don't write that you are a publisher of a "newspaper".

P.S. Weapons of mass development have a much greater impact to OUR community than Blackwater does, at this time.


Jim said...

Well said Mark! I couldn't help but laugh when Mr Allen refered to that "giveaway" he puts out as a newspaper. Allen attacts people like Bob Bisno all the time. You know, people making a HUGE PROFIT at the expense of a community. Allen is a sellout and is no different than the people he slams in that publication of his. Its all about the money.

Anonymous said...

The Pedro Pravda.