Picklebric Story Lacks Journalistic Integrity

The following letter was sent to Kevin Kaufman, Executive Editor of the Daily Camera, in response to the Picklebric Story in Sunday’s paper.

Dear Mr. Kaufman,

It appears that flagrantly flaunting the law these days, yields you a glorified sob story on the front page along with a self-serving guest opinion published that same day. Alex Burness’ biased, one-sided article on Picklebric’s rental contract not being renewed shows a complete lack of journalistic integrity.

I may not have a degree in journalism but I do know that any quality reporter worth his salt would have had the knowledge to recognize that there are two sides to every story. Burness could have found other people in the community to speak with who are concerned about these proposed ordinances as they are plentiful. He could have referred to the May 17th city council meeting and pulled quotes from concerned citizens during that recorded session.

The neighbor in question did not threaten to report the landlord to the city, he contacted the out of town investor landlord to make him aware of the proposed co-op ordinances, that the rental was illegally over-occupied according to the current regulations in the city of Boulder.

It was also known by more than one neighbor living near Picklebric that Winter and his fiancé, Emily Sigman, had plans to move to the east coast long before their rental agreement was up so she could attend Yale.

Why didn’t Burness bother to speak with any of the surrounding neighbors to confirm claims that the Picklebric residents are such upstanding neighbors? What elderly neighbors have they helped to their cars? What neighbors can confirm their sidewalks have been shoveled in the last four years by Picklebric? How many complaints of violations have been filed against this property in the last 4 years?

Then there’s this attempt by a handful of vocal co-op supporters to make this about something it’s not. This isn’t about classism, social injustice, racism, elitism, NIMBYism, intentional communities, the definition of family or whatever excuse they wish to use. It’s always been about the fact that we purposefully sought out low density neighborhoods because we didn’t wish to live near high occupancy situations like Picklebric with a constant revolving door of strangers coming and going. That’s all it’s ever been about. Period.

They berate homeowners like myself for our lifestyle choices. In a recent Facebook posting, Emily Sigman refers to us as athletic, rich white people who value ample parking for their Subarus more than they value equality or basic human rights. Cha Cha Spinrad, a member of your own EAB, referred to Boulder as being violent and full of white supremacists when she ran for City Council last year.

Sigman or Schmemily Figman as she’s known on Facebook, has spent the last three months or longer not working and traveling around the country as well as abroad. In April, it was Serbia, Sarajevo and Romania. In May, both her and Winter sailed around Martha’s Vineyard and she spent practically the whole month of June road tripping in Western Colorado.

Many of them are underemployed or not employed at all and spend their time globetrotting, avoiding responsibility and twittering about all the inequality and social injustice they endure. Perhaps if you’re going to play the human rights card, you should at least be a victim of such injustices? Is this an actual co-op or simply a crash pad and revolving door for the modern nomad movement?

They are among some of the most judgmental, self absorbed, morally superior people I’ve ever known. It makes me wonder why they choose to live here in Boulder if it’s really that bad? Why would anyone purposefully subject themselves to living in neighborhoods with the very people they have such contempt for? Can’t you see the hypocrisy here?

Here’s the thing Mr. Kaufman, we have nothing against true co-op style living. We believe everyone living in our community should find happiness, bliss and live their lives as they see fit.

We just believe it shouldn’t be at the expense of those of us that have made lifestyle choices different from their own. Nor should it be at the expense of people that are truly struggling financially and actually endeavor to live the true co-op lifestyle as opposed to playing the social injustice card so they can live as cheaply as possible, work as little as possible and avoid the responsibilities that the majority of us deal with on a daily basis.

In the meantime, I’ll be looking for a fair and balanced article on the front page of the Daily Camera in defense of our views on these proposed co-op ordinances, as well as a rebuttal to Mr. Winters Op-Ed written by one of my “intentional community” family members.

Jan Trussell
Martin Acres